Veganizing Family Meals

The biggest question I had when changing my diet was "what in the world was I going to make for dinner that tasted good, was familiar but didn't have any animal products in it?". I knew during the days while the hubby was a work it would be easy, the kids will eat what I make but dinner was another story. We have certain associations with dinner especially comforting dinners and certain dinners on nights when my husband has had a rough day, he doesn't exactly want to come home to a salad. 

In the beginning I was making a ton of different recipes every day of the week and soon realized that this was getting expensive and taking too much time to plan, shop, make and not everything turned out so great. One night my husband mentioned doing the same meals every week. I thought this was a great idea, it would keep the cost down, I could start to perfect recipes and shopping would be much quicker and cheaper as I could stock up on items I was using weekly. So I came up with a simple plan that went like this.

Sundays - New Recipe
Mondays - Soup/Salad
Tuesday - Tacos
Wednesdays - Italian
Thursdays - Asian
Fridays - Burgers and Home Fries (occasional vegan fast food)
Saturdays - Homemade Pizza & Salad (occasional vegan fast food or family gathering)

This might seem boring to some people but it worked for us. These were all pretty much comfort foods for us, were super easy to make and shop for. I highly recommend for any family transitioning or who wants to try it out to figure out how to veganize your favorite meals instead of trying a bunch of new foods, especially if you have a family, it could be too much too fast for them. Maybe just start with one meal a week. With a little research this was easier than I thought. The one thing I make sure to do for most meals is have a big salad before I eat the main dish. Even though the main dish is vegan and helps with weight loss and other health issues just by being plant-based I like to make sure I get a big portion of fresh veggies in with only a little dressing if I'm using a store bought plant-based dressing. This also helps tremendously with digestion which I'm finding is a huge key to weight release.

The best advice I have for beginning this lifestyle is keep it simple and take it slow. It is easy to get overwhelmed with all of the new products and how healthy you want to be. This lifestyle isn't about perfection or purity it is about living a life that is better for your health, animals and the environment. Educate yourself, once you know why you are doing this whether it be health, animals, the environment or all three you will have the motivation to swap out old foods for new foods. Then once you start eating the new foods and start feeling so much better it will get easier and easier. You'll see that this isn't a fad diet or a quick weight loss gimmick but a complete lifestyle upgrade. You will have more energy, you will look at life differently, you will start eating to live not living to eat and you will be set free from the foods that have been keeping you a slave all these years.

Follow my Pinterest boards for great tips and recipes. Pinterest and YouTube have been my best friends through this change. Once I decided that I was going to be open to a plant-based diet the first thing I did was go on YouTube and search "vegan". I just wanted to see what it was all about. There is a plethora of information on there. I will write another post about everything to watch on YouTube and the best people to follow.

YouTube has allowed me to educate myself quicker than reading a book. I'm reading books too, but I like to have quick tips, see how other people are implementing this lifestyle, get encouragement, know there is a large community of people all over the world doing this and I get to see their results.

I will have my recipes soon. I'm a bad blogger, I keep making the recipes and forgetting to take all of the pictures I want before it's too late, soon though, soon.

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