Whether you’ve been participating in Veganuary, contemplating going vegan, or have been vegan for a while, I wanted to share a couple of my tips on how to make your vegan life easier. People often think going vegan is complicated, but it doesn’t have to be! It’s a process for sure, but there are some things you can do to make your vegan life easier. I’m sharing five tips for what’s made my life easier and I hope they help you on your journey too.
5 Tips to Make your Vegan Life Easier
I’ve been eating a vegan diet for over 15 years now and these are some things I was grateful to learn and practice. I hope they help you in your journey–whether it’s to be fully vegan, to give Veganuary a try, or just introduce some vegan options into your life.
Tip #1: Applesauce as an Egg Replacement
There are a lot of ways to replace eggs in baking out there. From flax seeds to premixed egg-replacers, the options these days are abundant. I’ve tried a number of egg replacements and will always return to the easiest (and best in my opinion) option–applesauce!
1/4 cup of applesauce = 1 egg
It’s as simple as that. In any baking recipe, I just add the applesauce in where the recipe calls for eggs and it bakes up just great! I’ve tried everything from cookies, cakes, muffins, loaves, and even pancakes with applesauce. I would say the applesauce is a bit heavier than an egg, but have always enjoyed the results.
An added bonus, I justify my chocolate chip cookies as being healthy because they contain apples!
Tip #2: Learn the Types of Tofu
Tofu has a pretty bad reputation as being gross and not tasty. I understand because I was a little grossed out by tofu when I started eating it too. What helped me, though, was learning the different types of tofu and finding the one I liked the best.
The main types of tofu in order of firmness are: silken, soft, medium, firm, and extra firm. There is also dessert tofu that has a similar texture to soft tofu but comes flavoured. Read more about the different tofu varieties from The Kitchn’s “A Guide to Tofu Varieties.”
I’m big on texture with food, so can’t quite stomach the soft tofu with a creamier texture in my own cooking. Extra firm tofu is my go-to to the point that I don’t actually buy anything else. Extra firm tofu works great in a stir fry or baked in the oven and has been all that I’ve needed to use.
It is a pretty natural thing to want to eat food that we enjoy, so finding a tofu that you like is a pretty important step. The meat alternatives out there are great and easy to use, but they can be full of sodium or unnatural ingredients, so it’s worth checking out the labels and the options available to you.
Tip #3: Stir your Soy Milk (or Milk Alternative)
I’ve heard so many people complain about how soy milk curdles in coffee to the point where a non-dairy creamer actually used this point in their marketing to sway people to their product. There is actually a super simple way to prevent your non-dairy milk from curdling–stir it as you pour!
It’s as simple as that! If you stir your soy milk as you are pouring it into your coffee (or hot beverage), this prevents the curdling the majority of the time. It is extremely rare that I ever have soy milk curdle using this method.
Tip #4: Find your Why
Knowing why I was making the choice to go vegan helped me stick to my choice. Having a conviction made my vegan life easier because it meant I had a reason and motivation to fall back on that was stronger than my willpower.
Whether you are going vegan to get healthier or because of compassion for animals or to help the environment, having that “why” behind your decision to go vegan can help keep you motivated as you change your eating habits.
My “why” had to do with compassion for animals when I first became vegan. Within a couple years, I also found out how my food choices were helping the environment and that helped keep me going too. Cheese was the hardest food for me to stop eating because, 15 years ago, there weren’t as many alternatives for me to choose from. Whenever I would think about giving into my cheese cravings, though, I would think about my reasons for not eating it and would maintain my resolve. The why behind my choice really did make being vegan easier.
Tip #5: Make Choices to Fit your Life
Progress over perfection and making choices that fit your life are two things that will definitely make your vegan life easier. If you are 50% vegan, vegan-ish, or 99.9% of the way there, there is no perfect vegan life. The best thing is to find what works for your life and your convictions.
My suggestion is to not stress over things you choose to keep eating and not cut out. For me, one big one was my grandma’s baking. I made this choice not only because she makes delicious things, but also because I wanted to maintain a connection with her. When she makes Pulla for me, it is truly special and something both of us love.
Another choice I made was to eat butter when I was visiting someone’s house for a meal if that was all they had to offer. For me, this was a way to not alienate myself from the hosts and to be an accommodating guest. Over the years I’ve become too sensitive to dairy to be able to continue this, but when I did, I felt it helped my hosts be more open to learning about my food choices. Back then veganism was not as widely accepted and was often viewed as a controversial and confrontational thing.
Choices like these made my vegan life easier and more flexible. Some people may judge me for these compromises, but that doesn’t bother me at all. Since I knew that I was making a huge difference with how much meat and dairy I cut out of my life, I felt good about the compromises I made.
I believe those choices helped me maintain my vegan lifestyle for as long as I have and the longevity and sustainability of the lifestyle is more important to me than the perfection of it.
How do you make your vegan life easier?
Do you have tips or secrets that make living a vegan life easier? We’d love to hear them in the comments!