The decision has been made, and you’re feeling great. Then you’re feeling anxious, over-whelmed, scared and hungry. Like really, really hungry.
As much as you want to move away from only eating snacks and meals that impersonate your old eating habits, I found transitioning meals to be a huge help! And I still indulge in them from time to time – just check out my insta! So here’s a quick list of transition meals and snacks I recommend for that first scary month.
1. Vegan Pizza – Ok, while this is definitely great for transitioning, you won’t be giving up on it any time soon – if ever. And why should you? You can eat healthy pizza, there’s even raw vegan pizzas out there that would put your old “Meatlovers” to shame. So order pizza from anywhere – cheeseless. Of course no meat, but most veggie pizzas can be made vegan in one request – “no cheese please!” A helpful hint, is to mention that you’re ordering no cheese because you’re vegan – just in case they’ve got something sneaky in there you wouldn’t think of.
2. Vegan Tacos/Burritos – This is another one I don’t think I’ll ever give up. You can find vegan mince in most health food stores, and in some supermarkets. Combine that with a bolognaise sauce, vegan sour cream, vegan cheese & home made guac and you’re onto a winner! The only thing asked of you in this dish is to be able to make your own guacamole – easy as pie!
3. Pasta – Pasta is your new best friend. Probably the quickest meal to put together no matter what you have in your kitchen. Unlike homemade pastas, store bought brands rarely have egg in them (always double check ingredients – so important!). Again, most plain bolognaise sauces are vegan already, so pick your fav veggies (I like broccoli and mushrooms) and throw it all together! Sometimes I even skip the sauce and use Nuttelex (vegan butter) and garlic as a sauce – it’s super tasty!
4. Stir-Fry – Easy-peasy! Wok, veggies, soy sauce, rice. Simple!
5. Vegan Burgers/Sausages – There are so many options here. Any grocery store will carry veggie patties. Just make sure you’re still reading the ingredients – some may be veggie, but they’re not vegan. Look for egg white and milk in the ingredients. There should be a symbol, or at least a message to say “Vegan Friendly” somewhere on the packaging. Then it’s just a matter of toppings and condiments! So grab some lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup and mustard and you’re all set! I’d also add some home made fries – just cut up potatoes in fry shapes and shallow fry! Tada!
6. Oatmeal – Believe it or not this is one of my staples. It sounds boring, right? What’s so great about oatmeal? Whatever you put into it! I top mine with various fruits like strawberries, blueberries, bananas and apples. I also add chia seeds, shredded coconut, or cinnamon for a bit of extra flavor! Breakfast of champions!
7. Smoothies – If you’ve been on Instagram at all lately, you’ve noticed the smoothie bowl trend! It’s so easy and delicious, it makes me wonder why we haven’t had this craze before! There are various recipe books just on smoothies along (My favorite is Lola Berry’s Little Book of Smoothies and Juices), but there are plenty! All you need is a blender or Magic Bullet and away you go. Get creative and enjoy this one – put in anything you like, but I recommend using this as a sneaky way to get in all your greens!
8. Popcorn – I threw this one in the list, because it’s one of those things that makes me feel like I’m truly not missing anything. Even at most movie theatres the butter flavor is vegan! Hooray!! At home, I get the loose kernels and make them over the stove. I melt some Nuttelex, and poor over with salt – DROOL.
9. Salads – Easy, and oh so healthy! I assume that one of the reasons you’ve decided to go vegan in the first place, is the incredible health benefits. Whether you’re vegan or not, everyone knows salad is good for them. So get amongst it! And I’m not talking some lettuce, tomato, cucumber and dressing (although I’m not knocking it either). I’m talking some super salads. Add some Quinoa (same process as making rice – super easy), avocado, mushrooms, hummos, nuts and berries. Super foods and super tasty all in one dish! You’ll be full of vitamins and minerals, and full of food! Enjoy!
10. Granola Bars – Ahhh granola bars. This one is important because everyone is in a rush. As much as I’d love a smoothie bowl or bowl of oatmeal for breakfast every morning, I also love to hit that snooze button. But I need something to get my metabolism going, and something, preferably, that has some good stuff in it! Enter Carmen’s Fruit & Nut Muesli Bars! They’re delicious, vegan friendly, and packed full of nutritious ingredients! I slept in AND I’m starting the day off right – BOOM!
Good luck on your journey! I hope these tips help make the transition a smooth one.
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