Curious About Going Vegan? Here Are 6 Simple Ways to Tweak Your Diet Now
There’s more to going vegan than stocking up on tofu.
Whether you’re looking to develop healthier habits or you just want to try a totally animal-free diet, going to the green side is a lot simpler than you think. With so many mouthwatering options available at your local supermarket, it’s now easier than ever to slowly make the switch — and keep at it.
Best of all? It is possible to revamp your fridge and create tantalizing vegan dishes that won’t make you crave dairy, eggs or meat.
READ: 5 Foods That Only SEEM Vegetarian
Skeptical? For ideas, we sought the help of Nicole Marquis — the restaurateur behind the rapidly expanding vegan fast-casual concept known as Hip City Veg. She's committed to making yummy vegan dishes and dishes that anyone can happily savor, and she’s pretty good at it too. The New York Times even credits the 32-year-old with being an influential part of Philadelphia’s growing vegan scene. Furthermore, she also has plans to open 40 new locations across the country.
READ: 10 No-Beef Burgers Recipes to Grill
Exclusively for FOX News Magazine, Marquis is sharing her six simple tips for folks who want to go vegan — and never go back:
Drink Your Greens
Dark leafy greens are packed with micronutrients and phytochemicals that will make you glow! To make a quick green smoothie, I always keep my frozen berries and frozen bananas stocked so that I can quickly throw them in the blender with any leafy greens that I may have in my fridge. Dinosaur kale is my favorite right now. Spinach, romaine, parsley or swiss chard can take your green smoothie off the charts.
Keep It Stocked
When I'm hungry, nothing else matters. I go from hungry to hangry in a second. To combat those reckless cravings, keep snacks stocked in your fridge or at the work pantry, like baby carrots, veggie chips, nuts, granola or crackers. Always have something you can grab on the go.
Have you ever watched gorillas on a nature show? What are they doing? They are grazing! One of the strongest animals in the world spends most of their time chomping on green leaves! When you're vegan you don't eat as much fat in general, so you get hungry quicker. Make sure you're well prepared with some yummy treats!
Bowl It Up
Some of the best meals I've eaten have been the simplest. I love to make a bowl of my favorite veggies and grains — you can dress it up, and it'll fill you up. Try this mouthwatering and oh-so-filling combo for dinner tonight: brown rice, avocado, sliced tomato and black beans. Dress it up with a little salt, hot sauce and fresh lime!
Got a Sweet Tooth? Whip Up Bananas
Ever have ripe bananas that you don't eat and they go to waste? Don't fret — peel them and freeze them. Take your frozen bananas and put them in a blender or through a juicer, and they will come out like soft serve. Pick your favorite toppings, and voila! You've got yourself the healthiest vegan ice-cream in the world. Great for digestion and loaded with potassium and fiber!
Shake Things Up in the Pantry
Make a few easy switches for plant-based options in your pantry and you'll be amazed how easy cooking your faves can still be. Start small: butter to Organic Earth Balance, mayo to Organic Veganaise, bacon to Fakin' Bacon Smoked Tempeh, and cow's milk to almond, soy, or even rice.
Go for the Rainbow
The best foods for your skin and body are the foods with the most vibrant colors. When in doubt, go for color, like purple, reds, greens and yellows! Purple fruits and veggies are packed with antioxidants which neutralize agents of aging and keep your skin looking bright and healthy. Processed foods are white and brown and lack the micronutrients that help to keep you looking young. Remember to take your daily dose of color!
Courtesy of Nicole Marquis