Making the right choice when it comes to foods and eating is relevant whether you’re vegan or not. Regardless or your dietary choices it’s important to be always making better choices and be educated about what it is you’re putting in to your body.
As an example: Kraft Singles. Did you know that they’re called Kraft Singles as they can’t be considered a cheese. And some of you may have seen the Facebook video of the Kraft Single catching fire and burning as opposed to melting. It’s pretty eye opening, especially for a food we’ve all grown up eating. But to look at the cheese itself, it’s a cheap, convenient food and usually found in for school lunches but are only about 40% cheese. Buying a block of tasty cheese is a better option. Just like veganism there are different options, and it’s always best to look at the ingredients of products and base your choices on what’s listed.
There are plenty of unhealthy vegan and vegetarian foods and there are probably just as many convenience foods available but it’s about making the right choices.
An easy way of transitioning to vegetarian is to replace three meals a week with vegetable-only meals. Many people believe this just means making a regular meal and omitting the meat. This is not the case and annoys me, as that mean needs to be replaced with something such as extra vegetables, a tofu protein, textured vegetable protein or even a piece of fish if you are still eating as a pescatarian (vegetarian that eats fish).
There are many simple vegetarian recipes available and it could be as easy as making a pasta with a veggie-packed sauce. If you’re planning on going vegan then there are extra things to consider such as pastas can contain eggs so again checking the ingredients are important.
Most supermarkets carry a huge range of vegan products now so it’s not as expensive to source food items and try different brands. There’s even a huge range of vegan ice creams available at your local supermarkets too.
Be creative with your recipes and always try your meals and sauces and concoctions before discarding them, you may be surprised at the taste.
The best thing to do when starting out is to make sure you eat a variety of whole foods. So rather than canned or packaged foods buy the real product. The real fresh vegetables, not frozen, this not only encourages using your purchases but you know the item is real and unprocessed. There are more nutrients in these items too, meaning your body can absorb that whole item and nothing artificial or any additives.
If cooking isn’t your thing or it’s too much hard work then packaged, convenient food can be a last resort option but always be aware of the ingredients and sodium and sugar levels in the products. I do think that once you start small with pastas and salads then you’ll find that the cooking interest will come to you and you will be more inclined to try new recipes, meals and foods. Even if you don’t want to go completely vegetarian or vegan you’ll find replacing at least three meals a week with whole foods will make a difference to your health, including weight loss, skin health, general energy and wellness.
Many restaurants now cater for vegans and there tends to be decent options on menus and vegan-only cafes too. It’s truly amazing what can be made to mimic the traditional carnivorous foods that the majority of people eat.
Some people do comment on why would a vegan want a vegan bacon? I think the majority of vegans aren’t born into being vegan so they’ve had some sort of taste of meat and do want something that imitates the bacon or mince they used to eat but they now want a clear conscience and be able to eat something similar without the cruelty factor.
I don’t think any vegan version of a meat product has come close to the taste or real meat and to be honest I don’t think vegans want that, they just want something that can be used as a meat product can, such a bacon to fry, a mince to turn into a burger patty and mayonnaise that is creamy.
There are also a bunch of what’s called ‘Accidental Vegan’ products. Certain sauces, pastas, chocolates and many other fridge and pantry products just happen to not contain any animal derived products so become that little bit cheaper than if you were to buy a purpose made vegan product.
If you’re heading to the store today, or this weekend and are wanting to have a meat free Monday, here are some really simple and easy recipes to begin your week.
Thanks for reading!