A Beginner's Guide On How To Shop Vegan Groceries
A Beginner’s Guide On How To Shop Vegan Groceries

Congratulations on turning vegan, your future self will thank you for taking this monumental step to bettering your health, and our beloved co-earthlings are expressing their gratitude for standing up for the voiceless. Let me help you navigate this new and exciting world by sharing my tips and personal experience because let’s be honest, it can get overwhelming especially if you are alone in your journey (check out my vegan story).

Replace meat with plant “meat”. There’s Beyond Meat burgers and sausages that taste like real meat (main ingredients include pea protein isolate, beet juice extract for color, potato starch, etc), tempeh that you can cook like bacon (whole soybean), seitan that you can roast like steak (vital wheat gluten), young jackfruit that you can prepare like barbecue pork slider, or even tofu which you can cook as scrambled egg (with a dash of turmeric for color). You see, the choices are endless. Being vegan now is a lot easier compared to when I first went plant-based 10 years ago when there’s practically nothing except the good old tofu. Cook the same way, use the same seasonings you have enjoyed in the past, the only difference is you aren’t clogging your arteries with cholesterol and your blood with sugar, granted you are not into junk food (check accidentally vegan favorites).

Avoid junk food and I say that with utter emphasis. With the rise of vegan demographics come opportunistic companies who will dupe you into believing that what you are eating is better because it’s labeled vegan. Sugar is disguised in 20+ names, just because you don’t see it spelled that way means it’s healthier. Dextrose, cane sugar, ethyl maltol, corn syrup, fructose, maple syrup, agave, stevia, are just some of the most commonly used. Make it a habit to read the ingredients and remember this simple mental math, 4 grams = 1 teaspoon sugar. You’d be surprised that an average American consumes almost 20 teaspoons of sugar in a day, don’t be the next statistic, diabetes is no joke!

Go straight to the produce section, vegetables and fruits don’t need labels. If reading ingredients is something you are not confident yet, you will never go wrong with green leafy vegetables and the more colorful your choices are, the more you know that you are converting yourself to a body of salad, haha! But really, do you know that aside from nutrition, fruits and vegetables also trigger the release of serotonin in our brain which is responsible for happy and positive mood? (read happy side of veganism)

A Beginner's Guide On How To Shop Vegan Groceries

Build your vegan pantry. Buy seasonings, coconut milk, tomato sauce, kidney beans, garbanzos, quinoa, chia seeds, oats, brown rice, rice noodles, frozen vegetables such as green peas, string beans, stir fry mix and anything you can find from your local store. While I buy our fresh fruits and vegetables every week, I shop online for other dry ingredients. I use Amazon and Vitacost most of the time.

Shop vegan at Walmart and Target if you don’t have Whole Foods near you. While the vegetables and fruits they carry may not be organic, you can’t deny the fact that they are really affordable. Just wash all the produce thoroughly!

Watch Youtube for vegan recipes. You don’t need a cookbook (unless it adds to your motivation) but really, everything you need to know about this lifestyle is readily available. From blogs to magazines to apps, every single thing you need is within your reach (read tips on dining out).

A Beginner's Guide On How To Shop Vegan Groceries

Shopping vegan should be fun and exciting. Do not stress when you can’t find something you like. Do not despair if your local store does not carry the brand or items I mentioned, eventually they will. So you made a mistake? learn from it, educate yourself more and move forward.

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27 thoughts on “A Beginner’s Guide On How To Shop Vegan Groceries

  • Great tips for those wanting to live a vegas life style.

  • Great informational post!

  • 25 Sweetpeas

    Great informational post! No one in our household is vegan, but we are super careful with labels and ingredients to stay away from all nitrates and nitrites. Major headache triggers so we are super careful! Definitely can make shopping a bit more tricky but worth it!

    • thefabzilla

      Thanks! Yes, I have sensitivities to some vegan food so it really is important to read ingredients and educate ourselves with what works and doesn’t

  • You’re posing in front of my favorite veggie: kale! But yes, heading right for the produce department certainly makes sense. Plus it’s the most beautiful part of the store.

  • Yvette

    Great informational post. I usually shop on the outside lanes at the supermarket.

  • I would die with excitement if I had a local produce like in your photos! All the places around here are terrible!! So jealous!

    • thefabzilla

      I feel you! The only thing is it’s expensive here even if we have plenty of local produce. My plan in the not so distant future is to plant my own.

  • The produce at your local grocery store looks so delicious, I’m craving a yummy salad with strawberries now.

  • We try to stay along the outer rim of the store but somehow we slip down a few aisles too. I can’t wait for the spring/summer veggies and fruit to be available again.

  • Helpful advice from an expert always makes changing easier. This is very helpful.

  • Ehmkay nails

    Beyond meat sort of scares me haha but I love almost all of the Gardein products. Always fresh veggies!!

  • These are all great tips! Very informative!

  • Jess Scull

    These are all such great tips!

  • These are fantastic tips! That picture of all of the leafy greens looks just like my Whole Foods. One of my all-imi favorite things to eat is lentils (cooked a variety of ways).

  • My Nail Polish Obsession

    I’ve heard Jackfruit is a great meat substitute. I haven’t tried it though.

    • thefabzilla

      It’s like shredded meat. You can order online or look for it in Asian stores

  • My mom uses an app to make vegan shopping easier that scans the barcode and it will say if it’s vegan or not– and like “how” vegan it is!

    • thefabzilla

      Just tell your mom that the app isn’t that reliable so please still read the ingredients or google quickly

  • I actually found out that I’m lactose intolerant so we’ve been trying to go more vegan, I’m finding that some of my issues is that some of the vegan pre-made foods are gluteney and I’m also allergic to gluten. Do you have any suggestions for avoiding gluten in those kind of dishes?

    • thefabzilla

      Hi Cassie. I’ve always had lactose intolerance and the more I look into it, the more I realize that cow’s milk is not made for human consumption. Are you medically diagnosed with Celiac? If you’re buying pre-made, wheat-free doesn’t mean gluten-free. So you have to really read the label and get familiarized for obvious ingredients. If it’s gluten-free, the label should have it. I would suggest going for real vegetables rather than pre-made because of your sensitivities. I also suggest to follow Dr Michael Greger and bookmark nutritionfacts.org, he’s a wealth of information! He discussed a lot of medical conditions vis-a-vis plant based nutrition

  • The selection in grocery stores is getting better and better.

  • These are great recommendations for aspiring vegans!

  • These are some good tips for people who want to try the vegan lifestyle.

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