Step 3: Clean the Cupboards
Go through your kitchen and find all the non-vegetarian/vegan friendly options. Either give them to friends, a local food pantry (if unopened) or sadly, throw it out (not a huge fan of this option as I hate wasted food even if I don’t want to eat it). Or keep them around for certain days while you transition.
Step 4: Grocery Shopping
Make a budget, research some recipes online and hit the stores with a detailed list. One of my favorite apps is one called “Is It Vegan?” You can scan the item or search certain ingredients to see whether or not it’s vegan friendly.
I also recommend buying fresh vegetables and fruit (or frozen works also). Check all ingredients lists. Make sure you recognize the words! If you can’t, you can be sure that it’s just chemicals and harmful to your body.
Meat Alternatives: Consider alternatives to help ease the transition. Beyond Meat, Gardein and Field Roast make some amazing vegan meat options. Gardein’s stuffed turkey is so good … it’s actually creepy.
Milk: My favorite milk alternative is definitely almond milk. If not a fan, each week, try a different milk until you find the best alternative for you: hemp, rice, soy, etc. See below why I’ve cut out milk.
Cheese: I haven’t found one I love. Go Veggie! is one of the better ones. A lot of people love Daiya but I feel like it has an odd aftertaste but you may love it!
Butter: Earth Balance all the way!!! Or use olive oil. (So simple, right?!)
Ice Cream: So Delicious is seriously that: so delicious. When it’s that time of the month, this is my savior.
For more alternatives, check out PETA’s webpage.
Click on image for larger view.
WHY NO MILK?
Many people say that going vegan is too hard because they can’t give up milk and/or cheese. As an Asian, 90% of us are actually allergic without realizing. It causes phlegm and other slight allergies as well as acne. Many vegans saw vast improvements after cutting out dairy products.
Also, milk is meant to grow a baby calf into a huge cow. . . Let that sink in. And you’re putting that into your body. Therefore, guess what, you’re also going to balloon. We are the only animal that drinks the milk of another animal. I find it interesting that people ostracize women who breast feed their children when the children are past a certain age. Yet, they’ll drink milk from another species.
Some state that it is okay because cows aren’t hurt. Cows are often artificially inseminated and if they give birth to a male calf, that calf ends up as veal on someone’s plate. And their milk is taken from them with machinery (not by hand these days anymore). These methods often overwork the cows, causing pus and blood to end up in your milk.
Cows are pumped with vaccines, antibiotics and all sorts of chemicals. A lot of them. That ends up in your milk.
Give almond, soy, hemp or rice milk a chance. Experiment and trust me, you’ll find one you love. They also make chocolate milk alternatives. I love them and sometimes, it’s my dessert after dinner!
Step 5: Vegan Options & Restaurants
Trust me, there are a lot of great vegan restaurants or options out there. It’s a growing movement and it is amazing. Also, a lot of ethnic cuisines have so many vegetarian and vegan options including Indian, Ethiopian and Thai!
And here is my Yelp Vegan Options in North Jersey list.
HappyCow.Net is an amazing site with extensive lists for all regions. Luckily for me, I live close to NYC, where there are so many amazing options. If you live in Austin in Texas, you’re even luckier. That is supposedly the #1 vegan friendly city in the US. Most larger cities have some great spots.
Grab some adventurous friends or meet up with your vegetarian and vegan friends, they’d be glad to eat with you and introduce you to an amazing world of deliciousness.
with some of my adventurous friends who are not vegetarian but they were willing to try it out!