Being Vegan

Veganism is not a “sacrifice”. It is a joy!

written byMatt Davies Co-Founder, Mossy Earth

Matt Davies

At times, Being Vegan can be a little tricky. It varies from place to place with big cities generally offering more convenient shops, restaurants and supermarkets than other places. Nevertheless, I’ve lived in many countries where there is no vegan restaurant to be found and managed to enjoy it regardless. It’s all about the prep!

It's all about the prep

Leaving it to chance when you’re out and about, that you’ll stumble across a vegan friendly restaurant or supermarket with hummus, will leave you hungry, angry or both …hangry!

Prep a packed lunch and selection of snacks the night before or in the morning before leaving the house. – I even have emergency snacks such as bags of mixed nuts or energy bars hidden in my rucksacks, sports bags and in the glove box of my car. If you’re someone short of time, make up a big batch of vegan food on the weekend and freeze it in small Tupperware boxes for each day of the week.

Being vegan is about being prepared. Here is vegan packed lunch box of curried chick peas, brown rice and avocado.
A pre-prepared packed lunch box of curried chick peas, brown rice and avocado.

Veganizing your favourites

If I got a falafel for each time I was asked; what do you miss most about being vegan? I’d have the yellow complexion of a chickpea. And if you must know it’s pain au chocolats with a big milky hot chocolate to dunk them in.

Fortunately, even sophisticated French pastries can be veganized. In fact, when my Portuguese better half made the leap of faith, she was not prepared to graze on rabbit food while missing out on her favorite Portuguese dishes. – From feijoada and arroz de marisco to pastel de natas and bolo de bolacha, they can all be veganized. There are some wonderful blogs recreating old favorites as well as dishes new.

These are a few of our favorites: Minimalist Baker, Vegan Yack Attack.

Being vegan doesn't mean you have to miss out on those naughty treats. Here is a selection of French pastries including croissants and pain aux raisin.
A selection of veganized French pastries including croissants and pain aux raisin.

A typical day

If you’re overwhelmed by the idea of a meatless or dairy less dish that won’t fill you up, then look no further. Here are some easy, delicious, wholesome and nutritious ideas that I have on a typical day.

Breakfast: Freshly squeezed orange, Toast with a nut butter (almond, peanut or sesame), oat or millet porridge with chopped apple and cinnamon.

Lunch: Starter: Miso soup. Main: Azuki beans & pumpkin, steamed broccoli and brown rice.

Dinner: Green Pea & Quinoa Fusilli with watercress & Coconut Pesto, Fresh peas and Spinach.

Snacks: Homemade flapjacks, bliss balls or brown rice/nori balls.

A delicious vegan breakfast comprising of porridge topped with fresh berries, waffles with honey and fresh ground coffee
A scrumptious vegan breakfast

Getting the balance checklist

Is it colourful? There should be at least 4 to 5 different colours in every dish.

Is there a legume? To get high quality proteins you need to combine a legume with a wholegrain each meal time.

Have you got your leafy greens? Essential for calcium, magnesium, potassium, fibre and chlorophyll.

What’s your wholegrain? Not only the legume’s partner for protein, but wholegrains are filling, packed with energy and full of nutritional goodness.

Check the chart! I have a colourful food/nutrition chart above my oven as a quick reference point when preparing a meal. It is available at the Vegan Society for just £4.99.

Should you have any doubts about levels of protein or energy levels associated with a vegan diet, head over to our Going Vegan guide to learn more.

A colourful and healthy vegan salad
A colourful, nutririent rich, Mediterranean salad.

Eating Out

If you’re going out for food with fellow herbivores, this is generally easy, either scan through HappyCow for a vegan friendly eatery or one of the herd will have a good recommendation.

The real hurdle comes when one is invited to a non-vegan/veggie restaurant for a special occasion such as a friend’s birthday. Of course, you don’t want to miss out on the social occasion, but nor do you wish to go hungry. I often eat a light dish at home before heading out, and then go to the restaurant with an open mind and no expectations. Usually, the chef can throw something together, such as a chick pea salad.

Looking in through a restaurant window at night. Being vegan means you don't have to miss out on eating out. Fortunately, vegan restaurants and cafes are popping up all over.
Being vegan means you don't have to miss out on eating out.

I can’t think of anything better in the world to be but a vegan.

Alicia Silverstone

Safety Hand

Use your diet to reduce your footprint

Use your diet to reduce your footprint
Try veganism or vegetarianism
Eat locally and seasonally
Minimise food waste
Grow your own
Eat organically
If veganism is a step too far, try pescetarianism or reduce red meat

Sources & further reading

Peer Reviewed Research Section
  1. Vegan Recipes for Beginners - Vegan Yack AttackExternal link
  2. Simple plant based recipes - Minimalist BakerExternal link
  3. How to go vegan - The Vegan SocietyExternal link
  4. Evaluating the environmental impact of various dietary patterns combined with different food production systems - nature.comExternal linkIcon Peer Review
  5. Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers - sciencemag.orgExternal linkIcon Peer Review
  6. Cowspiracy: The Sustainable Secret - Cowspiracy.comExternal link

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