Welcome to The Fresh Slice’s Monthly Myth Buster series where each month we will highlight a food related myth that has been plaguing our plates and cook up an understandable solution to the problem. This is a place for you to finally get the truth about what you are eating.
What food questions do you want answered once and for all? Share with me in the comments below or submit your question HERE. Soon enough, you’ll see your question answered in a future Myth Bust post!
VEGAN MISCONCEPTIONS: Part 1
I’ve heard it all… “I could never be vegan.” “How do you live without cheese?!” “NO animal protein, NO WAY!”
Trust me I get it, removing two large food groups from your diet is no easy feat. BUT it’s also not as painful, famishing, cult-like or tasteless as many assume. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, which is why I am here to expose the biggest vegan misconceptions.
#1. “All vegans are apart of an EXCLUSIVE environmental, animal- loving, hippie cult.”
Vegans get a bad rap for being environmental extremists who judge everyone who consumes meat. Although it is true we love the environment and animals (let’s be honest… who doesn’t?), there is not a vegan pledge of allegiance that forces us to shun and shame those who choose a different diet. People decide to become vegan for various reasons such as, health, allergies, intolerances, toxic imbalances or environmental concerns.
Let’s turn the table… have you ever been out to eat with family, friends or strangers and been questioned for an hour about your decision to order a turkey club sandwich or 20 oz steak? Well, ordering a salad without cheese or veggie burger will have your guests asking questions like; “where is your protein?, aren’t you hungry?, you know, not eating meat won’t stop the industry.” To be vegan should not be a political check box or a stereotype created to shame people for reading a nutrition label before purchasing a product. The vegan community is about creating and sharing delicious, health-supportive food that will benefit you as well as the environmental community around you.
So drop your forks and eliminate the stereotype that all vegans are drinking the same (unrefined sugar-free) kool-aid. No judgment, just food and awareness.
#2. “So you only eat salad?”
Bowls full of fresh greens, veggies and nut cheeses? I don’t see the problem but for those of you who can’t stand the thought of eating salads daily don’t worry, following a vegan diet doesn’t mean you need to trade in your slice of pizza and Chinese take out.
Stop focusing on what you CAN’T eat and focus on the what you CAN eat. Luckily, there are still four more food groups you can enjoy including grains, beans and legumes, fruits and vegetables. Due to the endless ways to cook and enjoy these basic food groups I am going to start from the beginning and offer suggestions for a typical day + my grocery picks when I need to get out of the kitchen.
- Oatmeal topped with fresh fruit or nut butter
- Smoothie (here are 7 smoothies recipes to get you started)
- Tofu Scramble (try this recipe from The Minimalist Baker)
- Avocado toast
- Granola and coconut milk yogurt (my go to’s are So Delicious’ Almond Milk-Based Yogurt and Purely Elizabeth granola)
- Vegetable Chili
- Hummus and grilled vegetable sandwich
- Vegetable sushi (Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s always have great options)
- Bean burrito with guacamole (vegan burritos or burrito bowls at Chipotle are always delicious)
- Vegetable and tofu stir-fry
- Spaghetti with tomato sauce ( Get more out of your pasta with Tolerant Foods bean based vegan, gluten free noodles)
- Veggie burger with all the fixings (My go to patty choices? Hot Dang, Dr. Praegers)
- Chia seed pudding (Chia Pod)
- Non-dairy ice cream (So Delicious, Coco Bliss, Organic Nectars)
- Dark Chocolate
- Cookies and more (Can’t get enough of Emmy’s Organics)
- Hummus and carrots
- Peanut butter and apple (Justin’s single serving packs are great for on-the-go snacking)
- Seed crackers with cashew cheese (try any variety of crackers from Mary’s Gone Crackers)
- Kale chips (Rhythm or Brad’s Raw Chips)
- Popcorn (try single packets from Boom Chicka Pop)
- Roasted chickpeas (The Good Bean)
Not drooling? Check out my Pinterest feed for more inspiration and try something new, you may surprise yourself.
Look out for next month’s Myth Buster, I’ll be diving into the misconception of protein in our diets and more.