Truth be told, eating vegan is not a fad; it is a legitimate lifestyle choice. Whether you are considering giving it a go for health reasons, ethical concerns, or something else, veganism might just offer some unexpected benefits. However, any change of habit, especially pertaining to our diet, can be a challenge, so here are some tips to make this one that much easier!
Start with one day a week where you (and the family) commit to eating a plant-based diet. Turn it into a game and make it fun by picking out recipes for dinner and voting for your favorite ones. Some all-time favorites include vegetable quesadillas stuffed with zucchini, onions, mushrooms, and topped with a fresh, homemade salsa that is so simple to make and, oh, so delicious. Or, go with everyone’s favorite – burgers! Beyond Meat is a popular vegan alternative that people just love. Do not tell and see if anyone even notices the difference!
SET REALISTIC GOALS
Each week establish a new goal to add to the list of changes you are making to your new diet. Slow and steady wins the race, as they say. Try oatmeal topped with antioxidant-packed berries for breakfast instead of eggs and bacon. Incorporate more legumes, such as fiber-rich refried black beans and mashed avocado for some delicious lunch tacos. Go that extra mile and use tortillas made from cassava flour instead of wheat or corn for a yummy grain-free meal and earn extra points!
LET THEM EAT (VEGAN) CAKE!
Find some vegan sweets that you love and make you feel like you are not really sacrificing. When we feel like we are not getting our needs met, even if it is only feeding that craving for cake, it makes it that much more difficult to commit to a new change. Sure, there are plenty of great recipes for vegan treats, but make it easy on yourself to start. Stay true to Texas and order your vegan sweets from a local vegan bakery. One such bakery in San Antonio, Southern Roots Vegan Bakery, makes Southern-inspired baked goodies with a vegan twist.
GO NUTS FOR COCONUT
Coconut milk is one of the best ingredients for replacing dairy, both for drinking and in recipes. Coconut milk is now easy to find at the grocery store in milk cartons and a perfect alternative to milk in smoothies and on cereal. Coconut cream is absolutely divine and can be used in place of heavy cream, even in recipes like fettuccini Alfredo. Some substitutes are worth keeping as staples, even for meat-lovers.