Beginner’s Guide To Veganism
My Journey, Tips, & Recipes For Starting Out!
“Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” – The Vegan Society
There have been a few people who have asked me about becoming vegan, for vegan recipes we like, etc…so, I thought I would put together this blog post; just a little beginner’s guide that will hopefully just help you out a little bit and encourage you to give it a try! I know it is a lot easier to make the transition if you know what is what and if it’s good! So, here we go!
Before I became a vegan, I was a vegetarian for 5(ish) years. I got interested in veganism and vegetarianism because my then boyfriend (now husband) had been vegetarian for 2 years. Once he had told me and explained his reasons why, I had done some research of my own and decided that I also wanted to be vegetarian. It was very hard for me at first, our families were not very supportive (aside from my mom) but we made it work and I was proud of myself for taking a small stand for animals and the planet.
We had begun discussing going vegan (way later, we didn’t even know veganism was a thing!) right before our daughter was born (2012) after I had done some research on dairy and the health benefits and lack of benefits. I had decided that she would absolutely be raised a vegan. At this point I really wanted to raise our kids vegan because I was terrified as a new mother to pump all kind of chemicals/ unhealthy foods into my brand new child. (New mom anxiety is something!)
We put off going vegan for quite a while (ourselves) because my husband wasn’t sure if he really wanted to give up cheese (Italian man, haha) and so we waited and figured eventually we would make the transition. I had watched a couple documentaries (“Forks Over Knives” & “Food, Inc.” included) and that was it for me. There was a moment when I saw a dairy cow’s baby being taken away so that her milk could be pumped and sold in grocery stores that ripped my heart out…of course, this was one month before my son was born in 2014. I regret waiting so long but I am happy that we finally decided to start our journey as a vegan family
For me, being vegan is a lifestyle and it is one I am very passionate about. We love animals and the planet so we want to do our part in protecting them. This doesn’t mean we are perfect but we are trying our best to help out where we can! Although, my (biological) children have never consumed dairy/animal by products/meat willingly or knowingly (which makes me happy)…of course, there will always be mistakes. As I said, no one is perfect! Sometimes a family member might think something is vegan when it’s not, you might misread a label, etc, etc and that is okay! We are all doing our best to make sure we cause the least amount of harm as possible and that is amazing!
There are a lot of judgmental people in the world but do not let them get the best of you (Vegan and non-vegan)! They might not agree with your decision to try something new, feel attacked by your choices, or just think it’s stupid… Eventually you learn to deal with these things. You might also feel like if you make a mistake, you can’t really be vegan or be apart of the vegan community but I promise you, you can and they are also not perfect! Do what you want to do for your own specific reasons and let yourself enjoy the journey and the changes you’re making. No need for so much pressure!
Here are some of our all time favorite vegan recipes & goodies – I could add onto this list FOREVER but I will spare you… Don’t be shy to ask for any alternatives, I’d be happy to share more!
Best Vegan parmesan cheese
Other than these recipes and links I’ve shared our diets mainly consist of fruits, vegetables, and tofu! The kids love tofu cut into cubes, dipped in flour and baked or fried. They will cover it in bbq sauce and eat it with rice/ mashed potatoes and veggies or dip it in ketchup (tofu nugget style) with potato wedges!
We usually have a fruit bowls (pineapple, banana, apple, grapes, strawberries, tangerine, and kiwi), some kind of smoothie, oatmeal, vegan pancakes, peanut butter and jelly or maybe some kind of leftover for breakfast depending on the day.
For lunch I usually have one of the above dishes or some other form of pasta/rice/salad, etc and for dinners we rotate favorites, try new things a couple times a week, and treat ourselves out sometimes. The kids also love this potato soup recipe that we just recently found! They are OBSESSED! It has become a big time favorite in our house.
For snacking I enjoy steamed veggies, nuts, homemade popsicles, and some vegan *junk foods*! My go to veggies are broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and potatoes. I love these steamed with a little bit of vegan butter and some pink Himalayan salt!
I also make my own potato wedges a lot because most fries are NOT vegan or even vegetarian as they usually have some beef flavoring, etc. This is super easy and cheap! I wash my potatoes, preheat the oven to 350, cut potatoes into wedges, put them on the pan with some olive oil or coconut oil (Whatever I have on hand,) pepper, salt, (or whatever seasoning you like) for about 35 – 40 minutes and TA DAH! Yummy!
I hope this was helpful! Please let me know if you liked these recipes and would like to see more of our favorites!