To make a change, to be nutritious, to lead a healthy lifestyle, and to be a better example for my family were all the thoughts that crossed my mind when I decided to give up meat and work towards becoming vegan.
Trust me, it was not the easiest decision since date night is usually at my favorite steakhouse and I hated the thought of giving up lobster mac and cheese. Just thinking about lobster mac and cheese makes my mouth water.
Truth be told I have been vegan before but, once my husband and I started living together my vegan lifestyle went downhill from there.
My husband is a meat eater and when I cook I like to taste what I cook to make sure the meal is amazing.
For example, one night he asked for steak; it looked so good that I ended up eating a piece of it. Now, I’m not blaming my lovely partner for my spiral; so I decided to get a grip on getting back to the healthy foods that I love.
I knew I had to get a grip on my eating habits once it started to change my chakras. Before I started my healthy journey I had to create a plan on how I was going to prepare meals for myself and my family.
Even better, I had to come up with a plan on how to get them on board with eating healthier even if they did not want to be fully vegan. Below I listed how I transitioned back to my vegan journey.
Know your reason/why!
It is important to know your reason for transitioning to a vegan lifestyle. Don’t do it because it’s a trend or because Rachel Lee next door says it will help you drop thirty pounds.
Change your eating habits for you or change your eating habits because you understand the benefits of a plant-based diet.
Educate! Research! Prepare the mind!
The first step was educating myself again on the benefits of a vegan lifestyle. I had to learn about ingredients, understand the cost difference between healthy food and unhealthy food, and remember what ingredients will nourish my body.
Educating yourself before you jump head first into things is always key. You want to prepare your mind for the change before you prepare your body.
The body will follow whatever the mind agrees with; another key factor is finding restaurants that I could eat at with my family.
For example, there are a lot of restaurants that have vegan choices whether they are substituting the meat, bread or sauces that come with the meal.
One of the many things I enjoyed about doing my research and educating myself would be, being able to watch the cooking shows.
I love being able to try new recipes like sweet potato tacos, philly cheese steak, tofu stir fry and vegan french toast. The vegan recipes have become a huge trend with each variety whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Don’t go cold turkey.
One of the many things that I would recommend would be to not cut everything out cold turkey. I have been able to transition smoothly by adding new recipes in.
You want to allow your body to adjust to the different tastes and ingredients. For example, my partner tried to go vegan and he wasn’t used to the different texture of the food.
He also found himself eating more portions with vegan food. Give your body time to adjust and appreciate.
I would even recommend going vegetarian first before going straight to becoming a vegan, baby steps are still accomplishments. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Remember this is a plant based journey where you will be eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and herbs.
Try breakfast first!
Another pro tip would be to try making vegan breakfast first, that way you are getting in the routine of having your first meal be vegan.
You are also giving your body time to adapt to what it likes and what it does not like.
Be creative in the kitchen!
One of the many mistakes I made on my healthy journey was I would make the same meal over and over again. After so many times of tasting it I got tired of it; don’t be afraid to explore.
Like I previously stated, vegan food has transformed; you have the ability to make any recipe vegan with the proper ingredients.
After discussing a few steps that will be beneficial for you or a friend to take into consideration, I wanted to provide you with two recipes that I completely love. Both recipes come from Veganuary.
Natalie Tamara from Veganuary created the Apple Cinnamon Wholemeal Waffles, ingredients are below.
- 150g (1 1/4 c) wholemeal flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 2tbsp lucuma powder or brown sugar
- 2 chia “eggs” (1 egg = 1tbsp milled chia seeds mixed with 3tbsp water to form a gel)
- 1tsp vanilla bean paste
- 215ml almond milk or dairy-free milk of your choice
- 60g (4 tbsp) dairy-free margarine, melted
- 500g (about 1 pound) apples (pre coring), spiralised, grated or cut into thin strips
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 2tbsp water
Yorkshire Vegan from Veganuary created Vegan Fried Chicken, ingredients are below.
- Homemade Seitan
- For the coating – Flour:
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp dried marjoram
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried sage
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 cup corn starch
- ½ tsp baking powder
- For the buttermilk:
- 1 cup vegan buttermilk (1 cup of soya milk and 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, whisked together and left to sit for 5 – 10 mins)
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- Pinch of salt
- Oil for frying
Remember to be creative when cooking your food, allow your body to adapt, and understand you are why for your transition. Even if you mess up, it is okay because it’s your life and enjoy it!