As one of the only vegans I know, most people have a lot of questions when they find out that I don’t eat meat, dairy, or eggs. The questions I hear are completely understandable; the way I eat is different from most people are used to. So, I thought it would be fun to share the questions I hear most often and my answers. I hope this helps any of you who may not be as familiar with plant-based diets and may be curious about a few things. I’m not an expert, but my answers are based on what I’ve learned over the past few months.
Hint: Make sure you read through to the end, so you don’t miss the giveaway announcement! Here’s a hint:
What’s the difference between vegan and vegetarian?
As a general rule, a vegetarian does not eat any meat (including: beef, fish, pork, and poultry). There are variations of vegetarians that do eat fish (pescatarian). Vegetarians do eat eggs and dairy products.
A vegan does not eat any meat or eggs or dairy. Many vegans also extend this avoidance of animal products to include any products derived from animals or animal byproducts.
What do you eat for protein?
This is usually the first question people ask me when they find out I’m eating a plant-based diet. It’s not nearly as hard as you think, in fact I don’t even track my protein intake anymore. For someone my size, I’ve read anywhere from 45-55 grams of protein are needed per day (although this is still probably higher than I really need). Here’s last Wednesday’s menu:
- Carrot Cake Oatmeal topped with Soy Yogurt & Vanilla (based on this recipe) – 10g Protein
- Small salad with tomato, avocado, mushroom, few walnuts & goddess dressing – 3.7g Protein
- Italian Frittata – 7g protein
- 1 slice Primal Strips Jerky – Hickory Smoked – 10g Protein
- Spinach Salad (large) with avocado, tomato, rice, black beans, pico, & balsamic dressing – 27g Protein
Total for the Day – 57.7
My favorite protein sources that you may not think about are: garbanzo beans, lentils, quinoa, almond butter, broccoli, and seitan (31g protein for 3 ounces!).
How do you make cookies (or cupcakes, or any other baked goods) vegan?
This is a much easier answer than you think! We have non-dairy milk (I prefer almond milk), non-dairy “butter” (Earth Balance is awesome!), and several options for vegan substitutes for eggs (VegWeb has a vegan egg substitute). I made an awesome batch of chocolate chip cookies last week that used banana! Any chocolate that doesn’t add dairy, whey, or casein is vegan-friendly – which is typically the better chocolate. :)
Do you make Kirk (husband) eat vegan too? What does he think about that?
I don’t make Kirk eat anything he doesn’t want. In his own words, “when it stops tasting good, I’ll make something else.” Although Kirk has cut back, he is not eating 100% vegan. When we eat at home (which is most of the time), I typically cook (I LOVE to cook!) and so our meals are vegan. When we eat out, it depends. We have both really enjoyed trying new foods and I have heard him explaining how good the different kinds of vegan cheeses we have made are (like Nacho Cheese & Alfredo).
What food do you miss?
I rarely think about missing food – there are just so many yummy options that I have found. Instead of steak, I love the flavor of Portobello steaks. Instead of cheese, I think about my favorite Mac & Cheese. Sushi? I had a fabulous (and huge!) veggie roll at our favorite sushi restaurant on Friday night. So far, I don’t feel like I’m missing anything as long as there are so many delicious choices.
The only time I do feel like I’m missing something is when we go to a restaurant that doesn’t have any vegan-friendly options (which is rare) or no good choices. This has only happened a few times and I think it could have been avoided if I called ahead. I’m still learning the right balance here, but most places are really open to helping you when you explain what you need!
Did I answer your questions or do you have any more for me? Ask away!
—— GIVEAWAY TIME!! ——
Can you believe we are kicking off Week 3 of VeganMoFo already?! That means I’ve already shared EIGHT recipes created by Allison Rivers Samson and originally published in her VegNews Magazine column, “VeganizeIt!”.
If you’ve enjoyed the recipes, I know you’ll also enjoy a subscription to VegNews Magazine. That way you can get Allison’s new VeganizeIt! recipes hot off the presses! The good people at VegNews have offered one reader of this blog the opportunity to win a free subscription – either paper or electronic (your choice!).
To enter: Visit Allison’s Gourmet and leave a comment on this post with the recipe you’d like to make. Want even more chances to win? Do any or all of the following and leave me a comment for each one that you do:
- Tweet the following message: I want to enjoy VeganizeIt! all year and win a subscription to @VegNews via @betterwithveg and @AllisonsGourmet! http://wp.me/p1SLlP-en #vegan #giveaway
- Follow @betterwithveg on Twitter
- Follow @AllisonsGourmet on Twitter
- Like Allisons Gourmet on Facebook
- Follow @VegNews
Entries accepted through Friday (10/21/11) at 12PM EST. The winner will be announced on Monday (10/24/11). Good luck!!