Going Vegan was not something I ever thought I would do, never mind getting my whole family involved. If I am completely honest I cannot see it happening either BUT; the Teen came home from school suggesting that we try to give it a try for at least a week. He has come back armed with facts that range from how cruel baby chickens are treated (did you know that some are forced to grow to full size in just 6 weeks, which means their bones do not develop properly) – to how much healthier a vegan diet is.
Why go Vegan to be Healthy
To be honest going Vegan because of animal welfare I do not think would make me change my ways. Do not get me wrong I am not agreeing with animal cruelty, but people need to eat. Diet on the other hand is something I am always looking into and making small changes about improving our health. Going Vegan helps to cut out cholesterol, lower blood pressure (although mine is already low) and reduces the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Following the Meat Free Monday hashtag on Twitter I had started to think about planning meals once a week where we did not eat meat The Teen told me the biggest mistake people make about going Vegetarian is by replacing meat with dairy though: Which is just as bad for you as meat. He also tells me not to try to substitute products – that what you need to do is change your diet – adding in more nuts and whole grains. I have to admit that I do need to do something about my diet and eating more vegetables seems a very sensible way to go. The other problem with our eating habits is that we eat out too much. But next time you go just take a lot at the Vegan options and you will begin to see why I can’t imagine finding an overweight one! Plus when I went to the Middle Piccadilly Rural Retreat I just ate Vegetarian and felt loads better (and that was just a short time) – so I am all for giving it a try.
Things we found Easy about Swapping to Vegan
Now don’t get me wrong we are not Vegans, not yet anyway. Maybe one day, but currently we are making nice slow steady changes. The easiest change I have found is by switching our butter to a plant-based one. The second thing is to switch meat for vegetables – such as in lasagna. Or by omitting the meat (such as in stir fry). If you have time then cooking your own foods from scratch is a good idea (mind vegetable soup doesn’t take long) – and if you are short on time there are ready and/or frozen meals available to purchase. Keeping to foods that are familiar to the whole family first I found the best option – such as the meal below which has everything they would normally see on their plates – but just with vegetarian sausages. In fact The Sensory Seeker did notice they were different and complained but DID eat them (until someone told him that they were not meat anyway!)
The hardest things about going Vegan
Is giving up dairy products! I mean breakfast alone with no dairy rules out nearly everything I can think of to have! Have you stopped to think what no dairy means: – no eggs – apart from the fact that I LOVE eggs it isn’t just eggs themselves that you can’t have, but loads of products are held together with egg too! Cheese – I bought vegan cheese to try but the Teen tells me this is a no-no and we need to learn to have a life without cheese! Milk – we have so far tried cashew milk but found it too sweet and sickly. Then there’s cream, ice-cream, chocolate, yoghurt, etc too! In fact I was surprised at how many things are labelled vegetarian and not vegan. Things I hadn’t thought about like some soups (because of the cream in them), to gravy granules, baked beans and wheat biscuits! As well as the obvious no meat (steak, bacon, sausages, ham sandwiches!) there’s also no fish too – as I say, makes eating out hard enough looking at Vegetarian foods but most places seem to have no existent (if any) Vegan options. The hardest thing is thinking up ideas of foods to eat – we struggled when we had a whole range to pick from – especially when we are just tired and cannot be bothered.
More Benefits of Going Vegan
Of course on of the biggest advantages of going vegan is the savings – to both the pocket and the planet, especially if you grow your own. Environmental issues also benefit from going vegan such as halving greenhouse gas emissions, saving water, reducing pollution (less waste going to landfill), saving wildlife and energy.
Have you any tips or benefits for going Vegan?
See also BugBirdandBee’s How to go Vegan as a Family – plus other great Vegan posts and recipes of interest.