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De-bunkingtheReasonstoNotGoVegan

NoraRoseMcMahon
NoraRoseMcMahon University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana Vice President
over 1 year Champaign, IL, United States Story
De-bunking the Reasons to Not Go Vegan

There’s always going to be a million reasons not to do something. It’s too hard, it’s too expensive, I’ll do it later. I’m here to explain why each of those reasons is wrong, and why you should try out veganism today!


1. It’s too hard

It doesn’t have to be! There’s a million easy swaps for meat or diary items that are no harder. Think about what you had for breakfast? Cereal and milk? Switch out the fatty cow’s milk to delicious, healthy almond milk, or some vanilla coconut milk for a great flavor. Oatmeal? Already vegan! Add some peanut butter and berries, or a bit of dark chocolate. Pancakes? Try frying up some healthy pancakes made with oats, banana, and peanut butter. Feeling trendy? Avocado toast? You bet it’s vegan! Now what about lunch and dinner? The opportunities are endless. People think all vegans eat is kale and tofu, but tons of salads, pastas, soups, sandwiches, and stir fries can be vegan.

It’s not hard at all to make the switch, and you might try some new food you love.

But guess what? Even if you think it seems too hard, you can  always take it slow, or star by going vegan one day a week. Every step you take is gonna make a difference for our planet, your body, and animals. Even I have had an occasional “cheat” meal with dairy when I travel or on certain holidays. I find this keeps me from breaking, and quitting all together.

(Salad from Barney's)

2. It’s too expensive

I won’t lie, when I first went vegan 2 years ago, my grocery bill did go up, but once I leaned what I was doing, I actually started spending less money. Canned beans, rice, oats, and grains are cheap. Bags of frozen veggies are just as nutritious as fresh, and are cheap and easy for stir fries. Buying things that aren’t name brand helps too. I get whole packs of tofu for just $1.99 at my grocery store. Meat and fish can be pricey, but veggies and plants aren’t, if you buy smart. Check what’s in season, and what’s on sale, and shop based on that. Avoid the specialty vegan foods that can cost a fortune, and stick to whole foods.

Here’s a few of the meals I make when I’m on a tight budget:


Veggie soup:

-- 1 carton veggie broth

-- 2 cans white beans

-- 2 cans diced tomatoes

-- 1 bag spinach

-- 1 cup wild rice

-- salt, pepper, cumin, parsley, onion powder

Put everything in a pot, bring to boil and stir 5 minutes

cover with lid and simmer 30 minutes, then serve


Quinoa red sauce:

-- 1 large can crushed tomatoes

-- 1 cup quinoa

-- 1/2 cup water

-- Parsley, chopped

-- Salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, basil

Put everything in a pot, bring to a boil, cover with lid and simmer for 45 minutes, then serve


Tofu Scramble:

Ingredients

-- 1 package tofu

-- 1 green pepper

-- 1 red pepper

-- 1 onion

-- 2 cup spinach

-- Salt, Pepper, Turmeric, Garlic Powder

-- 1 tbs oil

Chop tofu and veggies, Saute vegetables until soft, with oil, Add in tofu, crumbled, Stir until crispy, Add seasoning and stir quickly

Serve with a piece of fruit, and toast or veggie sausage, then serve

(Breakfast burrito with tofu scramble, vegan cheese, and chives)

Tofu Curry:

Ingredients:

-- 1 jar jalfrezi curry

-- 1 cup rice

-- 1 bag spinach

-- 1 pack tofu, chopped into cubes

-- 1 onion, chopped

-- 1 red pepper, chopped

-- 1 tbs oil

-- 1 cup rice

Sauté peppers, tofu, and onion until soft, in oil, Add in bag of spinach until wilted, Add jar of curry, simmer 20 minutes on low heat, Make rice 1 cup rice to serve with curry


Creamy Broccoli Soup:

-- 1 box veggie broth

-- 2 cans chickpeas

-- 1 cup almond milk

-- 2 cups chopped broccoli

-- Salt, pepper, garlic powder

Head up beans, broth, and milk ingredients slightly. Half at a time, blend until smooth, then pour back into pot.

Mix in chopped broccoli and spices. Simmer until broccoli is soft


3. I won’t get enough protein

While meat, fish, and eggs are great protein sources, beans and tofu are also full of protein. Also, lots of foods you might not expect have protein, and it adds up during the day. Whole grains like oats and wild rice have protein. Do does peanut butter. It’s important to make sure you’re getting the nutrition you need with any dietary change, but it’s easy to get the protein you need on a vegan diet if you’re mindful.


4. I love meat and cheese

I did too! I didn’t go vegan because I hated meat. I did it because factory farming is cruel to animals, and the animal agriculture industry is worse on our environment than the entire transportation industry. But guess what? After a few months, I completely stopped craving meat and cheese and eggs. I actually discovered some of my favorite foods that I never would have tried otherwise.  Fried eggplant and tofu in sweet teriyaki sauce is something I never would have tried to make if I’d kept eating meat, and I love it more than any meat. Also, vegan cheese, while not the same, is a great replacement.


Maybe veganism is too big a change for you, but I recommend trying to make at least 1 day a week vegan. If you like it, try more. But start slow. Try the sofritas next time you go to chipoltle, or skip the ham sandwich for a hummus wrap. You might find something you love, and help save the planet and the animals while you’re at it!

(Zucchini pasta with cashew sauce from Desthil) 




10 replies

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  • Suzie
    over 1 year ago San Francisco, CA, United States

    Wow, It looks so gooooood and healthy. I love Zucchini pasta with cashew sauce and creamy broccoli soup. 

    Wow, It looks so gooooood and healthy. I love Zucchini pasta with cashew sauce and creamy broccoli soup. 

  • guudgyalriri
    over 1 year ago

    Love how detailed the recipes are!! But I feel like poverty is also a common factor of why most folks aren't vegan, especially in poor neighborhoods bc they don't exactly have produce markets there & it's what you'd call a "food desert". 

    Love how detailed the recipes are!! But I feel like poverty is also a common factor of why most folks aren't vegan, especially in poor neighborhoods bc they don't exactly have produce markets there & it's what you'd call a "food desert". 

    • NoraRoseMcMahon
      NoraRoseMcMahon University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana Vice President
      over 1 year ago Champaign, IL, United States

      You're totally right, it's not an option for everyone depending on where they live. It's unfortunate that sometimes the most unhealthy foods are the cheapest.

      You're totally right, it's not an option for everyone depending on where they live. It's unfortunate that sometimes the most unhealthy foods are the cheapest.

  • Emma22
    over 1 year ago Chicago, IL, United States

    Everything looks so delicious 

    Everything looks so delicious 

    • NoraRoseMcMahon
      NoraRoseMcMahon University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana Vice President
      over 1 year ago Champaign, IL, United States

      Thank you!!

      Thank you!!

  • Ami Nakrani
    over 1 year ago

    I'm a vegetarian, but I've wanted to try to go vegan, however I have made no moves to do this. However, these recipes look so good--I definitely need to try one of them.

    I'm a vegetarian, but I've wanted to try to go vegan, however I have made no moves to do this. However, these recipes look so good--I definitely need to try one of them.

    • NoraRoseMcMahon
      NoraRoseMcMahon University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana Vice President
      over 1 year ago Champaign, IL, United States

      Thank you! They're all pretty easy too.

      Thank you! They're all pretty easy too.

  • Ameris Jimenez
    Ameris Jimenez Mogul President at The University of Illinois
    over 1 year ago Champaign, IL, United States
  • Ameris Jimenez
    Ameris Jimenez Mogul President at The University of Illinois
    over 1 year ago Champaign, IL, United States

    Omg as someone who is now on a gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, and sugar free diet I am definitely making that creamy Brocoli soup. You literally saved me another night of eating chicken and potatoes 😂

    Omg as someone who is now on a gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, and sugar free diet I am definitely making that creamy Brocoli soup. You literally saved me another night of eating chicken and potatoes 😂

    • NoraRoseMcMahon
      NoraRoseMcMahon University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana Vice President
      over 1 year ago Champaign, IL, United States

      I made it for my meat eating dad, and even he liked it!

      I made it for my meat eating dad, and even he liked it!


NoraRoseMcMahon
University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana Vice President

Vice President of University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Mogul hub. I'm a senior at the University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana. I'm getting a double major in Political Science and Psychology, and my career goal is to become a corporate lawyer.

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