Today I’m coming back to you with part two of the post about veganism. I’m extremely delayed with English translation of this post, sorry about that. If any of you haven’t seen part one, go ahead and check it out HERE. I mentioned before that I’ve been taking pictures of food I’ve been eating for a while and now I’d like to highlight that I haven’t taken any picture of things like salads, boiled potatoes, pasta with sauce, fruit and so on. Things I’m going to show you here aren’t the only things I eat. I just wanted to show you that everything is not as difficult as some think.
* All the photos are miniatures but you can enlarge them by clicking on each.
One of the most common doubts and kind of typical thing to hear from meat and dairy eaters is this: “I wouldn’t be able to live without cheese!” I must admit I do understand it a little because I myself loved Gouda or farmer’s cheese, cottage cheese and my favorite cake of all times was always cheesecake. You’d think I miss all these things but not really. When someone tells me: “I admire that you’re handling this” I think – there’s nothing to admire, for real.
There are TONS of vegan dairy replacements and they not only look but also taste like the real ones. The most popular brands here in the States are for example GoVeggie, tofutti, Daiya or Follow your heart. These are the most available – not only in Whole Foods which has a lot of vegan stuff, but also Publix, Target, Kroger (I don’t know anything about other grocery stores because I don’t shop anywhere else). A little less popular brand that is very young and for now available in Whole Foods only, but highly recommended by me, is kite hill. Their brie is delicious! You can easily find cream cheeses as well.
Other dairy, etc.
There’s a lot of plant based milks everywhere and they keep making new and new flavors. You can buy, for example, almond milk or chocolate almond milk. Coconut milk or coconut-almond milk. And many, many more.
Commonly available are also vegan sour creams (for example, Follow your heart, tofutti) but you can also make them by yourself. In stores you can find vegan whip creams as well.
As you can see in one of the pictures above – there are vegan yogurts too and I noticed there’s more and more.
Mayonnaise isn’t a problem at all either! Very popular vegan mayo is the one from Follow your heart. But you can make one by yourself if you want to!
Sweets and snacks
Oh, this is so easy… You can bake vegan-everything-you-want and I’m totally serious here – everything. What you do is that you use any plant milk instead of a cow’s milk and you don’t use any eggs or you use an egg substitute. That’s all.
You can buy all kinds of different bars, chocolates, cake mixes, cookies (for example such popular Oreo), ready cookies, muffins, ice-creams and many, many more.
Oj, to bardzo łatwa sprawa… Upiec wegańsko można wszystko, na co tylko macie ochotę i ja tu mówię serio – wszystko. Wystarczy dodać jakiekolwiek mleko roślinne zamiast krowiego i nie użyć jajek lub użyć jakiegoś zamiennika. I tyle.
You can also buy a vegan hazelnut spread, totally like Nutella, that you can see in one of the pics below and there’s also a brand called Endangered species, or – again – you can make it by yourself.
Some chips are vegan too, like salty Lay’s or barbecue Pringles, some crackers (Ritz) and more.
Meats, soups, ready meals
There’s a lot of those too which shouldn’t surprise you, huh? If it comes to meat substitutes, there’s an incredible amount of meatless chicken, turkey, ground beef, fish and so on. I think the most popular and very accessible brand is GardeIn. There are also vegan sausages, hams, pepperonis and if it comes to these, Tofurky is very popular.
There are also vegan soups, for example Amy’s and this brand has a lot of frozen meals too, and Imagine but now I noticed that in my area I see more stuff from Upton’s Natural.
Pancakes, pastas, sandwiches, salads, dinners, etc.
This category seems to be the most general one, I think, but I really had no idea how to divide all those things. Cooking doesn’t really take as much time and it’s not complicated. I know that there’s a lot of vegan recipes online with millions of ingredients and I don’t like it either. I personally prefer things that are fast and easy so instead of making crepes using 4 different kinds of flour, I make them using 1 cap of one flour, 1 cap of plant milk and some spices or sugar – depending on what I’ll eat them with. Why to complicate your life?
If it comes to pasta sauces, there are vegan ones and they’re not only tomato sauces but different kinds too. Even if you’d like to eat alfredo sauce, you can buy it (for example, Vegan Valley) or make it yourself which isn’t hard at all.
I’m not a fan of tofu and I do try different versions but I don’t like much, to be honest. Tofu isn’t mandatory in vegan diet!
The only way I use tofu is scramble tofu, like scramble eggs. I just take some to a bowl, chuck it with a fork and fry it on butter with some veggies – depending on what I have. I usually warm some roll up in the oven so it’ll be crispy and this is how I eat it.
This isn’t a big problem either! Even if some restaurant isn’t vegan (but there’s a lot of vegan ones), you can it something very often anyway. A lot of places have some vegan options and if they don’t have them on their menus, it’s worth it to talk to your waiter/manager and just change some ingredients. People here are very helpful and you will never have any problems.
Often all you have to do is to tell them not to use any sour cream or cheese and that’s all. You often can create your own meal from ingredients from different meals they have in their menu. Some places with real burgers have vegan options, some pizzerias have vegan crusts and/or cheeses. And more…
There are vegan dietary supplements, vitamins and some other things. Medicines in capsules aren’t vegan (unless they say they are) because those capsules are made from gelatin. Other medicines – I don’t know. Here each vegan person has to decide for himself whatever he wants to do.
Non-vegan ingredients – what to be careful about
Casein – you can find it in some soy cheeses. This is a cow’s milk protein.
Whey – some butters, breads.
Albumin – cakes, cookies, cosmetics and other processed products. It’s used to produce some wines as well. It’s derived from egg whites.
Carmine – in some red bottled juices, candies, most lipsticks and lip-glosses. Those are tiny powdered bugs.
Glucose – in cakes, for example. Glucose can be derived from animals or fruits.
And other… HERE you can find a pretty big list of non-vegan ingredients.
If you think that you can go to a grocery store and buy whichever bread you want, it’s not true, unfortunately. Some breads and rolls have milk and/or eggs in them so it’s a good idea to read their ingredient list.
I wouldn’t advice you to stop wherever to get french fries either because they’re not always vegan. First, you never know what kind of oil they use (fries from Chick’fil’A or Wendy’s are vegan). Second, fries from McDonald’s for example are flavored with beef tallow.
If you order a pizza, I recommend you ask about how they make their crust. The same with salad dressings – it’s worth to know.
Hummus is usually vegan but I saw some kinds with milk in them so you better ask as well.
People who have thyroid problems shouldn’t eat too much of soy so most kinds of tofu isn’t good but you can make your own from different things! If it comes to other vegan products – a lot of them are made with soy but not all. I saw a lot of “soy free” stuff.
Reading ingredient list seem complicated, all those words are weird and so on. From my experience I can tell you that it does take some time when you’re at the beginning of your journey but then it gets easier and easier, at the end you don’t have any problems. And also, these days the only thing you have to do is to Google something like “is … vegan” and you’ll know.
A lot of people think that if someone is vegan they surely spend millions on food so one of a very common explanations why they don’t want to try is: “because I don’t have money”. Realities are different in different places for sure. Here, for example, vegan products are pretty much the same prices like the normal ones (of course there are some exceptions). I realize that in Poland things like this are much more expensive than the rest but I don’t really know any details. I’d like you all to remember that all those replacements aren’t mandatory and you can easily live as a vegan without them. On the other hand, I know that a real meat is expensive! That cheese costs a lot. So putting aside animal products, you save money on them and so you can buy something different instead. The truth is, vegans don’t live on processed foods I’m talking about in this post. Those are things that you eat when you want to but they’re definitely not necessary or even needed to be happy and healthy. Vegans eat a lot of beans, pasta, rice, veggies, fruits which are definitely very cheap, you can eat them raw or make a looooot of delicious meals, snacks, desserts, etc. So the argument “I don’t have enough money to be vegan” isn’t valid at all :).
Buying from non-vegan companies
This is one of the doubts I keep seeing online. Sometimes one of the arguments against vegans is that they’re two-faced because they don’t eat animals, eggs and dairy but they do buy from companies which produce things like that. OK, let me explain… If I wanted to stop buying from places or companies that also sell non-vegan products, where should I buy anything? Almost all stores have meat as well but it doesn’t mean I’d turn my head away from all the grocery stores and I’ll stop eating at all because they sell something I don’t eat! Moreover, buying vegan stuff you show store’s managers and companies owners that there’s a demand for vegan products. Thanks to that stores will order more and more, and companies owners will produce more and it really does work like this. This way you’re sending a message that it does make sense. The same with restaurants – the more people will ask about vegan options and the more often they’ll do it or they’ll refuse cheese, the bigger chances are that a manager of some place will notice that and eventually you’ll see vegan options in their menu. And this is what it’s all about – changes.
Cosmetics are a different subject, I focused on food in this post.
I think I said all I wanted. If you have any questions or concerned, feel free to comment or send me an e-mail!
Talk to you next time,