Those who aren’t already onboard with Vegan Atlantic may still have heard the in-flight announcements of eager passengers — the lifestyle can promote personal and environmental health, as well as the welfare of the lil’ piggies and cows.
And with an overwhelming range of meat alternatives on offer, with even some major fast-food giants getting involved, more noobs than ever are getting involved with a plant-based patty when they eat out.
However, we can’t eat burgers everyday (plant burgers are still burgers — I know it’s easier to pretend otherwise). Being vegan at home can be hard, and stocking the parlor with sustainable products that never saw an udder or chicken coop is a mission.
Even those not on the veganism quest themselves may have a bae or BFF to cater for.
Let us be the Q to your Bond and make this mission much easier for you. But instead of exploding bubble gum or whatever, we’ll send you into the kitchen branding sheer willpower and flaxseed.
The good news is that you’ll still be scooping your regular vegetables, fruits, and grains from the shelves. This is about leaving the yogurt, eggs, and chicken sausage at the store. We know it can be a wrench. But if you’re going to commit, commit. I don’t see no ring on this finger.
Grab your sustainable grocery bags, because we’re going shopping, vegetabuddies.
Contrary to popular (and annoying) opinion, it isn’t hard to get enough protein on a vegan diet. Plus, these proteins are generally much leaner than your average hamburger, so you’ll get the protein without the extra gunk.
Nuts and seeds
- brazil Nuts
- hemp seeds
- macadamia nuts
- pine nuts
- pumpkin seeds
- sesame seeds
- sunflower seeds
- tahini (sesame seed butter)
Beans and legumes
- adzuki beans
- black beans
- black-eyed peas
- fava beans
- kidney beans
- lima beans
- mung beans
- navy beans
- pinto beans
- split peas
- string beans
- white beans
- wheat protein (seitan)
- soy, rice, hemp, or pea protein powders
All grains are fair game on a vegan diet, but complex carbohydrates are better sources of energy
People should try to stick with whole-grain, fiber-rich options instead of refined flours. Plus, they can help you poop with a smile on your face by bulking out craps
- oats and oat bran
- rice (white and brown)
- wheat berries
- white flour
- whole-wheat flour
I mean, duh. There shouldn’t really be any restrictions on vegetables on an average vegan diet. You thought you’d escape that easily?
Veggies supply that poop-enhancing fiber with aplomb, as well as rounding out the balance of vitamins and minerals with some kick-ass antioxidants. Up yours, oxidants.
- acorn squash
- artichoke hearts
- brussels sprouts
- spaghetti squash
- tomatoes (we know it’s technically a fruit but it plays an excellent vegetable)
- bok choy
- collard greens
- Swiss chard
- butternut squash
- sweet potato
Like vegetables, fresh fruits are one of the main pillars of a vegan diet. Try making a fruit salad without fruit or salad and see how far you get.
Some varieties, like mangos and grapes, are higher in fructose than, say, berries. Fructose is a natural sugar in fruits that can stand in for Musketeer bars when you have a craving.
However, unless you’re really trying to watch your sugar intake, the natural kind in fresh fruit shouldn’t pose too many problems.
- jackfruit (this works great as a meat swap although it can stink like no man’s business)
- raspberries (do you see a theme developing here?)
Butter is super canceled for vegans, but most plant-based oils are fine to eat in moderation. Try to use only a tablespoon or two when frying up other goodies.
Those who are particular about how your oil is processed should avoid refined varieties and look for “expeller-pressed” or “cold-pressed” on the label.
- almond oil
- avocado oil
- canola oil
- coconut oil
- coconut butter
- grapeseed oil
- macadamia oil
- olive oil
- rice bran oil
- sesame oil
Several forms of sugar are A-OK on a vegan diet. That said, here are some vegan-approved sweeteners for those who want the piece of mind that 100 percent vegan products can bring.
Many of these cause less damage in the body than standard table sugar, so even those who don’t necessarily want to go full vegan but switch up a few unhealthy habits can benefit from flinging these into your cupboard.
- agave nectar
- beet Sugar
- brown rice syrup
- coconut sugar
- date syrup
- maple syrup
- raw cane sugar
- palm sugar
Herbs and spices are the ultimate secret weapons for adding tons of flavor to your food without resorting to processed condiments or unnecessary extra oil.
Foods like tofu are great alternatives for chunky, meaty proteins, but can sometimes be a little stodgy and bland without some flavoring.
Watch out for hot sauces, as they’re not all vegan. Also, some of them induce tears both when they enter and exit the body.
- chili powder
- green onion
- ground ginger
You have to kiss dairy goodbye, but these days, you can buy milk made of pretty much anything.
The following drinks will satisfy your need for something smooth or bubbly, fill out your hot beverages, and generally add wholesomeness to your cereal.
Plus, you get to give yourself an asymmetrical haircut and pretend you work in a trendy coffee place that no one’s heard of yet. Win-win.
- almond milk
- cashew milk
- coconut milk
- coconut water
- club soda
- macadamia nut milk
- oat milk
- soy milk
Look to these foods if you need an extra boost in terms of protein and vitamin intake, mineral absorption, or gut health.
- Seaweed (for protein): Kelp, spirulina, and agar agar
- Fermented foods (for dairy-free, gut-aiding bacteria): Miso paste, natto, tempeh kimchi, and sauerkraut
- Sprouted foods (for zinc absorption): Sprouted beans, nuts, lentils, rice, quinoa, and bread
- Nutritional yeast (for vitamin B12 and protein)
Next time you’re shopping on the interweb, stop getting distracted by dank memes and stock up on these vegan snacks instead.
While you can be pretty sure that, say, strawberries are going to be vegan, food manufacturers can be pretty sneaky when it comes to slipping in ingredients that come from an animal.
Not all products have a flashing red light that screams vegan, so it pays to have a closer look at the ingredients.
Beer can even contain fish bladders. Yes, we were grossed out too.
A few non-vegan ingredients that may sneak past your defenses undetected include:
- albumen (another name for egg whites)
- whey powder
In general, it’s best to stick to the organic produce, as you can be more sure that no one has added unwelcome guests into the mix.
If you’re just starting out, be kind to yourself. The vegan lifestyle can be an abrupt change, so go at your own pace and don’t worry about what other people are doing. Slow, sustainable changes generally last longer than a complete overhaul with no run-up.
Check out our complete guide to plant-based perfection here.