Chances are babe, that you have definitely heard rumblings about veganism. Or, you might know someone who chooses to “eat vegan” or who avoids meat and dairy as much as they can. And while this way of life shouldn’t be confused with being vegetarian, we can confirm that it does include enjoying a predominantly plant-based diet. Food choices aside though, we wondered what else being a vegan means and what “veganism” is more broadly. Beyond diet, it also touches on various other things like the clothing you wear, the things you buy, and even the beauty products you choose to use on that cute face. And after all that we learned, you already know we had to share it with you in this Beginner’s Guide to Veganism.
What exactly is veganism?
According to the Vegan Society, veganism can be defined as “a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals."
However, there are different ways to practice being vegan that can differ somewhat from the definition above, and we will cover a few of them in this Beginner's Guide to Veganism. That being said, what all vegans do have in common is that they follow plant-based diets and avoid all animal foods. That means no meat, dairy, eggs or even honey in some cases.
What are these different “versions” of veganism people talk about?
“I’m vegan-ish, I don’t eat meat or dairy, but I must have honey in my tea”. Have you ever heard similar statements? Babe, we sure have! There are tons of babes out there who make their own rules when it comes to their plant-based diets, and that is totally alright. On a larger scale, there are other well-known eating plans in the dietary world that also embrace the principles of veganism.
For example, the Whole30 diet prioritizes cutting out foods that are high in carbs, sugar, and that are highly processed. Instead, during those 30 days, clean eating is the goal (think fruits, veggies, and healthy fats). Although this diet does allow for meat and poultry, some people take the Whole30 approach when it comes to eating vegan. This is simply done by (you guessed it) cutting out animal products during the diet as well.
You may have also heard about the raw food diet. And honestly babe, it’s exactly what it sounds like. It involves consuming mainly unprocessed foods that are preferably organic and plant-based (again, think fruits, veggies, nuts, and fermented food like kimchi). The reason this way of eating became so popular is important. It is because by consuming whole foods in their raw state, you are reaping the most Vitamins and minerals they have to offer. Additionally, if you are looking to make the shift towards veganism, the raw food diet can be an easy and nutritious way to do so.
Vegan recipes & cookbooks that will give you some plant-based inspo…
At this point in our Beginner’s Guide to Veganism, we’re getting a little hungry, girlfriend. And if you think vegan recipes have to be dull and tasteless, we’re here to change your mind about that. There are *tons* of plant-based recipes out there that are seriously easy to incorporate into your everyday meal plans and that are seriously delicious.
We love us a smoothie bowl…
Loaded with superfruits your body will love and grains that will keep you full and satisfied throughout those afternoon meetings, smoothie bowls are u-n-r-e-a-l, babe. Not to mention, can be totally vegan.
Making these is super easy, and you can switch the ingredients up as much as you’d like. Nothing is worse than getting bored of your food, and this dish is certainly versatile. Whether you opt for an acai berry base or other fruit of your choice, all you need to do is blend away with a non-dairy mix (we love using almond milk or cashew milk). After that, top your bowl with more fruits and some protein-packed nuts or seeds (or both!). Chia seeds, hemp hearts, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, oh my!
… And a quinoa bowl!
And if you have more of a salty tooth, a vegan quinoa bowl will be right up your alley! Just like the smoothie bowl above, this recipe can be tweaked and altered to your liking. What’s more, you can switch it up by using different spices and toppings each time you make it. For this one, your base will of course be quinoa. You can add anything like veggies (roasted is our fave!) nuts and kale for some added nutrition. I mean, how delicious and colorful does this look?
Vegan cookbooks you'll love perusing...
Get your daily dose of vegan inspo on TikTok!
Sometimes, you just need a Beginner's Guide to Veganism and a few quick snippets to inspire you to make that shift!
Vegan side dishes that are making us salivate, for real.
The vegan pasta dreams are made of (alright, we’re *really* hungry now).
Check out this roasted cauliflower, vegan style.
Want to try practicing veganism? Here are a few tips for beginners.
First off, please know that you don’t have to become a full-fledged strict vegan overnight, babe. Incorporating principles of veganism into your diet and lifestyle can be done gradually. Plus, you are more likely to actually enjoy this shift if you let it happen gently. I mean, we think that’s a prime principle for all things in life – truly. Below are a few tips and tricks for the babe that is new to veganism.
- Stock your fridge and pantry with fruits, veggies, and plant-based sources of protein. This simply makes it easier for you to make vegan choices when it comes to preparing your meals, or when you’re looking for that mid-afternoon snack.
- Create a vegan meal-prep plan to set yourself up for success. If you’re a busy babe, meal-prepping can be a lifesaver in general (you know, allowing you to avoid ordering takeout for the 4th night in a row). But if you’re on a journey towards veganism, this trick can be even more helpful. Prepping a few go-to vegan recipes and having them available makes eating healthy that much easier.
- Don’t forget your Vitamins. Anytime that you are changing your diet, there is a chance that you are perhaps missing out on key nutrients that your body needs. Even though a plant-based diet is high in *so* many essential Vitamins and minerals, you still need to ensure that your body is getting all of the nutrition it needs. And although everyone is different, many vegan babes choose to take Vitamin B12 to keep their energy levels healthy. Of course, always talk to your doc when it comes to determining what supplements are right for you.
And remember, babe...
Think about why you chose to make this shift. Whether you wanted to become a vegan for health purposes or to help the environment around you, remind yourself why this change in habits is important to you. Especially in the beginning when making the shift to veganism is more difficult, this tip can ground you and help you make better choices.
And of course, we *love* vegan-inspired skincare.
Babe, you had to know that we were going to fill you in on the skincare products we are currently living for in this Beginner's Guide to Veganism. These gems below are vegan-inspired, and totally deserve a spot in your bathroom cabinet.
Peppermint Tea Tree Body Wash. It goes without saying that this guy is an everyday essential, babe. And if you’re looking to implement cleaner & healthier habits, you can start with none other than your body wash. No sulfates, no parabens, and no dyes or artificial fragrances. Just an effective, refreshing clean to keep you feeling fresh all day long.
Aloe Vera Gel. As a rule of thumb, this is one organic plant product you want to have on hand at all times. Aloe vera gel is so versatile and can be used for a variety of beauty conundrums. From treating irritated skin to hydrating dry hair – this is one vegan-inspired product you’ll reach for time and time again.
Eye Cream. Enhanced with none other than coffee bean extract, this brightening eye cream will step your skincare routine way up. This gem is also infused with essential oils like jasmine that are naturally good for your skin and gentle enough for that precious eye area. One quick application will have you hooked, babe!
Serums that compliment any vegan babe's skincare routine...
Hyaluronic Acid Serum. This hydrating serum is nothing short of a skincare game-changer. It leaves skin plump and smooth, with no lingering fragrances or nasty ingredients that would make a vegan cringe. We recommend applying this bad boy to a cleansed face and following up with your moisturizer of choice.
Bakuchiol Toner and Serum. This natural Retinol alternative is taking the beauty world by storm. Sensitive babes (or anyone who prefers to use more natural ingredients) can benefit from this skincare hero. From fighting wrinkles to tightening pores, this dynamic duo is perfect for helping you achieve firmer, plump-looking skin while using some of nature's best ingredients!
Don't forget the vegan-approved self tanner...
Self Tanning Water Bronzing Face Mist. This self tanner is like no other and is definitely vegan-approved. Formulated with a water base, zero dyes, and moisturizing hyaluronic acid, this lightweight mist does more than get you bronze. You’ll reap all of the benefits of a glowing tan and hydrated skin, sans harsh chemicals or icky (a.k.a. smelly) side effects.
Loving all of this plant-based goodness?
So are we, girlfriend! And we hope that you enjoyed this Beginner's Guide to Veganism. The truth is, that there is so much more information out there on eating vegan and living a vegan lifestyle more broadly. We always encourage you to do your own research, and to never stop learning and growing. Oh and of course, to always check with your doctor or medical guru of choice to ensure any shift in diet or lifestyle is right for you.
Serums & Smoothie bowls,