Yes, I am VEGAN! And I love it when people ask me “oh so you’re one of those people?” And I’m like “Yupp, I’m one of those annoying people trying to use less plastic, save this planet called ‘Earth’ and prevent animal cruelty. How awful of me, right?”
I am NOT writing this blog to force my beliefs on anyone, nor to mock meat eaters. I am writing this blog to explain veganism better, answer common questions and raise awareness about certain things. So no need to be such a snowflake and get offended, relax there buddy, you’re going to be fine.
Please note that I am NOT a health professional, I am sharing what I know based on research and my personal experience.
This blog will explain why and how I became vegan after being a meat eater for 20 years, meal ideas, good meat and dairy alternatives, places and restaurants for vegans, UK supermarkets vegan products and answering common questions about veganism.
Before we get into this blog, let me start by saying that I am MUSLIM. Why am I sharing this? Because a lot of Muslims I know take this the wrong way and think that I am disrespecting Islam or making it seem ‘evil’ in a way by being vegan. I follow that religion and I think it is BEAUTIFUL, but back then we didn’t have the resources that we have now and all the alternatives. That’s why we’re allowed to eat meat and dairy products. Also, it was never an OBLIGATION for us Muslims to eat meat. So calm down, I never even mocked any other religion that I don’t follow.
I will not tolerate any none sense on here as we vegan get that a lot. If you’re disinterested in this blog, please stop reading and leave us be. I don’t criticise or ridicule meat eaters.
What is Veganism?
Veganism is basically abstaining the use of animal products [Food, clothes, cosmetics, etc…] So basically we do NOT consume any meats or dairy products, for ethical reasons. Some people do it for other reasons of course.
What Do You Mean By ‘Ethical Reasons?’
I don’t even get how I’m asked this question, but long story short, animals are being tortured and killed so we can consume them, a lot of makeup and skin care brands (not all) like Mac test on animals for humans ‘safety,’ and cows are being forced impregnated, which is basically RAPE. I know this is a sensitive topic, but since I am asked a lot about this here we go – To produce milk, cows obviously need to get pregnant and that is done by guiding a sack of sperm into the cow’s uterus by pressing against the wall of her anus. After that, calves are taken away from their cow Mom so that the cow’s milk is used for dairy products. Even chickens are being drugged to lay more eggs. Read HERE about how chickens are being ABUSED.
No, animals weren’t created to be killed. I get that argument a lot, in that case we’d be eating frogs and donkeys then.
What Are Vegans Allowed To Eat?
- Carbs: pasta, bread, rice, oats
- All beans
- Dairy-free products [almond/oat/coconut/cashew/soy milk, almond/cashew/coconut/soy yogurt, vegan cheese, vegan cream, vegan eggs]
- Meat-free products (veggie burgers, etc…)
- All nuts
- All seeds
- All fruits
- All veggies
- Vegan Pesto
- Vegan Mayo
- Cooking oils: Olive oil, coconut oil, etc…
- Nut butters: Peanut butter, hazelnut butter, almond butter and cashew butter [Meridian is a great brand since it’s free from palm oil, salt and sugar]
- Flours – All purpose flour, oat flour, coconut flour, ground almonds, buckwheat flour, chickpea flour, etc…
- Sugars and sweeteners
- Tofu and tempeh (I personally don’t like tempeh)
- Protein powder- Myvegan is a great company or just look for HEMP protein powder
Hold your horses, will get to the big question surrounding ‘PROTEIN’ in a bit
How Did I Become Vegan?
1- When I started working this year, I was always out and so I had to eat out sometimes. I noticed more than once that whenever I eat dairy, I’d get stabbing pain in my stomach and I’d feel sick. After getting an allergy test I found out that I am lactose intolerant and I have a dairy allergy. [You can develop allergies as an adult, I won’t get to it, but if you want more information read here] So I started to slowly replace the dairy products.
I tried different types of milk alternatives – Almond Milk, Oat Milk, Soy Milk, Coconut Milk and Cashew Milk. Oat milk and almond milk are my FAVOURITE! I think soy and coconut are fine, but I’d rather have almond/oat milk. I haven’t tried cashew and hazelnut milk till now, so that’s next on my list.
ALPRO is a great brand, you can find it in Tesco, Sainsbury, Aldi, Asda, Holland & Barret and online, too.
CHEESE IS LIFE
If you know me, you know I LOVE CHEESE. So I started trying different types of cheese and these are the brands I found the best:
– Violife [their cheese slices are shit though] – Cheddar slices, cream cheese, mozzarella and Mediterranean ch**se are all great cheese alternatives
[Holland & Barret have this brand in the fridge section]
– Nutritional Yeast/Yeast Flakes: These are flakes that have a nutty, cheesy taste. They’re sold at Asda, Holland & Barret and Amazon
– Tesco has a Mature Cheddar vegan cheese
– Tofutti – Mozzarella and cream cheese
– Follow Your Heart – Different types of cheese like Parmesan
– Norseland – Smoked Applewood Cheese [Melts like a motherfucker]
I found on at Asda’s website and thevegankindsupermarket.com
I love heavy cream on my pasta! Good thing I found alternatives for that:
– Soaked cashews and water in a BLENDER [YES, it’s that easy] and I season it with whatever I want to. For thick, heavy cream I use 1/2 cup of soaked cashews (I soak them for about an hour) and add a 1/4 cup of water. The amount of water you add depends really on the consistency of cream that you’re looking for.
-There are other cream alternatives like coconut cream at Tesco and I found almond cream at thevegankindsupermarket.com
– Usually I just make Tofu scramble and I’m good. Tofu is accessible at ALL supermarkets and my favourite brand there is Cauldron because the tofu is firm.
- Follow Your Heart launched a Vegan Egg which is sold at Holland & Barret, but it is quite expensive.
- Flax Eggs – Now this isn’t for making faux omelette or scramble, this is used more for baking and pancakes. For every tablespoon of GROUND flax seeds you add 3 tablespoons of water, and you let it sit for 5 mins. Watch HERE
Ben & Jerry and Magnum have both launched a few vegan ice creams and I have seen them sold at Sainsbury and Holland & Barret
I saw a lot of snacks and chocolates that are vegan at Holland & Barret and Hotel Chocolat!
2- I am not that into meat to be honest, I only used to eat chicken and sometimes Salmon. So it wasn’t that hard for me to give up meat. I was a vegetarian over the summer and I found some meat alternatives as well at Tesco, Sainsbury and Holland & Barret. You can find vegan minced meat, sausages, chicken pieces, burgers and nuggets. I don’t really get them as much though because I don’t really crave meat and I try to stay away from processed food.
These brands are the best:
Quorn, Linda McCartney, Beyond Meat and Vivera
3- I have been trying different vegan recipes since last year. I started by making a vegan meal or two every week. Then I started to have one vegan meal each day.
Now I know that was a lot of information up there, and no, you don’t have to purchase ALL OF THAT. Personally what is always in my pantry is beans, nuts, seeds, coffee, veggies, nut butter, unsweetened almond milk and dairy-free cheese. Depending on what I am craving that’s when I decide which carbs I want to get.
Here are some examples of what vegans eat:
You can always get the meat-free options but that is more pricey and processed food is shit basically xD
I have a bit of a poor appetite, so I only eat twice a day and I barely snack, here are 3 examples of what I eat on a day:
Other Meal Ideas:
1- Breakfast: Baked Beans on a toast + coffee with oat milk or nut butter on toast + coffee with/without milk of choice
Lunch: Pasta with chickpeas, veggies you like and any sauce you like
Dinner: Creamy cauliflower soup
2- Breakfast: Smoothie of choice
Lunch: Walnut Chilli [ Meat-free minced beef, tomato sauce, walnuts, zucchini, green pepper, onion and celery] Serve with rice or bread if you want to
Dinner: Vegan cheese sandwich/Vegan egg and cheese sandwich
3- Breakfast: Oatmeal [See below]
Lunch: Salad [See below]
Dinner: Smoothie [See below]
On that note, see image below:
The Big Question: PROTEIN
Protein protein protein… Everyone is so obsessed with protein that people consume more than needed. Don’t get me wrong, protein is absofuckinglutely IMPORTANT for muscle growth, repair and build tissues, building cartilage, bones and enzymes.
The amount of protein we need depends on your activity level, age, height, weight, etc… Again, I am not a health professional, but I do some research.. You can see in this source that the average sedentary woman needs around 46 grams of protein per day, and the average sedentary man needs per day is 56 grams.
So how do vegans get their protein without consuming meat?
Yes, you read that right.. Plants are at the start of the food chain and animals (AKA humans – We are mammals) are at the end of the food chain. [The circle of life]. Gorillas, Rhinos and Elephants are all herbivores, yet they are the strongest and biggest animals. The animals that people eat, eat plant themselves and that’s how herbivores get their protein.
How Much Protein is in Plant-Based Food?
The curry gravy with rice and black beans I posted earlier + 3 hemp seed nuggets = 34.6 grams of protein
100g of Cauldron’s Tofu (half the package) alone has 12.6g of protein
The almond pancakes I posted earlier has around 9.6 grams of protein
[2 Tbsp Meridian Almond butter, 1/4 cup Alpro’s almond milk, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1 Tbsp coconut flour 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds from Holland & Barret, 12g ground almonds from Tesco and 1 tsp sweetener] mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl from almond butter and almond milk mixture, then mix all together and let it sit for 3-5 mins before you make them.
No, Calcium’s main source is not just milk.
Almost everyone I know supplements on Omega 3 and Vitamin D, yet vegans are criticised for needing to supplement on:
– Vitamin D3
– Vitamin B12
Eating Out (Birmingham)
I live in Birmingham, UK, so I am not sure if all these places are in the city you live in currently. I have been trying since last year vegan food at cafes and restaurants, but I haven’t tried ALL of these… most of them though
1- Wagamama [Vegan menu available]
2- Zizzi’s [Vegan menu available]
3- @pizza in the Grand Central [Vegan options]
4- Papa John’s [Vegan options available but the vegan cheese they use is shit tbh]
5- Pizza Hut [Vegan options even dessert, but they use the shit vegan cheese Papa John uses]
6- Indian, Thai and Chinese places always have veggie meals, if ordering curry, ask if it contains milk
7- Jam n Vegan on Instagram – Vegan Caribbean Food – they do weekly deliveries
8- Starbucks [Dairy-free milk available, vegan mac and cheese and vegan raspberry chocolate mini cake]
9- Three’s Coffee Lounge have a lot of vegan options
10- Digbeth Dining Club [Vegan options available]
11- Boston Tea Party – LOVELY PLACE for breakfast and brunch [Vegan options available]
12- Subway [A few vegan options available not much]
13- Costa [Dairy-free milk options, vegan flapjack, vegan coca coal bites and cookies]
13- Gourmet Burger Kitchen [Vegan burgers]
14- Red Peppers at Mailbox [Vegan options available]
15- Pirlo’s Desserts [Few vegan options]
16- Mediterranean Restaurants [hummus, falafel, rice, etc…]
17- Falafel Munch
18- Las Iguanas [Vegan options]
19- LEON [Vegan options]
20- Handmade Burger Co. at Bullring and Brindley Place [Vegan options]
21- Café Soya at the Arcadian [Vegan menu]
22- All Bar One at New St. Station [Vegan menu]
23- Holy Moly Macaroni at the Grand Central [Vegan options]
24- Joe & The Juice [Vegan options available]
Are All Vegans Healthy?
Not if you eat fast food all the time and high carbs/high sugars obviously.
A Few More Recipes I Found on Instagram:
Social Media Influencers
- Rachel Ama is AMAZING
I’ll share three of her videos here and you can follow her on YouTube and Instagram
£1 Easy Vegan Student Meals
One Pot Vegan Meals – LOVE THE FIRST ONE
High Protein Caribbean Feast
- Mina Rome on Youtube
Vegan Lunch Ideas
Eating Vegan on a Budget
- Cheap Lazy Vegan on YouTube
Her ‘What I Eat In A Day’ Playlist
- Edgy Veg
Mac n Ch**se?
- TASTY also has some vegan videos
- Follow Elavegan on Instagram
- Rachel Ama’s Cookbook £13.74 for Hard copy and £9.99 on Kindle
Get it HERE
- The one that I have is called ‘Vegan Keto’ for low carb and high healthy fats vegan food but that is more complicated. Link to it is HERE, £11.89 Paperback and £7.99 Kindle Edition
Lastly, I’ll just briefly mention this:
As vegans we try as much as we can to have a better impact on the environment as well by doing the following (You can read more about them online):
– Use less plastic
– Don’t litter
– NO to palm oil
– Increase the availability of fresh water [Read more HERE]
I suggest to start to make small changes and build up on that rather than instantly converting. I was a vegetarian this summer and I have been vegan for 2-3 months now and to be honest, I feel my BEST!
If you read ALL of this, THANK YOU <3