Are you looking into eating vegan for beginners or for information on how to become vegan? Or how to follow an easy vegan diet for beginners.
If so, you have come to the right place! As we will be talking about everything that you need to know when starting out on your vegan journey.
This article will cover all of the beginner friendly basis of what it means to eat a vegan diet. The easy way because who doesn’t like things to be as easy as possible!
My goal is to break veganism down into little bite sizes in order to make it seem less scary. Because it really isn’t as hard as it may seem. In fact, it is down-right easy once you get the hang of it!
So, if you want to find out how to become vegan and eat an easy vegan diet then keep reading!
Eating Vegan for Beginners
When you are first starting out on a vegan diet it can feel pretty daunting as it looks strict and intimidating. But once you learn the basic ropes it will be like second nature to eat a vegan diet!
Cutting out meat, dairy, and eggs can seem like a huge chunk of your diet, but realistically animal products make up such a small part of the food that you can eat.
Just think of all of the veggies, fruits, grains, and legumes that are out there to eat. And all of the amazing meals that you can create with them!
And if you want to learn even more about becoming vegan, you should definitely check out The Vegan Starter Kit by Neal D Barnard for more amazing information!
What Can Vegans Eat
Vegans can eat such a wide variety of amazing foods that you are guaranteed to never get bored with all of the options.
Now especially, vegan food is more widely available then ever so you have even more vegan options. As many well known brands have started to come out with more vegan friendly options!
The basic vegan foods that you can eat are things like beans, legumes, grains, and veggies, such as:
- Nuts and seeds
- Herbs and spices
- Vegan food products
- Vegan beverages
Eating an easy vegan diet has never been simpler as now there are probably hundreds of vegan brands put there to buy from.
Not to mention the many non-vegan brands that have started selling more vegan options! Making it that much easier to make the switch to a vegan diet for beginners with so many more food options.
Running out of food options should be the last of your fears when eating vegan for beginners! Especially, once you get the hang of it, since you will quickly realize just how amazing a vegan diet can be.
There are so many more meal options than most people imagine there to be. And the best part is getting to experiment with new foods!
What Can’t Vegans Eat
When you are looking into how to become vegan it is important to understand what exactly a vegan diet restricts.
Meat is the most obvious food that comes to mind but eating a vegan diet can become much more complex than just that.
Here are the foods that you will need to remove from your diet in order to make it vegan friendly:
- Dairy products
Those are the most common food items that you will be avoiding on a vegan diet but there are also many ingredients that are a bit trickier to avoid. Ingredients that are often placed sneakily into certain foods that you probably thought were vegan friendly.
These ingredients are not directly coming from animals, but they can be derived from them or contaminated throughout the process of being created. Such as:
- Cochineal or carmine
- Castoreum flavoring
- Whey, casein, and lactose
- Some food colorants
Since these ingredients can be a lot harder to avoid some vegans choose to not worry over them. Whether or not you specifically avoid these ingredients as well, often comes down to you.
Sometimes it just isn’t realistic to try to avoid every ingredient that is linked back to an animal. Just do the best that you can and that will be good enough!
Easy Meals for Beginners
When you first look into eating vegan for beginners the most intimidating thing can often be creating vegan meals.
We are so accustomed to eating sides of meat, fish, or dairy that it can seem impossible to create satisfying meals without them. With these foods being the center of our meals growing up, it can feel quite scary to try to find out how to replace them.
This is where having a basic idea of what the best vegan recipes are, to try out for a stress free and easy vegan diet! Because vegan food is really quite simple to make as long as you stick to the basics and don’t go too crazy.
You can start off as simple as you need to in order to adjust to the changes in your diet. When I went vegan, I ate the same five meals in rotation for over a month while I learned how to cook vegan food!
Breakfast was honestly the hardest meal for me to eat when I first became vegan. I usually didn’t eat breakfast and when I did, it was typically eggs.
So, once I went vegan I had to figure out how to get creative with my breakfasts so that I could start to enjoy that meal of the day. It was pretty hard at first since I never liked sweet breakfasts but eventually I figure it out. Now breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day!
You have many options once you start to look for them as there are so many amazing vegan breakfasts that you could make. From fluffy vegan pancakes to satisfying oatmeal to a breakfast smoothie!
Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
- Tofu Scramble
- Fluffy Vegan Pancakes
- Vegan Waffles
- Breakfast smoothie
- Vegan Breakfast Sausage
- Fruit salad
Lunch is one of those meals that is great for vegans as it is very easy to throw together a vegan lunch that is fast while still being satisfying.
I personally like to meal plan so that I already have premade lunch options available to me, but you can always quickly cook something up for a fresh lunch option.
Many like to make simple vegan burritos or throw together a vegan buddha bowl. Lunch is an easy meal to veganize as it is one of the simpler meals and can be made up of whatever you have on hand.
Here are a few quick ideas for creating vegan lunches:
Dinner is the meal where people most likely begin to struggle the most when beginning to start eating vegan for beginners.
This is the meal where the most meat usually is, not to mention plenty of dairy laden products. But don’t let that intimidate you because there are so many tasty options that you also have on a vegan diet!
One thing to remember is that you don’t have to necessarily replace animal products in your meals. Just create satisfying vegan meals and that will be good enough. There is no need to try to replace the meat and dairy that you would normally eat, just give your meals a makeover.
Here are a few very simple ideas to get you started with making vegan dinners:
How to Start Eating Vegan for Beginners
When you are starting to look into how to become vegan it is a good idea to approach it with a plan.
You could always jump right in without a second thought, but you might end up feeling overwhelmed and entirely unprepared. Which can even lead you to giving up altogether!
This is why it is so important to approach a vegan diet with a plan in mind to set yourself up for success right off the bat!
Because eating an easy vegan diet doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming at all! With just a little planning you can easily start eating a vegan diet.
If you are also interested in the nutritional side of a vegan diet you should read The Vegan Starter Kit by Neal D Barnard for a doctors perspective.
Related: Vegan Diet Tips for Beginners
Meal planning is probably one of the biggest tips that I could ever give someone who is looking into eating a vegan diet!
This is because meal planning is so effective especially if you are not used to cooking all of your meals from scratch.
When you start eating vegan food you will naturally find yourself cooking more frequently and meal planning can help you stay on top of that. As it allows you to cook a lot at one time so that you can have a few extra no hassle meals throughout the week.
Meal planning also makes it easier to create vegan meals in your first few weeks of being vegan, which will be the hardest time period.
Having a meal plan will help you to not only get the hang of creating vegan food but it will help you to find your new favorite meals!
One extra tip I have for meal planning for beginning vegans is to make very large amounts of food to eat throughout the week. But also set aside one or two portions to freeze so that you have another meal in a pinch.
This is a great tip for those who struggle to find time to cook each meal or who just enjoy having good vegan food at hand!
If you struggle to create meal plans for yourself why not grab a book about it! Like this amazing The Plant-Based Diet Meal Plan by Heather Nicholds which maps it all out for you.
Do Your Research
One important tip to help you get used to a vegan diet is to do your research before rather than later. As it can help the transition to be much smoother and less stressful.
Before meal planning or grocery shopping try to look up vegan brands that your local grocery store carries or for brands that offer vegan options.
Try to familiarize yourself with ingredients that you will need to avoid so that you know what you are looking for when reading food labels.
It is also a good idea to find out where the health food section is in your local grocery store. As that will be where you find specialty food items such as vegan meats and cheeses and tofu.
Just in general try to do your research before going out to get vegan food so that you can avoid unwanted stress.
This tip goes hand in hand with meal planning as you will want to start collecting as many vegan recipes as you can find.
Pinterest is a great place to find easy vegan recipes to follow and meal plan with.
Try to find recipes that are similar to what you would normal like to eat to make the adjustment period easier.
If you love burritos why not make your own bean and rice burritos with a recipe? If you love to eat grilled cheese sandwiches pick out a few vegan cheeses to try out.
The best way to start eating vegan for beginners is to try to replicate the meals that you would normally eat. This will help your taste buds adapt to your new diet faster and easier!
Having a bunch of vegan recipes saved will also help to reduce any mealtime stress that you might feel. As you will be prepared with plenty of vegan inspiration for when you are feeling unmotivated in the kitchen
Expect to Make Mistakes
One of the best tips that I have to share with new vegans is that you need to be prepared to make mistakes.
It is completely normal and nothing to get upset about! Every vegan makes many mistakes, whether they have been vegan for 6 months or 6 years!
To this day I still will occasionally find a non-vegan ingredient in something that I am eating that I never noticed. It is normal and doesn’t just happen to newbies!
You are going to end up eating something that is not vegan friendly no matter how hard you try. So just do your best and expect to make some mistakes along the way.
Especially in the beginning stages while you are still learning how to adapt to a vegan lifestyle. Give yourself some slack and allow yourself to make mistakes without feeling guilty. We have all been there.
I hope that this article on starting an easy vegan diet has helped you on your beginner journey into veganism.
As someone who has been vegan for nearly a decade I want to make being vegan less intimidating for people. Because it really isn’t as hard as it may seem, and I want you to feel confident as you become vegan!
I know that when I was researching veganism, it looked very intimidating and unapproachable. But in reality it doesn’t have to be that way, it can be as simple as you need it to be. And you can go as slowly as you need to in order to become fully vegan.
So often, we avoid doing things because it just looks too hard and we expect to fail. But in reality, we often stand a much better chance than we give ourselves credit for.
Be brave and take the plunge! It isn’t as hard as it looks, and you will never know if you could have succeeded if you never even try.
Let me know in the comments what your favorite easy vegan meals are! I would love to hear about them!