30 Tips for Living Vegan
November is vegan month, and we couldn’t be prouder to be a plant-based company. In addition to leading in total food transparency by connecting you to our farmers (who grow and harvest using only plant-based cultivation methods), we also like to lead by example when it comes to keeping our plates full of fresh and healthful organic vegan food. We’ve put together a list of our best tips for living vegan — one for each day of the month — but you can use these plant-based living tips all year long!
1. Plan ahead. Regardless of whether you’re just starting your vegan journey or have been doing it for years, planning what to eat ahead of time becomes part of your routine and is a big help to any hosts who might not know what to feed you.
2. Be confident. We recommend always bringing a dish or a great dessert to a dinner party, like these ones made from our organic cereals, oats, and flours to show off your cooking skills and win over some reluctant friends.
3. Do your research. Sticking to a plant-based diet is a commitment, and it requires a lot of research to figure out what is truly free of animal products (gelatin and lanolin are some of the most easily overlooked non-vegan ingredients). We like to go a step further and get to know our farmers.
4. Get the apps. Whether you want to check for animal testing, vegan ingredient lists, or find the best places to eat on your vacation, there’s likely an app for that.
5. Take your time. Sometimes making the switch to a plant-based diet or lifestyle can feel overwhelming, like you have to discard everything that isn’t vegan right away. We think using things up or passing them off to someone who will use them is a better option because it helps prevent unnecessary waste and is better for the planet.
6. Try new things. You’ll be surprised how much new stuff you’ll come to know and love, and that sense of discovery seems to stick.
7. Keep learning. In the words of One Degree Organic Foods co-founder Stan Smith, “Never stop looking. Never stop discovering. Never stop trying to understand your own health.”
8. Join the community. You’ll find your people on some pretty inspiring channels. We think our Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest communities are pretty amazing.
9. Be aware. As our co-founder Kathy Smith likes to say, “I’m voting with my fork, whether I know it or not.” Choosing plant-based products has ripple effects in manufacturing, leadership, communities, and beyond.
10. Make new friends. From meetup groups to underground supper clubs and activist groups, there’s a ton of great people out in the world.
11. Cook for people. One of our favorite things to do is win people over with delicious plant-based food.
12. Eat your favorite things. There is a vegan version for everything—from apple pie to French toast, you can find it.
13. Fall in love with smoothies. Breakfast or snack, smoothies and smoothie bowls are a thing of beauty.
14. It’s okay to say no. “No, thank you” is a complete sentence.
15. Know your body. Eating plant-based food allows you to become much more in tune with what works for your body and what doesn’t. Go your own way.
16. Care. Sondra Houghton, our Marketing and Social Media Director, puts it right: “There’s a lot of care and attention that I put into food. The sacrifices are outweighed by the benefits.”
17. Fall in love with cooking. Yes, there are amazing vegan eateries that have perfected everything from soft serve to lasagna, but learning to make your own healthy, whole food at home is the best.
18. Trust the science. The proof is in the pages and pages of books, scientific journals, and websites, not to mention documentaries, investigations, and first-hand knowledge. Chief Customer Officer Danny Houghton says, “If you look at the science, there are clear benefits, and I notice for me, when I go completely plant-based, I feel like a million bucks.”
19. Share everything. Food, knowledge, recipes. The more the merrier.
20. It doesn’t have to be hard. From veggie bacon and whip cream to classic cereals, easy swaps are everywhere.
21. Ask for it. Lots of companies, grocers, and retailers will stock what is in demand. See something you like? Want your local store to carry some delicious granola? They won’t know until you ask.
22. Eat whole foods. As One Degree co-founder Kathy Smith says, “It’s not the sum of some parts you’re looking for, it’s the whole foods. Those are the most nutritious, when you don’t take them apart.”
23. Believe in yourself. One person can move mountains. Founding family member Alonna Smith adds, “No matter who you are, you can make a positive change today. For yourself, for animals, whatever motivates you.”
24. Get into sprouting. Sprouted grains and greens are full of healthy nutrients and most people find them easier to digest. We use sprouted grains in almost all our products for this reason.
25. Veggie up your desserts. Covertly adding avocados, beans, and tofu to a mousse, cupcake, or brownies makes your favorite foods healthier with little effort. We made a sprouted spelt zucchini chocolate cake!
26. Embrace change. “It’s amazing how much food has changed in a generation,” explains Sondra. Even a few years ago we wouldn’t have had half the delicious vegan foods we do now.
27. Investigate ingredients. This goes hand in hand with really knowing your food and your farmer. After learning about how raw organic cacao is made in San Martin, Peru, it’s hard to go back to eating something with “Yellow 6” listed as an ingredient.
28. Get passionate about the planet. Eating plant-based food is one of the easiest things we can do to lower our carbon footprint and it is one of the best springboards to do a little bit more (step #2: give up disposable straws).
29. Get moving. Lucky for us, we find whole, plant-based foods give us a surge of energy. We like to use that to spend time in nature and connect with animals outdoors.
30. Don’t sweat the small stuff. As Sondra says, “eat the best you can, live the healthiest life that you can with exercise, and just be the best version of you.”
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