What do you think of when you hear the word Vegan?
It’s funny how people think it is a separate food group, but in reality, it is food we eat every day. If someone were to ask you if you have ever eaten “vegan food”, would you say yes? In reality, you would have to.
Most bread is vegan. Most pasta is vegan. An apple is vegan. But we don’t call them “vegan bread,” “vegan pasta,” or “vegan apples.” It is food we eat every day.
Vegan food is normal food.
I will admit to you now that I practice veganism about 80% of the time, vegetarian about 10%, and will eat the occasional piece of meat. Temptation for fish and chips usually wins when we go out to eat, and cheese has a tendency to scream out to me while grocery shopping.
You will find that you have a lot in common with those who practice veganism as a way of life. I will go out on a limb here and say we all love animals and are disgusted by animal cruelty. We also all love our planet and want to do what’s best for future generations. Ultimately, we all want good health.
It boils down to loving animals, loving our family and friends, and loving ourselves.
I have to admit that I don’t like some of the “meat substitutes” that are out there, but some are really good (Gardein brand has great meatless balls for spaghetti). The easiest for me is to just make my favorites with minor adjustments.
Here are just a few changes we have made over the years that were easy for us:
- Substituting chicken or beef broth with vegetable broth in my soups and stews.
- Replacing dairy-based yogurt with coconut-based or almond-based. (I often eat this for breakfast with blueberries and granola on top).
- Make my own almond milk.
- Substitute pork with jackfruit when making pulled BBQ sandwiches.
- Plant-based proteins shake with frozen berries is our most common breakfast.
- Plant-based butter
- Steamed veggies over rice when its time to clean out the fridge (so I don’t waste any fresh veggies).
I’m not going to write about the effects that eating meat and dairy has on our planet because I think you know that already. The struggle is having it in the back of your mind when planning meals and shopping. A few years ago, Wayne wanted meat at all three meals – eggs and bacon for breakfast, lunch meat sandwiches at noon, and meat and potatoes for dinner. We went totally vegan one day and eliminated meat and dairy altogether for many months. We got healthier and actually saved money. If we can do it, anyone can.
Eggs and bacon were replaced with protein shakes. Sandwiches were replaced with soups, salads, and beans and rice. Meat and potatoes were replaced with a big list of retrofitted old time favorites.
A lot of what we do is based on habit. So it’s time to challenge ourselves a little. No need to go “cold turkey” like we did. Start with one meal, or one day a week. No need to make a big deal out of it. Just try some new recipes, or edit the ones you already cook.
Your heart will thank you. Your planet will thank you. And future generations will thank you.
I thank you for reading my stories.