Non-Vegan Ingredients To Avoid

ingredients to avoid

Don’t worry about the little stuff.

That’s what I always tell people who are just starting out going vegan.

Focus on the larger areas of your diet and the positive impact you’re making and don’t get too concerned with the minutiae until you’re ready.

This is partly because when you start to look at the ingredients lists of packaged, processed foods, you’re in for a very confusing ride. Long chemical names and similar-sounding ingredients seem almost designed to prevent us from getting a solid understanding of what we’re eating.

But while you may try to make as much food as you can from scratch, you’ll often want and need to buy packaged foods.

I wanted to share with you a few prevalent animal-derived ingredients often hidden in packaged foods. There are plenty more, but these are some common ones. What’s sneaky is that they often show up in foods that you’d have no reason to think weren’t vegan! Furthermore, these items go by a variety of names. Inform yourself as best you can, but know that “mistakes” are somewhat inevitable.

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Healthy Vegan Snacks On the Go

vegan snacks

Believe it or not, I’m a little ‘Type A” about my snacks.

Whether I’m commuting, or just running from one place to another throughout the day, I *always* carry a snack. Usually two. Luckily, if I find myself stuck, there are a fair amount of vegan options available in delis and restaurants in my area. But that doesn’t mean I’ll always make the best choices about what to eat. When I get hungry, I’m likely to locate the nearest eatery with decadent vegan treats and end up overindulging, when all I needed was a little something to keep me going.

To stay on track, I carry snacks, because being prepared means not buying something junky I’ll regret later. So I pretty much never leave the house or get in a car, train or plane without them.

I’d love to tell you that I’m always able to make a batch of flax crackers and a tub of cashew hummus for emergencies. Or that I just whip up fresh trail mix every week. But I’m afraid that often doesn’t happen. My portable snacks tend to be those that require NO steps or preparation. Or that I can pick up when out, and eat reasonably while waiting for a subway.

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Types of Vegan Diets: A Diverse Mix

vegan diets

If you put a group of vegans in a room, do you think they’ll agree on what to have for dinner? If your answer is ‘no,’ then you’re probably right. From a dietary perspective, what vegans have in common is eating foods that come from plants. While … [Continue reading]

Vegan Cooking: 10 Pantry Essentials

vegan cooking

Don’t you just love a nice punch of flavor without a lot of effort? There are times when I simply don’t have the bandwidth to put more than two or three ingredients together for a meal. And when that’s the case, I reach for powerfully-flavored pantry … [Continue reading]

Vegan Las Vegas: Trip Recap

fremont street

This past week we enjoyed a few days in Las Vegas, Nevada, somewhere I’d never managed to visit before. I’m not a gambler, but I was excited to go primarily because I’d heard about how friendly the city of Las Vegas has become to vegans in recent … [Continue reading]

Egg Substitutes in Vegan Cooking

egg substitutes

Eggs can be tricky. It’s simple to find alternatives to a plate of eggs -  a vegetable-packed tofu scramble or a savory chickpea flour omelette comes to mind. But achieving the moist quality of baked goods and other traditionally egg-laden recipes … [Continue reading]

Vegan Cheese Substitutes That Aren’t Cheese

cheese substitutes

Many new vegans find themselves missing cheese, but don’t particularly care for cheese substitutes or don't have easy access to them. I get it. Back in the days before Daiya and Teese, the cheese substitute situation was bleak. I looked at what was … [Continue reading]

What Do Vegans Eat? A Week in the Life

what do vegans eat

Occasionally I like to reflect on what I'm eating by keeping track of my meals for a week. I'm not obsessive about it, but one thing I've found is that when you write down everything you eat, you can clearly see patterns, things you're doing well, … [Continue reading]