First Time Vegan

So you are a first time vegan and you aren’t sure about all of the vegan options out there, especially if you shop local markets. There are so many benefits of buying local food. Well, let’s first define vegetarian compared to vegan. A vegetarian is more of a diet choice while veganism is a lifestyle choice. Vegetarians have a number of sub-classes which include those who will eat dairy and eggs, or dairy and no eggs. All categories of vegetarian and vegan do not eat meat. Vegans go a little further and won’t eat anything that is a byproduct of animals such as honey, eggs, and milk. Some vegans are so adamant about what they will eat that yeast is also off the list. Vegans can be very political in their views of the practice of consuming animal products.

Where to Find the Nutrients

Now we know the difference between a vegetarian and vegan. There certainly differences between vegetarians and vegans. Some vegans are so strict they will not eat genetically modified foods. Vegans do not go around eating just raw vegetables every day. A well balanced vegan diet will include multiple omega rich seeds such as chia, hemp, or flax. These seeds provide protein, minerals such as magnesium, and fatty omegas. Nuts are also a rich source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Soy, almond, and coconut and some of the dairy alternatives available. Vegan diets consist of:

  • Plant based milk
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Grains

Vegan Doesn’t Mean Raw

Vegan meals do not have to be cold. Actually, with a bit of imagination and ingenuity, you can fix just about anything vegan style. For example, eggplant Parmesan. Where you would put in the meat you can substitute it with a hearty bread encrusted eggplant. You can cover it up with sauce and then place a piece of non-dairy cheese on top. I’m not vegan or vegetarian, but I found this dish to be light and filling. There are a lot of other substitutions you can make with your new vegetarian.

photo credit: Labor Day Lunch. via photopin (license)