Happy Monday friends. It feels so good to be back home after traveling for over a week. I’m really excited for today’s post because it’s about a topic that a lot of us have been discussing on Instagram Stories and through direct message over the past few weeks (and because I am doing a massive giveaway at the bottom of this post). As many of you probably know I am trying to incorporate more plant based meals into our diet. Since I am useless in this area, I sat down with my friend Krista Goddard, a vegan chef based in Newport, to chat about going vegan and her tips for eating a plant based diet. She also showed me how to cook some awesome vegan recipes and trust me when I say they are SO good (stay tuned for those recipes next week).
**About that giveaway, I teamed up with a few of my favorite bloggers from coast-to-coast to give our readers a chance to win $1000 for a fall shopping spree. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the post to enter.
J: What prompted you to go vegan?
K: I read the book Skinny Bitch. I didn’t know a lot about veganism but I basically decided once I read the book to go vegan. I had an easier time than I think a lot of people do because I already ate pretty healthy. I went cold turkey.
J: What was the biggest challenge for you going vegan?
K: I had to learn how to cook all over again, but I also discovered I love to cook in the process. I knew it was important to be creative so I didn’t get bored with the food I was making. I started out making the vegan version of meals I would normally eat. Vegan lasagna or a stir fry just substituting tempeh instead of chicken.
J: What does it mean to be vegan?
K: Vegan means absolutely no animal products. No eggs, no dairy, no fish, no meat. Most vegans don’t even eat honey. I’m a little bit more lenient. You have to make it work for you.
J: What are your tips for someone that wants to try going vegan?
K: Vegan products have become a lot more accessible so you can find substitutes for everything. It’s all about the mindset, you can make anything vegan. After a while you just don’t miss what you thought you would.
J: What’s your favorite vegan dish?
K: I love making different vegan pasta dishes and casseroles. Big dishes with grains, veggies and a good sauce.
J: What does your business Vega Table specialize in?
K: I do meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking (and clean up) in your home. For example if someone is having an intimate dinner party or a family dinner I can go in and cook the meal. I also specialize in weekly meal prep, so you can go into your fridge and grab breakfast or lunch and it’s ready to go.
J: Any other tips or things to consider when going vegan?
K: Always read labels, you wouldn’t believe how many things have dairy and eggs in them where you wouldn’t expect.
J: Do you have any favorite apps?
K: Is it vegan is a good one. You can scan a product and it will tell you if its vegan. Healthy living helps determine toxicity of products (food, household, beauty), Happy Cow shows you vegan restaurants nearby.
J: What about books/cookbooks?
K: Skinny Bitch, How Not to Die, Oh She Glows
J: What’s your grocery shopping strategy and the key staples to keep in your pantry and fridge if you’re going vegan or trying to eat plant based?
K: I always plan out my meals ahead of time so I know what I need before I go the grocery store. It takes a little while (and some investment) in the beginning to build up your cabinets with spices and other essentials but they last a long time.
Coconut oil & EVOO
Quinoa & Brown rice
Flax & Chia seeds (protein shakes, salad toppings, egg substitute)
Hemp seed (toppings, extra added protein)
A variety of beans (black, garbanzo, pinto)
Canned tomatoes (for sauces)
Peanut butter and almond butter
Tahini (great for sauces)
Cashews (unroasted, unsalted for versatility)
Apple cider vinegar
Tamari (gluten free soy sauce, asian dishes and sauces)
Lemons (great for sauces and dressings)
Better than bouillon (vegetable base- great for stocks)
Spinach & Kale
Broccoli, Carrots, Onions
Frozen corn and peas
Almond milk & hemp milk
Electric can opener (not a necessity but incredibly helpful in the kitchen)
A few cutting boards of varying size
Such a helpful post for anyone thinking of going vegan or plant based. I went vegan about a year and a half ago and absolutely loved resources like this 🙂
Wow good for you Emily! Having just started to go plant based I have a whole new respect for vegans. It is a commitment but so worthwhile. So fun discovering a whole new way of eating clean.
This is so helpful and I learned so much about being a vegan!
Yay! I am so glad you found it helpful. I’m really looking forward to sharing some of the recipes. xx
Yay for plant-based meals! I’m not quite vegan yet (been vegetarian for many years) but I eat vegan a lot of the time. Thank you for sharing resources-can’t wait for the recipes!
That’s a great start! I am mostly vegetarian at this point but it’s fun to try out vegan meals too. I can’t wait to share the recipes, they are so yummy!
All of these are so wonderful and helpful for me to start my plant based living!
Wow I love all the tips and I love the glance at the pantry will helps so much in the transition to eat plant based!
This is such a helpful post! I’m not vegan myself, but have been trying to eat a lot healthier so I’m having some vegan dishes throughout the week. I am saving that list of the items kept in the kitchen!
Kendal // Life With Kendal
This is such a great read, thank you. I’m not vegan or vegetarian but am conscious about what I put in my body. I cook vegetarian meals and vegan meals all the time and really enjoy them. I need to add some of fridge items to my list next I hit Trader Joes. Thank you for sharing.
What a helpful post! I can’t go vegan (love meat and cheese so much) but try to eat as clean as possible.
Anddd so excited to team up with you on this giveaway! xoxo
I’ve always been more of a veggie person, but I had to change my diet drastically about four years ago when I contracted Lyme’s disease. I’m not officially vegan, but I use plenty of vegan recipes (especially desserts) because they work with all my restrictions (plus they taste great). Excited to see the recipes you have planned!
Oh I am so sorry to hear that Mary, I know a few people who have suffered from Lyme and it’s just awful. I hope you were able to catch it early and you are feeling healthy now. Vegan desserts are a good idea, I think I need to try cooking some of those!
Looking forward to the recipes.
This is great! I went vegan at the beginning of 2017 after being a vegetarian for 14 years beforehand. Tips like these were so helpful!
Allie | http://www.lunavidablog.com
Such a great post! I’m a vegetarian and try to eat vegan as much as possible! I will eat wild caught salmon and organic eggs. I believe that plant based eating is the healthiest possible way to nourish our bodies. What started me on it was reading Crazy Sexy Diet. If you haven’t already read it, I highly recommend it.
Thanks for sharing Gina I am definitely going to check that book out!
I’ve always been interesting in eating vegan so this is super interesting and helpful! Thank you for sharing, Jessica & Krista!
So glad it was helpful Victoria. It’s a whole new way of cooking and eating but it’s so fun to try new things.
I have no intention of going vegan but do eat whole foods and I appreciate this post for those who are contemplating this lifestyle.
Thank you for your clothing reviews. The jeans haul with shoes was very helpful. I have purchased several things and am happy with all.
So great to hear you liked the haul Sara! Definitely going to do another one this fall. I am with you on the vegan thing, I don’t think I will necessarily go vegan but I enjoy incorporating some recipes into my weekly meals.