Everyday Vegan Substitutes

Following a holiday with me droning on about the health benefits of a plant based diet (I feel sorry for anyone that spends that much time with me😂), my amazing sister in law is giving it a go for the next couple of weeks.

In an effort to make life easier I put together this brief list of some of the frequent foods I will choose as substitutes to general day to day foods that a non vegan might already eat.

I will continue to add to this list as time goes on. I still need to find a decent mince meat alternative amongst other things.

 

Cheese

I find that different cheese is better for different meals.

My favourites for pizza (melting) are

For sandwiches, burgers or other dishes I generally use the Sainsbury’s free from cheese, to date it is the best one I have found.

Dominos pizza in Israel did a consumer taste test for their vegan pizza (only available in Israel) and after many focus groups the winner was Vbites Cheezly, I have never tried it but could be worth a go.

https://www.veggiestuff.com/dairy-free-cheese/cheese-block/vbites-cheezly-vegan-cheese-mozzarella-190g

I believe that ZiZi and AskItalian also use Mozzarisella on their vegan pizza.

 

Chocolate

Most vegan milk alternative chocolate taste like cheap advent calendar chocolate, I personally like dark chocolate so it’s never an issue for me. Green & Blacks range with assorted flavours like mint are really good or if you prefer something not as bitter then you could even go with Bournville. There are also some incredible home made vegan chocolates available from people like https://www.facebook.com/TrufflePigVegan/

 

Burgers

There is so much choice for burgers, my absolute favourite is LindaMcCartney pulled pork burger.

https://groceries.asda.com/product/vegetarian-meals/linda-mccartney-meat-free-2-pulled-pork-14lb-burgers/910002376279

 

Followed by

Linda McCartney 1/4 lb burger

http://www.waitrose.com/shop/DisplayProductFlyout?productId=493130&source=sho_&utm_source=google%2Bshopping&utm_medium=organic%2Bgs&utm_campaign=google%2Bshopping&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0dP85PGU1QIVpLvtCh1MrgoZEAQYASABEgKuffD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CIOHl-fxlNUCFQ0W0wodH8AALA

 

And

Sainsbury Meat Free Burger

http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/shop/gb/groceries/sainsburys-meat-free-burgers-x8-454g

 

And

Resembling a spicy chicken burger, I really like these Quorn spicy burgers

https://groceries.asda.com/product/vegetarian-meals/quorn-meat-free-vegan-4-hot-spicy-burgers/910002112311

 

Most rolls are vegan friendly, there are a few weirdo companies that add milk, but the majority of Asda bakery and other supermarket rolls are vegan friendly.

 

Generally I get the Warburtons https://groceries.asda.com/product/bread-rolls-buns/warburtons-white-sliced-rolls/36474

 

The size is really good for burgers and the buns are like that of a fast food restaurant.

 

Sausages

Linda McCartney does it again

https://groceries.asda.com/product/vegetarian-meals/linda-mccartney-meat-free-6-vegetarian-sausage/1000000479435

 

I remember a visit to Alton Towers last year when I asked for the vegan sausages, I had never tried these and when I took one bite I spat it out into a napkin and demanding to speak to the manager because I was FURIOUS that they had given me a meat sausage, much to my embarrassment he brought out the box and WOW!

 

Quorn Sausages

https://groceries.asda.com/product/vegetarian-meals/quorn-meat-free-6-low-fat-sausages/910001174619

These are not vegan as they have egg white in them, but I am told they are a v good substitute.

 

Chicken

Chicken Nugget from Quorn, a guilty pleasure!

https://groceries.asda.com/product/vegetarian-meals/quorn-vegan-nuggets/910002653183

 

Linda McCartney Pulled Chicken

Perfect for fajitas etc

https://groceries.asda.com/product/vegetarian-meals/linda-mccartney-vegetarian-pulled-chicken/910002634751

The Quorn chicken is just ok… I would highly recommend that if you use it that you add it to a curry or other dish with sauce to mask the taste and just focus on the texture.

Tofu is a good replacement for chicken in curry etc, again it gives a texture of meat when in a sauce.

 

Milk

After lots of taste testing, my favourite is this Soya milk light

https://groceries.asda.com/product/milk-spreads-cream/alpro-soya-milk-light/11746541

 

Ice Cream

Hands down my go to treat is Booja Booja, with just a handful of ingredients, its bloody amazing!

http://www.waitrose.com/shop/DisplayProductFlyout?productId=336438

 

A close 2nd is Alpro

https://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/?id=293751320

 

Yoghurts

Alpro do a range of yoghurts

https://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/search/default.aspx?searchBox=alpro+yoghurts&newSort=true&search=Search

 

I have not tried any of the above, I personally like chocolate desserts and highly rate the dark chocolate soya dessert. They also do a smooth chocolate one.

https://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/?id=262697292

 

Protein Bars

D’s Naturals No Cow Bars

I warn you, only buy 1 or you will eat the whole box haha.

http://tidd.ly/ebfdc297

 

Lenny Larry Complete Cookie

Birthday cake is my favourite flavour

http://tidd.ly/de15f4fe

 

Protein Powder

I am a big fan of The Protein Works vegan range and use their Soy Isolate for overnight oats etc because of the amazing flavours they do.

http://tidd.ly/4f64be4a

 

For general post workout shakes etc I use Psycho Pea Protein which you can find on eBay. The reason I use this around a workout is to do with the absorption rate and how quickly the protein will digest.

 

Other

Vbites do a range of foods that are fantastic substitutes for anyone making the transition to a plant based lifestyle, I have eaten at their cafe in Brighton and the foods was great http://www.vbitesfoods.com/ you can purchase most of their food from Holland & Barrett.

 

Eating Out

ZiZis and ASKItalian offer vegan pizza, sides, starter, salad and dessert.

Pizza Express have a new vegan pizza with their own vegan cheese.

The Harvester has several surprisingly good vegan dishes and unlimited salad!

 

Recipes

For recipe ideas my favourite pages right now are

https://www.facebook.com/bosh.tv/

https://www.facebook.com/thebigmansworld/

When Did Eating Get so Complicated?

I just returned from a fantastic holiday in Greece (check out the hotel on my Facebook page if you want a great Vegan friendly hotel to visit) and one of the things that took me by surprise is the confusion and upset people still go through every day with their diet.

If you take a look at my profile pic on Facebook, this was taken a couple of weeks before holiday, I am by no means arrogant or think that my body is anything special, however I am realistic enough to know that having a lower body fat and a little bit of muscle does draw attention from some people and they would come and talk to me about what they eat. Ignoring the vegan lifestyle for now, which seemed to blow peoples minds that I had any muscle definition without eating meat, the biggest confusion appeared to be around the very basics of how to lose weight without wanting to bash your head against a brick wall!…so I wanted to just write this brief post to hopefully give you some peace of mind or take some of the stress away if you are someone that is struggling with a weight loss goal.

I believe that the biggest thing stopping you from losing weight is all the crap you are sold on a daily basis, it could be the latest diet trend on TV, sponsored ads on social media, the latest guru that lost weight eating just coconut oil all day or even your friends and family that swear by a certain diet that worked for them low carb, high fat, high carb, low fat, intermittent fasting etc etc it’s confusing AF!

We have to differentiate correlation and causation, just because your friend or the guru in the magazine lost weight not eating carbs does not mean that it was carbs that were the problem, by removing carbs likely restricted their food choices which meant that they ate less. Same with things like intermittent fasting, its not that you are intermittent fasting that magically makes you lose weight, its because you are spending less time eating and missing whole meals out that you eat less.

In the most simplistic form, the only factor you need to worry about if you are trying to lose weight is calories. I’m going to tell you exactly how you do it in just a few steps, however because media has shoved this and that diet down your throat for so long, complicating the shit out of everything you will think I am bonkers and that something this simple won’t work, here goes..

1) Tomorrow morning step on the scales and take note of your weight.

2) For 1 week don’t change anything you are doing with diet or activity, log all the foods you eat on a daily basis on an app like MyFitnessPal, its really easy and takes seconds to log food, you can even scan barcodes directly in the app to log all the calories.

3) At the end of 1 week step on the scales and then take a look in the app to see what your average daily calorie intake was for the last week.

If your weight has stayed the same or increased and your goal is to lose weight then we need to decrease the daily average calories you are consuming until you start to lose weight.

It’s important to not make any knee jerk reactions, we don’t want to cut 50% of your food, remove chocolate, cake, chips etc etc (if thats what you like eating), just small changes with your calories week on week until the scales start to move in your favour.

Let’s say that on average you are eating 2,500 kcal a day and in the week you put on 1lb. I would suggest that for the next week you drop your daily calories to 2,350 for a whole week and see where you end up in a weeks time. If in a week your weight doesn’t change then nudge it down again for the next week 2,200 a day until your weight starts to drop.

For the average person looking to lose just a few lbs, I recommend a weight loss of 0.5lbs a week. It doesn’t sound like much I know but in 14 weeks thats half a stone…whilst eating all the foods you do now, no restrictions on what you can eat, only on the amount of food.

All you need to do is stick to the calories you have set yourself every day and weigh in each week at the same day/time…and because its your daily average across the week that we want to control, if you go over by a couple of hundred calories one day for a wedding or social occasion, then just eat a couple of hundred calories less the next day.

When you reach a weight you are happy with then just do the same in reverse until you stop losing weight. Nudge your calories up each week until your weight stays the same and hey presto, you are no longer dieting, its a lifestyle where you eat what you want and don’t gain weight. Just stick to the numbers.

You might also be wondering about meal timings, for someone who just wants to lose a few lbs or maintain their weight it really makes no difference if you eat 2 meals a day or 8 meals a day, the most important thing is what you enjoy and gives you the less stress in your daily life. The myth about eating more often to increase metabolism has been well and truly busted time and time again, don’t buy into the B.S. Pick a meal timing that suits your lifestyle.

So there you have it, 2 very simple things you can do to lose weight.
1) Eat when you want
2) Eat what you want

All you need to do is stick to your calories.

Please note that the above is for a typical person who perhaps does a couple of cardio session or is fairly active and just wants to maintain a healthy body or lose a little weight, if your goal is specifically to build as much muscle as possible or “tone up” I put “tone up” in speech marks because toning up basically means adding or maintaining muscle whilst reducing body fat to leave you with a toned look, then it requires a very small amount of additional effort which I will cover in another article v soon.

Any questions or comments please post below or feel free to drop me a message

Thanks

Mark