1. Get Educated
It is helpful when first dabbling in veganism that you educate youself. This way when your friends and family ask you ‘why you are vegan’, or ‘where do you get your protein from,’ you will know how to answer.
Here are some of my favorites vegan documentaries:
Forks Over Knives (Netflix) : This vegan documentary focuses on the health benefits of a plant based diet. Through science and research, the film suggests that degenerative diseases such as cancer and diabetes can be eliminated, prevented and cured by a vegan diet.
Earthlings (Youtube) : This vegan documentary exposes the harsh conditions and actions that farm animals endure in order to support the supply for meat. It covers exploitation from 5 angles; food, clothing, entertainment, science, and house pets. This documentary is pretty hard to watch, but it is a very good reason to get you to stay vegan if you are struggling with cutting out animal products.
Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (Hulu) : This documentary is such an inspiring, feel good movie. It follows a man, Joe who suffers from an autoimmune disease on a quest to cure himself by juicing. This movie is so motivating I have watched it multiple times!
Cowspiracy (Youtube) : Cowspiracy is an environmental documentary that exposes the effects the meat industry has on our planet. In return, offering solutions by exploring the sustainability of plant based living.
Vegucated (Netflix) : This is a good documentary to start because it follows 3 ‘meat-loving’ people who speak about the challenges and effects of adopting a vegan diet for 6 weeks. It helps to see how they adapt and what substitutes they use. In the end, it is very inspiriting to see the effects their new lifestyle has on them.
“Where will you get your protein from?”
(said every non-vegan mom ever)
I added a chart here of all the vegan protein sources so that you can show your Mom that you won’t be protein deficient. I will also dedicated a whole post to this and link it when it is complete.
2. Figure out your ‘why.’
What will motivate you to stay on this lifestyle?
- Are you doing it to be healthier?
- For more energy?
- To lose weight?
- To get off your medication?
- Are you doing it for the animals?
- To be more connected spiritually?
- For humanity and sustainability?
Trust me, you will get asked this question a lot, so if you have your answer ready it is easy to sound knowledgable when asked! Hopefully, after watching some of the documentaries listed above you will have such a solid ‘why’ that you won’t ever have the urge to eat meat again. It is less likely that you will give up on this lifestyle if your ‘why’ is clear and strong, simply because it will be something that you feel deeply connected too!
3. Defining vegan
Learn What you CAN & Can’t eat
What Vegan’s Don’t Eat
- Meat (beef, pork, chicken, etc.)
- Dairy (milk, cheese etc.)
- Animal by-products (i.e, eggs)
What Vegan’s Do Eat
- Beans & Legumes
- Nuts & Seeds
4. Finding Substitutes
Replacing Meat, Eggs and Dairy with Cruelty Free options
** Keep in mind, meat replacements are usually somewhat processed, so you will want to focus on eating whole plant based foods for the best health benefit.
All the items listed below can be found at health conscious grocery stores. My favorites are Whole Foods and Down to Earth. I also added links to the retailer websites so that you can see the variety of replacement meat products they have to offer.
Shredded Beef >> Jackfruit Teriyaki
Sausages >> Tofurky Italian Sausage
Burger Patty >> Sweet Earth Veggie Burger
Bacon >> Sweet Earth Bacon Strips
Ice Cream >> Pressed Juicery Freeze / Banana Ice cream (Banan) / Cocoluscious
Pizza >> Whole Foods Vegan Option with Veggies & Daiya Cheese / Amy’s Vegan Pizzas
Chicken >> Organics Extra Firm Tofu
Musubi >> Tempeh
Milk >> Almond / Cashew / Soy / Oat / Coconut Milk
Cheese >> Vegan Cheese
Eggs >> Vegan Egg Follow Your Heart / Tofu + Turmeric / Chia Seed Egg
These are just a few of the top substitutes that I find people have a hard time with. If you have a non-vegan item you need help finding a good substitute for you can always contact me and I’ll help you find a good replacement!
5. Groccery Shopping & Eating out
What to buy & Where to buy it // Where to eat out & What to ask for
Search for vegan restaurants and cafe’s in your area on google- keep in mind vegetarian will also have lots of vegan friendly options.
Here are some of the top vegan friendly restaurants in honolulu:
- Peace Cafe (all vegan)
- Pressed Juicery (all vegan)
- Down to Earth (vegan options)
- Whole Foods (vegan options)
- Puka’s (vegan options)
- Organic Cafe (vegan options)
- Himalayan Kitchen (vegan options)
- Da spot (vegan options)
- Banan (vegan options)
- Ai love Nalo (all vegan)
- Leahi (vegan options)
- Any sushi place/ asian cuisine (can make veggie rolls)
- Pho (usually has a vegetarian broth & tofu option)
- Indian/ Nepalese (usually cook with coconut milk, instead of dairy milk)
- Greek food (make sure there is no feta cheese)
- Look up the menu online to see if they have options you like (this isn’t necessary, but if you don’t like to talk to people & plan ahead this might be your best bet)
- When ordering look for side dishes, you can often order really healthy side dishes (i.e, grilled asparagus, baked potato, side salad, rice, etc.)
- Ask the waiter/ waitress if they have any vegan options or recommend any items for vegans
- Suggest the dish that looks appealing to you and say you have allergies to meat and dairy & eggs and ask if that dish has any of those ingredients (a lot of the time the dish will appear to be vegan, but their sauce will be made with dairy/ eggs- so just ask to make sure. It’s easy to sub out the dressing/ sauce)
- Ask other vegan friends what they order at specific restaurants so you have an idea of what is good
You can also download my free vegan shopping list here to help you get started!