Vegan How To: Part 1 (How To Make The Transition)

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on January 2, 2013

{Catching up? See the Introduction, Part 1: Making the transition (this post), Part 2: Replacing Dairy Milk, Part 3: Homemade Oat Milk, Part 4: Homemade Almond Milk, Part 5:  Ten Tips for eating out as a vegan}

After seeing your comments and emails pour in on Monday and Tuesday, I’m so thankful I took the plunge with my new Vegan How To series. What a great way to kick off 2013. We’re already starting conversations about important topics. While I can’t promise to have answers to all your questions, I can share my experiences with you and encourage you to do the same. There are many things we can learn from each other so let’s talk, share, and get inspired!

Today’s topic is about making the transition to a vegan diet. What I’ve written below is what has worked for me, so take this with a grain of salt – everyone’s experience will be different (and I’d love you to share yours below!). It’s also worth repeating that I’m not a nutrition/health professional and my opinions/experiences should not be substituted for medical advice. Always consult your doc before making any diet/lifestyle changes.

How I made the transition to a vegan diet (in a somewhat condensed nutshell, but not really because I’m chatty):

1. Slow and Steady

I’ve never been the type of person who rushes into anything. Eric and I dated for 8 years before we got hitched. I’m turning 30 this year and I don’t feel close to being ready for motherhood. It took me a year to finally start this how-to series. You get the point. It doesn’t help that Eric is the exact. same. way. We can barely decide what laundry detergent to buy let alone make major life decisions. On the bright side, the decisions I do make are often long-lasting and my transition to a vegan diet was no different. I was in recovery for an eating disorder and looking to make some positive changes to my diet. After all, I had lived off of processed, fat-free, artificially-sweetened diet foods for years and I knew it was taking a toll on my health. I suffered from IBS and other digestive issues, so per my doc’s suggestions I experimented with reducing my consumption of meat and dairy to see if it would make a difference. When I started to shift away from all that dairy I was eating, I felt better, my skin started to clear up, and many of my digestive issues decreased. I was never a huge meat eater to begin with, so that part wasn’t as difficult for me, although it was still a challenge. Overtime, I really had no reason to go back to my old diet, even though giving up certain foods like cheese proved to be very difficult (more on this in a future post). When I’m asked what worked for me, I always say baby steps. Yes, it’s a cliché, but small changes really add up over time!

This isn’t to say that going cold-turkey won’t work for you – many people go cold-turkey with diet/lifestyle changes and are successful with it.  That just wasn’t my approach. I think it comes down to your personality and what you think will work best for you.

2. Stock your pantry

A well-stocked pantry is one of the keys to success, especially in the beginning. We need options and fuel! And by options and fuel, I don’t mean the dry lettuce and tomato salads that restaurants often try to entice me with. How about fresh produce, legumes, herbs/spices, quinoa, rolled oats, edamame, and almond milk to name a few. I wrote a post a while ago called “My Vegan Pantry“, listing the most common foods I have stocked in my cupboards from dried beans to vinegar and everything in between. I do need to update the post, but I still hope it’s helpful for you. Keep in mind that some of the items are my baking ingredients and not what I would consider “necessities” by any means.


When I first made the transition I stocked my fridge with mock meat and dairy products like Tofurkey slices, vegan sour cream, and TVP crumbles. Yes, if you go back in time on my blog, you might come across the odd Tofurkey sandwich! The truth is, I had no idea how to eat a fulfilling, vibrant, and healthy diet on my own without these substitution foods. I wasn’t wrong for eating them, I just didn’t have all of the knowledge I needed at the time. I didn’t feel great eating these products, or at least, I didn’t feel as great as I did without them. Eventually, I discovered how to thrive on a vegan diet without relying on them, but I do recognize they were helpful for me in the early stages.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that a big bowl of lentils and tomato sauce was much more satisfying than mock deli meat from a box. Once I made this connection, it got easier and easier.

3. Be your own teacher

If you think that I grew up learning to cook and bake, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Four years ago, I had no idea how to cook dry lentils or so much as roast a batch of root vegetables. I could barely dice an onion for the life of me! This meant I had to teach myself how to prepare almost all of the foods I now enjoy. I did a lot of reading, Googling, watching cooking shows, devouring cookbooks, and searching You Tube for how-to videos. Little did I know, this girl who used to survive on diet foods would soon find a passion in food and cooking like never before. So can you.

Along the same lines, it’s good to research the nutritional aspects of a vegan diet. There are many books out there now with this information to help guide you. I also recommend checking out Forks Over Knives for an inspirational documentary on the benefits of a plant-based diet.

4. Focus on what you add, not take away

As I mentioned in my first post, I eventually learned that a vegan diet is really about what I add and not what I take away. The more I focused on all the new foods I was trying, I really didn’t feel like I was missing out at all. My diet used to be so limited and boring, lacking in colourful produce, and inspiration. I was pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of foods I can eat on a plant-based diet. If you are feeling stuck in a rut, challenge yourself to try one new food a week and pick a recipe to make with it. There are so many recipes and tutorials available online that make cooking new foods a breeze. Or better yet, start a food blog to document your new journey! Having accountability online is a great motivator and you get to meet other like-minded friends.

5. Don’t expect perfection

I have slipped up on my vegan diet just like many of you have. Guess what? We are human! My advice is to focus on all the amazing choices you’ve made to date instead of that time when you slipped up. No matter what kind of diet you eat, every time you chose plants over animals you are making a difference. For me, this journey has been easier and easier as the years go by. The cravings I once had are much, much less. Instead of craving the old foods, I now crave the new foods that I eat. It’s amazing how the taste buds can adapt when you give them a chance.

6. Get support

Find friends who want to take this journey with you. I didn’t know any vegans until I met many friends online through reading other blogs and going to meet ups. It’s important to have a support system. Join clubs, recipe groups, meet ups, and attend conferences. I’m going to my first vegan conference (Vida Vegan Con) in May and I’m so excited to meet new friends in this community.

7. Pack food

When I leave the house for long periods of time, I always pack snacks or meals with me. Whether it’s an afternoon out or a few days at the in laws, I plan ahead and bring food. You can always find a couple energy bars in the bottom of my purse on any given day! Most days I don’t need them, but I feel great knowing I have a healthy snack on me in case the hunger monster strikes.

Well, I could go on and on, but since this is already quite wordy I will pass it over to you!

What’s your approach when making a change – slow and steady or cold-turkey?

How did you make the transition to a vegan or vegetarian diet? What strategies worked for you?

Have you read any books or watched any movies that helped you with the transition?

Are you making changes to your diet right now? What are you doing to make the transition easier?

For Part 2, see Replacing Dairy Milk

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{ 221 comments… read them below or add one }

Kirsten Lee January 2, 2013 at 12:22 pm

This is very inspiring! I have made many baby steps and it’s comforting nowing that you, and many others in the veg world transition slowly. I am not 100% there, but getting more comfortable and learning how to acknowledge my cravings. I always thought I was a sweets person, but I crave more savory foods. I first got introduced to vegan by the ‘plant based dietitian’ I then read The China Study, a must read! I am now reading some of Kathy Freston’s books.


Liz January 2, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Hi Angela:

I am doing more of the I Quit Sugar program with Sarah Wilson in Australia – a recipe book, of which YOU are a contributor . . I loved seeing that when I first started reading it! So, I while I am not vegan, I have been delving into more fresh, whole foods and am hoping to start up green monsters again. Your recipes have been a huge help to my parents, as my dad is going through chemo right now and this is the diet he has to be on. They have tried several of your recipes and loved them! For my husband and I, the creamy avocado pasta sauce is so, so good, but I have to say your chocolate torte and chocolate pudding have been the best. I’ve made both to rave reviews. The first time I saw the recipe for the chocolate pudding and made it, I read all your exclamation points and gushings over it and thought, seriously? This girl must be crazy – it can’t be that good or that authentic. Call me crazy :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 2, 2013 at 1:08 pm

hah you should see my posts before I do an “exclamation mark” edit. I guess I missed that post. hahh. Anyhow Im so happy you are enjoying the recipes, thanks for trying them!


Tina January 2, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Great tips, thank you! Looking forward to reading the rest of this series. My own transition to veganism happened gradually. I started out when I was fifteen, taking away red meat. Then over the years I also dropped chicken, fish, and at long last also dairy and eggs. Each time I took something away I did it as a sort of dare to myself; “let’s see if I can manage a month without this!”. I think that made it easier to overcome the mental barrier, to think that I could always go back to eating whatever I like and that this was not a permanent change. The thing is, I never went back to eating any of the things I took away after the trial periods were over! My final and hardest challenge was the transition from ovo-lacto-vegetarianism to veganism, and my challenge lasted for a whole year, to really give myself the chance to adapt. Now, over a year later, the thought of staying vegan is not nearly as intimidating as it seemed back then. Not at all, in fact. :)


Ashleyy January 2, 2013 at 12:30 pm

thank you so much for sharing this! I am also in recovery from an eating disorder and in turning my attention to the quality versus quanity of my food (ie, less processed), and the nutritional content (fibre! protien! healthy fat!) vs CALORIES above all else, I am really hoping that this shift to vegetarian/sometimes vegan will help me develop a healthier, more positive attitude towards food.

I’ve been “vegetarian” for a month (but I’ve eaten meat in that time – i’m not interested in being hard on myself, nor am i interested in restricting foods I truly enjoy (like yogurt!), which I which i likely won’t go full-vegan).

anyway, I just wanted to thank you for this. My family is a bit worried about my decision to go vegetarian, due to me ED past. Its hard for me to explain that this is about a change for the BETTER.


Megan January 3, 2013 at 10:34 am

I completely understand what you mean. I had an eating disorder several years ago as young teenager, and even when it was “over,” I struggled with stubborn remnants of it until 2010, when I became interested in being truly healthy. Honestly, learning what is truly good for one’s body, rather than just what everyone says looks good, is what cured me. I started with removing many processed foods, sugar, and high-fat animal products, with no initial intention of taking it very far. However, I’m almost entirely vegan now (I’ll occasionally eat yogurt or honey or eggs from free-ranging hens at the farm where I keep my horse). It happened gradually; I don’t think anyone can really predict how far they’ll want to go in the future. The important thing is to discipline yourself toward current goals.

My family still doesn’t really understand (my parents, anyway; my siblings are more open, especially my younger sister who is almost 17), but making delicious healthy food for them has helped them see some of the potential of truly good food. You can’t effectively argue someone over to your position on health. It makes people feel defensive and hostile. The best way that I’ve found is simply to live by my principles and let others see how good it is–you’ll affect them without even trying.


Katrina Brush January 2, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Love this series. I am constantly trying to take baby steps to improve my family’s health. I have found the more fruits, vegetables, raw nuts, and healthy grains I eat the less I want/crave heavy meats and sugars. It is a process to listen to your body and give it what it really needs to function properly. I love trying new foods and introducing them to my children, but even more I love listening to my children encourage each other and their friends to try new foods.


Jack January 2, 2013 at 12:40 pm

I think making gradually changes daily, weekly or monthly is the best way to go about making long term decisions. I’ve been vegetarian for a year and a half and am gradually making the decision to be vegan and gluten-free. Lucky for me, my future mother in law also went vegetarian to vegan for health reasons so I always have a good role model when I crave old foods. Also, we both LOVE cooking ( I just got more vegan cookbooks for Christmas) and it is something we can share together. Health is wealth! Can’t wait to order your new cookbook!


Robin January 2, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Angela, thanks for doing this series! On 12/23, I arbitrarily decided to start a “vegan experiment” just to see how I felt with it, exactly how difficult it would be (I am currently visiting my parents on winter break from school – well stocked with my mom’s faves like cheese, greek yogurt, and baked goods!), etc. Other than a couple slip-ups, I have been doing quite well with it. Like you, I ate little meat to begin with so that was not a very big challenge. I think I’m a cold turkey type of person, as I’m very type A and really take the plunge whenever I commit to something. I’m planning to sort of reflect after a month of this, to see how everything’s working out, specifically for protein, vitamin B12, iron, and keeping me well fueled for distance running. I certainly appreciate all your great recipes and advice, now that I am relying on some different foods than before to keep myself full!


Melissa January 2, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Robin, your journey sounds so very similar to mine. I too became a “snap vegan” over winter break from college. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made; however, I was really unhealthy with my approach. Rather than filling my body with unprocessed nutrition, I ate a ton of carbs and fake meat/cheese/anything-not-vegan to appease my appetite. I did cheat a bit, especially after eventful college parties and the drinking that is involved (lowered inhibition made me go gaga for cheese.) It takes a lot of research to be successful at veganism (but it is TOTALLY worth it.) After 6 months of being really unhealthy and a quasi-vegan, I learned how to treat my body. Today, I feel great and, with the help of Angela, I am able to eat almost any food that I’m craving… and not feel guilty about it. My advise is to avoid the pre-made meals and fake products as much as possible… although the beginning of the journey is when you crave them the most :/ While maybe not the best/most viable option for everyone, keeping track of what I ate using MyFitnessPal on my smartphone was the best way for me to ensure I was getting enough of what I needed. Best of luck to you!


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table January 2, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Totally unrelated, but I love that you are 30 and not having babies. Sensitive subject after being harassed by my family all through the holidays. LOL!

Back on topic, I couldn’t agree more with the tip on packing your own food. I follow a strict diet in training, and I have no problems as long as I am prepared. Panic hunger is never a good thing!


Kimberly January 2, 2013 at 12:55 pm

My husband and I can totally relate with the being 30 and babies thing! Your not alone!


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 2, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Glad we’re not alone :)


Nicci G January 2, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Thank you for writing this series! I saw forks over knives in November and started doing 4 days vegan as my goal (dairy is my weakness on my ‘off days’). 2 months later i’m mostly vegetarian and 4-5 days vegan with very little issue.. If I had to do Cold Turkey, i’d likely quit but having a few ‘flex days’ is definitely helping my transition. One of your commenters yesterday talked about the Vegucated movie. I watched it last night on Netflix and wow… I don’t think I can eat meat again. The movie was brutally honest about factory scale farming. And even with Dairy, it’s shocking how inhumane the industry is. Really really sad. Cheers to you and your good work of spreading the benefits and tips for living a plant based life.


Ashleyy January 2, 2013 at 4:09 pm

“Vegucated” was the thing that got me started on vegatarian as well. My boyfriend was leery until he watched it with me…he is now going “mostly veggie” as well, although he says he will likley still eat meat “selectivley”


Kimmy January 2, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Great post Angela! I wish I would have had something like this when I decided to go vegan. I went cold turkey and found it a little tough, but persevered and glad I did.
Packing food is probably the best advice so you don’t go hungry when you’re out and get stuck with no veg-friendly options.
Best thing I ever found was cute snack-size things in health food stores (lara bars, kale chips), until I started making my own with a dehydrator. Best investment I ever made =)


Lara January 2, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Hi :)
first of all, thanks for this amazing series. I really love getting to know more about other vegans out there, even if they are completely different characters than I am. I do not have any vegan friends either, but some of my friends are vegetarians.
When I went vegan over a year ago, it was in september, it was hard for me. I did the cold-turkey thing because I had stomach pains for over 2 weeks. No doctor could tell me why, so I decided I would just cut everything out of my diet that could impact my health. At first I was on an almost raw, gluten-free, vegan diet and started to feel much better. As I was a vegetarian for 6 or 7 years for ethical reasons before I went vegan, I soon got hooked on all the aspects that are considered part of a vegan life: protection of animals, health benefits and so on..
I read some cookbooks (they are german, so you probably won’t read them anyways) and did A LOT of research on the internet. Today, I am completely convinced by my vegan lifestyle. I never look back and think “Oh, I would like to eat some cheese/whipped cream…” because I am extremely convinced by what I am doing. Meat and dairy products are slowly starting to gross me out, to be honest. I hope I will stay vegan forever.

Again, thanks for the great series. Maybe I’ll even meet msome new vegan blogger-friends through YOU! :)
Best wishes, Lara


Deedee January 7, 2013 at 5:17 am

Would you share with us some of the cookbooks you liked? Usually I only find 2-3 really nice recipes per book… Vielen Dank :)


Nicola January 2, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Hi Angela,

I’ve been a long-time reader (but a seldom-commentor) and adore your blog. Indeed, you’ve been such an inspiration to me that I’ve gone and started my own blog. It’s still developing, but as evident in your post, life is often comprised of baby steps :)

My journey with food has also been somewhat tumultuous: IBS, celiac disease and various food allergies have seen me experiment with several different diets. I had never been much of a meat eater as a child and found myself naturally turning to vegetarianism as a teenager. But I too lived off of processed tofu-meats, pasta and cheese (this was before I developed celiac disease). When I was 21 I suffered a traumatic physical injury and that was what triggered the gluten and dairy intolerances. It took a lot of time and several elimination diets to determine what the dietatry issues were, but once we figured it out, life improved dramtically! Ironically, it was at this time when I developed my love and passion for food. I think we often don’t always pay attention to the relationship between what we put in our bodies and how we feel, both physically and mentally. Once I figured this out (duh!) food became fun again, not a daily battle. So does this answer any of your questions? I guess I had to go cold turkey with some things due to health issues. When I have a choice to make a change, I often ease my way in. I think the literature that has inspired me the most is blogs like yours, Sarah Britton’s “My New Roots”, and the cookbooks of both Ani Phyo and Celia Brooks Brown. Thanks for all your help and inspiration. Keep it coming :)


Lina January 2, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Great post! This statement resonated most with me because it’s so true: “every time you chose plants over animals you are making a difference.” Sometimes I have “perfectionist” tendencies, and it always helps to remind yourself that a little bit at a time goes a long way.

#7 is also a key thing for me. I don’t have kids either, yet I seem to pack “like a mom” … any purse or bag I own has at least one squished granola bar lying in the bottom of it ;)


Elisabeth January 2, 2013 at 1:27 pm

I am so thankful for this series! I started diet changes June of last year due to extreme pain, no energy, and horrible PMS. First it was just gluten free and as I was just wrapping my head around that and figuring out that I still wasn’t feeling great I found out I had to give up dairy, oats, meat, and peanuts. So it was kind of cold turkey for me…first I pouted…included in the pouting was stopping all cooking for about a month! My poor husband! I just had no idea what to eat…then I found this blog and some others and the Happy Herbivore cookbook in the library. Eating vegan has been amazing! I can easily adapt it to my food intolerences! I can easily add some meat for my family if I have to…and whats more it looks good, tastes good, and is actually stuff I want to eat!


Sara January 2, 2013 at 1:29 pm

What a perfect beginning for the series! I’m so glad to hear it has been a journey for you as well. I’m the same way, I tend to stick with things better if I slowly adapt instead of plunging in. I also totally agree that slipping up does not mean you’re a failure and what is more important is every single time you choose plant over animal you are making a difference that counts! Love your blog, you’ve inspired me in so many ways, especially having a similar background and being Canadian! I started my own blog finally after reading yours for so long and it’s true that writing about the changes you want to make creates that sense of accountability and the push to get it done!


Sharla January 2, 2013 at 1:30 pm

I have been gradually moving toward vegan for a few years now, but never quite 100%. Baby steps are the way to go with ANY change that I want to be lasting. This post is perfect timing for me as I have learned so much about processed foods in the last year and am really making an effort at a more clean/whole approach to eating now. Can’t wait to see all your tips!!


Jennifer January 2, 2013 at 1:41 pm

I gradually transitioned to a whole foods, plant-based diet, and feel like I am still in the process of it. It’s a learning process each week to be sure! I strongly feel that eating this way is a process of adding foods, rather than subtracting, like you mentioned above Angela. I switched as I wanted to make a major dietary change for my 35th bday – this is also referred to as the 35 project ’round my house. My goal initially was to have an 80/20 intake of plant-based/non plant based foods.

I had read several books in the years leading up to the change. Most recently, Isa Chandra Moscowitz’s “Appetite for Reduction” was pivotal in planning meals (the bowl approach changed my work lunch packing big time!) I intentionally took a slow approach, as I knew if I tried to go cold turkey I would likely fail or have health issues like anemia due to lack of macronutrient balance. I also needed to give my family some time to mentally adjust. Reading and finding new blogs also helped immensely, as it now only gave me recipe ideas but in that I knew I was not alone. Angela, I have made many recipes of yours, and eagerly await your cookbook publication. Thank you for making this easy for others! I am incredibly grateful to you. Green monsters forever!!

What I have realized over the holidays when I ate (many!) foods that fell outside of a whole foods, plant-based dietary intake, is that I really like how I feel when I eat closer to 100% plant-based, and that I want to have fewer and fewer slip-ups, cheats, whatever you may call them. I am now comfortable with wanting to get closer to that 100% mark, and it seems to be the key to that is, #1, being prepared (not only #7 above, but planning meals including snacks) and #2…this is a tough one…how to say no when foods outside my desired dietary intake are offered. Or how to resist them at parties! Sometimes you can’t always bring your own (most of the time yes, but there’s always that one where it’s not an option, or doesn’t work out and you’re starving…gets back to #1 I guess then :)


Houston January 2, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I went Vegan overnight. The most important few things for me was the knowledge of how to cook grains (rice and later quinoa), having a stacked pantry so I always have something to eat, and MOST IMPORTANTLY planning ahead. Packing food and planning ahead has been a major help when traveling or being out all day because you never know if you will have a Vegan option to choose from. I too experienced a broadening of my “food horizons” after going Vegan and havn’t missed the old foods that I used to eat. I live with my parents and have gotten really good at timing my dinner so that I can still eat with my family, so you can be Vegan in an omni household and manage just fine. Thanks for the awesome post in what is going to be an awesome series!


Kim January 2, 2013 at 2:02 pm

This blog series is a great idea! Thank you for putting it together. I’m not vegan or vegetarian (yet), but my favorite blogs are related to this lifestyle and I’m convinced it’s the way to go. But here’s my biggest problem: living with a man who will never go this route with me. I love to cook, and at times have made two pots of chili – one vegan and one with meat, but I can’t do that every day.

Anyway, I’m on board and looking forward!


Sarah January 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Kim, I can sympathize with your situation about your man. I was vegetarian for 8 years (since Junior High), then between university meal hall and no kitchen in residence, there were so few choices aside from salad that I slipped back into eating some meat even though I’d never really enjoyed it.

In the 5 years I’ve been with my husband, who grew up a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy, I’d slowly been able to at least get him to cut back on meat since I was always making “weird” meatless foods and missed being a vegetarian. If it weren’t for him, I would have dropped meat instantly. And bless his heart, he always tried and liked what I made, but still loved a good steak just as much.

I’ve had issues with dairy the past few years and was trying to cut back, but again, I was still buying meat/dairy (mostly for him). This summer if I had mentioned to him we should try the “vegan thing” he would have probably thought I was crazy. I HAD been thinking about it for a while, but like you, thought I could never get him on board. I tested the waters casually by mentioning I had heard about Forks Over Knives and wanted to see what it was all about (no pressure), and he agreed to watch it with me “out of curiosity”. Maybe I just lucked out, but at the end of the movie he said, “Let’s do it.” I thought he was bluffing, but that night we cleared out the fridge/freezer of all meat/dairy and called up our parents to take it off our hands–at warp speed, before we could change our minds, haha.

We decided to that we’d try being vegan at home, but cut ourselves some slack for special occasions (eating out) and holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas, so far) if we REALLY wanted. He’s cheated more than I have, but I would never complain since I’m still kind of in shock he was so willing in the first place. I don’t know if your partner would be quite as willing, but sometimes it IS easier for them to hear it from an outside source, like a documentary, so they feel like it was their decision. I felt that the nagging approach may have just backfired.

The best part of it all is that he now says he PREFERS my non-meat/dairy alternatives to what we used to eat. My biggest weapons for meat-conversion have been tofu-free/unprocessed meat-alternatives, like killer veggie burger with tons of toppings, Sloppy Joes (we call them Sloppy Jills), chili, and tacos, all with brown lentils (among other things) which I find have a similar texture to ground beef (tiny and hearty) but don’t taste like cardboard the way TVP does. In baking, chia eggs have yet to fail… can’t say the same for flax eggs. Vegenaise is amazing for dropping mayo. As for cheese/dairy, we use a lot of avocado/guacamole for creaminess in/on things like tacos, hummus on sandwiches/wraps, Daiya cheese has really grown on us, and Angela’s Lemon Basil Cheeze sauce is a favourite as well for things like pasta and as a pizza topping. I will admit that if goat’s cheese goes on sale I still buy it because it’s the one kind of dairy product that never upset my stomach in small doses, and until we don’t feel the need to cheat anymore that will be my one occasional vice at home.

We’re still experimenting and learning, and we do still get into ruts when we feel like we’re missing out. I think it’s important to go easy on yourself if you’re considering going veggie/vegan; if you can convince your man to first expand his horizons (sorry for the cliche) with some different foods, then maybe consider dropping meat gradually, then move on to no eggs or dairy, you’ll probably have better luck then jumping right into vegan. I hope you have the same luck we did, but if not, keep at least pushing yourself, and he may eventually come around and try YOUR chili and even prefer it :) Good luck to you both! Hopefully this was more helpful to read than it was exhausting ;)


Kim January 3, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Sarah, I am so touched that you took the time to respond with all of your wonderful suggestions! I’m going to print your message out for reference…

After reading some of the other comments above, I too thought it would be a good idea to watch Forks Over Knives, hopefully together. How that works out will be telling as far as how the rest of this ‘partnership’ may go. He can be quite stubborn. It sounds like your husband is a wonderful man and I envy your comments written in the “we”. ;-)

Thank you again so much!


Sarah January 3, 2013 at 2:41 pm

You’re welcome! I obviously tend to get carried away when I explain things, but I’m glad it was helpful to you, and hopefully to others. Best of luck again!


Kristin January 2, 2013 at 2:02 pm

My vegan journey started cold turkey when I realised that my health had gotten so bad (extremely obese with high blood pressure in my early 20’s) that if I didn’t do something I would probably not see 30. I started with Eat to Live and that was five very happy and content vegan years ago! My blood pressure is now normal, I’ve lost almost 60kg and I’m about to run my first marathon.
I’m so thankful to you and your blog for teaching me how to cook with all of the new and exciting ingredients I’d never even heard of in my meat eating days. I’ve always loved to cook but these days it’s even better :) And now with this new series you are doing you will be helping even more people make this amazing change to their life! You are truly inspirational Angela!
Thank you again.
– Kristin


Averie @ Averie Cooks January 2, 2013 at 2:03 pm

I love that your journey to this path was a slow, conscious, and deliberate one rather than just trying the latest and next greatest thing and bouncing around from this to that and back to something else per your 1. in that you don’t rush into things. I have to say on some things I DO rush into and make uber-snap decisions. Sometimes that works out for me, sometimes no so much. LOL

Can’t wait to see how this series unfolds!


[email protected] January 2, 2013 at 2:12 pm

I feel like I’m reading my own story! I suffered from so many digestive issues, recovering from about 10 years worth of anorexia, bulimia and binge eating at different times. Turning vegan helped me fall back in love with food again, introduce balance and variety and get over my fear of gaining weight. Thanks for sharing your story, such an inspiration!


Abby @ The Frosted Vegan January 2, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Angela, I love this series! I went vegan when my dad decided to a year ago, and I will NEVER look back. I am glad you wrote honestly and openly about the slip ups and process it takes, but I can notice such a difference when I don’t eat the way I would like to (after I just ate a handful of jellybeans, whoops). You are such an inspiration to me and I love showing others that eating vegan is not “weird” or “hippie” and can be much easier than people think. Keep doing what you’re doing girl!


[email protected] January 2, 2013 at 2:13 pm

The above comment is from me! I logged on to Stephen’s computer!!! :)


Shannan January 2, 2013 at 2:28 pm

When I went vegetarian I tried to do it slowly, but it just didn’t work. I wanted to see if I could do it before announcing to anyone that I was doing it. (Even to my then boyfriend, now husband!) It was hard not having any sort of accountability, especially when going out to eat. Since no one knew I was trying to go vegetarian, it was much easier just to order chicken. In fact, if I tried not ordering a meat product I would get weird questions about it.

Thankfully, Lent came around and I was able to tell all of my family and friends that I was giving up meat for it. Within a few weeks most had figured out that I wasn’t going to be eating meat again after Easter. It gave me a great way to ease everyone into the transition I was making. Plus, I finally had some accountability!

Looking forward to this series!!


Nicole January 8, 2013 at 8:58 am

I used the same “excuse” almost a year ago… gave up meat for Lent and have no intentions of going back. I’ve been avoiding dairy & eggs over this past year, as well. Maybe this Lent I will see how I do going vegan all the way.

Looking forward to this series, too : )


Alice in NYC January 2, 2013 at 2:33 pm

I am SO glad you started this how to series! My husband and I went vegan last Summer, cold turkey (I’d been vegetarian for ~5 yrs but my husband ate meat daily), after watching Forks over Knives. It’s been challenging and thrilling and educational, and we both committed to keep it up in 2013. We have been leaning on some substitution foods that I’d like to move away from, so I’m really looking forward to following along on your how-to guide and really being smart about eating rather than relying on some “lazy” vegan foods. I’m also turning 30 this year and look forward to being a healthy, happy (and hot, why not? :)) vegan!!


Christine January 2, 2013 at 2:36 pm

I’m more cold turkey but then I often fall off the wagon because I was too hasty in my decisions. I am trying to learn to take more time to decide things and make changes in my life.


Aimee January 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Angela: Thank you for your time and efforts spent sharing with us all. I am so glad to have come across your page during my journey. It has helped me to know that I am not alone in my struggles, that I am only human and that I can successfully meet the challenges that lay ahead. I have decided to change my eating because of health issues/inherited illnesses and nutritional deficiencies. I am hoping to make a difference in my health before it is too late. Here is where I am at in my journey.

In the past I have always approached things “Cold-Turkey” but too, fell “off the wagon” a short time later then became discouraged at my efforts. This time, I am making my changes slowly. Not in any particular or orderly fashion. But just increasing my fruit and veggie intake making them 80 percent my diet. Increasing my legume consumption to a daily intake and decreasing both my dairy and meat consumption. I used to over eat meat proteins since I have always contended with “low-blood sugar” issues. Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman made sense and convinced me to change this.

Now I am fine without meat though on occasion I still allow myself to eat it. I know eventually, I will become full vegan. I changed my milk years ago to rice and/or almond. Real butter and Cheese is the hardest thing for me to give up completely right now. Butter because I just love the flavor and question the ingredients in the alternatives. I have tried several replacements for cheese (including Dyia) and just can’t seem to enjoy them. I can taste the nutritional yeast too much and don’t care for the flavor. My next venture is to find a homemade recipe that might just satisfy as a cheesy replacement.

I have yet more reading to do, as I am still on my learning curve and loving it!


Leah January 2, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Angela I’m so happy you decided to do this series. I think it will be great for me!

I began venturing into vegan foods after I picked up “The Kind Diet”. This was a couple of years ago when I was living with my mom. We actually ended up loving it! Once we stopped thinking in terms of restriction, it became a lot of fun. We tried tons of new foods, and my digestive issues were getting better without the OTC drugs I’d been on for a long time (also – a huge shout out to unfiltered apple cider vinegar for that one!).

Unfortunately I fell off the vegan wagon and haven’t found the encouragement to get back on. Part of it was moving out of my mom’s house, and the other part was laziness (boo). But now I’m ready to try again, and my roommate/partner of 2 years is super encouraging! I think this series of yours is exactly what I need – I’ll be stocking my pantry this week :)


Kerry January 2, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Thank you so much for this series! I went completely vegan about 4 months ago, and I feel great! I was vegetarian for most of my life, but because of pressure from my friends and family, I did go back to eating meat for a few months about a year ago. I felt terrible, so I cut out meat again (except fish) and then finally decided to go completely vegan. I made the transition from pescetarian to vegan overnight, and it was really easy. Fish really creeped me out to begin with, so that was easy to give up. I never liked cheese or eggs very much, and with all the great milk substitutes available, I never felt like I was missing anything. Baking has been a little bit of a challenge, but I’ m still learning! Your blog has been a great help and inspiration to me, and I don’t know what I’d do without your recipes! Thank you for everything.


Anele @ Success Along the Weigh January 2, 2013 at 2:45 pm

I’m so excited for this series and I’m not even vegan, just know that things have to be tweaked here and there and you’ve always given great tips/recipes. So just more awesome from you, missy! Thanks, I’m sure it’s a time consuming but rewarding series to put together!


Jil @ Big City, Lil Kitchen January 2, 2013 at 2:46 pm

I’m a firm believer that nothing worthwhile comes easily (or quickly!) – love this post. Also, I mayyyy need to go out and get a bunch of mason jars and make my pantry goodies look as lovely as yours.


Keri January 2, 2013 at 2:48 pm

I love you!
I woke up yesterday thinking how can i transition myself and my family to wheat and dairy free and low and behold you have come up w a transition to vegan which is very inspiring to me…I grew up vegetarian but lost my way when I moved out of the house. But I have always been interested in healthy choices so I am on your site everyday checking out what you have to offer and find myself making vegetarian meals almost evry night. I just want to be one of the thousands of people who praise you for your hard work and generosity sharing with others what is important to you.
I write this as I sip a green monster and my kids are asking me for more…I think they love u too!


Christina Summers January 2, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Hi! I transitioned to become a vegetarian in February 2012 and a fully blown vegan in April 2013. I had a brief transition period during those three months. I removed the majority of animal products except for dairy in ice cream and fish for sushi. After my body started to cleanse itself eating fish started to become very heavy and unappealing so I dropped that hot. I held on to ice cream the longest, but when I found scrumptious vegan ice creams and banana soft serve there was no looking back.

I transitioned to a vegan diet for ethical reasons. I always had those PETA and Mercy for Animals handed out to me at college. I would glance at it, but then throw it away because it disturbed me too much….but I chose to ignore the truth. Until that day in February I read a few pamphlets front to back and cried. At that moment I became a vegetarian and three months later a vegan. I

I absolutely love everything about living a vegan diet. I am now more of the change that I want to see in the world. A huge part of my healthy transition is due to this wonderful, funny, informative and delicious blog. Thank you for everything Angela!!!!


Mary January 2, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Fork Over Knives definitely did it for me. I had NO IDEA how much eating animal products was affecting the environment, animals and my health. I am an all-or-nothing person so I went cold turkey! I felt a little sick the first week and I am pretty sure it was a dairy withdrawal, yuck. I was a vegetarian in high school and college, so I always knew I could eliminate meat again pretty easily. It was an easy and fun transition for me because I absolutely love cooking and saw this as a new culinary adventure. Luckily having been a vegetarian previously, I was already a tofu and bean lover!
As for eating, I ironically didn’t buy any fake meats and cheeses, although it would have probably made it easier on me in the beginning! I think because I had just read The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook which really encouraged me to eat whole, unprocessed foods. It’s an amazing and resourceful book to learn about different foods and their benefits.


Jessica January 2, 2013 at 3:04 pm

I couldn’t agree more!! I love the new series, and I especially love all your recipes.

I went vegetarian 2 years ago, and made the vegan plunge a year ago. Going vegetarian wasn’t a problem, but just like you said, cheese was hard to give up! It took me almost three months to completely give up cheese, but I feel great now. I think what helped me most complete the change was having someone to talk to. Most people, when they learned I was vegan, would give me empty stares and say “Why? So you don’t even eat fish?” My sister went vegan before me, so we helped each other out, discovered new recipes, new produce, and great restaurants to eat out at. I think it’s also important to know why you are making the change. If you don’t have a reason you believe in, you won’t stick to it!

Thank you so much for this blog. You are truly an inspiration!


Christine @ Shot Bun January 2, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Hi Angela – thanks for sharing. I decided to go vegan about 6 months ago and although I struggled a bit at first, I am confident in my ‘vegan ways’ now. I have always loved to cook and bake so I didn’t see vegan food as a challenge per say, just a new type of cooking. Unlike many new vegans I love to spend time in the kitchen and I enjoy taking the extra time to prepare delicious plant based meals. It is definitely more time consuming to prepare healthy meals, but it is so so worth it!

When I went vegan I went cold turkey – with a few cheats. I told myself that if I went full vegan during the week I could indulge in a non-vegan ‘treat’ on the weekend. For the first two weeks I would have cream in my coffee on weekend mornings, and a square of milk chocolate here and there, but I soon realized I didn’t need those things anymore. I slowly added less cream and soon I could drink the coffee black. I now enjoy dark organic vegan chocolate way more than I remember milk chocolate tasting. Vegan is not a diet, it is a lifestyle and it takes time for your body to get used to it. I wanted to say thank you to you as well – your blog helped me get through the really tough times when I wanted to go back to cheese and chicken breasts. Your stories, recipes, and guides are very helpful and are a great resource for new/old vegans!


Stephanie January 2, 2013 at 3:26 pm

I remember reading your “Vegan Pantry” post and printing it out and filling up my own pantry. Like you said, I adjusted it to my own taste, but it really DID help. It still does. I’m having a hard time transitioning to vegan but your blog helps motivate me because everything you are describing here, I can relate to.

Thanks for creating the series!!


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 2, 2013 at 6:43 pm

I’m so glad to hear the list has been helpful for you! And yes the best part is that you can adjust it to your own needs. :)


nicole March 18, 2013 at 1:29 pm

I’ll have to check that post out!

I’m kind of feeling my way blindly through the transition right now, so the past few weeks I’ve been obsessively reading your blog. I also love Alicia Silverstone’s Kind Life site. The two of you have single-handledly given me the information I need to make healthy vegan decisions.

The first time I went vegan I hadn’t ever heard of your site, but I based it a lot on Alicia’s book and recipes. The problem was, the food was too time-consuming to make and I was used to eating “convenience foods.” I’ve been vegetarian for quite a while (2ish years now? since midway through college) but I was a vegetarian the same way I was an omnivore, and the same way that I, initially, was a vegan: eating convenient, highly-processed, unsatisfying foods that left me feeling sluggish and drained.

This time around I’ve embraced the Green Monster (I have it for breakfast every morning!) and oatmeal is even slightly more palatable with your peanut butter-applesauce recipe, so I’ve been making myself eat that some. I got a rice cooker with a steamer inside it, and for dinner a lot of nights I’ve been having rice, steamed kale, and a bit of a canned Indian food sauce (I’m trying to use it up since it’s one of the remaining non-vegan things in my pantry) for dinner every night. Those GMs are really magical. I just have the Classic GM, no tweaks on it yet, with peanut butter. I’m going to make your homemade oat milk recipe tonight and try using that in future – getting the health benefits of fresh oats without having to actually *eat* the oats will be a huge plus, and I really like oat milk.

Anywho! This novel-length comment was just to say: Thank you for this post, for your Green Monsters, for your oatmeal recipe, and for your frank discussion of where you struggled. It’s extremely helpful and motivating. And I will definitely be checking out the vegan pantry post!!


Kate January 2, 2013 at 3:30 pm

I’ll echo the 30 and not ready for babies sentiment! Respecting your own timeline is a very good thing! I’m loving this new series as I re-evaluate my eating habits. I was vegan for about 9 months but also in the depths of an eating disorder – it was all about restriction. Now, with a healthier mindset about food and what I want to put in my body, I’ve been revisiting a truly plant-based, whole food way of eating. This will be a great tool as I figure out what works best for my body. Thank you, as always, for your insight!


Sarah January 2, 2013 at 3:39 pm

I’m loving this series already! I’ve been challenging myself to cut out meat and dairy. I think one of the biggest helps for me is NOT pressuring myself to be perfect. If I find out there was a trace amount of cheese in the food I just ate, I coach myself not to freak out and then just move on. Expecting perfection equals frustration and giving up for me. So far with the challenge, so good!


Rajvinder Kaur January 2, 2013 at 3:44 pm

I almost teared with joy after reading this blog because you just described me. My thought process behind transitioning into becoming a vegan has been to take it slow. I grew up drinking chai (Indian tea) with whole milk my entire life and having to give it up all of a sudden felt scary, so what I did to find a way to still have it was to do lots of research. I found many recipes to make this chai using non-dairy creamers that make it taste just as good as the original using whole milk. I still have my tea and it’s also vegan :). So for anyone thinking that becoming vegan means having to eat lettuce and carrots at all times is wrong. I think almost every non-vegan recipe can be converted into vegan and enjoyed just the same way. I always find recipes and convert them into vegan and I have never been disappointed. I am also very THANKFUL for your blog because it has kept me so motivated and inspired to cook at home every day. I cannot wait for your cookbook to come out so I could share it with everyone around me :).


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 2, 2013 at 6:42 pm

I’m so happy to hear this, thank you! I agree that many recipes can be made vegan without sacrificing taste and the ones that can’t – well, I have been eating too much good food to miss them.


Gretchen Noelle @ Provecho Peru January 2, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Glad you are doing this. I tried vegan for a month last year and some things I liked (my skin) and some things I didn’t (my energy level). I want to go that direction this year for health reasons so all advice is helpful. I really liked your point about being mindful of what we are adding instead of what we are taking away. That is a key for me to get in my head! Thanks!


Susan January 2, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Last year my 2012 New Years Resolution was to go from vegetarian to vegan for one month and then evaluate. One year later, I still eat vegan and don’t think I’ll ever go back. The digestive benefit alone was worth the change and initial challenge. Confessions of a former cheese addict, I was always backed up. My skin is much clearer and my mood is more even which I attribute to proper working plumbing. I had no idea what to eat the first couple weeks, I bought way to much replacement foods on my stock up trip to whole foods, vegan sour cream, cheese, and faux meats, earth balance and veganaize. Some of these products work great as substitutes and some you can do with out. I still do not like any of the vegan cheese. I have grown a fondness for “nooch”. Finding all the recipe blogs, cookbooks and sites has been what supported me in the change. It’s a process and takes a little time to find your stride. The cheese cravings go away when you take the dairy out of your diet, it didn’t take me long to love pizza without cheese.


[email protected] n Dishes January 2, 2013 at 4:20 pm

I love to eat vegetarian (I love cheese & eggs too much to go vegan), but more importantly whole foods, not processed. Thanks for providing great information and recipes Angela!


Barbara January 2, 2013 at 4:35 pm

I can be called the ‘accidental vegan’ because going totally vegan wasn’t my initial intent. Oh I had thought about it many times, but dismissed those thoughts as unattainable. How could I possibly undo something I did for over 50 years?? I started off my lifestyle change with just trying to eat healthier – with the main intent of losing weight. I cut out sugar, white flour, potatoes and artificial sweetners. Before I knew it, I was cutting out meat and eating more fish. Then I was taking entire days and going meatless. Last to go was the dairy. This worked for me because it was a gradual thing – and before I even realized it I was a vegan – and 35 pounds lighter. I’m 51 and I feel the best I’ve felt in my life. For the first time in my life I feel like my body isn’t angry at me.


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 2, 2013 at 6:38 pm

awesome story, thanks for sharing & congrats on your changes.


Amber January 2, 2013 at 5:10 pm

What’s your approach when making a change – slow and steady or cold-turkey?

For me, I have to AIM for cold-turkey, although just because I say “cold turkey” doesn’t mean I’ve been perfect. If I go in with the mindset that I’ll eat 100% vegan, I’ll eat about 90%. If I allow slips, I’ll slip OFTEN. I ate a mostly vegan diet all December, but gave into my family’s traditional holiday food for Christmas. I’m just now getting back with it. I will say that one downside of making the transition suddenly is, personally (and sorry for the TMI!), it makes me incredibly bloated and gassy for 3-5 days. I mean, it’s stretchy pants BAD – can’t even wear my bigger jeans. Once I get past that, it’s like something in my body clicks and says, “Oh, this is nice!” and everything starts working perfectly. So if you decide to go with a sudden change, be aware that might be an issue for you.

Have you read any books or watched any movies that helped you with the transition?

This blog is my favorite! It has opened my mind to so many new things. This is where I began considering a vegan diet…I think I came across it after watching Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, then jumping on the juice train, and eventually finding Green Monster smoothie recipes here. Any of those foodie movies are good motivators for me – Food Inc, Forks over Knives, Food Matters. Healthy for Change is a newer one on Netflix that’s great. There are also some TED Talks about food that largely promote plant-based foods. I have found other vegan blogs by googling “vegan blogs”, so try that, too. Follow them on Facebook or use Google Reader so you can read new posts all in one place.

Are you making changes to your diet right now? What are you doing to make the transition easier?

If I don’t plan my meals well, I waste so many veggies, so meal planning is my current focus. I started a spreadsheet for meals, listing (more or less) what I’ll eat, but most importantly, what will be leftover. If I open a can of chickpeas for a salad, I want to plan to eat it in another meal soon after. I don’t want to make a pot of soup unless I’m sharing it, because it goes bad before I can eat it all. I haven’t mastered freezing foods in a way that makes them at ALL appetizing later. I usually eat vegan alone, but sometimes my boyfriend joins me, so we’ve already talked this year about getting together on meal planning even though we don’t live together. We are both serious about cutting back on wasted food. One thing we are planning to do (though haven’t started yet) is have a veggie prep party on Sunday. He’s really good about eating healthy when he tries but spends a fortune doing it at restaurants.

Off to read the other comments!


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 2, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Hi Amber, Thank you for your thoughtful comment! Great insight and tips. I haven’t seen all of the movies you mentioned, so I’m off to google a couple. Thanks!


Amber January 2, 2013 at 10:09 pm

I figure TED talks might be the hardest to find if you have never heard of them before. Here are some about food:

Food Inc is more about going organic than going vegan, but learning about the former naturally led to the latter for me.

What I liked about HUNGRY for Change (NOT Healthy for Change, that’s a typo above…doh!) is they focus some on mental wellness, not just physical.


Amber January 2, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Great feedback from others. :) Another thing I thought of is that, contrary to what some may think, this is a very budget friendly way to eat. Have you seen meat prices lately, especially beef? And that’s not even local, organic meat. Grocery shopping is simpler, too. Almond milk, canned tomatoes, beans, and veggies, occasional freezer items, and produce.


jenna January 2, 2013 at 5:40 pm

what a great series! I’m excited to read more. these are all really resourceful tips for someone just going vegan.


Ariel January 2, 2013 at 5:48 pm

I am neither vegan nor vegetarian, but find that the easiest way to transition to a low meat diet, is to make items that can be customized to include meat, or not. For instance, you can make a large pot of vegan vegetable stew/gulash. Throughout the week, you can add some cooked beans, a dollop of greek yogurt or hummus, left-over fish/meat, serve over quinoa, or just eat as-is.

This makes the “base” of your meal vegetables, and gives you the option to add whatever you like. Same thing with big salads – chop all the different components at one time, and then assemble as you like. One day vegan, one day vegetarian, one day carnivore.

Also, a good way to approach meal prep if you are a working mom. . .


debbie January 2, 2013 at 6:34 pm

I went from vegetarian to vegan seven hearts ago and have never reqretted it. I amlucky that my one daughter is vegetarian and supports my food choices.but often I feel alone and like an outsider with family .my iterated big concern is I still crave sweets vegan of course. But would love to kick this habit any help please.


Dara January 2, 2013 at 6:58 pm

I know how you feel!
I am from Texas and my whole family eats meat.. pounds of meat at every festive event.
They are always curious and wear that “oh my goodness” look on their face when I don’t grab turkey or chicken at these events. Its OK though, they support me regardless. Thankfully, I have an aunt who is health conscious and we share ideas.


Dara January 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm

What’s your approach when making a change – slow and steady or cold-turkey?
Slow and steady..
1. I gave up junk and fast food when I was 17/18 years old and became very aware of the food I was putting into my body but I went very extreme with this and avoided all fat as much as possible thinking that not eating it would help me lose all my fat (oh how uneducated I was at that time). I even cut out all sweets.. every last one for an entire year
2. I learned that indulging is OK and slowly started to eat sweets again
3. In 2010, during a month long surf trip in Mexico I met my first Vegan (from Austria) and another friend I met recommended the Blood Type Diet – both inspired me to give up red meat and eat more plants (the BTD claims red meat is toxic to A+ blood). I did not stick to the BTD to the T but I took information I thought was more true than others to mind and followed this – I have not eaten red meat since. Oh, wait. Those reading may find this amusing but a few months after returning from Mex and not eating red meat was the local Mosquito Festival and annual BBQ cook-off. Our friend won first place for his Brisket. I love Brisket. The meat smelled so good and I spent my whole life growing up on BBQ – so instead of eating it I just took a chunk from the pan chewed on it for a good minute just to get the flavor and then spit it out.. haven’t been in contact with red meat since.
4. September 2011 I decided to go vegetarian. I ate my last piece of chicken at a favorite Thai restaurant. From then until now the only meat I have eaten is seafood. My diet is basically vegan anyways since animal products are expensive and I am on a college budget so seafood, butter, eggs, and yogurt wasn’t a daily food.
5. This year, 2013 – it is a resolution to go vegan – have not slipped up.

How did you make the transition to a vegan or vegetarian diet? What strategies worked for you?
Flexitarian to ovo-lacto-vegetarian to now vegan
1. My biggest “stick-to” is a whole foods diet. Meaning foods that are a fresh as possible and contain at most 10 ingredients. Larabars are basically the only food that have the most ingredients I eat. I am not fooled by the “health” labels on “health” food. Even if the box says organic I still read the ingredients list and I stay away from soy (soy protein isolate – especially) AMAP.
2. Can I make it myself? I have learned over the past year that grocery consumers will either spend the most of time or money when it comes to food. I chose time. Purchasing bulk items and making my own foods that typically come packaged (such as vegan yogurt, almond milk, WW bread, hummus, peanut butter, and ketchup) has saved me a bunch of money and has also given me experience with trial and error food preparation. I love it.
3. Open mind. Never fear unknown food – this helps me with my variety.
4. And speaking of variety – I am a mixture person and will combine the oddest of foods.. how about beans (plain, soaked and cooked legumes) in plain oatmeal sweetened with banana and dates? Or roasted pumpkin seeds in tomato salsa? or mustard on baked potato? yea- I believe my strange food combos helps me maintain what I need from a nutritive standpoint.

Have you read any books or watched any movies that helped you with the transition?
YES! Reading is what got me started on my health kick in the beginning! I read like crazy: books, magazines, blogs, articles, and websites..
The documentary Forks Over Knives inspired me to give up meat. I also have seen Super Size Me and Fast Food Nation, these helped with the transition as well.


Dara January 2, 2013 at 7:01 pm

one more strategy I find helpful:
each week I purchase the same staple foods: garlic, tomato, lettuce, carrots… etc and I use these easily perishable foods with the pantry foods to create a multitude of meals every week. each food is versatile and easy to work with. unlike other skilled folk, meal planning gives me a headache.


debbie January 2, 2013 at 7:12 pm

I would love a sample diet plan that could give me ideas what to eat for breakfast lunch and dinner and snacks. I struggle with eating the right portions. Any help please


Dara January 2, 2013 at 11:47 pm

What kind of food do you like?
What do you prefer at certain times of the day?
How much of a budget do you allow for groceries?
How easy is it for you to shop at a store that has bulk purchasing options?
How much time do you allow for daily and weekly food prep?
And most important – how serious are you about sticking to a lifestyle diet that will keep you happy?


Emily January 3, 2013 at 9:28 am

The Happy Herbivore has meal plans that you can buy each week with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I haven’t tried the meal plans, but I have all the cookbooks. The food is easy to prepare and pretty darn good. I think the plans are reasonably priced too.


Robin January 2, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Great post! I went slowly, too, after many, many years as a vegetarian. I eliminated eggs first, then dairy milk, then cheese and finally Greek yogurt. It was a good pace for me – I never went back. My advice to new or aspiring vegans is to read a lot (about nutrition, shopping, recipes, non-food items, etc.) and be open-minded. It’s fun and exciting! Your blog was a big help on the recipe side of things. Thank you!


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 2, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Great post Ange!! I love these tips, especially the one about stocking your pantry. I think that in order to make any dietary changes, you’ve got to be prepared. By keeping unhealthy processed (or in your case, non-vegan) foods out of sight, and filling your kitchen with all the foods that DO fit into the type of diet you’re aiming to follow, they sort of become forgotten. Even though I’m not vegan, this was definitely the case when I transitioned to a whole foods diet. With all the fruits and veggies, there literally is no room in my fridge for anything else!!


Lia @ Sojourning January 2, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Yay! I love these sorts of series and instructional posts! I actually went cold-turkey. Meat-loving to vegan overnight. It helped my IBS and I felt great, so I never went back. It was supposed to be just a week-long experiment to help me be more creative in recipe creation. I’ve definitely gone back and forth since then, but have been a happy vegan advocate for years now. Reading posts like this is always a motivation for me to stick to things that I know are better for me. I love the food films and Earthlings is a great one too. thanks for starting this!


Megan @ MegGoesNomNom January 2, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Love this post. Even as a non-vegan I found reading about your personal experiences very interesting – thanks for sharing!


K January 2, 2013 at 8:19 pm

I’m vegetarian, and have been for almost 20 years. I want to try going vegan eventually. I find it easier in the summer months when there is so much fresh produce to choose from. I also eat less processed sugars and unhealthy fats in the summer, I find.

Movies/documentaries I’ve seen that have been a great inspiration include:
Food Inc. Veganomics, Forks Over Knives, Hungry for Change.


Herbivore Triathlete January 2, 2013 at 8:19 pm

I ate a vegetarian diet for most of my teen years so when I decided to eat a vegan diet, I went cold-turkey! It’s been 7 months and your blog has helped me tremendously. Love all your recipes!


Adam January 2, 2013 at 8:21 pm

I really like the point of not expecting perfection. Too many people try to aim for the stars then go back to their old ways when they don’t reach them immediately. Change is a process.


alex January 2, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Today is Day Two of being vegan, after nearly a year of eating a vegetarian diet. Technically tomorrow will really be day one because i didn’t finish up the last bits of butter and cheese until today, but I haven’t bought any since my last pizza on the 31st (farewell to a great love :) ), so I’m counting it. My husband has been mostly vegan since June, so the transition has been pretty slow and easy for me.

What helps me is to have lots of resources on hand, like this website and others like it, to help me find fun and exciting food to try to distract me from what I’m “missing,” and to help me learn more. So far it’s working pretty well, and I’ve found lots of new favorite foods.


Kayla January 2, 2013 at 8:40 pm

I love that you mentioned the documentary “Forks over Knives.” I watched this movie a couple of months ago and have been making an effort to implement a “full” vegan approach into my diet. I have been a vegetarian for the past 2 years; I love to cook and I loved my current eating habits. Slowly, but surely I have been cutting dairy out of my diet, but eggs and yogurt have been my two biggest obstacles. Any recommendations or tricks to ease the pain of replacing dairy?

So excited that you are approaching your blog from a new standpoint this year! I hope you continue blogging your yummy recipes and posting photos though! :)


Fit Missy January 2, 2013 at 8:49 pm

My boyfriend and I have decided to transition over to eat more fruits and veggies, and legumes in the new year. For him it’s a bigger change as he has decided to cut out processed food such as cold cuts and dairy.

It is helpful that there is 2 of us doing it together.

Thanks for this post.


Katy January 2, 2013 at 9:18 pm

I went cold turkey when I became vegetarian five and a half years ago. I was nineteen, and it was like an epiphany..I don’t have to eat what other people make me anymore! and so i didn’t. i never chose to eat meat and noticed how heavy and lethargic it made me feel. i felt instantly lighter upon giving it up and never looked back! the vegan journey has been somewhat rockier. when i gave up meat i also gave up milk and eggs. other animal products were few and far between, but i did eat them, mostly out of convenience and peer pressure. when i was twenty i became independent from my family and finally felt in control of what i ate, completely. i was perfectly vegan for the first three months on my own, lost weight, and my period! co workers and a boyfriend eventually drew me back into eating dairy more regularly, at least in the form of bakery goods and mexican food. [i was a cake decorator and had a latino boyfriend]. i saw an immediate change when i started eating dairy regularly. my skin broke out and my metabolism slowed down. In October 2011 I regained control. I started refusing the bad food my boyfriend always wanted to eat and would cook for myself. Eventually he wanted to eat what i was eating! he started to notice positive changes in how he felt, and preferred to eat more like me most of the time. the most important things i gained from making this change was that, first of all, i became an awesome cook! i have never been someone who settles for bland food, and now everything i eat is delicious and plant based. but also, i became empowered by realizing that i can be the trendsetter. i don’t need to eat anything just to please someone else. i havent been perfect. my greatest downfall is probably sweets that are offered to me. staying away from processed sweets, and sugar works best for me. I am generally satisfied if i just stay away completely and use fruits or smoothies in lieu of desserts. all the great documentaries and books out there are awesome! i’ve read skinny bitch, eating animals, and the kind diet, all of which reinforced why i don’t want to eat animal products. docs i liked: food, inc., fat, sick and nearly dead, food matters, and forks over knives. i also recommend the blood type diet book, although i am of the sort who believes that if you have a blood type which is apparently accustomed to certain animals/animals products, that doesn’t mean one should eat them, but only that she should be aware of what nutrients she needs.


Melanie McDaniel January 2, 2013 at 9:50 pm


Really looking forward to this series and sharing this with others. As I have commented before, I LOVE YOUR SITE. I literally make your recipies every night. Every single thing I’ve made from your site is so yummy. We have, at all times, endurance crackers, adventure trail cookies and lightened up protein salad ready to eat. Literally at all times!! My husband and I were very nervous when you mentioned a new blog coming with the new year. We were so afraid your incredible selection of recipies would be taken down. Whew…what a relief to see what you have in mind!! So proud of you, Angela. Love the direction you’re taking!


Ashley P January 2, 2013 at 10:06 pm

I love this series and this is such a great post! I have been vegan for almost a year now but I was vegetarian long before that. The last thing I gave up was my love for chobani greek yogurt, but I eventually found decent substitutes, like Almond Yogurt. I definitely think it helps to take those baby steps into this transition. Ever since I became vegan I have been loving what I put into my body and all the energy. Some good cookbooks I have found with easy vegan recipes are the Happy Herbivore cookbooks. I also recommend “Main Street Vegan” by Victoria Moran, which is a great read for transitioning into a vegan diet and also has some easy recipes.


Samantha January 2, 2013 at 10:34 pm

What’s your approach when making a change – slow and steady or cold-turkey?
I have been vegan for about 15 years now (vegetarian for about 24 years), I hadn’t much thought about the transition of it until this series.

How did you make the transition to a vegan or vegetarian diet? What strategies worked for you?

Vegetarian transition was “easy.” I never liked meat and one day I told my parents I was done. While living at home in family meals I just picked the meat out. We were a large family so there was no way I was getting a special side meal.

Vegan just sort of happened. Short of cheese I just didn’t find it very hard. I had to pay attention to bread labels, but other than that it was a lifestyle choice I wanted to make. I can’t say my diet was great or balanced, but I was younger and could get away with it.

Have you read any books or watched any movies that helped you with the transition?

Surprisingly no. And to be honest I avoid any of the movies or books that are going to be hard to watch or read. I didn’t need to be horrified into my choice. I am well aware that our food industry in general can use some work.

Are you making changes to your diet right now? What are you doing to make the transition easier?

The biggest change that has come with age is to be more whole foods based and more balanced. When I was younger I could get away with a lot more. Now if I don’t even enough or enough variety I will generally feel kind of crappy.

The hardest part of my transition when I did it was family and friends.


Moni @ {Meals Meals} January 2, 2013 at 10:38 pm

I love that you are doing this Angela! Look at how many people you are helping! Wow. I love your advice-spot on. ;)


Jessica January 2, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Great post! I think a lot of these ideas apply to any dietary changes someone is approaching. I’m currently trying to heal my gut and have removed dairy (already had it mostly out), gluten, processed soy, corn, and a few other items. While I didn’t take baby steps, it can obviously ease the transition. I really like your advice on stocking the pantry (haha I JUST got home from the grocery store doing this) and focusing on what you add. Doing this also helps you be your own teacher and gain confidence in a new skill and lifestyle. Your list makes the changes attainable. :)


Aileen Cohen January 2, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Completely accidental and pretty much cold turkey. I was an omnivore in a food rut and looking at vegan blogs for new recipes to enjoy the vegetables I eat. I made several great recipes and when I realized I had gone three days without any animal products I just kept going. It’s been about 3.5 months and my family is getting used to it although my mother jokingly hopes it is a phase.


Lorinda @ Everyday Endeavours January 3, 2013 at 12:32 am

So excited by this series Angela. Thanks for sharing (even more) of your wisdom with us. I’ve been vegetarian for years but vegan for only a few months–I know there’s still plenty to learn!


Amy January 3, 2013 at 1:04 am

Thank you SO much for this post! You are such an inspiration. Even though I’m not sure if I’ll be riding the vegan train yet, I’ve been struggling with a junk food addiction/under eating for a long time and am working on changing my eating lifestyle and my view of food in general, and these tips are great!! It’s silly, but it’s so nice to read that I’m going to slip up and that it’s ok, and not to focus on that but on the GOOD changes I’m slowly making. One step at a time, for sure! Thanks again and happy New Year!


kally January 3, 2013 at 2:09 am

for medical reasons I changed my diet completely about a year ago. I gave up all red meat and all dairy, but I still kept a bit of chicken and fish. Since then I have given up all chicken too. I eat a low fat plant based diet with some fish.

The fish seems to be an integral part of the diet I need for my medical condition. I think about giving it up, but until I am sure I can find the right amount of replacement I will keep the fish for now.

I love this new way of eating. I make all kinds of great foods and I have found many on your site too. I have shared a lot on Facebook, and in our small town, we have a once a month vegan meal. i can usually eat just about everything there.

What surprised me the most was, as I learned about this way of eating, I picked up information about cruelty to animals, that I kinda, sorta always knew, but didn’t really face. I have become much more of an activist around that issue, especially farm animals.

Who knew my life would change this way. I really think I have a good chance of holding back my symptoms and of dodging some of the big bullets. Forks Over Knives was also very encouraging.


Lou January 3, 2013 at 3:18 am

Hi Angela! I am looking for your post around a year ago where you decorated your lunch/dinner table very festively and it was all red and very nice.. I’d like it for some ideas but I can’t seem to find it anymore! Do you think you know what i’m talking about and perhaps link it to me? Thank you :)


Clare January 3, 2013 at 5:34 am

I love this topic and all the discussion. I went vegan over night after reading “the kind diet”. That was two years ago and I it was the best choice I have ever made. We eat only vegan at home but I find it really hard when we are out at other people’s houses. They often go to the effort to make me something vegetarian but will add eggs or cheese. I hate to make people feel bad for trying but it isn’t what I want to eat. HELP! how do others deal with this?


Chris January 3, 2013 at 7:20 am

I wouldn’t call myself vegan, but rather I’m trying to focus on a plant-based diet. This might seem like semantics. For me I think it’s a difference of intention.

Anyway, my biggest struggle has been giving up cheese. I thought I would miss drinking milk, but no. Cheese is the only dairy I really crave. I’m looking forward to reading more about how you managed these cravings during the transition. Thanks for a great post!


Ann Marie January 3, 2013 at 7:20 am

I’m also turning 30 this year and decided last year to adopt a mostly vegan diet after reading Omnivore’s Dilemma, The China Study, and The Lucky Ones. Most of the recipes I use are from your blog and I now have a crowd at work that is eager to try my “exotic” vegan lunches. Anyone can do it… and I live in cowtown y’all!


Susan January 3, 2013 at 7:52 am

I know you’ve mentioned this on the blog a few times, but I still can’t believe you didn’t know how to cook 4years ago! Your recipes are always delicious and flavorful. I’ve yet to make one that isn’t a flop ( unlike many others out there) and I find it amazing that you are self taught. I consider myself to be a decent cook but I almost always cook from a recipe. You’ve actually inspired me to start experimenting and cook with an overall idea versus a prescriptive recipe.


Maureen January 3, 2013 at 7:57 am

My process with vegetarianism has always been gradual. I stopped eating meat when I was 12, but in my early 20s I had all sorts of variations of eating. When I had my daughter, I got serious. I just couldn’t see feeding her something that I knew was so bad for her. So, we launched into full vegetarianism 2.5 years ago. My husband had some cholesterol problems, which led us to reduce dairy (which changed his cholesterol overnight). For the New Year, I am looking to reduce to no dairy at home, and eating vegan when we can out and about. Eventually, I can see us becoming a vegan family. So, I guess we do things gradually with purpose. And like you said, we don’t beat ourselves up if we slip, we just look forward to the next meal. I found being gradual and forgiving means less slip ups.

One way that I keep myself motivated is that I interject books/movies/etc every couple of months to help remind me and motivate me. On my blog, I have a list of books, movies, and sources to help readers


Kelly January 3, 2013 at 8:13 am

I love reading others’ journeys to the vegan lifestyle. I went cold turkey at the beginning of the summer, much to my extended family’s horror right before I went out to visit them haha! For me, though, the transition wasn’t too far from my regular diet. My parents went vegetarian when I was 9, so I enjoyed 20 years of home cooked vegetarian meals. Watching my parents cook was always a fun past time, so when I moved out on my own I rarely turned to fast food or restaurants. My current roommate hasn’t minded being a vegetarian guinea pig to some of my random meal ideas, though she’s more wary of the vegan meals. I do love exploring things to do with kale, though. It has become my absolute favorite leafy veggie and I I issued myself a challenge to a week of kale in every meal, although I’m still working on how to best prepare it with my steel-cut oats for breakfast… it’s a crazy idea, but it’s actually not bad! Just needs some work lol!


Livvie January 3, 2013 at 8:23 am

I think someone above said it best. Becoming vegan isn’t a diet, it’s just how you choose to eat and live :)

Now. I will admit, sometimes I do like faux-analogs, but I i like MAKING them a lot more. (ie: chickpea cutlets, seitan, etc). and I DO put TVP crumbles/SoyCurls etc in that category, but I do head towards more legumes and stuff as well. It’s about balance :)

Cheese, actually, wasn’t that tough for me to give up. Not with Daiya out there. (YUMMY!). and books on how to make your own. :)

But I think just information like this (Angela’s blog was what prompted me to be vegan), is just key. Find it, and you will become vegan. :D


Livvie January 3, 2013 at 8:27 am

Oh! Clara – this is what I do
(and it’s funny, because my two best friends are 1: Allergic to Soy and 2: Allergic to Walnuts and Cashews (which are like two vegan staple nuts).

When I’m invited, I kindly remind them that I am vegan, which means, no animals/no animal byproducts (including honey for me). I tell them the truth, that it’s two fold. I AM sensitive to animal byproducts (1/2 reason why I went vegan, not vegetarian), so it will make me sick.

I read that there are some vegans who WILL eat it, to be polite, but then just take them aside, and remind them of the No Animal/No Animal Byproduct.

Another option is to bring a dish (enough to share!) so you know you have an option. :)


Jodi January 3, 2013 at 8:36 am

I went mostly cold turkey because I thought going vegan would only be a one-month challenge with my sister… and it turned out to be a 5 YEAR challenge (and counting)! I was looking for a change, but didn’t necessarily think I would stick with it for as long as I did! One of the key motivators for changing my diet and lifestyle is reading Skinny Bi*ch. It was a great book and very informative, with a sassy attitude, which is exactly what I needed to push me. Also, I’ve thumbed over The Kind Diet (Alicia Silverstone) and pulled some thoughts from there, too. And of course blogs like yours helps to reinforce all the amazing foods I have the option of cooking with, so I’m never alone in my quest for a plant-based diet! In the beginning, I found it SO beneficial to really spend one month at home cooking, no eating out and not too much dinners with friends. It sounds boring, but it worked for me. If I’d meet friends for dinner, I’d always eat before and get an appetizer when with them (so I wouldn’t be ravenous and order something non-vegan). Also it gave me the opportunity to get to learn how to cook vegan and what I liked to cook for myself, so I definitely recommend some alone time in the kitchen in the very beginning, if time allows.


Jo-Anna January 3, 2013 at 8:38 am

I said I was going to do it slow and steady, but I pretty much jumped in with both feet.

In a recent attempt follow my beliefs and become more true to myself, I told my husband that I had decided to go vegetarian, but I wasn’t going to do that whole crazy vegan thing. However as I was putting meals together I realized that I didn’t want to eat eggs, dairy, or fish either. So I WANTED to eat a vegan diet. Oh well. I guess I lied to him. This is a bit hard on my husband though as he is a classically french trained chef, and this is not his usual fare. :)

I have found it really easy to switch over as I am not really fighting my cravings. I don’t feel as if I am giving anything up. I just get to eat foods that I actually want to eat. The only difficulty I am finding is trying to get new pantry basics built up and into our weekly food budget, when I still feed my husband and kids their fairly normal diet. So that is slowing things down a bit. I already have dozens of recipes bookmarked and printed out (most from your site actually, right now I am CRAVING upside down apple pancake), and am just waiting for the ingredients to trickle in to try them.


Anita January 3, 2013 at 8:39 am

You can add one more thank you to your list! My husband and I have begun the journey and could use all the help we can get. We started in September and we are taking it slow and steady. A friend had told be about a book called “The China Study”. I had only just started it, when I had an appointment with my cardiologist, and noticed it on his book shelf. When I asked him about it, he said to keep reading and add to it the book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselstyn, and then watch the movie you meantioned, Forks Over Knives. Well it was amazing, that when my husband started to read these books, he agreed with a switch in our diet. (He was a total junkaholic!)
I hadn’t seen the cardiologist for a year…and I have to say the change was incredible!! His weight was down (not that he was really OVER weight) but his colouring and complexion were amazing!!!! He said it was because of a diet change to becoming a vegan. He also said that if everyone were to follow what they are saying in the books…we wouldn’t need cardiologists anymore.
My one glitch is that I am a diabetic. So if anyone out there is in the same boat…I would love any comments about that!!
Thanks so much for this new series. Your blog has been an incredible help to me…as my husband and I have really enjoyed the recipes that you post!


Rhona January 3, 2013 at 9:16 am

Great tips Angela. When I was transitioning although I was reading blogs and books, it was very disorienting. I was the only person I knew who was becoming vegan and the lure to just cheat and eat like everyone else was very powerful. I fell down a few times and was really hard on myself but now I just do what is right for me. Being vegan or plant-based is very important and I make it a key in my life. I really like the tip of bringing food along. I live alone and the hardest times for me is when I visit my family and other friends on the weekends. It took me a while but I realize that eating before I go out somewhere there are little vegan options and packing foods for the weekend is a lifesaver.


LizAshlee January 3, 2013 at 9:45 am

I think the concept of ‘adding in’ rather than taking out is an essential one! It’s one that I largely focus on when working with health coaching clients who are looking to eat healthier…


Patti January 3, 2013 at 10:44 am

I made teh decision to try a plant-based diet this last summer when I was having trouble staying awake, and I decided that I would start while I was on a week’s vacation. I found it was a really good time to start. I had a whole week off to read, shop, and prepare food that I was totally unfamiliar with. I’ll never forget my first vegan meal; it was a veggie dog with diaya cheese. I was jonesing for cheese pretty badly in my first two weeks, but I haven’t really wanted it since September. Later that day I made a ceasar dressing, but I didn’t know what nutritional yeast flakes were, so I used regular yeast. Needless to say I didn’t feel very good after those two meals. But I stuck it out, and now I eat better, and I feel better, and I know about all kinds of delicious foods, it’s a total adventure


Jami E. January 3, 2013 at 11:24 am

Hi Angela,

I just wanted to let you know that I love the new series. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes and your tips for success with us. After being a vegetarian for 15 or so years, myself and a friend of mine decided to go vegan. We quit dairy and eggs cold turkey in a kind of “vegan challenge”. Needless to say our 30 day challenge has lasted 6 months now and I have no plans of stopping. Your blog and recipes have made it so much easier to make the transition. I am looking forward to learning more about a healthy plant based diet. For the new year I have decided to cut down on my processed foods. I have been relying on meat substitutes entirely too much. Your new series came at just the right time for me. It’s great to see how far you’ve come because your “be your own teacher” advice sounds just like my experience too.

Thanks so much!


Heather January 3, 2013 at 11:34 am

I began my journey by cutting out soda (oh, Dr Pepper how I miss you) and processed food. Then meat, which was pretty easy for me because I’ve never been a huge meat eater. Then milk and cheese. I have a daughter who is lactose intolerant and loves vanilla soy milk. I started stocking almond and coconut milk (my current favorite) too. Cheese is my biggest hang up. I go back and forth. I always cut it out because my cystic acne comes back and for digestive issues. I’ll do really good for months, then gradually slip back into eating cheese. My favorite thing to eat right now is quinoa with black beans, lime juice, herbs, and veggies (avacado, red bell pepper, sweet potato, corn, whatever I have in the fridge). And in all honesty, when I try to drink a Dr Pepper now, it grosses me out because it’s so syrupy (is that a real word?). Small changes really add up over time. You will start to see good changes in your body right away and will want to keep adding yummy clean food to your diet.


Carrie (Carrie on Vegan) January 3, 2013 at 11:59 am

I LOVE this new series, Angela and I hear you about taking a long time to make decisions. One of my favorite jewels of info from this article is that you’ll be attending Vida Vegan Con..YAY!!!! I am SO going to break out of my shy mold and say hi to you. :)


brit January 3, 2013 at 12:18 pm

hi angela,
i love you blog and i am so proud of you for all the thoughtful and compassionate work you put in.
i transitioned to veganism in about august of this year – and was a vegetarian for one month before, although i toyed with this idea for a few years previous after loyally reading reading Eating Animals. from these blogs i had learned the basics of vegan cooking and especially vegan baking.
this summer i watched forks over knives and read the china study, and after that i became a vegan instantly, it wasn’t hard as this book gave me so many reasons to make the change – and make it quickly.
i felt, with the science behind the china study, i could definitely not justify eating any animal protein, and that became the reason why my transition was so easy. blogs like and the happy herbivore inspire me to keep on track and continually provide me with the support i need after making this choice.
my life have improved so much since i made the change, i really cannot say (type) enough. i have lost some weight, i no longer dwell on food whether i should eat, whether i shouldn’t (which was a huge problem for me, and really took up alot of headspace). it is just a night to day improvement. my biggest worry about the transition was the (dis)approvement of my family – the family thinking that i was doing something radical for the hell of it, which was one of the reasons why i began reading, reading, reading and reading (dr, joel fuhrman, john robbins, dr. esselstyn….). the books gave me ammunition to defend my choice (on a health/scientific level as well as an environmental level). so after subtly announcing my decision, i told my mom to shut-it and read the china study and then get back to me….
and she did – as a hard-core science loving microbiologist, she is always a skeptic about everything, even she has changed to a fish-only, non-dairy diet. i convinced her, maybe the only time in my life!
cooking/eating have been a bit tougher for her since she has grown up cooking in a very specific way, but she is thriving off the change as well, saying she becomes fuller faster, has much more energy, does not really ever reach a state of ‘hypoglycaemia’ she used to experience at times and has also lost some weight (really without trying).
exciting stuff! keep it up, and thank you for the invaluable work you are doing. i really enjoy hearing these stories about how others’ are motivated to switch to veganism.


Emily January 3, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Such a great idea for a post that I know will be helpful to so many, no matter where they are on their vegan journey. For me, Oh She Glows has been an invaluable tool that I visit daily for comfort, amazing recipe ideas, laughs, support – and now this serious seems like it will broaden that support system even further. I actually have to give you credit and thanks – I was a long time vegetarian when I was introduced to your blog and after a month or two of reading and cooking delicious recipe after delicious recipe I thought – I can do this. I WANT to do this – for my health, the environment, mostly for the animals…..
Well it’s been one year on January 1st and one of the happiest I can remember…Oh She Glows is certainly still part of my daily routine and I am so thankful for having found your wonderful words and recipes to make this amazing journey just a little bit (well a lot) easier!


Marta January 3, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Hi Angela! I think point #4 could be it’s own post it’s that important. Well, it was for me anyways! I spent a full year and a half “preparing” for veganism, and I didn’t even know it at the time. It started out by adding a green smoothie every day (that’s how I found your blog), then more salads and fruit, new legumes, new recipes. It was all so fun and enjoyable, but I happen to love cooking. Reading all the interesting posts and then finding more and more food blogs helped me with the building blocks for becoming veg. Once I realized that’s where I was headed I just kept doing what I was doing, finding healthy alternatives, improving my diet and relationship with food. And then once the decision came to me that I needed to switch (I watched Earthlings, I knew that would do it), it was almost seamless because I had so many of the good habits and knowledge in place. It didn’t feel like I was losing anything. It felt like I had entered this awesome world of culinary adventure, and I think that’s quite common for “successful” vegans.

Great series! Good luck finishing up the manuscript!!! I can’t wait to buy your book :)


Marta January 3, 2013 at 12:30 pm

perhaps it’s a good time to thank you! You literally were the spark that inspired my veganism, and I count that as one the most awesome things that’s happened in my life. Soooo… THANKS ANGELA!


Mélanie January 3, 2013 at 12:32 pm

I actually went cold turkey after having read The China Study (which I highly reccomend!). I just could not continue eating and feeding my children animal products after having learned what I had frim that book. That said, we were never big meat-eaters. 3 to 4 dinners a week were usually vegetarian to begin with (many of which included eggs and/or dairy). I never wanted to be vegetarian because I didn’t want to eat all that dairy and eggs. Of course, I also didn’t want to be vegan because I thought that was just way too weird :) Still, after learning more on the subject of nutrition I made the switch to a plant-based diet overnight. I still remember my last non-vegan meal. I sat there eating my chicken fajitas, thinking, “I could totally do without the chicken!”
Another great read was Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. He is such a wonderful and talented writer, it was a treat to read such a beautifully written book on such a profound and meaningful topic. Forks Over Knives is also very well made and informative.
What has helped me to stick with it is how great I feel! Within days of going vegan, my insides just felt so much better. No more stomach aches! (I used to think tose were just a normal part of life.) Within weeks I has lost a few pounds (I had some to lose). Within months, I noticed I was hardly ever sick. I had so much more energy! (No more 3 o’clock slump.) People started telling me I looked great. That made it easier to keep it up.
My tips for new vegans would inlcude always bringing food with you. This includes the nuts and energy bars in your purse like Angela mentionned as well as bringing vegan dishes to share when eating in someone else’s home.
Also, have an answer ready for when people ask you “WHY?!” I usually start by saying that I made the changes for health reasons. After that, most people either just nod and change the subject or start to talk about themselves and their eating habits. Sometimes they have questions which I’m happy to answer. If you remain non-confromtational and non-judgmental and have a sens of humor, social encounters usually go fairly well.


Courtney L January 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Hi Angela! I was first introduced to your blog by a vegan friend. I have since made several of your recipes (and have loved them!) even though I was not vegan. I am on a weight loss journey right now and have already lost13lbs. I am making the transition over to vegan as we speak. For me, I already eat a variety of foods and so I have many of the ingredients for a vegan diet on hand already. It’s more of a mindset change rather than a huge diet change for me. I love your blog and your recipes!!!! Your pictures of the food make them look so good! Anyways, this series is really going to help me, so thank you!!


Ali @ WHOLEistically Fit January 3, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Thanks so much for all of the insightful information. I mentioned in your intro. post that I’m not vegan and don’t aspire to be, however I do participate in Meatless Mondays and try to limit my meat consumption. Plus, I love trying new and delicious foods. I’m excited to hear more about how you do without all of the meat substitution products on your vegan diet. :D


Sonal January 3, 2013 at 1:38 pm

This is such a helpful post Angela! I try to give up dairy but to be honest I slip up so much so this is right down my alley. Thank you! :)


eatingRD January 3, 2013 at 1:41 pm

We made the transition to a plant-based lifestyle very slowly too. I feel it has been more sustained and doable because of it. I guess I am not completely vegan but I like to call it plant-based. I do not eat meat mostly because the conditions they are in and the ridiculous practices that our food supply employs just to make cheap food. If I had a quality source of organic, pastured meat then I would eat it very occassionally. I do not eat dairy, unless it is fermented at home. I do eat ghee and organic, pastured eggs for their health benefits. I’m not sure what this would be called but I’ll go with mostly plant-based! :)
The Veganomicon cookbook has been really great for us to get more ideas. We hardly like to eat out anymore now because we cook better things at home and actually know what we are eating. Thanks for the tips and lovely recipes!


eatingRD January 3, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Oh and I have been eliminating gluten which has been fairly easy to do at home. Eating out is more of a challenge. Gluten free AND vegan can be a challenge. Any other gluten free recipes or ideas would be great! Are there any good books and/or magazines out there with all gluten free/vegan recipes?


Amanda January 3, 2013 at 2:41 pm

I am so happy to writing in response to this series and grateful to feel connected with people who experience many of the same issues….
I have been vegetarian for at least 9 years and vegan for about 2-3 ish years. Every once and while though…. I can’t pass up on a home baked cookie or something along those lines (holidays are hard!) and I don’t beat myself up for it — but I can feel the difference in my body for sure! And I feel like THAT is what keeps me going with choosing vegan — that when i do adhere to my plant based diet – I feel my best.
Its just like you said though — its not about taking away, its about adding in amazing and wonderful food… fresh veggies and warm pots of beans?! YES PLEASE! People around me don’t always understand that – they may think that vegan food has to taste bad or is not filling — I get so frustrated about it and just continuously look at it as a learning opportunity to show others that vegan food is real food and is AMAZING!


Margo January 3, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Thanks so much for this website. I am almost 59 years old and began experiencing health problems..lots of aches and pains! I had to give up running and started on Celebrex. I read “Eat to Live” and began making the transition. I was able to go off Celebrex and felt so good. Due to the craziness of moving AND the holidays I didn’t stick with it! Guess what? Back on Celebrex! So….my fridge is now overflowing with produce! I am ready to feel good again!! Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and helping all of us gain better, more productive lives!


Anna @ The Guiltless Life January 3, 2013 at 2:57 pm

I’m just vegetarian, not vegan, and have been for 5 years, but I totally agree with all of your tips – especially “focus on what you add, not take away” – that is what I tell EVERYONE who asks me how I did it. If you think of it as an elimination diet – you get to eat everything you once did, minus the meat, or minus the meat and dairy, people just feel deprived. But I eat way more varied foods now than I ever did as a meat eater! I discovered a whole new world – not only of individual foods but also whole cuisines, like Indian or Mexican, or Japanese – cuisines that have many options for vegetarians and aren’t just dull, meat-and-potatoes type meals. Love it!


Erica {Coffee & Quinoa} January 3, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Thanks so much for doing this series, Angela! When I was first inspired by other food bloggers to eat healthier, I gradually began replacing my meat-focused dinners with plant-based ones. Then I read The China Study, which is when I cut out all animal products entirely. At first I had to constantly think about what I should be eating, but over time it became more and more natural to eat only plants. I would highly recommend The China Study to those who haven’t read it, even if you’re just curious about the way animal products affect your body.


Lindsay January 3, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Almost 3 years ago, I decided to go cold turkey and try being a vegan for 30 days. After 2 days I felt like a whole new person, I had so much more energy, I slept better. I felt like I had walked out of a fog that I had been in for my entire life. I have to thank you for your blog because I found it about a week into my journey and have been a regular reader ever since.

One suggestion is to find a few good restaurants in your town that offer vegan options. In the beginning it was helpful to know that if I wanted a cupcake, a good bowl of soup or breakfast out, there was places I could go and enjoy them.

Thank you again for being honest and sharing your journey with us. I know that it has been a part of my vegan transformation.


Tracey January 3, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Your recipes have inspired me to start a vegan way of life and then recently I have hemochromatosis which is too much iron and I am so glad that just months before I discovered your blog and recipes and was already making the change:) Now even my doctor, who is the high protein low carb diet is asking me how I have been eating and interested in the vegan way, go figure! Thank you so much for your recipes and dedication, they are actually a life-saving, healthy choice for me:)


kaity @ kaityscooking January 3, 2013 at 5:49 pm

such a good series ! totally needed it back when i first became vegan.. mine was a cold turkey move but i also lived off of fake deli sandwiches, fake meatballs etc everyday too til i finally learned that i had to cook if i wanted to continue this journey the right way


Helene January 3, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Wow love your tips and ideas. Thanks! Happy New Year!


Nicole January 3, 2013 at 7:34 pm

I’m enjoying this series.
I went vegan cold-turkey in 2011 – I only lasted about 8 months. I stuck to it 100%.
It just wasn’t for me and I give a lot of credit to people who can follow a vegan lifestyle.


Julie January 3, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Love the series. I entered into the Vegan world when my doctor recommended “an elimination diet” due to my autoimmune problems. This however, also included Gluten free. (so I immensely appreciate your gluten free options). So, yes I did it cold turkey about 4 months ago. At first, I felt like I could not eat anything, and now my food choices seem to be expanding. It’s funny that at first it’s a focus on what you are NOT having…. then it progresses to all that you can have. I do intermittently have cheese or an egg, because Gluten is the most important product to eliminate. I don’t miss the meat, milk, egg, or gluten.. it’s the cheese that is my downfall~
Much appreciation for all your hard work!
Please keep the wonderful recipes coming-


Katie January 3, 2013 at 8:16 pm

You do such a great job writing in a relatable way Angela! Thank you for this series!

I became vegetarian about 5 years ago… almost the opposite of cold turkey though. My husband and I decided to become vegetarian for environmental reasons, so for the two weeks after the decision, we ate all the meat we had in our house. Waste not, want not.

I really admire vegans. Meat-eaters often say to me “I would love to be vegetarian, but I just couldn’t give up _________________ (insert steak, bacon, sausage, etc.)” I can’t blame them! The truth is that I would love to be vegan, but I just couldn’t give up cheese. I look forward to your blog about this Angela.

To very very slowly shift toward a vegan diet, I have committed to “vegan Mondays” for 2013. This website is such a great resource for me. I much enjoyed the butternut squash mac and “cheeze” last night, and will be making my 3rd batch of veggie burgers tomorrow.

Thank you!


Jamie January 3, 2013 at 9:35 pm

I love what you say about focusing on what you can add. As a gluten intolerant vegetarian, people frequently comment on all of the foods that I cannot eat. In reality, some of my favorite foods–polenta, oat flour pancakes, millet, roasted chickpeas–I never would have tried otherwise!


Julie January 4, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Oat Flour Pancakes?
I would love this recipe?
Thanks Julie


christine January 3, 2013 at 10:39 pm

As I said in my last post we went cold turkey, but I know that is not what works for everyone. We still eat some fake meat, but as part of our diet not the majority of what we eat. I agree we- eat a much more varied and interesting diet now. In fact cooking and meal planning is much more time consuming as a vegan. How much work and time does it take to throw some steak or chicken on the grill with some potatoes? With the WWW there are so many resources,info and recipes to help with the transition.


Monique January 3, 2013 at 11:00 pm

I became a vegetarian when I was 7, and have been vegan for four years. I’ve seen many friends and family members experiment with veganism, sometimes successfully, other times not so much. In watching and aiding them, the number one thing that’s stuck out is this: unless you realize WHY you’re doing it, it doesn’t really stick. Is it for your health? Ethical? For animals rights? Environmental issues? You don’t need to answer this immediately, but there are just SO many wonderful reasons to go vegan. Find one that resonates the most with you and let it drive you. Otherwise, I’ve seen veganism be treated like any other “diet”: easy come, easy go. I’m not one to judge anyone’s decisions, but if you want to successfully go vegan, figure out WHY and be proud.

I’m looking forward to this series, Angela! Love your blog.


Keri @ Blue-Eyed Runner January 4, 2013 at 7:02 am

So excited about this series! Thank you so much. I have been pretty good about going vegan until dinner time and then I fall apart. The funny thing is that I haven’t actually given up meat or dairy. Just making better choices I guess. My question is- I bought a couple of coconut milk / almond milk yogurts at the store. Is that comparable to doing the fake soy thing or is that okay??


Suzanne January 4, 2013 at 9:49 am

Great post Angela. I am a gradual change person as well. I have never liked meat so only ate a few bites at dinner (lathered in ketchup!) when I was growing up. As soon as I could choose my own foods, meat was not in my diet. (my husband/bf at the time and I, went cross country after college – visited many relatives who would ask if I was vegetarian – I would respond “I’m not vegetarian, I just don’t eat/like meat” – b/c I did not have a big value thing about animals etc. My husband said – ‘keep it simple and just say you’re a vegetarian’ – I have since developed more of a feeling about being kinder to the planet and to animals) I also had an ED so health was not a priority – and I was protein deficient for many years. I have a much broader palate now – though I am still not one who will eat anything (so I cannot blame anyone but myself for my picky children ;-)
I have been dairy free for a year and egg free (felt no great loss there!) for 8 months or so. I do find I rely on dairy substitutes some (mostly almond milk, soy yogurt – I do not miss cheese). I would like to wean these out of my diet more this year. I used to have ice cream every night so the soy yogurt has been my substitute for that – will miss the creamy comfort! We watched Forks Over Knives and one of my sons decided to go vegan for a bit – he has since added some eggs and dairy back (Holidays were a bit tough for him!) – but my boys are all vegetarian and have no desire to try meat at this point. I also read :”The China Project” – similar to FOK – very good. Thanks for this series – so nice to read about others journeys


allison January 4, 2013 at 11:15 am

For us we went vegetarian in the begining of 2012…but really weren’t eating red meat at all, just chicken and turkey before that….not big meat eaters to begin with. We had already eliminated milk from our diet but were still eating milk products. Then we watched Forks Over Knives in May of 2012…by June we went to Vegan. :-) It wasn’t that hard really. The key for me was that my partner is on board. He’s the healthiest eater I know :-). He will eat anything I cook. If it’s good for us…he’s there. We’re both very athletic and into sports and a plant based diet just makes sense to us. I still offer meat and animal products to my kids, but I don’t make two dinners. I am not a restaurant ;-) and really children can benefit from vegetables haha…it’s not child abuse contrary to some opinions of my friends. We travel alot. We prepare. We hit grocery stores not restaurants. We have at family dinners done the vegetarian thing. If we go somewhere and it’s made, we either bring something to share or just eat the veggie side dishes and not worry about it.


Finn January 4, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Hi Angela,
I’m a relatively new reader to your blog, but I love all of your vibrant photos and your chatty self. I have been vegetarian for two years, but have been slipping these past few months, so this kind of post is exactly what I need – Motivation for sticking to it, making healthier choices and cutting away some of the dairy that is causing my IBS to act up occasionally!!
I have just started treatment for binge eating disorder and need inspirational and good food that help keeps me full, tastes amazing and makes me realize the joys of being healthy – I can honestly say that your blog and recipes are just what the doctor ordered! :)


Silvia January 4, 2013 at 1:08 pm

I am what you would call the “accidental vegan.” I have been an omnivore all my life. In the spring of this past year, I had made and eaten an organic beef burger. The meat was purchased from a local trusted supplier. Soon after my meal, i started to feel sick. Not seriously sick but I felt that burger inside me for 3 days. Not sure if the meat was contaminated or if it wasn’t cooked thoroughly but the whole experience pushed me towards a vegetarian cleanse for the next few days. Looking for recipes, I picked up Alicia’s Silverstone’s ” The Kind Diet” and it literally changed my life. Everything made sense. My body had been rejecting dairy for years but I didn’t feel I was strong enough to give it up. As I moved towards a vegan diet, my body rejoiced. I have been a practicing vegan now for almost a year and love it. I recommend it as often as I can. My husband and my 2 young children are also on this journey with me.


Miche January 4, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Hi Angela!

I know that I have said it before, but I absolutely love reading your blog :) I can relate to so many of the things that you talk about in each post, and I usually always find myself giggling at some point! Lately I have been reading these in private because all of the giggling gets me strange looks from my boyfriend, hehehe. I have that same problem of being quite indecisive, but I agree that I usually make the best possible decision because of it.

I’m so happy to see that you mentioned Forks Over Knives in this post! That documentary is actually what lead me to beginning a completely plant-based diet — which is how I stumbled along your blog :) It was an easy transition for me because I also didn’t eat a lot of meat. I was pretty much eating a vegetarian ovo/lacto diet 5 days a week with minimal meat/fish that usually came from sharing meals with my boyfriend. It has been a gradual transition for me simply because I was easing my boyfriend into eating this way. He loves fast food of any sort, and looked at me like I had 3 heads when I told him I was going to be cooking vegan from now on. Since January 1st our household has turned 100% vegan! I have convinced him to try it out for the 28 days of the Engine 2 diet plan to see if we can naturally regulate his blood sugar levels (we discovered he had type 2 diabetes last year).

I have been following this new plant-based diet since Thanksgiving, and I feel great. I expected it be a lot tougher seeing all of the foods I get excited about annually during the holidays, but it wasn’t bad at all. I brought many of your dishes to holiday parties so that I would have something to eat, and many of the guests ended up enjoying them as well :) I challenged myself by turning all of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes vegan this year, and they turned out delicious. I lost my mother a few years ago, and holidays are sometimes tough for me. This was the first year in a long time that I had something else new and exciting to keep myself focused on that made it truly enjoyable. Thanks so much for being a part of that with all of your delicious recipes and cute stories to brighten my days!


Marla B January 4, 2013 at 2:30 pm

For my new years resolution this year I decided to go vegan. I am lactose intolerant and had high cholesterol. I often had stomach aches after eating almost every meal. I had kidney stones last year. And I’m only twenty! My body is clearly trying to tell me something. When I told my family I was going vegan, they all kind of laughed at me. But I’ve been doing pretty well so far. I don’t miss meat or dairy very much… yet. Although it has only been a week. I’m still struggling to find the balance between eating healthy food and staying full after a meal. I’m so excited to start trying some of these fabulous recipes! This is a great blog. keep up the good work!


Missy Meyers January 4, 2013 at 3:43 pm

I have been following a vegan lifestyle for over 5 years now. I think it’s important to take supplements for iron and vitamin B-12. I’m a huge fan of spirulina. Thanks for the great post Angela!


Katie January 4, 2013 at 6:08 pm

I started my vegan journey back in April. I was doing research for a vegetarian character I was writing about, and I stumbled upon a PETA video about how dairy cows are treated. Over the next several months, I ended up watching Earthlings and Forks Over Knives and Vegucated, as well as reading a couple of cheap vegan books I found on Amazon. I tried to jump to vegan straight away, but I ended up slipping back to vegetarian for a while, with the occasional bit of chicken if a craving hit hard and there was nothing else around.

Right now, everything that I make is vegan, though I’ll eat dairy and eggs when I’m out and vegan options aren’t available. My ultimate goal is 100 percent vegan, but I’m trying to get there at a reasonable pace. I’ll occasionally have cheese if someone at home orders a pizza, but for the most part I’m sticking with a healthy, mostly unprocessed vegan diet. I still have slip-ups sometimes, but I’m excited about the new food that I’m trying. :)


Jessi January 4, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Love this! Oh She Glows was one of the things that introduced me to so many creative foods, that the transition to going vegan was a piece of (vegan, hehe) cake. I absolutely adore this series and hope you continue to inspire many more to come!


Lindy January 4, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Brand new vegan here! Went cold turkey about a week and a half ago. Cut out sugar, dairy, meat and diet soda. Watched the documentary Fat, Sick and Tired for inspiration as that is how I was feeling most of the time. I’m thin, but don’t exercise and have gained 20# in the last year or so at the start of menopause. I’m 48 years old. Also have been struggling with IBS symptoms ever since I had my gallbladder out five years ago.

Also started juicing. I’ll tell you what helped me the most…..My husband asked for a juicer for Christmas so I bought him one. I had absolutely NO intention of ever tasting the juice he made. Blech! Well, the first juice he made had celery, carrots and apples in it. OMG!! It was so freaking delicious, I never looked back and am juicing way more then my husband. Today, I watched Forks Over Knives that just reinforced my decision to eat a plant based diet. I’m hoping my husband will be as inspired as his blood pressure has been creeping up over the last year or so. He’s in excellent shape at 46 years old…bicycles around 90 miles on the weekends and uses our elliptical during the week, but I think he’s really benefit from a plant based diet.

Thank you, especially for the recipes and ideas. I’ve always been a “foodie” and a pretty good cook, so being creative and trying new things comes naturally!!

…..and now to enjoy a dessert of your oat bars w/ a bit of maple cinnamon almond butter!!


Anne January 5, 2013 at 7:52 am

Dear Angela, i have been reading your posts and making your recipes for a couple of months now i can say that YOU are the strategy that worked for me. Just by reading your stories, you got me on track. I first heared about superfoods about 10 months ago and realised that a diet could never exist out of superfoods alone. I love you for teaching me great things about whole foods, the plant based diet, your creativity and the way you approach life. This dutchie is getting healthier every day!


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 5, 2013 at 9:30 am

Thank you Anne, I appreciate it! All the best to you.


Samantha January 5, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Hi there!
Love your blog. After watching Vegucated, and then Forks Over Knives this winter, me and my boyfriend are making the move to a vegan diet. I do see it as a process, and one of the hardest parts for me is not the food, but the people! I find when I mention my new food preferences, people want to argue about it! Why can’t they just let me eat what I want? Some people on the other hand, are very accepting, or curious.
Thanks for your posts, I love your recipes! No one even knew my pumpkin pie was vegan this year ;)

P.s. As a fellow Canadian, any idea how to make a vegan caesar? Bloody Mary’s are so not the same thing!


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 6, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Hey Samantha! Lovely to meet you, thanks for your nice comment!
I do have a vegan cocktail like a bloody mary – does this help? now I want one!


Samantha January 7, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Ha! Amazing! You’ve already been there and done that! I will give this one a go. Thanks so much! Nice to meet you too :)


Amber @ Slim Pickin's Kitchen January 5, 2013 at 10:48 pm

I love this series, and I’m not vegan or vegetarian and I don’t plan on changing that any time soon. BUT I love your approach (and your recipes and your hilarious writing and your leopard looking kitty cat) and I think this series is beneficial for anyone who is trying to transition into any sort of healthier lifestyle. Whether it be vegan, vegetarian, clean eating, paleo, or anything in between, I truly believe this is great advice!


[email protected] January 6, 2013 at 11:03 am

Oh..going vegan. I’ve been wanting to make the change for awhile. Then I remind myself I won’t be able to eat those delicious cheesy mushroom tacos at my favorite Mexican restaurant or I won’t be able to eat my favorite chocolate chip cookies anymore. No Kit Kats or frozen pizzas. Mostly it’s my favorite junk foods that keep me from going vegan. Also eating out with friends, or sharing ice cream in the summer time. The thing is I know it’s bad for me, but it’s so good and I’ve eaten it all my life I just don’t care. :( I want to care! I want to eat healthy and treat my body as the temple that it is. I’m vegetarian now. I made the switch when I read the book skinny bitch. Something clicked in my head and from that day I never ate meat again. I then started watching forks over knives and following anyone and everyone vegan I could on facebook for inspiration and recipes. I’ll admit I’m afraid to try new things. I’m not sure why going vegetarian broke me out of my shell like loving black beans! I used to say I hated them. One day I just said you will eat them and like it. Why can’t I do that going vegan? I would definitely need to practice baby steps in the case. I just looove chocolate and their is this amazing chocolate shop by me I love to visit. I can do this. Anyone can. I guess I should try incorporating more vegan meals into my life slowly. Which a lot of the stuff I do prepare is vegan. Occasionally I’ll find something really yummy with cheese in it. Or again I love my sweets. One of my goals is to cut more sugar out of my life. I crave it when I’m stressed. Not good. So I think I just need to start slow and realize what I’m doing to my body and how healthy I will be. Now if only I can get my husband to eat better!


Merle January 6, 2013 at 11:09 am

Due to food sensitivities found by bloodwork with a Naturopath – I am working on being vegan and gluten free – also can’t tolerate any beans or lentils and few nuts! Would
Love to see some recipes that I can try – I will work with adapting yours – thank you!


Mary January 6, 2013 at 7:08 pm

Perfect timing with this post. I’ve been vegetarian for almost 10 years and with the exception of the occassional processed food that contains dairy or my habit of topping some of my meals with cheese I don’t think I have far to go to transition to a vegan diet. But it can be overwhelming at times so I’m really looking forward to this series.


Alexa January 6, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Hi Angela! I just have been a long time reader of your blog and all of your recipes continue to look delicious. I have been contemplating going Vegan because of the health benefits. Recently I saw the documentary Vegucated (I have already seen Food Inc. and Forks Over Knives). It just broke my heart to the point where I cried at some points. Only now has it really hit me how horrible animals are treated and how the animal industry will continue to take a huge toll on our planet. I decided that there wasn’t really a good excuse to continue to eat in a manner that goes against what I had always believed in. So. Thank you for writing your blog. It makes Veganism seem like a normal thing and not too scary. And thank you for putting out a guide for those of us who have decided to take the plunge.


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 6, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Thanks for sharing Alexa! I’ve been wanting to check out that movie forever now. You just gave me the nudge to finally do it. As hard as they can be to watch, it’s a good reminder why to stay on this path. goodluck to you!


Chelsea January 7, 2013 at 2:07 am

I just want to say thanks for this post! I went vegetarian cold-turkey when I was five years old, and I’ve been an on and off (mostly off) vegan since I was 13. I’ve been thinking of giving up lately and just remaining a vegetarian, but with the new year came a deluge of resolution-inspired information on going vegan. I’m moving out next month, and I will have my very own kitchen, the clean slate I need to push myself to be fully vegan. It’s great knowing I can count on wonderful bloggers like yourself to keep me motivated! So again, thank you for this series (and your vegan pantry post!)


Kelly B January 7, 2013 at 8:41 am

Hi Angela!

Very Cool post about your vegan journey! I was just curious as to whether your husband is vegan as well? If not is it hard making meals together?


Dainey January 7, 2013 at 9:42 am


I’ve been reading your blog for about six months and I read it like a book, from start to finish. I found it at a time when the stress of what I was putting into my children’s bodies was really taking a toll on me. I grew up in an overweight family and we ate fast food at least three times a week. When I had my first child I told myself that I wouldn’t allow my child to grow up without knowledge of good nutrition and the ability to enjoy unprocessed healthy foods. It is my belief that knowledge is power, if my child grows up enjoying wholesome food then it is my hope that it will be his lifestyle as an adult as well. We still ate meat but my kids have had a very healthy diet. When I came across your blog I had just found out about the pink slime they put in meat and I was so fed up! I couldn’t in good conscience put that poison in my kids bodies. Reading your blog changed my entire families lives. I’ve been vegetarian for six months now and I love it. Its not without its challenges as my family comes from cattle farmers and they all think I’m nutso! My daughter hates meat so it has been an easy transition and my son is getting there. My husband wants to go vegan in the next three months as well. I can’t thank you enough for your blog.


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 8, 2013 at 10:26 am

Thank you so much for your comment Dainey! I am so happy to hear this news, congrats to all of you for the changes you are making!


Erin January 7, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Angela, love this posting! I went vegan cold-turkey 3 years ago, and relished in the new flavours, recipes, and most of all in how I felt! My transition started when I developed endometriosis, and after lots of research and consulting with my doctor, realized that eliminating meat and dairy could help my “attacks” I endured, which was affecting my daily life. I also had many IBS problems. It was unbelievable what a difference it made changing my diet! I have to say, however, that in the last year my diet has faltered a bit (new house, new job, new puppy, and engagement), but with the new year, I am back to my vegan habits again, and this posting is a great refresher to me in keeping with healthy eating. Thank you!


Sabra January 7, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Love your website and your journey- everyone i know has received your link from me in their emails at one time or another! We made the complete transition after reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer!!!!
Forks Over knives was very influential also. Your incredible recipes and gorgeous photographs have really taken the intellectual aspect and made it easy to now apply practically- and deliciously!!!
have 1 question that we were wondering if you might be incorporating with the new year- and that is the addition of acknowledging substitutions sometimes geared toward alkaline eating when making choices about alkaline versus acidic for healing as a lifestyle? Luv u-xoxoo


Lauren marie January 7, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Angela I am loving this new series! So great for info, inspiration and support! And along with some others, I can definitely understand the motherhood thing- my fiance and I are just a year younger than you and are in no rush at all either!
My sister introduced me to your blog over a year ago, and you were the first blogger/cook that I ever looked to for vegan recipes. Feb 2012 I thought I’d give up “land meat” (still ate some white fish) for lent to see how it went, and like you, I’ve never been a big meat eater. And to my surprise it’s been almost a year and I don’t miss meat at all. So that part was easy for me. Switching to almost milk was also easy. I started by using it in cereal, as it’s a little hard to tell the difference, and now I can drink a glass of milk and I think it tastes amazing. However, I also have a LOVE for cheese, and that is something I have just the hardest time giving up.
But my goals this year is to become officially vegetarian (no seafood) and work on the cheese part. I do know when I stay on the vegan diet, I feel amazing. My mood gets better, I have more energy, my skin looks great, and I just feel great on the inside as well. For me personally, its definitely been a transitional process for me, but bloggers like you and all your readers who comment are a great support, and thank you for being so open about your journey as well. Oh and Forks Over Knives is great to watch- every now and then I will watch it again just for support and to remind myself why I like this lifestyle. (Food Inc is also a favorite- it’s not plant-based or vegan, but it will definitely change your mind about eating meat and processed foods).


Lauren marie January 7, 2013 at 8:12 pm

oops—*almond milk, not almost milk ;)


Matt G. January 8, 2013 at 8:34 am

I highly recommend Jack Norris’s book (Vegan for Life) & websites for info on vegan nutrition.

He goes into great detail on many, many topics.

I’m vegetarian going on 8 months with the occasional bout of veganism. I ate less and less meat over the years and after watching Forks over Knives I ate vegan for a month. It also coincided with making an effort to learn to cook for our family. Can’t let my wife have all the fun. I only cook from vegan cookbooks and find the food so interesting. You’re right, it’s all about what you’re adding. It’s not about subtraction!

On a serious note, I also read Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation to help solidify some of my convictions. On a much less serious note, part of becoming vegetarian was laziness – I always hated cooking meat….the cleanup….wondering if it’s done yet….


Matt G. January 8, 2013 at 8:35 am

Also, I wanted to link a great .99 kindle book – The Ultimate Vegan Guide


Kate Schade January 8, 2013 at 11:39 am

I’m so glad I found this. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was about 10 (15 years now) and the transition to that was super easy. My dad was a vegetarian, and he did most of the cooking, and food shopping so there was never meat in the house. For the past few years I’ve wanted to test out a vegan diet, even for just a month to see how I feel and if I can do it. I love pizza, and mac and cheese so much! A friend decided she wanted to do it this month, so I joined her. It hasn’t been terribly hard…but I’m finding out how many vegetarian things have egg products in them (Morningstar Farms!!) I also can’t cook or bake, and am very reliant on the imitation easy stuff, like Tofurky (just bought some more last night actually lol). And one more confession…I cheated last Saturday at a friends house for dinner (what can I say, I love dessert). Anyways…I can’t wait to keep reading this series and what you have to say and how you transitioned. I’ve used your recipes before and their great. I don’t know if sticking with vegan will be for me. But I do need to eat healthier…and would love to get used to cutting way back on dairy products. Thanks again!


Janet January 8, 2013 at 12:54 pm

I am so glad I found your blog. I went vegetarian a year ago after watching Forks over Knives, and this year have decided to go vegan after watching more documentaries, and to really start reading labels, even on “healthy” items. (thank you for the info on carrageenan) My two children are also willing participants in this journey to better health, but are having a hard time giving up cheese. Many recipes I am finding use nutritional yeast to provide a “cheese” flavor. But in researching other names for MSG I am finding conflicting information on whether or not nutritional yeast contains MSG. I would really appreciate your input or info your followers have discovered on this. Thanks!


B McKenzie January 8, 2013 at 4:29 pm

I am so thankful to have read your website. How refreshing to hear from someone who had real struggles and overcame them with success. Your site is bookmarked on my IPad and computer. Love it!


Janna January 8, 2013 at 5:17 pm

While I may never be a complete vegetarian I endeavor to be what I’ve dubbed a”weekday vegetarian”. I don’t deny myself a meat product if it’s presented to me but the meals I eat at home are almost vegan. It’s been slow and steady for me because I’m the cook for our two person family and he’s a Carnivore. Our record is him eating healthy vegetarian dinner for two weeks without noticing.


Dori January 9, 2013 at 8:51 am

Great post, Angela. While I think the health benefits are certainly a huge reason to consider a vegan diet, I was equally motivated by the impact I can have on our environment and the food (meat/dairy) industry by choosing to be vegan. A couple books that I found extremely informative and fueled my passion for a vegan lifestyle are Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer (such an excellent writer, oh my gosh), and Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. The latter is a quicker read, so I’d recommend beginning with that.

And thank you from working vegan mom who loves to cook, but sometimes needs some inspiration (and time!). Chia seriously changed our lives around here (and VOO!). I am looking forward to following this series of posts!


Marilyn Peterson January 9, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Hello, I enjoyed looking at your blog. Wonderful that you are helping people transition to a vegan diet. If you check out my website you will see that I have written a book “Vegan Bite By Bite” about “how to” transition. I am a 47 year vegetarian and a 32 year vegan. I have been a vegan consultant and chef for 38 years.

The animals need all the help we can give to them!
Wishing you a healthy New Year!


Umapuma January 16, 2013 at 5:23 pm

YES – help the animals!! Exactly my reason for the vegan change :)


Vegan Radhika Sarohia January 10, 2013 at 3:15 am

I really love animals so being vegan for me is just to try and help animals. Full stop.
I was omni for most of my life, didn’t think about anything and I was kinda clueless. Then I was vegetarian for some years and then finally (after finding out about factory farming and the horrific conditions) I transitioned to being vegan over a series of months
I wish I’d done it sooner!
I can’t believe how ignorant and in-the-dark I was about consuming animal products for most of my life–I really regret it so much.
I try to make up for lost time now, cooking up a vegan storm, making stuff that’s vegan for friends and family
I’m also on a low-carb diet though, so sometimes it’s a bit challenging. Finding foods that are both vegan and low-carb is crazy hard some days!
But so far, I’m doing all right I think
P.S. I love this blog and the recipes here:D


Dona January 10, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Hi! I am new to your site :) Love it! I have been on a VEGAN journey for about 5 months. I am super pleased with it and do not see myself going back! However, I look forward to your post on cheese. That is is my one weakness! I have never had a huge love for yogurt or meats…but I love cheese! At first I was slow at switching my milk over but now I love soy..all sorts, chocolate, vanilla, plain :) They work great in my latte addiction! So I hope you post your dealings with the cheese world and I love your suggestions on packing. Perhaps a post on that sometime!


Jenn January 11, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Hello! I just have to say I LOVE your website. I always use your recipes they are awesome! I am a vegetarian and I would have to say that my story is almost exactly identical to yours. I struggled with an eating disorder and thought that eating healthy was if the package said fat-free, sugar-free, etc… and like I said package! A lot of my food would be processed! I had major stomach problems and was told to do the same to try to avoid meat and dairy. It wasn’t a problem for me either since I was never a big meat eater in the first place. I would say that my transition to be a vegetarian was a gradual shift. Due to my eating disorder I developed Lupus a autoimmune disease. I’ve had Lupus for 12 years now. I just recently launched my website called I want to advocate for myself and others. I hope to inspire people to live a healthy lifestyle! Thank you for all you do and thanks for listening to me!


Marina January 13, 2013 at 9:00 pm

What a great post! I’d love to hear more about how you transitioned “socially” – going out with friends, telling family and in-laws about your decision, and how you made it work when most places are not vegan-friendly. Thanks!! :)


Mary January 26, 2013 at 9:17 am

This has been the most difficult part for me! So far I’ve asked hosts if I can bring a dish or two and they’ve been grateful because they weren’t sure how to accommodate other veg guests. Sometimes I don’t tell them what I’ve made is vegan and they haven’t been able to tell (shhh!). I have vegan food handy in my bag and car. You can call ahead to restaurants and see if they have a vegan dish or if they will make something for you – I haven’t done this yet but will soon. Going out vegan is easy if you go Chinese, Indian, Thai, Japanese, etc. Watch out for fish stock in soups and fish sauce in dipping sauces.


Megan January 13, 2013 at 10:55 pm

I tried scanning through the comments but didn’t see the resource that inspired me to transition from being vegetarian to vegan and supported me throughout the process: Colleen Patrick-Goudreau!

She offers an honest and compassionate perspective that helped me open my eyes to the various impacts of consuming things that result from the exploitation of animals. Her podcast (Vegetarian Food for Thought: was what gave me the information, insight and tools to live a more compassionate life.

I have to say that this is the other main resource I’ve used in my transition (and pre-transition). The butternut squash mac’n’cheeze is a recipe I’ve made for others many times and I’m always sharing that recipe – it’s a fave in our household (with the omnivores too)!

I’ve also found this documentary useful and inspiring: Forks Over Knives: (and the related Engine 2 Diet:

Thank you for your lovely website, beautiful photos and delicious recipes, Angela!


Adam January 14, 2013 at 9:06 am

I’ve visited this site infrequently for years – this is my first post however!

I think the easiest way, or at least it works for me, to transition in to a new diet is to take it one meal at a time.

Changing to a vegan breakfast is relatively easy. I tend to opt for porridge (oatmeal!) made with almond/hazlenut milk with a seed mix (sesame, flax, sunflower, pumpkin) and berries. This is by far the nicest breakfast I can think of :)

I haven’t completely transitioned to a vegan/vegetarian diet. Although 80% of my food consumption is.


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 14, 2013 at 9:42 am

Thanks for the great tips Adam! One meal at a time is a great way to look at it.


Lori January 14, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Thanks so much for writing this article. I would not say I am transitioning to vegan or vegetarian in particular. I am trying to find more plant based recipes to incoporate into my diet. I do notice now that I eat more vegetables and consume less diary I feel much better and lighter. At this point I’m trying to keep my animal protein at once per day. This blog as well as others constantly help my find more tastey things to eat in this journey. I’m actually enjoying the vegetables and new things even more than some of my old favorites. I agree with you. So many of the recipes makeovers I find are outstanding. These changes have occurred for me slowly but surely. They are really sticking for me too. I may look up one day and find that I am a vegan before I know it.


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 14, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Thank you Lori, I appreciate it so much! Congrats on all your changes :) They really add up, eh?


Louise January 15, 2013 at 8:11 am

Hi Angela
Thankyou so very much for sharing this. I have been in the process of going vegan for a while now, cutting out meat and dairy gradually, and I used the PETA website to commit to a 30 day vegan challenge. I am finding the process challenging and inspiring. I was vegetarian for 14 years but a very unhealthy vegetarian, mostly existing on milkshakes and chocolate bars. Now I’m trying to educate myself about healthy food and your blog is just amazing. Like you said expecting perfection and being hard on yourself when you slip up is not the way to go… without thinking I ate a biscuit today with dairy in it and was mentally berating myself – must be kind to myself!!
Thanks again, Louise


Umapuma January 16, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Wonderful to find your blog today – I was googling for vegan breakfast ideas. I went pesca-vegan about three weeks ago – the fish element is there as a way to compromise w/ my hubby for now – I have gone cold tofurkey but noticed an surge in fake meats/cheeses this past few weeks too (salt city!). I am excited about the homemade recipes you have decided to share, and just excited about your blog in general, hooray!!!


Mary January 26, 2013 at 9:09 am

Love your blog! My college-aged daughter has been a vegan for over a year and a vegetarian for the past 10 years, so I had some experience grocery shopping for her and trying to dine out in regular restaurants. I watched Forks Over Knives and then Vegucation, which finally did it for me. I’m doing a 30 day vegan challenge, about 2 weeks in. I haven’t told most people about it because I didn’t think I would make it past the first day. To my surprise, it has been really easy! Things I didn’t expect: my pre-menopausal acne has cleared up, my chronic bowel issues are gone, I have tons more energy, I sleep much better, I’ve dropped 10# (much needed), food tastes so much better, and on and on. I’m pretty sure I’ll continue eating vegan, although I miss yogurt. I appreciate everyone’s comments, it’s good to know others are having the same challenges like people not understanding our choices. Here’s my latest invention vegan salad dressing: 1/3 c white wine vinegar, 2/3 c olive oil, about 1/4 c Earth Balance vegan mayonnaise, 5-6 or more cloves garlic, salt and pepper, 1 T dijon mustard. All whirred in the blender. Yum. I don’t miss meat. Big indulgence was a mock chicken patty sandwich with lettuce and vegan mayonnaise with tofu ice cream with crushed oreos. Thanks!


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 27, 2013 at 10:57 am

Hey Mary, Thanks for sharing your experiences! Congrats on all the changes you’ve made to date. So glad you are feeling good!


Aniko Brittingham January 28, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Thank you for all your tips. You are so inspiring. I have been changing my diet for only 6 months. My boss and very good friend just passed away from cancer. She has changed my ways forever. I like to keep to a 5 percent animal product like in the “China study” book. I’m lucky to live by the beach and buy fresh fish straight off the boats….. It’s great. My other guilty pleasure is cheese. Thank you for this site and all your wonderful recepies. I use your site constantly.


Alishia February 4, 2013 at 10:16 am

I am vegan now for only 5 days, I went cold Tofurky :)
What made me take the plunge?? I watched a documentary called Vegucated (( and this changed me forever. I knew how saturated the web is with blogs about how to be a success at just about anything in the world, so I got to Google-ing and fell in love with your blog. So you are a great piece of my success (day 5 and counting!) Thanks for all the variety of dishes, I don’t feel deprived or like I’m cutting meat out, I feel more like I’m adding in a world of food. Thank you!!


Katherine Bell February 14, 2013 at 8:49 am

(Late to the party as always!)

I started my trip to becoming vegan after being diagnosed in summer 2011 with GERD, IBS, and a small host of other digestive issues. For me, it’s been about reducing the amount of medication I have to take every day… and it has gone down (from about 9 to 3)!


Dephny February 19, 2013 at 7:31 pm

My concern with being vegan is to ensure enough protein intake. Because I’m used to eating fishes all my life. I’m not sure I can take that away from my diet. I guess that it is something I need to work on..

By the way, this is an interesting article and teaches me a great deal..


Britt Avery February 20, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Angela! Firstly, I have to say that I obsessively check your blog daily. I have cooked nearly 100 of your recipes, and you are an awesome, funny, and captivating writer:) That said, the more my husband and I are outloud living vegan (him 75% me about 90%) People are feeling the need to argue with me about my decisions “where do you get yoru protein, they say no dairy and meat is bad for you, it’s gross and too expensive”. Yada yada. Some of these comments are coming from people I care about and respect. How did you handle that when you started? And tips would be greatly appreciated, because I dont plan on stoppin!


Lilian February 24, 2013 at 11:37 am

Reading everyone’s comments on how they enjoy going vegan has been very inspiring! I have many food sensitivities ( soy, dairy, eggs, gluten, sesame, seeds, certain nuts, and some grains such as chia, and quinoa, and for a while oats) and since I don’t like meat very much I’ve decided to try veganism. My only worry is about my athletics. I’m a runner who had a severe crash at the end of my last cross country season due to lack of iron and protein. My family blames this on the fact that I wasn’t eating enough meat. But I don’t like meat very much and feel gross after eating it. My family, for a while, was basically vegan (without calling it that– we just forgot to add meat to our meals!). I’m looking for ways to get adequate protein and iron without eating nuts and seeds (and meat) but am having a difficult time finding high-protein meals (and snacks, but breakfast has been the most difficult) without a form of soy (such as tofu) or nuts. I don’t know if anyone has similar allergies but suggestions would be great!


tz March 11, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Thank you for a stimulating, honest and enjoyable blog! Our family has a range of appetites; we have strict vegans, “vegetari-ams” (no meat for breakfast! – hey, it’s a start!), full vegetarians, and onmivores. We all know the value of eating better, and our nutritional journeys pull us forward in constant (if painfully slow) improvement. This is where you come in to inspire- YAY!
I would like to set forth a challenge to you with the intent of keeping it real for the sincerely interested wannabes who just can’t find a way to start the process. You’ve posted great things: how to stock your pantry, fantastic recipes, gorgeously inspiring pictures… how about one week’s recipes complete with a Walmart grocery list? It doesn’t get more real than that. Those with limited access to grocery selections who are locked into hectic schedules need to get a “cheatsheet” to see the possibilities… Just a jumpstart list of one week’s menu with recipes, paired with a grocery list that can be taken to the grocery aisles of Walmart or Target… and …. oooh think of the empowerment!
My friendly gauntlet has been flung. :)


Elsie W March 18, 2013 at 7:45 am

Transition to a vegan lifestyle…my husband and I watched Forks over Knives one evening last year, paused it in the middle, and commented to each other, ” we have a big change to make”, watched the rest of the movie and the next day….BAM! Cleaned out the cupboards, freezer and fridge and began! Your site has been our go to spot! We have a foodie vegan group for support, two or three good books and are totally thankful for this lifestyle change. Bloodwork shows top marks, daily physical activity is our friend and many new discoveries have been made and friendships formed. One transitionary move we made was rather than name the meal as ie. “Shepard’s Pie” we simply say, supper ‘s ready and the meal is appreciated as is. It removes any idea that you have to make something look like it use to and instead, enjoy it as is! Thanks for your amazing site….Cheers, Elsie


Sarah March 20, 2013 at 11:58 am

I became vegetarian March 1st of this year. To date it’s been 20 days of no meat. At first I thought I was going to need a slow transition period but I cut it out cold turkey and have been fine with it. Unfortunately cutting dairy is proving to be quite a challenge: dairy is in everything! I’m glad I’ve come across this series so it can help me see all the things I’m gaining instead of giving up. The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone is also helping me quite a bit.


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prettyleodia June 23, 2013 at 12:51 pm

I came across your blog while searching for more recipes. I really like the fact that you have a Vegan101 page!
My story: I had been a vegetarian since 2000. We ended up moving to NC in 2007. And for a reason that I cant remember I tried going vegan in 2008. That lasted about 2 months.
I felt sooo overwhelmed by all the information and cooking etc…It just seemed that it was a hard transition. I caved in to a cheese pizza. Oh the shame. So yet again I was back to vegetarianism (my definition: if it has a face or can taste me back I won’t eat it. lol).
My weight ballooned due to a combination of poor diet and medication. And a long bout of depression. I gained 50 pounds in a year and a half! Fast forward to now. My medications are doing what they are supposed to and I was sick of feeling crappy all the time. All my attempts at losing weight (visalus, isagenix, bikini bootcamp, even martial arts) failed. Then I found DDP Yoga. Loved it and followed the recommended diet and then took it a step farther and went vegan. Sooo much easier this time, thanks to sites like yours! I’ve lost 20 pounds in three months and my skin has cleared up dramatically and I have more energy!!! Thanks for the work that you do!


Lisa July 4, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Indisputably, an informative helpful post series on going vegan! Unfortunately, I have one more thing to add to the list of “no-no’s” when optimal health benefits are concerned – – the beautiful pic of your pantry items stored in those glass preserve jars are being exposed to BPA. It’s in the lids of the lining of almost all the major brands, including Ball Jars.
Fortunately, they have started selling BPA-free lids to replace your old jars. Sorry to be a Debbie downer! Keep blogging~


Angela (Oh She Glows) July 5, 2013 at 8:46 am

I didn’t know that Lisa- thanks for the tip. I will look into it :)


Kendra July 6, 2013 at 1:40 am

Hi! Thank you so much so far in this reading. I have been wanting to do this but I really did not know how to start and what to do. It’s a huge decision but ready for it I think. :) I’m scared but excited! I think slow is a good start. Cold turkey does not work for me. I’m getting ready to start really soon!


KP September 2, 2013 at 11:57 am

I totally want to make the transition to becoming vegan. My husband and I are both over weight. I have 2 small children and I want to provide a healthy lifestyle for them. I love to cook and come from a family of cooks. All my family recipes aren’t very healthy and certainly not vegan friendly.
It almost feels impossible to embark on this challenge. Financially it is taxing but moreover, my husband’s lack of desire to change his eating habits (meat & potato kind of guy) makes me feel hopeless.
The idea of baby steps makes it feel less daunting. I am going to start by replacing my dairy products with dairy substitutes.

Thank you for inspiring me.


Jolie September 7, 2013 at 11:02 am

First off let me say that I LOVE your blog and your recipes. You Rock!!

I am a cold turkey kind of girl. I am totally a newbie to the vegan lifestyle, but so far so good. I have had no cravings for meat or dairy and its been 3 weeks now. I have been watching documentaries and reading different vegan blogs. I did watch “Forks over knives” and even bought the cookbook. I haven’t used it yet because I’m so hooked on your recipes.:)
The hardest part about the transition for me is that I have kids and they are not on board with this and I don’t know how to get them on board. Especially my son who is on a swim team. I don’t know what to feed him after his 2 hours of swimming that would satisfy him and provide him with all the nutrients he needs.
Well thanks again for all you do. I’m a fan. :)


Violet December 13, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Thank you for your wonderful blog. Some of these recipes that I have tried to date are fantastic. So much flavor. Who on earth needs meat when you have all this good stuff?!

I am a Buddhist who has been attempting vegetarianism on and off. When I tried it initially at the age of 16, I became sick and ended up with anemia. My body has always had issues with iron so I was told by my family doctor to avoid a veg based diet and continue consuming meat.

This year, I tried again with vegetarianism. Slowly. I am not prepared for a vegan diet and I do not know if I will ever be but this is the next step. I incorporate a lot of legumes/lentils/different vegetables/healthy plant based fats/etc. My concern is still my health and making sure I get what my body needs. Any suggestions on that?

My reason for switching is ethical. As a Buddhist, the practice of ahimsa, or non harm is a big part. I have always been a huge animal lover and the thought of meat consumption always made me feel horrible and guilty. My husband is a Hindu, but unfortunately, he is a meat lover and is not prepared to quit. I do cook for him but do not eat ‘his’ food myself. I guess its just something I have to accept about him lol.

So, I just wanted to post a few questions which maybe some of us have, especially in terms of transitioning:

1. Do you take any supplements to ensure a balanced diet/vitamins?
2. What do you do for DHA? I know fish oil seems to be the major if not only source of this brain functioning nutrition? How do vegetarians and vegans ensure they are getting it?
3. Do you use some of the vegan cheeses out on the market and what do you think of them? For example, there is the Dhaya brand I believe?
4. Any tips on how to convert my husband? lol

Thank you so much. Much love from one Torononian to another! Can’t wait for your book to come out! :)


Chloe January 5, 2014 at 9:36 pm

Going vegan was such a challenging and also a great journey. I have been vegetarian for 2 years before thinking about switching to vegan. I was not totally satisfied with eating dairies and egg, for ethics and health reason. I wasn’t eating healthy enough and it was hard to be travelling and eating well at the same time. I was lazy and I was making horrible food choices. Increasing my veggies and fruits intake was the first step, I felt great. I forgot how I use to love them and I started to ”over” eat them! What a joy! At the same time I stopped eating dairies and I felt even better.

Then, while keeping travelling, I had lots of trouble after changing environment to keep eating mostly vegan. I felt I was depriving myself and I was quite negative about it… wrong wrong way. I was craving pizza, and eggs and ice cream. I felt it was my ego talking. So I changed the way to see the situation. I knew I had to do it for myself, and that it would happen but with love, slowly, and also with lots of joy :)

So I started to cook only vegan as I cut dairies. And, I cooked great healthy food and it made me feel so happy. Instead of seeing what I couldn’t eat, I was embracing plant food. And I stopped eating animal products slowly and I can say now that I am vegan 98%. It has to be a love journey, love for food, for life, for animals, for health, and for ourselves.

Thanks for your blog, it is very helpfull, and it’s a great demonstration of how food is a great celebration everyday :)

I am French speaking at first so sorry if my English sounds weird sometimes.



Lee March 12, 2014 at 5:01 pm

I have been a vegetarian for more than 40 years, but have been preparing more and more vegan meals for approximately 3 years. Until recently I was living in South America for almost 2 years where the quality of both the cheese and yogurt were so poor that I rarely ever ate them so I got much more proficient at cooking vegan meals. Recently returned to US due to illness and was diagnosed with uterine cancer. I had a total hysterectomy almost 2 weeks ago after being in almost constant pain and bedridden for 9 weeks prior to diagnosis and treatment. Lost too much weight. Now I was told that I will need radiation therapy. Since I returned to the US I added cheese in very limited quantities back into my diet. I have however been surviving on organic Greek yogurt. I was told to eliminate all lactose, all raw fruits and vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables, all legumes, nuts and seeds from my diet prior to and during treatment and maybe even forever. They say I must follow a very low fiber diet and want me to eat bananas, white toast, white rice and applesauce. The diet they are recommending is very high in sugar and sodium and processed junk foods like puddings and gelatin. I think their diet will just make me much sicker. I need some easy, inexpensive vegan ideas and recipes to help me get through this and on into the future. I am allergic to soy so have never bothered with and have absolutely no interest in meat or dairy substitutes. I am by myself, I need to cook things that are easily available, cook quickly and easily and require few and inexpensive ingredients. I am also told nothing spicy including hot, curry or ginger. What am I going to eat. Any ideas and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.


Rachel March 28, 2014 at 4:09 pm

I am contemplating moving towards a diet with less (or no) meat or dairy. We already don’t eat much meat, so really removing dairy. However, I have concerns about how this would impact our social life. My husband I already eat much less meat and dairy than our friends. Usually our socializing consists of dinner parties at someone’s house. How have other dealt with dietary changes that impact their social life? While I am sure my friends would accommodate I don’t think that it would be that easy for them. Any tips, advice, or relevant experiences?


Victoria August 20, 2014 at 9:30 pm

I wish you had talked about vitamin b 12 a little bit! :) I was inspired to jump into being a vegan, and I didn’t know that I needed to take a supplement and became severely deficient in it. It was a very painful condition, and I didn’t know what was happening to me! Please try to inform more people about this!


Irma February 15, 2015 at 12:29 am

I’m also in my transition into becoming pescetarian. That’s my first step in becoming vegan one day. So all these types seem very helpful for people like me who are taking their first steps into this new lifestyle.


Embo September 25, 2015 at 12:04 pm

Hey! I’m slowly transitioning to a plant based lifestyle. I’ve battled weight gain/loss cycle for many years, and felt this lifestyle will help me overcome this. I’m taking baby steps, but it is difficult as family very reluctant, so I still have to cook meat meals for them (though these are cooked as healthy as I can, and I’m slowly incorporating vegan foods in, without them knowing hehehe). I love your website and have been trying many of your recipes, which are all delish!
Emily from the UK xxx


Gen November 26, 2015 at 6:02 pm

I started the gluten free diet in april. I thought this would get ride of my symptoms like massive stomach aches, GERD, constipation and on and on. I lost 20lbs since then and cant seem to bring it back up.. I also had to cut all dairy from my diet about one month and a half ago because my symptoms came back. Stress has an influence on it but it then influences the relationship i have with food. So, My dietician then talked to me about your blog and all the benefits a vegan diet could give me on top of gluten free diet. I love my fish and espacially seefood but i will stick to i only when i go ou for sushi, as a treat lol :) i’m excited to start this new adventures an live it to the fullest because all i really have to cut is eggs and like 2-3 portions of meat/fish a week lol so i think i’ll be the cold turkey hahaha can’t wait for the second book!!


Corrine January 27, 2016 at 9:48 am

Hi Angela,

Thank you for your honesty about your transition and what worked for you. I recently became vegan (took the cold turkey route), but I have found that I need to be more creative in the kitchen. My refrigerator always looks the same, and there isn’t any excitement with my meals. Tempeh and seitan have become staple items for me, but my meals need more vibrancy. I’m glad I made the decision to go vegan, but I also don’t want it to be boring. Seeing your blog and the many creations you’ve come up with let’s me know this is totally doable and I can have fun with this lifestyle. Thanks so much!


Ashley April 1, 2016 at 8:31 am

Hi Angela,

Some great tips to become vegan! Thank you for spreading the word on veganism! Together lets help make the world a better place a step at a time!

Ashley x


Sarah Robertson May 25, 2016 at 10:09 am

Hi Angela!

Brilliant post! I have been vegan for 1 week and 3 days and went cold turkey! Something just clicked in me where I wanted to make the change so just committed to it! I may have some slips ups this way but as you said everyone is human!
I am so thankful for your blog as I do not know any vegans or even vegetarians! So I am depending on the internet for information quite a lot, and learning everything from my own research! It has been a lot of fun so far and I feel brilliant!
Cant wait for my first vegan festival in Maidstone, Kent, UK in July! Hoping to make some friends in this brilliant community!
Thanks again,
Sarah xxx


Angela Liddon May 25, 2016 at 12:29 pm

Hi Sarah, I am so glad you’ve been enjoying the transition to a vegan diet so far! It’s wonderful you’ve been finding my blog helpful, and I hope you continue to find lots of recipe inspiration here. Wishing you all the best as you make this journey! :)


Sarah Robertson May 27, 2016 at 5:00 am

Thank you Angela! I have tried and loved your Burrito bowl, the Alfredo pasta is next! Burgers at the weekend too! This is such a positive journey to be happy, healthy and confident and I am hoping this will inspire those around to make the transition to a healthier lifestyle! We shall see! Have a lovely day and weekend =D xxx


Sandra Croley February 13, 2017 at 8:29 am

The idea of trying to become more plant-based is a new one for me, so I think it would be a good idea to try one or two meatless days a week, to start. I think it will be hard to convince my husband, although he very open to new foods. I think it will be more successful to try interesting recipes little by little til it we have gradually made a change. In the last year, I’ve cut most dairy and sugar out of my diet and feel pretty good. I am sensitive to almonds and wonder what your recommended substitute for almond milk would be?


Angela Liddon March 31, 2017 at 2:19 pm

I think a slow and steady transition to a plant-based diet is a great idea, Sandra–that’s how I did it! And it sounds like you’re doing great with your goals so far. :) In terms of a substitution for almond milk, there are lots of other plant-based milks out there for you to try. Store-bought soy milk or cashew milk are two alternate options, for example. You could also try something homemade like my Coffee Shop-Worthy Hazelnut Milk (which calls for almonds, but you can omit those and replace them with more hazelnuts). Hope this helps!


Shelby June 7, 2017 at 10:08 am

There’s all sorts of milk products made from different nuts. I really like Silk’s cashew milk, and there is always soy milk as well (although you want to keep the soy in moderation). There’s coconut milk as well made by Silk that isn’t the creamiest, but it is definitely tasty.


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