Introduction to Veganism
The thought of going vegan can be pretty intimidating and frankly, unappealing. After cutting out meat, seafood, eggs, milk, cheese, butter, honey, and more it feels like you’ll be eating grass and grains forever. Not to mention, it can be pretty expensive, right? Vegan brands are notorious for being overpriced. Oh and how will you get your necessary proteins and other nutrients? Don’t you need to eat animal products for that? These are some very common factors that prevent many people from going vegan, and while they are valid, they are not entirely true.
First things first, relax, you don’t have to go vegan overnight. The Vegan Society encourages people to start by making small changes to their diet, increasing more plant-based products overtime. You can start by replacing your cow’s milk with almond or coconut milk, and your cheese and butter with other alternatives containing soy or coconut paste. There is a vegan replacement for pretty much any meat or dairy product you can think of. However, you don’t have to live off of replacements. Who wants to spend their lives eating a knock-off version of the real thing? Plus, a diet with too many soy-based products is not much of a healthy alternative. Soy can be a great source of protein, but too much of it can be harmful, especially for women, considering it can activate estrogen receptors, disrupting the normal flow of our bodies.
There are countless recipes using mostly fresh plant-based products that offer a wide variety of tastes and textures. If you take the time to learn, you will never be bored with your vegan diet. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Tasty, an app which offers quick and easy vegan recipes with step by step videos. Just use the filters to search for vegan recipes under 30 minutes, and you’ll feel like your own personal chef in no time. I’ve learned how to make my own vegan nachos, pastas, pizzas, cauliflower wings, and desserts all from this app.
Don’t be discouraged by the overpriced vegan products. You don’t have to shop at Whole Foods to be a vegan, and you don’t have to spend $100 in replacements. Fruits, vegetables, rice, beans, and pastas are all relatively cheap. The best foods to eat as a vegan are some of the cheapest ones. Meat is one of the most expensive things you can buy at a grocery store. For the $20 you spent in meat, you could have come home with double the amount of natural, plant-based, vegan ingredients. Ideally, your vegan grocery list should consist mostly of fresh and frozen fruits, raw vegetables and vegetables for cooking, along with your grains and beans. Less than half of your pantry should consist of soy products.
Most importantly, remember how beneficial going vegan can be. When you properly plan to switch over to an all plant-based diet, you won’t find any trouble getting plenty of protein. In fact, the proteins you receive from foods like quinoa, soy, rice, and hummus are easier for your body to break down than proteins found in meat. A vegan diet is also low in saturated fats, high in nutrients, and can prevent cancer. Not only does a vegan diet, done right, help you to maintain good health, but it’s also helpful for the environment. Raising animals for consumption is one of the leading causes to harmful gases, ultimately making the consumption of animal products worse for the environment than cars and trucks. Going vegan is the most efficient way to cleanse your body and your planet, and it can be a lot easier and more exciting than you think!