Adopting a vegan lifestyle can seem like a daunting task – I can tell you from experience that taking this transition slow and steady is the easiest way to make a lasting change that will make an unbelievable impact on your health and the environment, AND it will save hundreds (if not thousands) of animals!
If you’re reading this, chances are that you already know the endless benefits of a plant-based diet and a vegan lifestyle. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. So to help ease your transition, I’m rounding up the top 10 vegan essentials that will make swapping out your current faves a breeze!
Swaps for a Vegan Diet
Nomz energy bites are a life saver! I throw these in my gym bag and purse, and also keep a stash at my desk for when I need a quick, healthy snack. With only 3 grams of sugar per energy ball, tons with healthy fats to keep you satiated, and incredibly clean ingredients – these are an absolute staple in my pantry!
Swapping dairy for a plant-based milk is another easy (and delicious) win when transitioning to a plant-based diet. My current obsession is the Milked Oats from Elmhurst which is carrageenan-free, and made with 5 simple ingredients.
Cha’s Organic Jackfruit is a great addition to any vegan (or even vegetarian!) pantry because of its meaty texture. I throw it in a slow cooker with some homemade BBQ sauce and shred it up to make a great “pulled-pork” alternative. Serve it up with some rice, beans, and greens and you have the perfect vegan meal!
Honestly, the toughest part of my transition was giving up milk and white chocolate! Although chocolate isn’t a staple in anyone’s diet, it is important to have delicious, satisfying options for when you can’t ignore a sweet craving! The Ichoc White Nougat Crisp Chocolate Bar is made with organic ingredients and just happens to be the definition of the perfect sweet indulgence—which is why I always have it in my pantry!
“But where do you get your protein!?” This is the #1 question I get as a vegan. Although most balanced plant-based diets provide plenty of protein, there are some days where you’re just too busy to count your macros (carbs, fats, proteins). To ensure I’m getting enough protein, I always add a scoop of Genuine Health Chocolate Vegan Proteins to my morning shake. It’s delicious—the texture isn’t grainy because of the profile of different protein sources. And it’s so convenient to throw in a shaker cup with water on those extra hectic days.
Swaps for a Vegan Lifestyle
Of the dozens of vegan deodorants I’ve tried, Routine is my absolute favourite! I can apply it once in the morning and it lasts all day, from the office all the way through spin class afterwards.
Another easy swap in your daily routine is switching up your toothpaste. Jason is my go-to natural toothpaste because it’s effective, tastes great, and contains natural tea tree oil which is known for its antiseptic properties.
Skincare is a tough category to navigate because of all the amazing vegan products that are available to choose from now (I was not so lucky when I went vegan 5 years ago!)! Finding a good moisturizer is key to my beauty routine, and I’m currently crushing on the Chamomile Rosehip Calming Day Cream by Pai Skincare. It soothes the skin upon contact and reduces redness dramatically.
Switching up your laundry detergent is another simple way to make an impact while transitioning to a vegan lifestyle. My absolute favourite is the Sweet Lavender Lime by Sapadilla. The ingredients are 100% plant-based, biodegradable, and earth friendly—and best of all, it’s made in Canada!
Vitamin B12 is an essential in every vegan medicine cabinet! And Herbaland makes taking supplements so easy with their delicious vegan B12 and D3 gummies. You just need one a day and you are covered—but they’re so delicious, it’s tough to eat just one!
That sums up my top 10 essentials for anyone who is looking to transition to a plant-based diet or vegan lifestyle! I hope this was helpful, and always remember that making a few simple swaps at a time makes a big impact on your health, the environment, and means the world of a difference to the animals!
Let me know in the comments if you have any other must-have vegan swaps that I should try!