10 Easy Tips For Vegetarian Beginners

Jillian HarrisFood, My Heart, Vegetarian18 Comments

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If you read my blog last week, I want to start off by saying THANK YOU. Your positive feedback and words of encouragement absolutely warmed my heart. I did not in a million years expect to get the reaction that I did. More than anything it has pushed me to learn more about all the different issues so I can help you to do the same. I hope my last blog about becoming vegan-ish has helped you, encouraged you, and excited you to make a switch of your own … whether it be big or small! I’m new at this too, so let me be your guide!!! And please, if you have any tips share them in the comments section so we can include them in our next blog!

For now, here are my top 10 that have helped ME transition away from animal products! …

soy1. Coffee Creamer | If you’re anything like me, I can’t start my morning without coffee and cream. I talked to my doctor about the over consumption of soy and he said that as long as it’s taken in small doses we are ok … and adding it into our coffee is totally fine. I used to put milk or cream in my coffee but now I use So Nice (pictured above). I have tried many different kinds and this one is so far my favourite!

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2. Eat Often | I keep almonds, nuts and Vega bars in my purse and in my car in case I’m ever hungry. I suggest eating often and on small snacks throughout the day so I’m never feeling tired or hungry. I also add Vega powder to my smoothies for an instant hit of protein and to make me full for longer!!! If you don’t like powders … chia seeds and hemp seeds also work! You can’t taste it and both are loaded with protein and help cure your hunger for longer!!!

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3. Breakfast | I start my morning with EITHER bananas and peanut butter on toast OR an egg and avocado on toast. No more breakfast sandwiches from Starbucks for me anymore (it’s where we get our breakfast from on set!). Instead, I now get the oatmeal and a banana and I put my banana right in there! YUMMMM

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4. Eating Out | When eating out, I always start by looking for vegan options first. If you can’t find anything that turns your crank, look for a vegetarian option … still not sold … go to fish next!!! Bonus points if the fish is Ocean Wise! I’ve learned that restaurants are becoming extremely open to substitutions, especially for Vegan, Vegetarian AND Gluten intolerant diets. Just ask and they may even have an entirely separate menu! OR … if you get to pick the restaurant, do your research and find great options in your area.

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5. Hummus | Any snack or savoury cravings that I have … hummus has become my best friend. I either choose to dip crackers or veggies in it and it satisfies all of the taste buds!! If you have the time, it is easy to make your own (here’s a great recipe) or it’s just as delicious to buy store bought. Or if you are still eating cheese, toast with tomato and melted cheddar is one of my all time faves … yummy … add a little fresh basil for good measure!

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6. Fast Food | I’m sorry. But, I love junk food … so I still love french fries and a good fast food veggie burger! White Spot and Harveys have the best in my opinion … if you are CRAVING a McDicks burger just get it without the meat … trust me you won’t even notice that it’s missing! LOL … Same goes for Subway. I order the vegetarian (sometimes with cheese depending on my hunger level) and once all that mayo and mustard get on that toasted bun… you don’t miss the meat. Just try it once …

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7.  Cook Books | Cooking at home is all of a sudden way more fun. There’s like 4 different kinds of meat out there and THOUSANDS of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes!!  Some of my favourite vegan cookbooks: Oh She Glows, Rawesome Vegan, Minimalist Baker, My New Roots … and I use pinterest like a MOFO!!! LOL….

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8. Ask often and Try often | I love pizza, so now I get vegetarian pizza … and now some places are starting to offer vegan cheese too!!! Wholefoods offers vegan pizza and it’s actually DELISH! Erin Ireland’s looks pretty good too (recipe here). I am always surprised when I try a vegan option with an open mind…

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9. Meat & Dairy Alternatives | If you already do ALL of this and are looking for MORE … head to  Erin Ireland’s site for a GREAT list of Vegan alternatives to meat and dairy!!! This can be your bible for the beginning, median and intermediate stages of your transition.

10. Go slow and don’t be hard on yourself!!!! We are human, and we make mistakes … but lets learn from them together!!!

 

I can’t wait to hear some of your own tips for me in the comments below …

xo
Jilly

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18 Comments

  • Thanks for the tips Jillian! I never used to like Burger King but now when I have a burger craving I LOVE there veggie burger ?

  • Dianne Rozek  • 

    I love this Jillian! I started living a more Vegan-ish lifestyle as a New Year – New Me goal and I love it ! Another great coffee creamer I love is the ” Silk Almond – Vanilla creamer ” it’s delicious ! Can’t wait to read more about your journey !!

  • Leah Marie Christie  • 

    ahhhh love the tips! 🙂 i also found that Freshii is making an AMAZING vegan chilli – served on a bed of kale with broccoli and avocado!

  • Hey Jilian! I have been trying to make some of the same changes as you as well. You mentioned that cactus club was one of your favourite restaurants and it is one of mine too; therefore, I wanted to let you know that they can be so accomadating! The one in Langley is anyways so I hope the others are the same! I often make vegetarian substitutions there and a good friend of mine who was a cook there told me that in their training, they are told nothing is technically off their menu. In other words, If someone orders something that isn’t on the menu they can send someone to the grocery store to accommodate your request!

  • Danielle Connor  • 

    Soups! There are some awesome options filled with delicious lentils and veggies. My favourites right now are Amy’s Organic Soups (bonus they’re organic AND come in BPA free cans), and Costo sells a carton of 8 cans for about $16 – great lunch option for these chilly winter days too 🙂

  • Joanne Kopetoske  • 

    Thanks so much – I look forward to more of your posts regarding this. I love the silk almond for coffee also. I am consciously trying to limit my meat consumption also but without resorting to junk. Day by day. 🙂

  • Honestly, my husband and I have been slowly reducing our meat intake, and recently only have it about once a month and make a conscious decision when we do. We cook at home a lot more now, which I find makes it easier! I’m on Pinterest like crazy, and EVERY single recipe we’ve tried has been delicious! We love veggies to begin with, but growing up eating meat, we didn’t think the transition would be as easy as it has been. Some people still look at us like we’re crazy when we tell them, but it’s a choice that I’m happy we’ve made. I’m glad that I can use your journey as inspiration. Thank you!!

  • Awesome Jillian!! I am vegetarian and trying to go vegan too! 😀

  • Whine Less  • 

    I’ve been a vegetarian for over 7 years now. My absolute favorite veggie burger is at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers. You can sub a Boca patty for any meat burger on their menu. Love their Bleu Ribbon Burger and fries!

  • Lindsey C  • 

    As if I needed more reasons to follow you!! I’ve been trying to make small changes myself over the last 6 months and about a month ago got my husband on board as well. It’s a difficult world to navigate through and can be quite overwhelming. I’m so excited to see what options and ideas you can bring to light! Thanks for openly talking about your journey! It will help a lot of people with their own! Xo

  • VeggieGirl  • 

    Jill did you know Subway has a veggie patty? And some even have falafel (although I much prefer the veggie patty) – yum!

  • Darlene Davy  • 

    Jillian, I am searching for the nut cheese recipe that I watched on your Snapchat. I am eager to try and make it! Are you able to share the recipe!

  • Nancy Gehr  • 

    I am so excited to start trying all of this yummy “change-up” foods. I ordered my first “Veggie” sub from Jimmy Johns today and it was still DE-Lish! 🙂 Lol, I too am very interested in making nut cheese! Thanks girl!

  • best vegan snack = popcorn with earth balance, nutritional yeast & salt…SOO good & so easy!

  • You have to try Hampton Creek Just Mayo. It is a game changer! They also have chipotle, Garlic and Siracha flavors. D-E-L-I-S-H!!!

    • Michele S  • 

      OMG I totally agree with you – it is my absolute favourite almond milk but I can only ever find it in the US! Where do you buy it?

  • You should try Califa Farms almond milk!