By Jessie & PH from the site Végane mais pas plate! (Vegan but not boring!)
Certain lifestyle changes can be exciting, but they can also bring uncertainty and sometimes, even fear. What to start with? Where to go? Here are our tips to make it easier to incorporate veganism in your life, starting with food!
“Veganize” Your Favourite Recipes
Going for a plant-based diet doesn’t mean that you have to say goodbye to your favorite dishes. In most cases, you can easily adjust the recipe by changing a few ingredients. Eating vegan isn’t a synonym for “Let’s stop,” but rather “I’m replacing with” and “Let’s discover!’ Our recipe book Végane mais pas plate! (Vegan but not boring!) is proof of that. Most dishes are reworked versions of meals containing animal products that we ate before becoming vegan. French toast, grilled cheese, lasagna, Shepherd’s pie, Lac-Saint-Jean tourtière, and brownies are some examples.
Know the Source of Your Proteins
THE question people ask most often when becoming vegan, “But where do you get your protein?” Our primary sources of protein are entirely plant-based, coming from legumes, tofu, and tempeh. Legumes (chickpeas, beans, soy, fava beans, lupin, lentils, peas, peanuts, etc.), cereals (wheat, rice, oats, rye, millet, semolina, etc.), pseudo-cereals (quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat), nuts (walnuts, cashews, pecans, etc.), seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, chia, hemp, etc.), as well as several vegetables (broccoli, kale, etc.) are protein sources that provide a combination of amino acids. No need to rack your brain trying to match the proteins within a meal. Consuming these different sources of protein in the space of 24 hours is sufficient for fulfilling our daily intake of essential amino acids. To calculate one’s protein needs, Health Canada recommends consuming 0.8 g of protein for each kg of body weight.
Learn to Love Tofu and Tempeh
These are economical all-purpose foods, rich in protein with health benefits. Firm or extra-firm tofu, in block form, can be marinated, grilled, fried, diced and pan sautéed, sliced, grated, or crumbled. You can use it wherever meat or substitutes are usually used, replacing your scrambled eggs into scrambled tofu, for example. Seasoning makes all the difference. Soy-based tofu can replace eggs in several desserts and make your soups and purées creamy.
Like tofu, tempeh is a food made from soy with an impressive nutritional factsheet. Before cooking it, it is advisable to allow it to boil for 10 to 15 minutes. You can also use the same preparation approach with firm tofu. Ground tempeh can pass for meat where a recipe calls for it.
Find Vegan Options at Restaurants
Happy Cow is an app that identifies all of the places that have vegan or vegetarian options, wherever you are. We use this online service several times a month. Restaurant and food critics also help us determine if it’s worth going to a given restaurant with the whole family or if the only vegan option at a café deserves the trip, for example. You can make great discoveries anywhere in the world, thanks to Happy Cow.
Inform Yourself, and Keep Yourself Informed
Learning a few basic nutritional ideas from reliable sources certainly can’t hurt. Reading books and watching documentaries on veganism, animal ethics, and the environment will enable you to better understand the stakes. We advise participating in events when you can, as well as staying on the lookout for news and advances in the movement. All of this is a good way to motivate yourself to take part in the change.