Hey darling! Thank you so much for your kind words, I’m so touched! <3
Congratulations for taking the step towards veganism! You are on your way to doing an amazing thing for your body, for the environment and of course, for the animals.
I think one of the best places to start is to do your research. Make sure you know exactly what veganism involves and what you’re getting into as at first it can seem restricting but you’ll soon adapt. My biggest recommendation is to start by watching videos to keep yourself informed. If you like, I’d be more than happy to send you some of the better ones.
In terms of what to eat to keep healthy, (I apologise because I’m pasting this from earlier!) peanut butter is a fantastic start in terms of snacks. I personally love it because it’s packed with protein and the right kind of fat, not to mention it goes with virtually anything.
You have your 4 main staples- bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. They can go with virtually anything too!
Another wonderful food you can buy is couscous. Dried packets are super filling and cheap! Not to mention hummus which also makes a great snack.
Buying your fruits and vegetables in season is the best way to ensure you’re truly getting your money’s worth so try to only buy them according to the time of year. But once you have tons of your fruit and veg in, you can make salads, fruit salads, soups, stews and more!
It’s very important to eat at least 5 portions of vegetables a day (and if possible an additional 2 portions of fruit) to ensure maximum health. If you’re looking for an easier and quicker way to do this then I suggest smoothies and vegetable juices for yourself.
Dried fruit, almonds and walnuts are amazing too. Walnuts in particular are great as they contain so much omega 3 as does flaxseed.
Sufficient calcium is nice and easy because not only are rice, almond, coconut, hazelnut, oat and soya milk filled with calcium but as it happens, a lot of the vegetables you’ll be used to eating contain more than enough. Certainly more than cow’s milk anyway!
A lot of cereal is also fortified with calcium so keep a good eye out for those!
Oats are brilliant to have in. Eat lots of oatmeal/porridge and add in some flaxseed for extra goodness.
Seeds are great for snacking too. Sunflower, pumpkin etc.
Protein is another food group of extreme importance. Lentils, beans, chickpeas, quinoa and nuts are just four prime examples of very accessible and easy delicious foods. You can buy them however you wish too, whether it’s in a ready made meal or an organic packet, or even just a tin.
One thing I do recommend is getting yourself a multivitamin specifically tailored to vegans. I’m on Veg1 which you can purchase here. It’s very expensive but lasts 6 months so it’s definitely worth it!
You’ll need to keep your omega 3 intake steady by either consuming flaxseed oil, flaxseed oil capsules (non gelatin of course) or plenty of walnuts.
Lastly, for calcium. Here’s a list for you of some calcium rich foods!
Although dried herbs are rarely used in large portions, adding in a few extra pinches to all your sauces, soups, and stews is a great way to get more calcium into your diet. Dried savory tops the list. It is followed by celery seed, dried thyme, dried dill, dried marjoram, dried rosemary, sage, sisymbrium, oregano, spearmint, parsley, poppy seed, chervil and finally dried basil.
Sesame seeds provide the most calcium when they are roasted or dried. Sesame Butter (Tahini) provides about half the amount of calcium.
Tofu prepared with calcium sulfate can provide much much higher levels.
Almonds are a great source of calcium whether dry roasted or made into butter.
Perhaps better known for their omega-3 fats, flax seeds also provide calcium. Beware however, as milled or whole flax seeds provide calcium but refined flax seed oil provides no calcium whatsoever.
Dark leafy greens are a great source of calcium raw or cooked. Raw turnip greens provide the most calcium. It is followed by Dandelion greens, Kale, Mustard Greens and Collard greens.
Possibly the largest of all nuts, Brazil nuts are a great source of calcium.
Other than that, just eat as you normally do. Replace all your meats with fake ones or another form of pure protein such as tempeh or tofu. Replace all your cheese with fake cheese and your chocolate with fake chocolate. There’s alternatives everywhere, you just need to do as much research as possible!
My final piece of advice is make sure you understand just what being a vegan actually means. It is nothing like just living off a plant based diet. It is a life style choice and takes lots of research (and probable accidental slip ups along the way but do not worry about those) so be sure to keep informed at all times.
I really hope this helps! :)