Beginner’s Vegan Guide

If you landed on this blog by accident, maybe the universe is trying to tell you something. If you are here because you want to consider eating a plant-based diet, congratulations. You are showing the most important person in the world (you) compassion, and that compassion and empathy will seep into everything you do in life. I am here to help you, so lets get started. 

What is veganism?

A vegan diet is a diet that does not include any animal products. This includes all types of meat, eggs, milk and dairy products, honey, gelatin, etc. Vegans also avoid other animal-made products such as fur, leather, and cosmetics or household items that use animal testing. As you can see, veganism is not defined as a diet, but a way of living.

Why go vegan?

IMG_1139Most people choose to go vegan for ethical, health, or environmental reasons. Research the environmental effects of the meat/dairy/egg industry, the health benefits of a vegan diet, and where animal products come from. Decide for yourself why you should choose a vegan diet. Here’s a great list of resources: (Documentary)

How do I start?

A vegan diet typically consists of legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains. For a list of my vegan staple foods, click here! You don’t need meat or dairy alternatives in your diet if you do not want them, but there are tons of alternatives out there. Some of these include tofu, tempeh, seitan, soy milk, almond milk, and coconut milk. Here’s a list of common meat alternatives and information about them. There are several brands that are vegan friendly including Amys, Morningstar (check their products, some are vegan and others are vegetarian), Earth Balance, Smart Deli, Daiya, etc.

Isn’t a vegan diet expensive?

No! A vegan diet does not have to be expensive. Superfood or meat alternatives can sometimes be pricey, but a vegan diet can be very cheap if you shop consciously. For example, buy bags of beans and rice in bulk, get vegetables that are in season, shop around different grocery stores and farmers markets to find the cheapest prices.

Tips For Vegan Youth

“Frankly, no matter what your age, parents need time to adjust to your new lifestyle. Like all of us, they’re creatures of habit and most likely have been cooking the same thing for you day after day, year after year. They’ve gone through your picky phases, they’ve cut the crusts off your bread, they’ve made special meals to accommodate your preferences…

On the one hand, they’re probably freaking out because they have no idea what to feed you. If they’ve been making your favorite meals for years, they’re not exactly going to be enthusiastic about changing the repertoire.

On the other hand, though, I think one of the reasons parents take it so personally is because they’ve used food from the day we were born as a way to express their love for us, to nurture us, and to be close to us. When we reject the food they’ve chosen to feed us, it may feel like we’re rejecting them and their affections…”

Beyond food, your parents might be sincerely concerned about your health. If your health is a genuine concern of your family members, put their minds at ease — take time to explain to them what you’ve found. Check out for information on healthy vegan eating!

Where do vegans get their protein?

It is very easy for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein. Nearly all vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds contain some, and often much, protein. Fruits, sugars, fats, and alcohol do not provide much protein, so a diet based only on these foods would have a good chance of being too low in protein. However, not many vegans we know live on only bananas, hard candy, margarine, and beer. Vegans eating varied diets containing vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds rarely have any difficulty getting enough protein as long as their diet contains enough energy (calories) to maintain weight.

(gm) (gm/100 cal)

Tempeh 1 cup 31 9.6
Soybeans, cooked 1 cup 29 9.6
Seitan 3 ounces 21 17.5
Lentils, cooked 1 cup 18 7.8
Black beans, cooked 1 cup 15 6.7
Kidney beans, cooked 1 cup 15 6.8
Chickpeas, cooked 1 cup 15 5.4
Pinto beans, cooked 1 cup 15 6.3
Lima beans, cooked 1 cup 15 6.8
Black-eyed peas, cooked 1 cup 13 6.7
Veggie burger 1 patty 13 18.6
Veggie baked beans 1 cup 12 5.0
Tofu, firm 4 ounces 11 10.6
Tofu, regular 4 ounces 10 10.7
Bagel 1 med. (3.5 oz) 10 3.9
Quinoa, cooked 1 cup 8 3.7
Peas, cooked 1 cup 8 6.6
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), cooked 1/2 cup 8 15.0
Peanut butter 2 Tbsp 8 4.1
Veggie dog 1 link 8 13.3
Spaghetti, cooked 1 cup 8 3.7
Almonds 1/4 cup 8 3.7
Soy milk, commercial, plain 1 cup 7 7.0
Whole wheat bread 2 slices 7 5.2
Almond butter 2 Tbsp 7 3.4
Soy yogurt, plain 8 ounces 6 4.0
Bulgur, cooked 1 cup 6 3.7
Sunflower seeds 1/4 cup 6 3.3
Cashews 1/4 cup 5 2.7
Spinach, cooked 1 cup 5 13.0
Broccoli, cooked 1 cup 4 6.7

What if I get bored of the food I’m eating?

A vegan diet can be a fun challenge to branch out and try10948804_447266335424605_93388418_n new foods! If you become bored on a vegan diet, check out recipes online, challenge yourself to try new ingredients, and find new things that you like. Try your hand at “veganizing” some of your old favorites. Check out some of my veganized nicecream! The possibilities are endless. There are tons of vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes out there just waiting to be tried!


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