The first thing you’ll want to do after you’ve decided to remove animal products from your diet is to assess your kitchen. Bring a huge garbage bag, and a box to fill with donations for the Food Bank. This is so important. I know in my first 3 weeks of doing this there were plenty of times I could have given up or cheated in my own kitchen, but it really helped that there wasn’t anything to cheat with!
I felt better about getting rid of all that food knowing that I wouldn’t be buying it again. You’re not wasting/spending any money unless you go out and buy it again! And you can bet I wasn’t going to go buy something I just got rid of.
So here’s what you need to remove from your kitchen:
Read the Engine 2 List here
(don’t worry, I show you the alternatives for all of these!)
Anything with white flour, white rice, white pasta
Anything with any kind of oil in it (You won’t ever need oil again! Promise!)
Any and all meat products (lunch meats, eggs, ground beef, chicken, and yes even fish.) Why Fish?
All Milk Products: Butter, Cream cheese, Whipped Cream, Cheese, Sour Cream, Cottage Cheese, and Milk (especially lowfat/skim/fat free!), Ice Cream
Any condiments with High Fructose Corn Syrup, Oils, Eggs, Fish: Mayonaise, Worcestershire Sauce, Dressings
Soda, Kool-Aid, etc.
(You’ll learn to make homemade condiments that are fresh and plant strong!)
This may sound overwhelming, and you might be wondering What the heck am I going to eat then??? You will be so excited to see all the amazing meals you’ll be eating, I promise! Hop over to Engine 2 Recipes to see a few!
While you’re dumping out condiments, save the bottles for your new homemade vegan condiments!
So here’s what you should have left in your house, or you’ll need to stock up on.
Any Beans: Black, Pinto, Lentils, Garbanzo, Red (canned are fine, bagged are better)
100% Whole Grain Brown Rice
100% Whole Wheat Flour
100% Whole Rolled Oats
100% Whole Wheat Tortillas (no hydrogenated oils in ingredient list)
100% Whole Grain Pasta (not wheat durum semolina)
A Variety of Nuts: Walnuts, Almonds, Cashews, Pecans (I bought all these in bulk at Sam’s Club)
Frozen Veggies: Corn, Broccoli, Peas
Frozen Fruit: Berry Mix, Other Mixes
See a list of approved breads, cereals, pastas, and sauces.
Ingredients you might not have heard of that you will need now:
see the Engine 2 Must-Haves.
Tofu (both soft and firm)- Where to find in the store: (by the mushrooms near the salad dressings)
Textured Vegetable Protein – Where to find: Maceys Food Storage Section, Sunflower or Whole Foods
Nutritional Yeast – Where to find: Sunflower or Whole Foods
Chic Peas (also called garbanzo beans)
Lots of Mushrooms (I’ve been paying 1.99 for 8oz packaged, but sometimes better deals in bins)
Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Rice Milk, Soy Milk
Vinegars (you’ll need these for homemade condiments)
Apple Cider Vinegar
Red Wine Vinegar
Lemon juice, lime juice, tamari (by the soy sauce)
Recipe for vegan Worcestershire sauce I made!
Pure Maple Syrup
Agave Nectar (found in baking aisle)
I still use brown sugar and regular sugar (sparingly)
Apple Sauce for baking (get the brand with just apples in it. no sweeteners)
Reynold’s Parchment Paper (you will never need to spray a baking pan again!)
For sauteing in a sauce pan, use Vegetable Broth
Egg Substitute for Baking:
Mashed Bananas work perfectly!
Also try mashed Chic Peas (garbanzo beans)
Stock up on these Fresh Veggies!
Bell Peppers (red, yellow, green)
Leafy Greens (not iceberg lettuce)
Kale (a leafy green)
Sweet Potatoes, called yams (these are a lifesaver!)
Onions, Garlic Cloves
Vine Ripe Tomatoes (they get riper and last longer on the vine)
Cilantro (I used to think this was a spice. It’s in the produce section 😉
Fresh Fruits to have on hand:
Spices You’ll Need on Hand:
Red chili powder
Dried mustard powder
Cracked black pepper
Garam Masala (McCormick brand has it, or Indian Markets have it)
If you’re thinking, Why should I do this?? Here are the awesome results of living plant strong after just 2 weeks!!
Congratulations on taking personal action for your health, the environment, the animals, and the health of your family. Sometimes doing the right thing means getting out of your comfort zone and doing something that is… HARD. In fact, Most of the time that’s what doing the right thing requires. I look forward to making your new lifestyle less daunting and more fun!
Read these great articles to help you get started!
Time-Saving Cooking Tips!
Managing a Weak Will Power and Making Time to Cook
Great Plant-Based Meals You can Eat at Common Restaurants!
Common Questions about Eating Plant-Based
The Documentaries that Got Me Started
Eating Plant-Based at Social Gatherings
The 8 Reasons to Give up Meat