Vegan lifestyle means not consuming any products of animal origin. This includes meat, of course, but also milk and dairy products, such as butter, cream and cheese. Eggs and products that contain egg, such as mayonnaise, are of course also not for vegans. Vegan diets also include avoiding foods containing gelatin, such as gummy bears. An often forgotten food is honey, which of course is also not vegan.
At first it all sounds super complicated, but you'll see that vegan nutrition can be incredibly varied, diverse and interesting. Since I've been eating vegan, I've been introduced to more new foods than ever before. And don't worry, these days there's a vegan substitute for pretty much every animal product. So living vegan is easier than ever.
By the way, "May contain traces of milk (etc.)" is purely an allergy warning. That is, as a rule, there is no milk in the product. However, it may happen that minimal amounts of milk have mixed into the product. For example, because the vegan product is made on the same machine as a product that contains milk. You can buy these products without hesitation - provided you are not an allergy sufferer who reacts to the smallest amounts of milk.
But what does veganism actually have to do with environmental protection? You can find out in my article Nutrition and the environment! For now, I'll introduce you to my 11 best tips for vegan living.
Tip: At Vegan statistics I have compiled many more facts and figures about veganism.
1. proteins make vegan life easier
Proteins in the vegan diet are always controversially discussed. Many people are afraid that a vegan or vegetarian diet will not cover their protein needs. This is mainly because most people immediately think of meat, fish and eggs when they think of protein foods. Unfortunately, these are neither particularly healthy nor environmentally friendly due to cholesterol, antibiotics and hormones.
Therefore I put you here my favorite vegan protein suppliers before: Incorporate quinoa regularly, Chickpeas, chia seeds, nuts and Legumes like lentils and beans into your diet plan, then you won't have to worry about your Protein supply make. And for the cravings, it's also okay if you occasionally do Meat substitutes eats. Living vegan with enough protein is easier than you might think at first.
2. become vegan full with healthy fiber
Some people find it difficult to feel full at first when switching to a vegan diet. A high-fiber diet helps here, since fiber has a satiating effect. Grains, legumes and nuts are particularly rich in fiber, Fruit and vegetables. It is important that your gastrointestinal tract must first adjust to a high-fiber diet. Please do not expect that everything will change overnight.
I especially like to eat for example Chickpeaswhich have a fairly high fiber content. You can eat them in the form of Hummus, falafels, a farinata or use as an ingredient in a vegan curry. The chickpea is a real enrichment for vegan life.
Otherwise, for satiety I recommend quinoa, buckwheat (Organic, plastic-free and from Germany in the bulk pack), wild rice and sometimes pasta. In addition, a great advantage of a vegan diet is that you can eat as much as you want without gaining weight.
3. vegan chocolate as a candy substitute
Yes, it exists and yes, it tastes good! Many people find it difficult to switch to a completely plant-based diet, not least because there are many sweets that contain milk, butter or eggs. And who can bring the discipline to always give up chocolate?
There are numerous vegan alternatives. In terms of taste, I can recommend the chocolates of the brand iChoc, which unfortunately are not packaged completely plastic-free. Vegan living without giving up chocolate is therefore quite possible.
For the plastic-free chocolate lovers, I recommend cocoa nibs. Cacao nibs taste slightly bitter-chocolatey like cocoa. The nibs not only contain more calcium than milk, but also antioxidants that protect you from free radicals. Pure, the cacao nibs are a bit too tart for me, but in muesli with oatmeal and buckwheat sprouts they taste great. You can get cacao nibs in raw food quality from order conveniently and plastic-free here.
4. find vegan substitute products
Besides chocolate, there are a few other foods that will make your vegan life easier. Making vegan substitutes yourself is often not that difficult. And for everything else, there is already a convenience product.
Meat is easy to replace with tofu, seitan, tempeh and soy, especially in the beginning. Most supermarkets offer vegan cold cuts, sausages, burger patties, schnitzel and steaks, so you can replace a lot directly. Meanwhile, there are enough products, such as steaks or bratwurst, so you can easily vegan barbecue can.
Milk is easy to substitute these days. You can find plant-based substitutes like almond, rice, oat, coconut, or soy drinks in pretty much every supermarket. I can especially recommend oat drinks or, if you like it a little sweeter, rice drinks. How you can easily make vegan milk yourself, I show you in the post Make macadamia milk yourself.
Instead of honey, I simply use maple syrup, agave syrup or date syrup. This is probably the healthiest way to sweeten, because the date is a super mineral supplier. Date syrup in a jar you get here.
A good substitute for cream is almond paste or homemade cashew cream. A tutorial on how to make cashew cream yourself, you can find in the article Make cashew cream yourself. Both work well because the fat in the nuts - just like cream - acts as a flavor carrier. In addition, nut puree provides the same creamy consistency.
Butter can easily be replaced by margarine. You just have to make sure that it contains neither hydrogenated fats nor the animal ingredients whey and fish oil. I myself can now do without margarine and butter, as I increasingly eat vegan spreads such as hummus.
5. vegan cooking with cookbooks
The best thing about a vegan diet is that you can cook fresh every day. For many, it sounds like a lot of effort at first, but once you get used to it, you appreciate the freshness and naturalness of the food. I know exactly what goes into my food. First, of course, I want to show you our Book Cooking for the Climate where we have made a conscious decision to offer environmentally friendly cuisine.
If you have little time for cooking, I recommend you the book Vegan Quick & Easy by Björn Moschinski. This book presents quick, vegan recipes that are mostly based on ingredients that you already have at home. This helps on stressful days, when it has to go fast.
For those who do a lot of sports and are interested in a vegan diet, I recommend the Vegan in Top Form Books by Brendan Brazier to the heart. The two books have helped me personally a lot. Some dishes seem complicated at first and some ingredients foreign, but you can learn a lot about the human body and its nutrient supply. And once you have more exotic foods like tahini in the kitchen, you can get started with the recipes.
What I find important when cooking with cookbooks is that you don't follow the recipes too rigidly. After all, we don't want to brew a magic potion. Exact quantities should only be an orientation for you. Just use a little more of your favorite vegetables and leave out something else. Use ingredients that you have at home or that would otherwise spoil. A recipe should always be a rough guide for you. Be creative.
6. fresh food - healthy vegan living
Try to cook as fresh as possible. After all, you are what you eat. If you resort to fresh and healthy foods, you will also feel feel fit and healthy. Thereby the Refrain from substitute products may well help, but you should not become dogmatic.
The basis of your food should be crunchy vegetables and fruits that you buy at your local greengrocer. To avoid plastic here, too, I recommend a fruit and vegetable bag made of organic cotton. You get it here.
7. be prepared - vegan living wants to be planned
If you start your day well prepared, you'll be less susceptible to unhealthy or non-vegan temptations. Take a salad to work instead of eating fries in the cafeteria.
Meanwhile, there are already many convenience foods for vegans, such as vegetable chips or raw food crackers. The range is growing almost daily. These products can satisfy the small hunger in between.
My favorite snack for in between are dried Dates. With a very good fructose-glucose ratio, they provide quick energy for the body and brain. They also contain quite a bit of minerals and fiber. That's especially handy when you're on the go, for example in the Vacation or on the Work.
8. blood picture - Calm vegan life
Which vegan does not know that? When visiting grandma and grandpa or at a family party, you are first asked whether veganism is healthy at all. After all, you must be lacking in numerous nutrients. Since you have already informed yourself, you know that vegan nutrition is healthy, but your family often does not.
The easiest way to reassure your family (and a little bit of yourself) is with regular blood work at the doctor's office. Critical values can be Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Iron and Calcium be. You can find more detailed information on nutrients in the Nutrient Guide and my contribution to Supplements for vegan diet introduce
9. convince yourself of the vegan life!
Watch documentaries such as Earthlings or Cowspiracy. Here I can again recommend the book Vegan in Top Form by Brendan Brazier, because it deals more with the aspects of environment and health.
Other films I haven't personally seen are Fork Not Scalpel and What the Health. The Netflix-produced adventure film Okja is about the friendship between a young girl and a genetically modified pig. While the film doesn't explicitly address the topic of nutrition, it does vividly show that animals are sentient beings and form friendships.
The more you inform yourself, the more your attitude towards veganism will be strengthened. You will see a lot of animal suffering, but that will also encourage you in your actions. Nothing could strengthen me more than the documentary Earthlings and, even though it was horrible to watch all that, I am grateful to have seen those pictures. Since then I am sure that I am on the right path.
10. be a positive role model
If you are healthy, athletic and active, you can serve as a positive example that with a vegan diet you can be top fit and Full of energy can be. In this way, you will achieve more than if you start discussions with a raised forefinger. Show openness and understanding towards other opinions and you will gain the necessary respect to lead factual discussions with a fruitful basis.
When talking to meat eaters, keep in mind that very few people were born vegan. I myself ate meat for 25 years without thinking about it. Today it is unimaginable for me to ever eat meat again. However, when I talk to meat eaters, I try to think back to the fact that I also ate meat for a long time. That way I am automatically more understanding and can better put myself in the shoes of my counterpart. After all, change begins primarily through positive contact with veganism.
11. use apps and the internet
The Peta Shopping Guide petazwei.com/shopping-guide helps you with vegan shopping, especially at the beginning. Here you can see which items are vegan and where you can get them. Another shopping helper is the app CodeCheck. With CodeCheck, you simply scan the barcode of a product and are alerted to unhealthy ingredients. In your personal filter, you can specify that you are vegan and you will also be alerted to non-vegan ingredients.
The page veganstart.com helps you with your transition to vegan life. Here you get 30 days of valuable tips to help you make the change.
If you are ever on the road on the verge of starvation, the Apps HappyCow or Vanilla Bean help find a vegan restaurant.
I'm sure there are a few more apps and websites that will make your vegan life easier. Just post your favorite app or website in the comments!
Good luck with the vegan start
These were my best tips to easily live vegan. As a final note, I would like to tell you that it is important that you don't ask too much of yourself. Healthy eating is a process that takes time. You may not be able to go 100 % vegan today, but even small steps on the right path will get you there.
Depending on what is easier for you, you can, for example, try to completely do without a non-vegan food or simply make a complete meal vegan. Try to do without eggs first or start the day with a vegan breakfast. This way you start the day healthy and with the first successes behind you it will be easy to take the next steps.
All the best,