I have been getting so many messages from people asking me how to go vegan and where to start. It seriously makes me smile from ear to ear! You guys, when I first went vegetarian when I was younger, it was so hard! It wasn't a common thing and I actually felt embarrassed telling people I didn't eat meat! Once, I even went on a date and ate steak to impress a guy and ended up throwing up after! Lesson learned!
First things first; most people don't go VEGAN overnight. I recommend cutting things out of your diet so your body can adjust. You might feel weird for about a week as your body gets rid of the toxins and gets used to the new foods you are eating. Most people try vegetarian and then eventually give up dairy. When going vegan, it's important to remember that you need a well balanced diet. I've found beans, lentils, tofu, avocado and nuts are a great source of protein when cutting out meat.
I'm going to start adding some vegan recipes soon, but to get you started, I thought I'd list some of my favorite vegan products. It's always hard trying a new diet and not knowing what to cook. Some of my favorite pre-made meals are actually easy to find at most stores!
Amy's was the first brand I found that carried a ton of vegan options. You can find them in tons of grocery stores as well as Target and Walmart! I find Walmart to be cheapest, but Target's cartwheel app sometimes helps to bring the price down. The easiest way to tell if an Amy's product is vegan is to look at the first word in the ingredients. If you don't see the word "vegan" very first, then it isn't vegan.
Capri and I love Amy's Roasted Vegetable Pizza! It's actually something I would never think to try, but it's SO GOOD! I add fresh avocado to mine. They also make a Cheese Pizza if you'd rather something more traditional. When I was pregnant, I basically lived off their asian Noodles. The Pad Thai, Chinese Noodles and Teriyaki bowl were my favorites! If you like Mexican food, the black bean enchilada's are great as well as the frozen bean burritos. Amy's also has items in the canned food section. Sometimes I'll grab a can of refried beans and just throw it in a tortilla with some avocado or guacamole. For cold days, try Amy's soups! Some of my favorites are the lentils and Spanish rice and beans. The alphabet soup is a great alternative to spaghettios for kids!
Another great brand with tons of vegan products is Gardein. It's also found at many grocery stores as well as Target and Walmart. Our new favorite Gardein meal is the mandarin nuggets. Again, this is something I normally would NEVER BUY, but Sal made me try it! I make some rice, then pop these in the oven. After they're done, I just throw them in a bowl with the rice and it's AMAZING! The seven grain crispy nuggets are also really good. You can also grab a bad of their beetles ground and throw it in pasta or tacos! For something quick, we get the chikin sliders or black bean sliders. We recently discovered their pizza pockets and they're also pretty good.
Keep in mind that these are quick and easy on the go meals. I'm not saying they are the healthiest, as cooking from scratch is better than processed foods, but going vegan is hard. Sometimes it's difficult to constantly think of new meals, so these are just some ways to get you started!
Some other vegan food products I frequently buy are the Daiya Mac 'n' Cheese, All the Complete Cookies, Back to Nature Classic Creme Cookies (an OREO alternative), Original Almond Milk, Chocolate Cashew Milk, Earth Balance Butter, Justin's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, Fig Bars, Belvita Crackers and Bars, Bisquick, Egg Replacer, Log Cabin Syrup, Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake Mix, Duncan Hines Whipped Frosting, Sweet Chilli Doritos, and Lays Barbecue Chips.
I hope this helps with your vegan journey! I'm always available to help if you want to shoot me a message with any questions you might have! And stay tuned for some vegan recipes in the future!