What is the difference between “vegan” and “vegetarian”? Vegetarians do not eat any animal flesh but they DO eat animal products such as eggs, dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt) and honey. Some vegetarians even wear animal skins such as leather, suede, fur and wool, while some do not. Some vegetarians eat fish – these are actually called pescatarians, as they eat fish and other seafood but no other animal flesh. Vegans do not consume or wear ANYTHING that comes from an animal at all. Many vegans do not eat or use bee products either.
But, where do you get your protein? Please check out my blog post about vegan protein right HERE 🙂
What foods can vegans eat? Vegans can eat absolutely everything – besides animal products. Vegans eat plants: fruit, vegetables, grains, seeds, nuts. These foods are abundant in nature and this is what we eat – NATURE. Everything that vegans want to eat can be made with plant foods: we have ice creams, yogurts, milks, cheeses, desserts, pies, cakes, cookies, pastries made with coconut, soy, almond, rice, seeds, nuts or grains. When vegans bake, we use apple sauce, flax seeds or chia seeds instead of eggs and we use non-dairy milks in place of cows milk. When vegans cook, we use vegetable-based products like veggie broth, coconut oil, olive oil. There are many products out there which are completely vegan and replace usual fridge and pantry items like butter, creamer, mayonnaise, broth, sauces, cheese and even animal proteins.
What are some vegan replacement items I can eat instead of their non-vegan counterparts?
Trade your Hellman’s mayo for some Earth Island Vegenaise.
Trade cow’s cheese for the delicious, melty Daiya cheese (MY FAVE!!).
Go for tofu or tempeh or even “mock meats” instead of animal flesh.
Choose vegan spreads instead of cows butter.
Choose almond milk or coconut milk instead of cows milk.
These companies make DELICIOUS vegan baked goods: Alternative Baking, Mary’s Organic, Sweets from the Earth.
Choose clean, plant-based protein powders such as Vega or SunWarrior over whey or casein (animal-derived ingredients).
What do vegans do when they go out to eat? Believe it or not, there are TONS of vegan restaurants out there, or even vegetarian with vegan options. Before I travel, I always like to check out the HappyCow website and browse for vegan restaurants all over the world. You could also Google “vegan restaurants in *CITY*” to find more.
Besides finding a vegan or veggie restaurant, if I am at a regular restaurant which serves meat, I always check out the menu online BEFORE going to see what I can have that is “accidentally vegan”, or what I can modify to make vegan. If I can’t check the menu ahead of time, I take my time scanning the menu and ask the waiter questions about how the food is prepared and what the ingredients are. I am always VERY polite and very nice, and I smile a lot! This helps. You are allowed to ask questions and ask for substitutions! Sometimes if there is really nothing I can have, I tell the waiter that I cannot eat any animal products (including butter, dairy, eggs) and I ask if I can have a huge salad with lots of fresh veggies. Ordering sides is very good as well. And I ALWAYSSS leave a nice generous tip! 😉