Firstly look whats out there, there is actually so much more easily available vegan and veggie foods now that weren't around when I switched 25 years ago, when lentils and dry soya chunks was the only thing available and you havd to go to specialist health food shops to find it. Go to your regular supermarket, If you take a look at the alternative diets section of the supermarket you will find dairy free products to replace chocolate, biscuits etc and the chilled cabinets and freezer sections will have lots of options. Then take a trip to a health food store and even more choices are available!
Heres some ideas!
Meat & Fish Fillets
There are so many veggie and vegan options now to easily replace fillets, roasts, burgers and sausages, which means your meal will look very similar to your old meals, this is particularly helpful when the whole family are not on board as familiarity makes everyone feel more comfortable, Linda McCartney does a Vegan and Veggie range, Quorn have now got a Vegan and Veggie range along with many other brands, even supermarket own brands!
Casseroles, chilli, bolognaise, curry, soups etc
Quorn or Soya mince / chunks can be used to easily replace popular dishes very easily as you pretty much use them in the same way you would meat. Beans, split peas, lentils and chickpeas can easily be used to make a variety of dishes replacing the meat and still packing a protein punch.
Anyone taking the next step towards a Vegan Lifestyle, I would advise a gradual transition, while your digestive system adapts and you get familiar with some new foods and recipes.
Many foods contain animal products like gelatine (made from beef and pork), especially sweets and yoghurts / chilled deserts. Jelly is gelatine based, but you can get vegan jelly to use as a substitute and there are many veggie / vegan alternative yoghurts and deserts that use pectin instead, you just need to check the labels. Health food stores sell gelatine free sweets now so you can still have lovely cruelty free treats!
There are so many alternatives here, with a huge choice of non dairy milk commonly available including soya, rice, almond, oat and hemp milk, for yoghurts you can find soya and coconut varieties, non dairy butter, non dairy icecreams, soya cream, custard, There are lots of non dairy cheeses now and hummus is just a naturally dairy free option which I love! You can even get dairy free chocolate in health food stores! And did you know Oreo cookies are naturally vegan!
This is one may people struggle with, most veggie sports people and meat eating bodybuilders rely on eggs as a high quality protein so replacing them can seem daunting.
Breakfast- I simply replaced my breakfast eggs with vegan sausages and I really look forward to my breakfast, but you can make a replacements for scrambled eggs using Tofu! One of my vegan friends and fellow competitor Emma, gave me this scrambled tofu recipe! Simple and tasty!
Break down the tofu with a fork first, then fry it with turmeric and Maggi Sauce (adds spicy flavour) then add black pepper and Nooch (nutritional yeast)
The pic shows a breakfast I had in an Amercian Diner, scrambled Tofu, sliced potatoes, tomato, mushrooms and kale. It was delicious!
Also, for those that bake and cook their recipes from scratch, eggs are a vital ingredient to may recipes as a binding agent. The pic below shows lots of options you can try as egg replacements in recipes.
Protein- most people use whey and casein protein- but if you want to give up dairy then there are lots of options available. Check through my blog for product reviews! I'm currently using Veggie Style Protein & Moringa blend. It mixes the best out of several I have tried and helps me get my protein needs in, especially when I'm travelling!
Many supplements are from non veggie / vegetarian sources so you need to check the websites / labels, but more and more products are being made with non gelatine capsules. I get all my supplements from Veggie Style, I am sponsored by them, but I was using their products for over a year before I was sponsored, so I totally believe in their products.
Anyone wanting to make sure they get enough protein, please see my page 'how do I get my protein' HERE
find my tips on on how to become meat free HERE
And for bodybuilders and sports people, here's a typical day to answer that common question How do you get your protein? HERE
And check out my archives for other articles & supplement reviews, recipes etc!
Dairy free Vegan supplements click here!
Feel free to comment with your own suggestions or links to good recipes and good luck with your transition to a Veggie or Vegan lifestyle!