Veganism is one of the most popular trends of the last 5 years, if not the most popular of all! People choose to adopt this new lifestyle for the sake of the environment, their own health or because of the poor treatment of animals. Though this trend is quite appealing, it’s overwhelming and stressful for some, which discourages them from trying. But stop worrying, we’ve all been there!
We asked our friend Caroline Huard (Loounie), a generous and creative vegan woman, to give us her best advice on how to begin eating vegan if we don’t know where to start.
Here they are: the 5 tips to help you eat more vegan!
1. Add stuff instead of removing stuff
If you don’t want to feel like you’re restricting or punishing yourself when you eat vegan, it’s important that you focus on the food you add to your meals instead of the food you take out. The more you fill your plate with delicious veggies, funny-named grains and colorful legumes, the less you will miss the meat and cheese dishes you typically consume.
2. Reinvent your classics… buy stay realistic!
You cannot stop a love story without being hurt. That’s why it’s important to have access to vegan options of meat-based, egg-based or cheese-based plates you love. At this step, fake meat, veggie patties and vegan sausages will be your best friends. You can also try to “veganize” your favorite recipes, such as your mom’s spaghetti or Pinterest’s pad thaï. But stay realistic because unless you’re a true chef, some vegan versions of meals will never taste the same as the original… Seitan steak doesn’t taste like meat but crumbled tofu can easily replace ground meat in bolognaise. 😉
3. Search for inspiration… and travel the world!
Indian, Asian, African and Mexican cuisines are mostly vegan-friendly. In Asia, for instance, there’s almost no dairy products, and soy is everywhere. Therefore, it’s safe to search among their traditional recipes to find vegetarian meals that taste good and feel good. But be careful: try to diversify what you eat (soy sauce tofu is good, but you’ll get tired of it quickly!), attempt travel the world with your plates.
4. Cook on Sundays and befriend bowls
With a little bit of discipline, you’ll be able to eat vegan lunches and dinners throughout the week without having to eat the same thing day after day or create overly complicated recipes. On Sunday, or any other day, I cook one or two whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, wheat pastas, etc.) and I wash and cut my veggies. I also prepare 2-3 plant proteins (tofu, hummus, black beans, etc.) and make sure I have enough dressings or toppings. Then, all I have to do is put everything in a bowl during the week! Have fun and get inspired (black beans + salsa, tofu + peanut sauce, hummus + pesto); you’ll never get tired of bowls!
5. Allow yourself to be imperfect
Being compassionate toward animals and the planet is really awesome. Being compassionate with yourself is a necessity. No matter how motivated and involved you are, don’t forget that we we weren’t born vegan and we don’t live in a vegan world. Be good to yourself. No need to be harsh on yourself if you fell for some smoked salmon at brunch or for a three-cheese pizza after a breakup. No matter what the “vegan police” says: IT’S OKAY, you are human.
In all cases, if you want a healthy changeover and/or have particular needs, consult a nutritional professional. It’s important to make a smooth transition.
PS: For a 5th year in a row, Dose Juice will participate to the Vegan Festival of Montreal, on October 20 and 21 of 2018. Click here to see all details.