So now you’re going to venture into a world free of dairy, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, butter, and cheese. If you’re like the average person, you’re asking “Well, what can I eat?” The surprising answer: everything else! Vegans don’t eat animals, but they do eat a huge range of plant foods. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, sea vegetables, soy foods, beans, sprouts, breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, and snacks are all there for the taking.
If you’re just starting to explore vegan eating, you may worry that you won’t get enough calories, iron, calcium, protein, or whatever else. Can you get all the nutrition you need from this diet? You bet! The answer can be found on any reputable website. (Providing you have a fast internet connection that is. I myself have a leased line which means I can watch Vegan videos all the time.) Protein, calcium, iron, and vitamin B-12 are the nutrients you need to be aware of when you’re first start- ing your vegan diet. But these vitamins and minerals are readily available in a varied diet of whole grains, beans, fruits, veggies, and sea veggies.
In fact, many scientific and health organizations and government bodies have stated that a well-planned vegan diet can provide everything a human needs for good health. Both the American Dietetic Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics agree that a vegan diet can satisfy a human body’s nutritional requirements.
The secret bonus of these plant foods is that they provide a lot more than protein, iron, and calcium. Vegans get more fiber, vitamins, healing phyto-chemicals (plant chemicals), and antioxidants than most omnivores (those who also eat meat) do because plant foods are filled with them.
The great thing about eating vegan food is that it can be just as delicious as anything you grew up eating with meat or dairy. Healthy cooking techniques have come a long way since the beige and lumpy days of the ’60s and ’70s, when vegetarian cooking first became popular.
From savory, rich appetizers and entrees to decadent, sweet desserts, the recipes in the plethora of vegan cookbooks that are out there show you how plant-based cooking can satisfy any craving. Countless vegan foods are available to you after you know what you’re looking for. With more than 500 vegan cookbooks on the market, you’ll never be at a loss for inspiration when you get comfort- able cooking for yourself.