Tips for going vegan

  • Do it gradually. Don't cut out all dairy, eggs, and meat in one go. Start by replacing certain items with vegan alternatives, and just keep doing that until pretty much everything you eat is vegan.
  • If you see food as something more than just fuel, you'll want to learn to cook, as vegan options at restaurants are often disappointing (except at dedicated vegan restaurants). Get good at making sauces and you can make pretty much anything delicious.
  • One of the best decisions I made was to subscribe to Purple Carrot, a plant-based meal kit delivery. This opened my eyes to loads of little techniques to make things more delicious, and taught me basic vegan skills like making a creamy vegan sauce (which I can then remix in other recipes).
  • Keep it simple learn how to make a variety of things from a few ingredients. Slowly figure out what your staples are that you keep coming back to.
  • Veganism is not about purity - sometimes you accidentally eat stuff that isn't vegan. That's ok.
  • Be pragmatic: I consider myself 95% vegan, which achieves most of the value but the 5% flexibility makes life much easier, and makes it much more likely I'll stick with this diet long-term (and do more good overall).
  • Learn about macro nutrition to make sure you're getting a decent balance of protein, carbs, and fats. This is not too hard to do while vegan if you pay a little attention. Use cronometer.com. But also take a B12 and D3 supplement.
  • Focus on whole foods where you can (they'll make you feel more satisfied) but don't stress too much about processed stuff. Meat substitutes (especially Beyond and Impossible meat) can satisfy meat cravings and bump up your protein.
  • There's a lot of pseudoscience in veganism. Don't fall for juice cleanses, raw food diets, fruitarianism, or any other overly restrictive diets.

Grocery staples

Pretty much everything I cook is made from these things:

Produce

  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potato
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Red onions
  • Garlic
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Peppers
  • Asparagus
  • Snap peas/mange tout
  • Spinach
  • Spring onions
  • Salad leaves
  • Sprouts/shoots
  • Fresh herbs
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Oranges

Chilled

  • Lemon juice
  • Hummus
  • Earth balance butter
  • Cheese slices
  • Vegan cream cheese
  • Almond milk
  • Vegan plain yogurt

Frozen

  • Frozen
  • Frozen peppers
  • Frozen broccoli
  • Frozen spinach
  • Frozen kale
  • Frozen corn
  • Frozen berries
  • Frozen peas

Meat replacements

  • Veggie sausages
  • Veggie burgers
  • Veggie nuggets
  • Tofu
  • Smoked tofu
  • Tempeh

Bread

  • Wraps
  • Bread rolls
  • Thin sliced wholegrain bread
  • Bagels

Pantry

  • Tinned/jars
  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Black beans
  • Butter beans
  • Lentils
  • Baked beans
  • Tinned corn
  • Tinned tomatoes
  • Tomato paste
  • Coconut milk
  • Pickles
  • Capers

Baking

  • Maple syrup
  • Sugar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Baking powder
  • Apple sauce
  • Cocoa powder
  • Yeast
  • Flour
  • Grains
  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Pasta
  • Couscous
  • Tapioca flour
  • Chickpea flour
  • Rolled oats

Oils and flavorings

  • Stock
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Herbs and Spices
  • Sesame oil
  • Olive oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Liquid smoke
  • Soy sauce
  • Sweet Chilli sauce
  • Tahini
  • Miso paste

Condiments

  • Ketchup
  • Vegan mayo
  • Mustard
  • BBQ sauce
  • Hot sauce

Sweets

  • Dark chocolate
  • Oreos
  • Chocolate spread

Nuts and seeds

  • Cashews
  • Sesame seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Pepitas
  • Peanut butter

Drinks

  • Tea
  • Diet coke
  • Wine
  • Coffee
  • Fruit squash