Friday, April 12, 2013

Vegan 101

When I tell people that we're almost-vegan, they usually gasp in horror and ask, "What do you eat?!" I totally get it. Meat has grossed me out for the last 15 or so years, but up until Noah was born, I was all about dairy. Cheese, yogurt, ice cream....I loved dairy! Then, when Noah was a few weeks old and showing signs of reflux, our pediatrician recommended that I try cutting it out of my diet. Two weeks later, his reflux symptoms and his demeanor had improved noticeably.

In the first few days of eating dairy-free, I subsisted on Clif bars (but only one particular flavor because most of them contain milk) and cereal with almond milk. Part of this was due to the fact that we had no time to go grocery shopping with a new baby and Josh in the middle of finals, but part of it was that we had no idea how to eat this way. It was pretty miserable, but we figured it out quickly and now eating (almost) vegan feels pretty normal. Here are some of the animal product replacements we like:
  • Almond Breeze Almond Milk and Chocolate Almond Milk
  • Extra-Firm Tofu (no brand preference)- Tofu can be used to give a dish a little more substance, and we usually use it in place of chicken or eggs.
  • Boca Meatless Crumbles- A ground beef replacement that we use in spaghetti sauce, sloppy joes, and tacos.
  • Mozzarella, Pepper Jack, and Provolone Soy Cheese- Cheddar's nasty, in my opinion. We're not picky about the brand, but Go Veggie is what's in our fridge right now.
  • Tofutti Sour Supreme- Obviously a sour cream replacement.
  • Brianna's Poppyseed Dressing- I hate vinaigrette's, so this is one of the only dairy-free salad dressings I've tried and liked.
In addition to lots of fruits, veggies, whole wheat pasta and bread, and eggs (this is the one animal product I do eat regularly), we also love these vegan recipes:
I eat eggs and the occasional turkey sandwich. When I'm finished nursing I'll probably add a little dairy back into my diet. We're not swearing off animal products for the rest of our lives, but both Josh and I have been surprised by how much better we feel, how much easier it is than we thought it would be, and how good some of the animal product alternatives are. If reducing or eliminating animal products is something you're considering, hopefully this provided you with some basic information to get you started. Good luck!


  1. Loving that you posted about this. I have contemplated being Vegetarian for years, and Vegan for a few weeks. I haven't done so because I'm scared to take the plunge! I get tired of food making me feel "heavy" and bogged down inside, and I am positive it is due to dairy and meat.

  2. It can definitely be challenging, but I think the longer you do it, the easier it gets. It doesn't have to be all or nothing either...I think that simply reducing the amount of meat and dairy you eat can make a difference. You should give it a shot!


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