Vegan,  Healthy Lifestyle,  Meal Planning,  Mom Life

How to be Vegan as a Family | 5 Tips for a Plant-based Family

Today I want to give you 5 tips to help you and your family in becoming plant-based. Adopting a lifestyle like veganism isn’t easy for anyone, especially for families. But, these 5 tips on how to be vegan as a family will get your started on a path to better health & a better conscious in no time.

I have been vegan now for 2 years, and vegetarian for 2 years prior to that…so, I’ve been without meat for almost 4 years now. I can’t say (at all) that I miss it.

Many people ask, “why are you vegan?” or “how did you do it?” Well, the why is easy: 1.) For the animals 2.) For my health 3.) For the environment. I could go into a very long piece about these 3, but I’m guessing that if you have lived in the 21st century, you already know about them. (But I will gladly do a post about these 3 reasons, just let me know in the comments below if you would like that!) As for the how, keep reading, I will answer that question below…but first, a little backstory for you:

When my son was a newborn, he started reacting to something that he was intaking from my breastmilk. Through trial and error, I found out that it was dairy that he was sensitive to (he’d get a bad rash, eczema, and an upset stomach every time I had dairy). So, in order to avoid this unnecessary discomfort for my son, I quit eating dairy.

It was incredible – after no dairy for a week, my son had zero symptoms after nursing. What shocked me though, was that I felt so much better after a week of no dairy, my weight started dropping, and I started gaining muscle from every day activities without even going to a gym! I also had more energy, had more of a “glow” to my skin, and just felt better.

Fast forward almost 2 years, and now I am still vegan (aka plant-based when it comes to meals) and my husband is almost completely vegan when at home, and so are my 13 year old and 2 year old sons.

A lot of people I talk to, when hearing about our vegan lifestyle, seem perplexed as to how it’s possible. So, because of this, I decided to film a video on my YouTube channel with 5 tips on how to become vegan as a family. I will list them below, too, but if you’d rather just listen to or watch a video, head on over there now. Here is the video:

Now, for the “how” question, here are the 5 tips (I go into much more detail on my video about each of these):

  1. Research Nutrition Facts and Overall “Vegan Facts”: there is so much research out there proving that being plant-based is one of the best things you can do for your health. Look into it and read the facts for yourself. This is a good place to start researching and here is another good source.
  2. Meal Plan: meal planning is one of the best ways to adopt a vegan diet and actually stick to it. It only takes me 10 minutes a week to meal plan (I have a video here about it if you would like the full details on how I do it) and it not only saves us time and money, but also headache when it comes to what we are going to eat for dinner each night!
  3. Keep It Simple: There is no need to go overboard when going vegan. Honestly, take the meals you typically make during the week and substitute in beans or tofu for the meat, replace dairy with non-dairy equivalents (there are so many non-dairy sour creams, cheeses, etc. in grocery stores nowadays) and you are done. It really does not have to be hard. If you want ideas on vegan meals that I make for my family during the week, head over to my Pinterest board “Weeknight Dinners.” This is where I get all of my recipes!
  4. Restaurants: it doesn’t have to be a vegan restaurant. You can eat vegan almost anywhere. I like to order appetizers as my meal and add a salad or soup to the side – easy peasy. You can also find vegan meals in a lot of restaurants nowadays, so ask if they have vegan options. Don’t forget to say “no dairy” when you are ordering (dairy is snuck into so many foods we don’t even know about).
  5. Don’t Force It On Anyone: it will come with time (or it won’t). Just like with anything else, you can’t force veganism on anyone. In time, they will either adopt the lifestyle themselves, or they won’t. And that has to be ok. I never once forced anything on my husband in terms of being plant-based; he just naturally adopted the lifestyle over time.

I am curious – have you ever thought about becoming vegan/plant-based? If you have, and have yet to do so, what is the number one reason you have not? I would love to help you tackle that reason and figure out a way to do it for you and your family. If you are vegan, do you have any tips for anyone trying to become vegan as a family? If so, please leave them below!

If you would like to read more posts about being vegan as a family, check out my meal planning post. If you’re interested in more “mom” content, check out my post about how to be more productive as a mom. If you’re interested in more “women’s lifestyle” content, check out my post on self care.

As always, thanks for reading, and take care 🙂

~Leslie W.