You may not know it but some vegan bloggers, like myself, often receive disdain from some other vegans because we choose to promote Meatless Mondays, in fact I’m a Meatless Monday blogger. Not sure what Meatless Monday is? It’s when non-vegans choose to choose to go plant based for one day. As a Meatless Monday blogger I help by uploading recipes, food posts, reviews and more. Sounds good right, so what’s the problem? Some vegans think that everyone should just go vegan, the end. As someone who abhors animal cruelty I would LOVE that. BUT let’s be real, remember this blog is about no BS – it’s not going to happen overnight. Instead what we have to do is introduce people to the yummy vegan foods and alternatives, show them that a healthy diet doesn’t have to include suffering, and support them in making changes towards a cruelty free lifestyle. As Gandhi said “be the change you wish to see in the World”. Which is why I post meatless food posts every monday, to help others see that I, as a health and fitness professional, and athlete live and excel on a meat free diet, in fact I thrive!
When I was around 20 years old, my best friend and I decided to go vegetarian. I was vegetarian for 20 years, and in that 20 years I tried many times to eliminate dairy and eggs from my diet and go 100% vegan. However I failed, until 2013. What changed? Well, I think my mindset changed for sure. You see June 5th 2013, I happened upon the documentary Earthlings (recommended viewing for EVERYONE on the planet) and decided after watching that I had no choice but to go vegan. It seemed a no brainer. What helped me stay vegan this time was that there seemed to be so many more alternatives and so readily available that going vegan seemed so much easier than ever before.
Meatless Monday – Dairy Alternatives
For some the biggest detractor to dairy is milk. For me this wasn’t an issue. During a vacation to the USA in 1997 we realized Liptons was the tea that’s available everywhere here was TERRIBLE with milk, so we just went for black tea instead, and then we never had milk in tea again. Plus I don’t drink coffee, never have. For breakfast cereal we switched to plant based milks. There are SO MANY options available too: Soy, almond, coconut, hemp, rice and more. Really super easy to go milk free. Also there are plant based coffee creamers so check those out if coffee is your thing. I’ve found different plant milks work for different things, for example: unsweetened soy and nut milks are better for cooking than rice milk, and the flavored ones are better for smoothies or cereals etc. Bottom line, try different brands, types and flavors.
I already said cheese was my weakness that always broke my vegan attempts before but now there are vegan cheeses! Say what? Yep! One of the biggest brands to break through is Daiya. Honestly their cheese alternatives have dramatically changed the vegan world and in just a few short years they’ve just pumped out food after awesome awesome dairy-free food. Seriously their cheese alternatives are ah-maz-ing try them!
So vegan yogurts I’ve tried previously have been ok but not really like a yogurt, they tended to be more like a pudding. I did miss Greek Yogurt, then the vegan gods heard me and Daiya released the nectar that is VEGAN GREEK YOGURT! The first time I had this I seriously just kept looking at the label to check it was vegan. So good. And 8g protein per serving. So if yogurt is something you’re looking replace definitely check these out, but there are other brands of vegan yogurt too and I want to try out a few more to see how they’ve improved in the last 3+ years.
Other dairy products you can get veganized include icecream (hello Ben & Jerry’s vegan ice cream!), cheesecake, sour cream, cream cheese… basically everything traditionally dairy now has a dairy-free vegan alternative! The good news is that I plan on trying out most of them for you and giving you a full review, yep it’s a tough job but I’m up to the task! Our recent Whole Foods trip included some different milks, more Daiya cheeses and yogurts, and I almost picked up a cheesecake… even better news… we’re getting a Sprouts Farmers Market store! So more reviews as I get to try different products! Yay! Also for those with no local natural or health foods store, Amazon sells Daiya products and delivers just about anywhere
Head up meatless Monday peeps: You can get coupons for $ off your new purchases. Just head over to MamboSprouts and print off your coupons. This is my go-to site for natural and cruelty free coupons, that save you money while you save your health, the animals and the planet.
So my question to you is:
Would you consider going Meatless on Mondays?
If you are curious about Meatless Monday, I suggest signing up for their newsletter, and they have so many tools on their website. If you need more help, I am ALWAYS here to support and aid you in any way I can. No judgement.
**Disclosure: Link in this post may be affiliate links, meaning I earn a small commision on sales made through those links.
Great examples of some daily alternatives, thanks for sharing! Encourages me to try no things when at the grocery store
For sure! Always fun to experiment!
I have a few veggie friends and also one vegan, I would love to show them this post!
on sale right now at Target too!
My daughter is sensitive to dairy and she doesn’t like to eat meat, so this will be helpful for her to check out.
They are delicious!
We rarely eat meat, mainly because our grocery budget is not quite large enough for the local organic meat we love. I love to use nutritional yeast as a dairy alternative, so delicious!
Yes!!! I use that on a LOT of our dishes!
I’m sensitive to dairy, and Silk is definitely my go-to if I do need milk for something such as smoothies. We’ve never done meatless Mondays before, but it could be fun!
I had similar issues. Discovered through trial and error that it aggravated my eczema.
Love trying new things! I would like to do more meatless monday type of meals and this would be a great alternative!
My husband and son can’t tolerate dairy so I’m always looking for alternatives. I currently buy Silk because it’s one of the only milk alternative that they can drink.
Oh there are so many! Especially now with dairy free milk, creamers, yogurts, cheeses, cheesecakes etc. Daiya is so good!
I am going to have to look into some of these. I use silk for my daily smoothies already and I love it!
Almond milk is good too 😉
I’m meatless everyday 🙂 I didn’t know Daiya makes yogurt. On a sidenote, I wish we had a local Sprouts. I love shopping there.
Daiya is stepping up the vegan game Jill! They do cheesecakes, pizza, cream cheese and so much more! Seriously good, or bad depending on how you look at it lol!
This is really interesting. i have never heard of meatless Monday and this is very informative about a vegan diet. I had NO idea vegans did not take in dairy. I would need to do more research before I committed to something like this but it sounds interesting 🙂
Yep that’s the major difference between vegetarian and vegan, vegans eat NOTHING from an animal.
Great post! I try to go vegan once a week as a compromise in family. I am surrounded by meat eaters and I am not a fan. Dairy is a touchy subject in our house! lol
hahahaha my husband is vegetarian. He’s vegan in the house though.
Daiya is amazing. My son is deathly allergic to dairy and has been his whole life. My son is so excited that he can make his own grilled cheeses on sprouted bread. This has been such a great addition for our whole family.
Agreed! Daiya is changing the dairy free game totally!
Daiya is definitely a game changer. In college I was vegetarian and cheese was a big staple for me. I tried a brand called ‘Veggie’ cheese but my Vegan husband noted that this ‘veggie’ cheese actually had a milk product in it. Okay for me but not for him. And let’s just say, this brand is NOT cheese, no where near it.
My son has been Vegan for almost 3-years now. He is the one who has introduced me to so many awesome Vegan products – Daiya being one – It melts! No kidding, the meatless alternative and dairy alternatives have come a LONG way since my college days and I wonder if I would still be vegetarian if I had these options back then.
That greek yogurt is looking good and the Ben and Jerry’s… My son drove 1.5 hours when it came out and picked up 3 cartons. ^_^
p.s. I’m a full on meat eater (junk food too) so anyone considering these dairy free options will not be disappointed.
yep I tried all the flavors of the ben & jerrys! Too damn good that stuff!
And yes it annoys the crap outta me when they put casien in the veggie cheese! WTH? Daiya ROCKS!
We literally went meatless yesterday, though it was a Thursday and it was by pure coincidence. Had a smoothie breakfast, quick salad with a side of fruits with peanut butter and had hummus on pita and leftover salad for dinner. Honestly, I was still hungry at night but I definitely felt less bloated!
What you’ll find is that you tend to eat more fruits and veggies that are less calorie dense. Eat more. Add rice/beans to your salad, with guacamole. I actually have a series of posts coming up about this very subject 🙂
I used to be a vegetarian for 8 years…so a Meatless Monday now is no problem for me. lol… but it can be tricky to make sure you are getting all the nutrients and vitamins and veggies – so these suggestions are awesome!
You found it tricky? I find it really easy, and I don’t eat eggs/dairy. The only thing I supplement is vit B12 and D. My kidneys don’t process Vit D well 🙁