Perhaps you’re a new vegan and a bit intimidated about ways to add vegan foods into your day. I get it, I’ve been there recently myself and I thought I’d share some helpful tips to make things easier. Or, maybe you’ve been a vegan (or vegetarian) for a long time and love plant-based foods, but are having a hard time figuring out how to help someone you know (or yourself) make the full transition to a vegan diet. Hopefully these tips will show you just how easy it is to add more vegan foods into your day without even really realizing you’re eating vegan. The best part is, these are delicious, quick meal ideas that absolutely anyone can do or afford.

Eating a vegan diet isn’t just good for your health and the planet, but it also contributes to a greater cause and appreciation for life.  With every person who chooses to eat a plant-based diet each day, the odds of animal cruelty go down with every single bite. Remember, the less demand there is for animal products, the less animals will be harmed in the future. Vote with your forks and spoons and make sure it’s something yummy when you do!

1. Eat Oatmeal for Breakfast

Everyone loves oatmeal, right? Choosing oats instead of eggs at breakfast is a great way to start your day out on the right foot. And if you think oats are boring, guess again. Cook up some rolled or steel-cut oats, slather on some vegan jam or jelly or toss in some fresh berries. Then, add a touch of almond butter, flax, and non-dairy milk with a splash of vanilla. Who needs eggs after that, I ask? Fun food fact about oats: oats help lower your cholesterol while one egg has twice the amount of cholesterol as a fast food hamburger. Try these oatmeal recipes.

2. Snack on Almonds and Baby Carrots Mid-Morning

Craving unhealthy snacks mid-morning is likely tied to stress, so instead of reaching for something that’s bad for your heart, reach for a handful of raw or roasted almonds instead with another handful of baby carrots. Almonds are the best way to satisfy hunger, the need for a crunchy snack, and they’re full of Vitamin E, fiber, antioxidants, protein, and healthy fats. Getting in the habit of having 1/4 cup- 1/3  almonds each day is a great way to make healthy habits last. They’re also convenient enough that anyone can carry them around or even find them in a convenient store in a pinch. Baby carrots satisfy you sweet tooth, have lots of fiber to keep you full, and plenty of water to keep you hydrated. They pair fabulous with almonds too, by the way!

3. Swap Out Your Milk in Your Coffee

If you typically go for cream or milk in your coffee, use non-dairy milk or cream instead. Some of the best choices for coffee are unsweetened almond milk, unsweetened soy milk, or unsweetened coconut milk in place of skim milk. Try using soy or coconut creamer in place of dairy creamer. Non-dairy choices may take some getting used to but after a week, I promise the idea of having milk again won’t sound so good and you’ll likely wish you’d made the change sooner.

4. Make a Smoothie

Everyone likes smoothies and they’re easy as ever to make vegan! Just use some vegan protein powder, nondairy milk, vanilla extract, chia seeds, a handful of spinach (you won’t taste it), some frozen berries, cocoa powder, almond butter, and a bit of banana. There you go! You’ve got a delicious vegan smoothie in under five minutes that you can enjoy for breakfast, lunch, or as a snack.  If you don’t like bananas, that’s okay- here are some easy tips to make a smoothie that require absolutely no bananas whatsoever. Plus, check out the best order of ingredients for your smoothies so they’ll taste the absolute best!

5. Make a Huge Salad for Lunch

Eating a salad for lunch is by far the simplest way to have a vegan meal without thinking about it. Just nix the cheese (and preferably croutons) and opt for a vegan dressing and make it as big as you want. Toss any fresh veggies you want on top and add some chickpeas (garbanzos), endamame, or even some tempeh slices to improve the protein content, taste, and satiety factor. Need recipes? We’ve got plenty! If you’re not a fan of salads, make an easy sandwich instead. 

6. Opt for Fruit as a Snack

Mid-afternoon, you might be craving a latte, milk chocolate, or something else dairy-based. So to keep your day veg friendly, how about having some fruit for a snack instead? Open up a banana, munch on a sweet ripe apple, or enjoy a huge basket of berries or grape tomatoes. Cantaloupe and watermelon slices are also great for the summer months too. Fruit has fiber and water, which keeps you full. It’s easy to carry anywhere, and it’s full of vitamins and minerals that are good for you.

7.  Make a Hearty Dinner

Eating vegan doesn’t mean you have to have salads and smoothies for all your meals, so make yourself a hearty, plant-based dinner. Vegan meals are just as filling as meat-based meals, and the options are simply limitless to what you can make. With veggies, beans, legumes, grains, and tons of tasty vegan condiments, there’s just nothing you can’t come up with to satisfy you. Whether you like tacos, spaghetti, burgers, enchiladas, or casseroles, there’s a vegan meal you can make. Check out our recipe section for dinner recipes if you need ideas.

Adding more vegan foods to your day is just about swapping out animal foods for plant-based foods. Don’t be intimidated, scared, or freak out too much – it really is quite easy (and yummy!)  Got a tip of your own to share? Let’s hear it!

Image source: The Easy Fix Veggie Sandwich