- What can/can't vegans eat?
- Do vegans need to take supplements?
- I've accidentally slipped up and have eaten meat/eggs/milk, what should I do?
- I'm really craving meat/eggs/cheese, what should I do?
- I don't like fruits or vegetables, can I still be a vegan?
- How do vegans make sure they get enough protein?
- Is it really expensive to be a vegan?
- I've been feeling bloated since turning vegan. Does this go away?
- Can vegans eat foods that 'may contain....'?
- Is alcohol vegan?
- Can vegans still eat out?
- Can vegans eat palm oil?
- What can I use instead of cow's milk?
- What vegan cheeses are most like dairy cheese?
Okay, so I’m guessing you’re here because you are a vegan newbie yourself, or because you are interested in becoming a vegan. Welcome!
Turning vegan is a pretty big change, as lets face it, food is one of the most important things in life (just me?). So naturally, there must be lots of questions running through your mind.
Here’s a list of questions commonly asked by individuals who have just started their vegan journey, and the answers. You can see an index of questions to the left side of your page 🙂
What can/can’t vegans eat?
Vegans can eat anything that doesn’t contain animal products.
It’s highly likely that there are loads of foods that you already eat that are vegan. These include dry pastas, rice and bread – just double check the label to see if it contains any animal products as sometimes they do.
There are also loads of vegan foods that you probably wouldn’t think are vegan. Including Oreos! Party rings! My favourite…chilli heatwave Doritos 🙂
Pretty much anything a non-vegan eats, can be veganised. So don’t worry about having to cut pizza, burgers, hotdogs etc. out of your life. It’s just about adapting. There are loads of recipes for vegan versions of everything!
Meat, fish, eggs, milk, honey are the obvious foods to avoid.
However, there are some animal products that the general public may not be aware of. Look out for:
- Gelatine (boiled animal bones, cartilage, skin and ligaments)
- Casein / whey (milk protein)
- Cochineal (food colouring made from powdered insects)
- Vitamin D3 (from wool fat)
- Rennet (enzyme from a calves stomach)
- Lactose/Lactic acid (can be from animal or plant origin)
Do vegans need to take supplements?
It depends on your diet.
Some people don’t take any supplements at all. If you eat a well balanced diet, there isn’t need for supplements.
B12 is the main vitamin that vegans are generally most likely to be deficient in, as it’s mainly found in animal products. However, there are vegan foods and drinks that are rich in b12.
These include fermented foods and drinks such as kombucha and miso soup. Nutritional yeast and a lot of vegan milks are also rich in b12. If you feel like you’re eating or drinking enough of these, then it may not be necessary to take a supplement.
If you’re unsure, then take a blood test to see if you are lacking anything.
Personally, I just take a daily b12 supplement. This is because I don’t eat a lot of foods that are rich in b12. I also experienced bad b12 deficiency when I was a vegan newbie, and have noticed a huge difference in my mood and energy levels since taking b12. Therefore, I take it just not to risk becoming a moody, confused and tired mess.
I’ve accidentally slipped up and have eaten meat/eggs/milk, what should I do?
Don’t beat yourself up about it. It happens.
Everyone makes mistakes and it’s easy to do. (I still don’t understand why so many crisps contain milk?!)
It’s difficult at first because of the habit of knowing what you can and can’t eat hasn’t formed yet. Just keep trying. Check the ingredients of things that you buy, and over time you’ll know what to pick up and what to ignore.
Just keep at it, it gets easier 🙂
I’m really craving meat/eggs/cheese, what should I do?
It’s totally up to you. Do whatever you feel is right for you.
If you feel like you’re not ready to give something up, don’t force it.
However if you really want to be a vegan, then find replacements. Try out new things until you’ve found something that is just as satisfying.
There are heaps of meat substitutes out there in the world now, with new ones coming out all the time.
Eggs can be replaced with tofu (don’t knock it until you try it, honestly). I made my brother and dad some scrambled tofu recently and they were amazed at how much it tasted like egg!
There are even lots of GOOD vegan cheeses out in the world now. Just try a few until you find one right for you!
Check out my blog post ‘tips for transitioning to a vegan diet‘ for some more advise 🙂
I don’t like fruits or vegetables, can I still be a vegan?
Of course you can.
Being a vegan doesn’t mean you have to just eat fruits and vegetables. There are lots of unhealthy vegans in the world who live off junk food. I am one of them every now and then.
There are lots of accidentally vegan foods that people don’t even realise are vegan.
However, just the same as it is for non-vegans, eating a diet of majority junk food or carbs is obviously not recommended as it’s important for your wellbeing that you eat a balanced diet. But each to their own!!
I personally wasn’t a huge fan of fruits or vegetables when I first went vegan, but they’ve actually grown on me massively. I used to feel like a meal was incomplete without being carb heavy, or without a meat substitute. However, give me a plate full of stir fried veggies for dinner nowadays and I’m thrilled!
How do vegans make sure they get enough protein?
There is a preconception that it’s difficult to get enough protein on a vegan diet. It’s an incorrect preconception.
There is so much more protein in vegetables, nuts, beans and grains than people give credit.
100g of black beans actually contains the same amount protein than 100g beef. It also contains less fat, calories and cholesterol, and more magnesium, iron calcium and fibre! I know, shocking right?
Foods particularly rich in protein include quinoa, beans, nuts, tofu, wholemeal bread and spaghetti, broccoli and corn. Among many more 🙂
Is it really expensive to be a vegan?
It doesn’t have to be.
This is another false preconception.
Personally, I actually think I spend less money as a vegan than I did as a meat eater or vegetarian. This is because I am no longer buying meat, fish or cheese, which are all really expensive! I’m still buying a lot of the same things as I would before, such as potatoes, grains, beans, rice, vegetables and fruit.
There are loads of ways to cut down costs, such as bulk buying non-perishable goods, buying foods in the sale, and planning meals ahead.
Check out my blog post ‘tips for eating vegan on a budget’ for some more tips 🙂
I’ve been feeling bloated since turning vegan. Does this go away?
A change in diet can affect your body in all sorts of ways.
It could just be your body getting used to the new foods.
If it doesn’t go away after a few weeks then maybe your body is disagreeing with something you are eating. Have you been eating more of certain things since turning vegan? Have you introduced new things into your diet? Try to cut certain things out or eat less of them, to see if it makes a difference.
I personally found that I was eating more bread and pasta when I went vegan, and experienced a big bloat. I just try and cut down on these things, and eat more fruits and vegetables, which makes me feel a lot better.
Try introducing more fermented foods in your diet, or taking probiotics. These promote healthy tummy health and help reduce bloating.
Can vegans eat foods that ‘may contain….’?
Again, this is a personal choice.
Something saying that it ‘may contain’ doesn’t mean that the product does indeed contain it. It’s just an allergy risk. It usually just means that the food is produced in a factory where they handle the specific allergen.
Most companies write ‘may contain’ on their packaging to protect legally themselves. Just in case there were ever to be contamination in their line of produce.
I personally do eat products that ‘may contain’ milk etc.
Is alcohol vegan?
Some of it is. Some of it isn’t.
There’s a whole bunch of vegan alcohol, and a lot of the popular ones are vegan.
Guinness, Corona, Chang, Tiger and Budwiser are all vegan in the UK.
Just do a quick Google search for those that you are wondering about 🙂
Can vegans still eat out?
Firstly, there are so many vegetarian and vegan restaurants popping up all the time these days.
Furthermore, amazingly, most of the restaurant chains also now cater for vegans, offering whole menus of options! Ask your waiter or waitress for the vegan menu, and see what is on offer. I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised.
Also, don’t be scared to ask the chef to make something vegan for you – usually they will! You can normally veganise a meal by taking away certain ingredients such as cheese 🙂
Can vegans eat palm oil?
This is a controversial one.
It’s totally up to the individual.
Some individuals choose not to eat palm oil due to the likelihood that rainforests have been cut down in order to produce it.
However, palm oil itself doesn’t contain any animal products and is therefore technically a vegan product (in my opinion). Furthermore, there is such thing as sustainable palm oil.
I personally try to avoid it myself, but accept the fact that I can only do so much.
I would recommend that you do some research into palm oil and decide what is right for you.
What can I use instead of cow’s milk?
There are lots of milk substitutes these days.
These include soy, almond, cashew, oat, coconut, hemp, hazelnut, quinoa… the list is forever growing!
Just try them out until you have found the right one for you 🙂
You can plant-based milks in both the chilled section of most local supermarkets, as well as on the shelve next to the long life milks.
Personally, I go for almond milk and oat milk just because I like the taste the most. But it’s totally up to you which one you go for.
What vegan cheeses are most like dairy cheese?
There are so many options these days.
When I first went vegan, there wasn’t a lot on offer at all and I actually went without it for a couple months. However, we are spoilt for choice nowadays!
See what is on offer in your local supermarket, try them out until you find a good one for you 🙂
They’re all very inoffensive and are the closest to real cheese that I have tried so far. Certain ones even melt like real cheese!
Hope you have found this helpful!
If there are any other questions that I haven’t answered, please feel free to comment below and I will be happy to help!
Hope you have a wonderful day 🙂