40 awesome vegan resources you can use – including printables for your refrigerator, a vegan grocery list, how to navigate tricky questions and unfamiliar family dynamics. Basically, here’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about going vegan.
(Who is that adorable pig? She’s Fern from Iowa Farm Sanctuary!)
July is always a special time of year for me, because it’s the anniversary of when I first went vegan back in 2007. Like so many vegans say, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.
But when a reader emailed me last week asking what piece of advice I’d give someone who wanted to go vegan, I was a little stumped on where to start. Because going vegan affects so many facets of a person’s life, it’s hard to distill it into one single piece of advice.
I’ve been blogging about veganism for over 9 years. That’s a lot of posts! So I decided to put all of the topics, concerns, and challenges a new vegan might face in one easy-to-find place. Whether you’re just starting out, have questions about what to eat, or are worried about navigating tricky social situations, there’s a post for that!
Vegan resources: Getting started in the kitchen
My first piece of advice for anyone thinking about going vegan is to look at the meals you already make. Physically write them down. Then look at each one and think about what swaps you could do to make it vegan.
Often with just one or two simple swaps the foods you already know how to make can be prepared vegan.
(I also include a printable in this post. It’s great for taping to your refrigerator!)
Another obvious place to start is with a grocery list! Here’s my vegan grocery list. I don’t buy everything on the list every time, but it will give you a starting off point when considering what to add to your refrigerator and pantry.
(This post also includes a printable grocery list!)
One day a month for an entire year I took pictures of my breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then I compiled it into this post to give a quick view of what day-to-day, ordinary vegan meals look like.
David got in on the fun one day and took a picture of his breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks to show what a vegan guy eats in a day.
In our protein-obsessed world, people often worry about how they will meet their protein requirements without meat on their plate. In this post, I show how easy it is to meet your requirements with a plant-based diet.
Once you’re ready to make some new recipes, here are 40 deliciously doable ones that are easy, fast, and taste great, of course.
When many people think of breakfast, all kinds of non-vegan foods come to mind. That’s why that first meal of the day can be a stumbling block for some. But it doesn’t have to be! Here are 9 easy vegan breakfasts that anyone can make.
What about when you’re heading off to work or school? Here are a couple of posts on packed lunch ideas and keeping a well-stocked pantry for quick & easy meals.
When you’re making new recipes or cooking in a different way, some unfamiliar spices may be required. Here are the essential spices and seasonings in my kitchen.
Before I went vegetarian, I’d never even heard of nutritional yeast flakes. Now it’s one of my kitchen staples. In this post, I answer any questions you may have about “nooch” and share ways to use it.
On the topic of nutritional yeast, maybe you’ve wondered if yeast is vegan. This post explains it all.
One complaint that people sometimes have when going vegan is that they feel hungry more often. Here are some tricks I use to feel satiated.
Vegan out & about
Once you’ve mastered eating vegan at home, you may get a hankering to leave the house. Even outside of vegan meccas like Los Angeles, New York City, and Portland, it’s possible to find vegan fare. Here are some posts to simplify vegan dining out.
Not every city has a vegan restaurant and/or sometimes you’re not the one choosing the restaurant. Fear not! Vegan meals can be found almost anywhere. Here’s how to get vegan meals at non-vegan restaurants.
While every grocery store has vegan options in the produce department, vegan specialty items add novelty and convenience. Here’s how to get more vegan products in your grocery store. Sometimes it’s just as simple as asking!
If you’re in a rush or in a place with few vegan options, sometimes fast food is the easiest choice. Here are 5 fast food places with vegan options.
Planning a road-trip or business trip? It’s possible to eat well even from a dorm-sized hotel fridge.
If your trip involves a plane, here are vegan meals that are a good fit for packing into your carry-on. Being in the middle seat is bad enough. It’s even worse with a grumbling stomach. Don’t let that happen to you!
Vegan questions, misconceptions & lifestyle
I’ve always thought that the unfortunate thing about going vegan is that the time at which people are most likely to ask challenging questions or give a lot of pushback is when you have the least amount of history fielding those tricky questions.
When you go vegan, it can feel as if you are supposed to have a degree in nutrition, animal husbandry, modern day farming, and psychology – all on the first day. How do you answer difficult questions and keep your sense of humor?
Here are some common questions and concerns I’ve gotten over the years, as well as my thoughts on the “lifestyle” component of going vegan. Because while food gets a lot of the press, it’s the interpersonal dynamics that can be hardest to finagle.
“Vegan food” often gets put into a box as if it were a category all on its own. But the fact is, everyone eats vegan food, regardless of whether or not they’re vegan.
Vegan food is just food. It’s apples, bananas, peanuts, and grapes. Everyone eats vegan food. They just don’t call it that.
Being the odd person out can be tiresome in group settings. Being the butt of jokes can get boring and old. Here are some thoughts on how to navigate the same tired jokes. (Wow, they referenced bacon… How creative…)
Because vegans don’t drink cow’s milk, sheep’s milk, or goat’s milk, people sometimes assume they don’t breastfeed either. Here’s why breastfeeding is vegan.
One of the hardest parts about going vegan is saying goodbye to cherished food traditions. If you’ve ever wondered if you can get through life without ever eating granny’s biscuits and gravy again, fear not. Not only can you veganize that beloved recipe, you can also create new traditions that gel with your compassionate beliefs.
Going vegan may not feel easy and seamless on the first day, and that’s okay. It takes time for new habits to feel comfortable – like a well worn robe. Here’s how long it took for me to make veganism a habit.
Going vegan has changed my life in countless ways. In this post, I sum it up.
I wrote this open letter to a new vegan after I’d been vegan for only a couple years myself. In it, I share 4 tips for transitioning to a vegan lifestyle.
There’s an old joke that some people like to tell about vegans. It goes like this, “How do you know someone is vegan? Don’t worry. They will tell you.” In this post I share the reasons why vegans talk about being vegan.
People sometimes ask if I’m ever tempted to “cheat” on my vegan diet. They assume that I’m missing out or denying myself.
In the non-vegan world we live in, there can be a lot of sadness seeing pigs traveling in trucks down the highway or cows with tags in their ears in the field. My home is my sanctuary, and that’s one reason why keeping a vegan home is something I value.
People sometimes criticize vegans who eat at non-vegan restaurants or say they shouldn’t go places that are especially meat-heavy like barbecue joints. Here’s how I respond to people who ask, “Should vegans eat at non-vegan restaurants?”
Another criticism people have about vegans is that they are privileged or out of touch to be worrying about honey in bread or cow’s milk in coffee. In this post, I share my thoughts on that idea.
People love to play, “What if?” They ask questions like, “What if you were trapped on a desert island? Would you be vegan then?” Thus far I’ve managed to stay away from desolate islands, but you never know when a three hour tour might turn into a Tom Hanks/Wilson scenario…
People are sometimes confused about why vegans would want to eat something like vegan ribs or vegan burgers if they don’t want to eat pigs and cows. This is why…
People will even go so far as to call vegan food “fake.” Here’s my take on “fake” milk & meat.
Here’s why burgers and dogs are just shapes that fit handily on a bun.
Vegan at the holidays & special events
It seems like the holidays can be a tricky time for everyone. Not only are there politics, personalities, and expectations to deal with, when you’re vegan it can bring on unique challenges.
Will this be your first vegan Thanksgiving? Here are 12 tips to make it through unscathed.
Even if you bring something mundane like potato chips or salsa to a party, if people find out a vegan brought it, sometimes they stay far away – as if they are afraid those chips will bite. (It’s true. I was once at a vegan restaurant with a person who wouldn’t eat the terrifying vegan french fries…) Here’s what to do when people won’t eat vegan food.
Weddings and other catered meals can be tricky for people with specific dietary needs. Here are some ways I’ve navigated options at weddings – including buffets and sit-down dinners.
Heading to a birthday party, potluck, or gathering at the home of non-vegans? Here’s how to make sure you don’t starve.
I wrote this with Christmas in mind, but obviously, it works for any birthday or gift giving holiday. Share it with your loved ones who may be confused about what vegans may or may not appreciate receiving.
Here’s what to do if that doesn’t work out and you do get something non-vegan for Christmas.
Do you still have burning questions about going vegan? Let me know in the comments!