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These 5 tips Will Help You Go Vegan with A Family

We started our vegan journey as a family back in 2010.

Before 2010, I was the queen of Hamburger Helper, those frozen Voila bagged dinners and hitting up a drive-thru on the way home from work.

I used to think eating healthier would require too much time and I honestly wasn’t in the mood to hear complaints from my family.

I'll be the first to admit going vegan as a family wasn't easy for us.

My kids weren't interested at all, and even though my husband was supportive (with me doing it alone lol), he still wanted me to cook meat and potatoes.

Being consistent and patient made all of the difference in the world for us!

Instead of making my family feel like they "had" to be vegan, I focused on making a vegan version of their favorite dishes and asked them to help me grocery shop and cook. :-)

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Here are some tips to go vegan with your fam....

*Replace ingredients - This is very important! Instead of feeling like you can't eat certain foods anymore, replace them with vegan alternatives.

For instance, instead of dairy milk, use almond, cashew or soy milk. And instead of pork or beef sausage, you can use a vegan sausage like Field Roast (made out of wheat and vegetables).

*Start with breakfast and snacks - If you prefer to take a baby step approach, breakfast and snacks are perfect because there isn't as much of a difference in what you're eating.

For breakfast: You can still eat toast (just check to make sure there are no eggs). Instead of dairy butter, you can use Earth Balance vegan margarine, jelly/jam, smashed avocado, etc. smoothies, grits, oatmeal, and tofu scramble, or JUST Egg instead of chicken eggs.

*Get clear on your "why" and have a candid conversation with your family about it. Is it for health? Is it for the animals or the environment? Be specific and loving. :-)

*Find your community. The Internet makes it sooo easy for us to connect with people from all over the world. Find and get inspired by like-minded people on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

*Watch documentaries and read vegan books - They will motivate you to get started and keep going. I like Sistah VeganDiet for A New America, and What the Health?

*Put as much of the lifestyle on autopilot as possible - The less thinking you have to do the better. Establish easy go-to vegan meals such as spaghetti & tacos.

*Don't beat yourself up - It takes time to get comfortable with a vegan lifestyle....especially with a family. Be patient and keep playing in the kitchen. :-)

Please please please be gentle with yourself as you move forward in your vegan journey.
Do you see all this Keith Sweat begging I'm doing right now? Seriously!

This is a process, so don't give up if it doesn't feel comfortable or when you don't feel like you're "doing it right"
There's a lot to learn (and unlearn), so don't expect everything to be perfect.
Progression over perfection...always.

MY CHALLENGE TO YOU:
I want to encourage you to start meal planning today.
Even if you're only adding ONE vegan meal to your meal plan this week, I promise taking this first step counts!
You don't have to be a gourmet chef every night.
Keep your meals simple, so that you can gain the confidence to move forward.

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Need more tips and easy family-friendly recipes?

Take the 10-day vegan family challenge and get the support you need to start vegan life with your fam!

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You will receive:

  • Daily recipes for breakfast, lunch & dinner

  • Shopping list

  • Snack List

  • 60-page ebook with vegan family strategies

This 10-day challenge is designed for families who want to go vegan together with real-world tips and practical recipes.

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Q&A: What Should I Do If My Child Doesn't Like Vegetables?

Q: It seems like you are the only vegan African-American woman on YouTube with older children that can relate to me. I am new to eating a plant-based diet and I want to transition my two children whom is 9 and 8 years old. I'm having a hard time with my youngest because he only like corn, carrots, green beans, peas and lettuce. Any advice?

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A: I can relate! My son Elijah didn't like any vegetables when we started this lifestyle.

Here are some tips....

*Continue to put vegetables on his plate (even if it's just a tablespoon) because exposure is so important.

*Just say no to bland and mushy veggies! Be sure to season your vegetables and don't overcook them - A little salt, pepper and garlic powder goes a long way -- Roasted, lightly steamed and sautéed vegetables are much more appealing.

*Let your son explore the produce department with you once a month. Encourage him to pick out something to try, then go home and cook it together. It's hard for most kids to turn down food they cooked.

*Add about a cup of greens to smoothies (spinach is a good start because you can't taste it) This is a delicious and sneaky way for him to get more greens.

*Have fun, be gentle with him and I promise it will get better.

The fact that your son likes green beans and peas is amazing! Most people don't even like those vegetables. lol

I hope this question helped you with your own family. I promise it will get better with consistency.

My son Elijah eats a lot more vegetables these days and is really open-minded about food overall. :-)

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Quinoa Salad Recipe with Black Beans, Corn & Avocado

This vegan quinoa recipe has great flavor and is a perfect lunch or side dish for you to try with dinner tonight.

I didn't grow up eating quinoa, but starting a vegan journey will open your world up to a lot of amazing seeds, grains, vegetables, and fruit.

I promise there's so much variety! Be open to experimenting and having some fun in the kitchen.

You can find quinoa in most grocery stores these days. It's usually in the same aisle as rice.

Remember to rinse it before cooking to remove the bitter saponin coating.

Check out the video and full recipe below…

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Corn & Avocado

by Brown Vegan

Keywords: steam entree side vegan vegetarian gluten-free sugar-free soy-free

Ingredients (4 as a meal & 6 as a side)

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn, frozen or fresh
  • 3/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 avocados, pitted and diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped

Instructions

Combine quinoa and water in a small pot and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat (to low), cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed.

Use a fork to fluff your quinoa, then transfer to a large bowl.

Mix in cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and salt.

Allow quinoa to cool, then add in all the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.

Adjust seasoning to taste (I usually add in all the spices again to make sure the vegetables have flavor).

Cover and chill in the fridge or eat it at room temperature.

I usually store this quinoa salad in a glass dish, place a paper towel on top, then cover.

Consume this dish within 3 days.

Enjoy!

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Let me know what you think once you try this recipe. :-)

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DON'T Make These Vegan MISTAKES + Tips on How to GO VEGAN

In this video, I share some of the mistakes I made while struggling as a vegan and share tips for folks who want to start their own vegan journey.

Mistakes I’ve Made:

  • I didn’t tap into my vegan community for support

  • Stopped cooking

  • Stopped learning & experimenting

  • Wasn’t gentle with myself as I dealt with a difficult time

Tips for New Vegans:

  • Get clear on your why

  • Don’t restrict yourself more than you have to — You don’t have to be gluten free, oil-free, etc in the beginning (or ever)

  • It doesn’t have to be all or nothing to start your vegan journey. It’s okay to incorporate a few vegan meals each week and grow from there.

  • Connect with like-minded people online and in person — use social media and meetup.com

Resources mentioned in the video:

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