3 Easy Vegan Swaps for Foods You Love

It’s no secret that a vegan diet can do wonders for your health, the environment, and the animals. However, instead of jumping on the bandwagon without any prior research or understanding how to thrive on the diet, a great way to become more health-conscious is to slowly incorporate more vegan foods into your routine and, with time, hopefully transition completely. Even if you’re not interested in a vegan diet, these tips can still help to boost your energy and decrease your carbon footprint.

1. Choose veggie “meats” instead of animal protein
Vegans are the brunt of protein-deficient jokes, but the demand for cleaner protein sources has created many delicious meatless options that have comparable amounts of protein to animal sources. There are also additional benefits such as extra doses of fiber and other nutrients. Nowadays, you can walk down almost any frozen food aisle and find meatless meals. From burgers to meatballs and chicken strips, if you can think of any meat dish, a vegan substitute already exists.

2. Try plant-based cheeses
Vegan cheese has earned a bad reputation for smelling funky, not melting, and tasting awful, but drastic improvements have been made over the past few years. Brands like Daiya can be found in stores nationwide. They even have boxed macaroni and cheese! If you’re ambitious, you can even try making your own homemade cheese, some highly-reviewed online recipes made with as little as 3 ingredients.

3. Drink plant-based milks instead of animal milks
Most of us enjoy a splash of milk in our morning coffee or tea, a big bowl of milk to soak our cereal, and a tall glass to wash down a rich dessert. However, there are tons of plant-based milks out there that can suit any dietary needs or taste preferences such as oat, nut, soy, and coconut milks to name a few. Lots of brands even come fortified with more nutrients than animal milk. For weight loss, almond milk boasts 40 calories per cup compared to the 150 calories found in whole cow milk. For a richer taste, soy milk still clocks in at nearly half the amount of calories as cow milk at 80 calories per cup.

Some people are able to transition to veganism overnight after watching documentaries, but for others, it’s not so simple. Living a healthier lifestyle is not a sprint, but a lifelong marathon. Try making these 3 simple swaps in your diet and you may not even notice a difference- except for in your waistline and energy levels.