When I first eliminated dairy from my diet, checking labels for everything became overwhelming. Unlike many people who check labels for vitamins and calories, I was looking for milk and other animal byproducts. I never realized items as simple as bread and spaghetti sauce contained so much dairy and eggs.
Recent grocery store finds
Here's a few tips to make your next grocery trip a little smoother:
There's no need for label reading when you do the majority of your shopping in the produce section-Find meals centered-around produce, grains, and legumes to not only save money, but ensure that you're getting a well rounded plant-based diet. Also, it's easier to stay on a food budget when you hang out in the produce or near the bulk bins. Now that the weather is getting colder (at least it is here) you can focus on making veggie soups and stews from items found in these sections.
USDA labels makes it easier-Since so many people have food allergies, companies are now required to list ingredients such as milk, soy, and eggs in bold print on their labels. This works out very well for me in the store because I can quickly get an idea of the major ingredients to avoid.
Find a brand you like and stick with it- Once you find a vegan-friendly brand you enjoy, stick with it to save time while grocery shopping.
Don't be hard on yourself- Changing the way you eat is a journey, not a race. Making simple changes like using nut-based milks opposed to dairy milk, buying more produce, and going meatless on Mondays, are all steps in the right direction.