Do you aspire to become a vegan but worry that your picky eating habits will leave you with limited options? The fear of not having enough delicious vegan food is common among those considering this lifestyle change. When you think about the vegan choices on a restaurant menu, it may appear that only a small portion is actually vegan, leading you to believe that vegan food in general lacks variety. However, I can assure you that this is far from the truth. The world of vegan culinary delights is vast and filled with countless mouth-watering options that you probably haven’t even tried yet. A plant-based diet holds great potential for everyone, even those who don’t typically enjoy fruits and vegetables. So, let’s explore how even the pickiest of eaters can wholeheartedly embrace a vegan lifestyle with ease.
Table of Contents
Work out What Kind of Picky Eater You Are
The term “picky eater” can mean different things to different people. Some individuals have a preference for bland foods, while others are sensitive to textures or sauces. There are also those who dislike certain smells or only trust a limited number of dishes. To begin your transition to a vegan diet as a picky eater, it’s crucial to assess your dietary preferences and identify what it is about certain foods that you find unappealing.
Make a List of Foods You Like
Let’s shift our focus to the positive aspect of your eating habits. Grab a pen and paper and start listing all the foods that you genuinely enjoy. You might be surprised to find that the list is longer than you initially thought. Don’t overthink the specifics at this stage – simply jot down any food that you like, even if it’s only in a particular cooking style or presentation.
Distinguish Between Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods
With your list of preferred foods in hand, classify each item as either vegan or non-vegan. Some distinctions will be obvious, such as apples being vegan and tuna not being vegan. However, there may be some foods that fall into a gray area. For example, certain cookie brands offer both vegan and non-vegan varieties, depending on their ingredients. If you’re unsure about the vegan status of a particular food, a quick Google search will provide you with the information you need. Educating yourself about vegan alternatives will prove invaluable on your journey.
Find Vegan Alternatives for Non-Vegan Foods
As a new vegan, Google will become your best friend. In addition to determining which foods are vegan, use Google to discover vegan versions of your favorite dishes. You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that nearly every food you can think of has a vegan alternative. If you’re not a fan of chickpeas but enjoy tuna, why not give “chickpea tuna” a try? It’s essential not to give up after one or two attempts at finding vegan substitutes. The world of plant-based meat alternatives is expanding rapidly, with companies like Beyond Meat, Oomph, and Tofurky continuously improving the taste and texture of vegan products.
Seek Out Recipes Featuring Your Favorite Ingredients
With a comprehensive list of vegan foods you enjoy and their respective alternatives at your disposal, it’s time to search for recipes that incorporate these ingredients. Let Google be your guide as you embark on a culinary adventure, exploring the versatile and exciting world of vegan cooking.
Embrace One New Food Every Day
While browsing recipes, you may come across dishes that contain ingredients you typically dislike. Don’t let that discourage you. Challenge yourself to try one new food every day for a month. If you don’t enjoy it, repeat the recipe, substituting the disliked ingredient with something you do like. Remember, if you truly dislike a certain food or ingredient, that’s perfectly okay. However, it would be wonderful to discover a few more healthy foods that you genuinely love. Grilled corn on the cob or a vibrant rainbow salad might just change your perspective!
Create a Weekly Meal Plan
Once you’ve compiled a selection of enticing recipes, take the time to create a weekly meal plan. By planning your meals in advance, you’ll avoid resorting to French fries and bread or ordering in pizza when you’re pressed for time or lacking inspiration. While it may seem tedious and regimented, having a plan in place will ensure you stay on track and enjoy a diverse range of vegan meals throughout the week. If you need guidance and day-by-day meal suggestions, check out the One Month Vegan Challenge.
Master the Art of Cooking
While it’s technically possible to be a vegan without cooking, it’s not the easiest route to take—nor the healthiest. Unless you happen to live with a vegan chef, relying solely on pre-made vegan meals will prove expensive and, potentially, detrimental to your well-being. Learning to cook a few simple, healthy vegan dishes that you truly enjoy will greatly contribute to your success. As a picky eater, you have the freedom to substitute ingredients you dislike with ones that suit your palate. Microwave meals simply can’t offer that level of customization. Baking can also be a fun hobby to explore as a vegan. For example, if you can’t find vegan chocolate brownies in stores, learn how to make your own.
Supplement with Essential Vitamins
Being vegan doesn’t automatically guarantee a healthy diet. The healthiness of any diet, regardless of whether it’s vegan, vegetarian, or omnivorous, depends on the food choices we make. As a picky eater or someone concerned about consuming a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, it’s advisable to take vegan multivitamins. One essential nutrient that vegans need to supplement is vitamin B12, as it is primarily found in animal products. Taking a daily B12 supplement simplifies meeting your nutritional needs. And remember, taking a multivitamin is advisable for everyone, not just vegans.
Take Each Day as It Comes
In your journey to becoming a vegan, it’s important to take things one day at a time. Whether you’re a picky eater or not, a gradual transition to a vegan lifestyle tends to be the most successful and sustainable approach. If you stumble along the way, don’t beat yourself up over it. Just pick up where you left off. Every step you take toward reducing your consumption of animal products is a step in the right direction. And every time you try a new food, you’re making significant progress toward becoming the best version of yourself.