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How to Plan Vegan School Lunch for Kids (VIDEO)

If you're new to vegan life, the easiest way to transition your kids to vegan school lunches, is by veganizing (make a vegan version) some of the meals they're already enjoying.

Think about it like this.... if your kids love turkey sandwiches - start experimenting with vegan deli slices (I like the Field Roast brand) and use vegan mayo (Just Mayo is a good brand), lettuce, tomato & mustard to make their favorite sandwich vegan. Also, check the ingredients on the bread to ensure that it's vegan (no milk, eggs or butter). 

Try not to overthink it. You want to keep weekly lunches simple for you and delicious for them. :-)

I have an easy formula for making simple and delicious daily lunches....

Main entree + Fruit/Vegetable + Treat/Junk Food + Drink =                                                Vegan School Lunch

I talk about making school lunches and even show you how I put one together for my boys in this video...

Main entree - sandwich (peanut butter and jelly is a great option), burrito, taco, wrap (one with hummus, red bell pepper, lettuce & tomato is an easy option) or leftover soup from dinner in a Thermos

This is a pic of my youngest son, Brandon's lunch from when he was about 6

This is a pic of my youngest son, Brandon's lunch from when he was about 6

Fruit and/or Vegetable - any whole fruit that you have on hand - berries, banana, apple, pineapple, etc. Mini salads with lettuce, tomato, carrot & cucumber served with balsamic vinaigrette or any vegetable and hummus.  If you have older kids, a fruit and vegetable is probably a good idea because they eat more. Smaller kids should get one or the other so they don't waste food.

Treat/Junk Food - Don't skip out on the treat because kids love trading snacks! I know I used to back in the day. Plus, I think it's important for some of their food to look familiar.

Vegan junk food options mentioned in the video: Oreos, plain Lay's potato chips Earth Balance vegan cheddar popcorn, Late July chips (not all of their products are vegan; check the ingredients)
Clif Bar (not all of their products are vegan; check the ingredients) and Stacy's pita chips (not sure if all of their products are vegan; check the ingredients)

There are so many healthy junk food options out there! You can also check out PETA's accidental vegan list for some familiar (not healthy) snack options 

Drink - Water is best but I used to give my boys an organic juice box one week out of the week. You can also send your kids to school with almond or coconut milk (they even sell chocolate flavored versions of these) in a Thermos or drink box.

Remember to keep it simple, get the kids involved and have fun!!

 

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What You Should Do BEFORE You Go Vegan

One of the questions I get often is, "I want to go vegan...where do I start?"

In the latest video I share some tips on how to start a successful vegan journey. 

Watch the video here.....

Recap from the video....

  • Write down why you want to be vegan -There's so much power in getting it on paper
  • Make the decision that you're going vegan-Something magical happens when you make that declaration! It will open you up to explore, research and do whatever you can to make the full transition to a vegan life.
  • Recognize that this journey isn't perfect- I wish going vegan were perfect but even after 5 years it still isn't perfection for me. 
  • Plan your meals-Meal planning can be overwhelming; especially since most of us aren't used to planning our meals in detail. Use Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and vegan cookbooks from the library to get ideas.  Try to focus on what you're already eating and figure out ways to veganize those meals.

I mentioned my podcast at the end of the video...Listen to episodes here

 

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How to Replace Butter When You're Ready to Go Vegan

When I show my clients how to embrace a vegan lifestyle, I always focus on making the experience as familiar and simple as possible. I know how hard it can be when you're ready to change and everything feels so different and overwhelming...especially when you're trying to make this change with a family. 

 

The good news is, replacing conventional butter is super simple when you're transitioning to vegan life.

 

Why conventional butter isn't vegan - Since conventional butter is from made using cow's milk it's not considered a vegan. That milk is meant for calves anyway, so here are 3 better options for your toast, bagels, oatmeal, grits, pancakes, baking etc....

 

3 options to replace Conventional butter:

 

*Earth Balance vegan margarine (this is the product I use most)

 

*Smart Balance Buttery Spread (this brand is likely more accessible)

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*I haven't tried the recipe below (I will soon!) but it looks like an awesome alternative for conventional butter.

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I got it from Vegan Cherry's Facebook page.

 

What's your favorite butter alternative?

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How to Replace Buttermilk in A Recipe

It's becoming easier and easier to start and stay on a vegan journey these days. More information is mainstream and vegan companies are working overtime to bring us delicious cruelty-free alternatives. 

Dairy tends to be the one area that stops folks from embracing a vegan journey. I get it - it's addicting!

If you don't want to become a vegan overnight...that's fine. Make gradual changes and you'll be good to go.

One simple adjustment you can make immediately is how you use buttermilk in a recipe. 

Here's what you need to do:

  • In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup of soy milk & 1 tablespoon of white vinegar (you can also use lemon juice)
  • Allow it to sit at room temperature for 10 mins to curdle.
  • Use as normal in your recipe.

Simple, right?!

This is awesome in pancakes, biscuits and waffles!

I've used almond milk in the past, but it doesn't curdle the same as soy does. *You may have better results than me though*

How do you replace buttermilk in your recipes?

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