Tag: vegan

My 3 Top Tips For Going Vegan

These are my three top tips for going vegan, maybe they would be more aptly named as my top 3 ‘don’ts’.


(excuse the pun), especially If you’re doing this on your own. Going vegan or plant based eating is a lifestyle change. It’s not a diet in the traditional sense of the word, it is a different way of eating (and for vegan it includes way of living) and something that you need to get your head around. I know it can be difficult if you’ve just seen a movie like ‘Earthlings’ and you see where your meat is actually coming from. It’s like the old saying – once seen, never can be unsee – which means you’re finding it really difficult to look at meat the same way you used to.
But, if you want going vegan to work, then do it slowly. Pick 2 or 3 days a week to be animal free (including dairy and eggs) or, just make the weekends the time for having animal products.
Make sure you eat up the food you already have, it’s a waste to throw it out – but as you replace it, you can then look for the vegan version.


Think about discovering ‘new’ foods.
Many people think about the foods they are going to have to give up such as bacon or cheese or ice-cream or chicken nuggets or other favourites they may have.
So I always counsel to try and think about the new foods and flavours. When looking at recipes think things like ‘ooo that looks so good’ or ‘wow I bet that’s tasty’ or ‘I know I’ll like that because it has XYZ seasonings’. So look at the new foods and soon those foods will become part of your life.


Put a quality protein in its place. You need to be eating quality foods, so putting a quality protein in the place of meat is a great way to start your vegan voyage. To begin with try foods like chickpeas, quinoa, lentils and beans and put one of those with your plate full of vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds. Not only will it give you the nourishment, it will help to fill you up. Oh, and keep it all full of as much colour as you can – not only looks tasty but full of nutrition.

Those are my top 3 tips for going vegan:

Don’t go Cold Turkey – Don’t think about ‘giving up’ foods and Don’t just take the meat off.



Fee’s Magic Minute – Trying New Foods

Life is wonderful when you’re trying new foods.

The Magic Minute video is all about the new foods and, hopefully, encouraging you to try them.  I let you know where I go in order to find the new foods and well as find out about them.


Hope you enjoyed


Is It Hard To Be Vegan?

A question I get asked frequently is “Is it hard to be vegan” and the simple answer is “No”

Should I just end this post now?

O.k. – I’ll keep going and explain why it’s not at all difficult.

The hardest part to being vegan is taking the initial step into the plant-based kitchen.  Deciding that you’re going to flip the ratio of meat to veggie on it’s ear and go veggie to meat. In fact for many days during the week, you’re even going to try having no meat at all.

That’s the hardest part.

Once you’ve made the decision the rest kind of falls into place. Such as discovering What to Eat Instead of Meat (great title for a book … oh yes, one I’ve written).  It’s learning about having beans, peas (as in chickpeas) or lentils instead of beef, chicken or fish.

Next, it’s getting some recipes and you can’t get a better cookbook than Mr Google!!!
Just type in something like ‘vegan recipe with lentils’ and you’ll get so many hits you’ll have a hard time picking just one.

You can also meet like-minded people.  Get out there and get among other vegans and vegetarians.  You can start with FaceBook.  There are many, many vegan groups …. but a word of warning, find one that is supportive of new vegans – these are the groups that will help you whenever you need it.

Perhaps you can find a group in your town.  http://meetup.com is a brilliant place to start.  You will have to ‘join’ which is free then you can search for vegan groups in your area.

Another place to go is to the local cafe that you know sells vegan food.  Ask them if them if they know of a group that you can join.  Maybe you can put up a sign for newbie vegans to meet for coffee there.

The point of all this is that the hardest part is definitely the start.  Just like anything, when you step outside of your comfort zone it’s scary and strange – but, believe me when I say – get into this way of cooking and suddenly it becomes your comfort zone!!!

If you need help at all, I am here for you.  Jump on a live call with me for ½ hour and ask me anything you like –  it’s free and I’m happy to help.
Pop through to my appointment calendar and made a time that suits (time is shown in N.Z. zone), I’d love to connect.


One last thing … if you’re new to veganism, then make it as healthy as you can, (yes there are unhealthy vegans), go whole-food plant based eating which will mean that you get a great bonus … your own health.


Is Being Vegan Expensive?

I had someone say to me the other day “Isn’t being vegan expensive?”

Surprisingly enough this is actually quite a common question.
The simple answer is “No”.

Let me explain a bit further.

The vegan’s protein ‘go to’ is usually either bean, peas or lentils and all these foods can be sourced at bulk buying outlets extremely cheaply. In fact, a pound (kilo) of lentils would probably cost less than a pound (kilo) of beef and would go sooooooo much further.  In this day and age – a pound of beef would probably only feed two people for one meal, but the lentils would feed a family of four over two meals.  Of course you would be adding to the lentil dish with other vegetables and you’re now looking at perhaps a family of 6 people over two meals …. equals, far less expensive than meat.

It’s usually fruit and veggies that are the expensive items. Now the reason for this is usually that people buy out of season. And it’s not only vegans that do that, but meat eaters as well. So, if you’re wanting to save money, then I’d suggest you wander down to your local farmers market and buy in season.
And, give your local produce outlet a try as well – in season fruits and veggies just may be cheaper than your local supermarket and chances are, better quality.

I recently posted a video on 5 of the top questions I get asked being vegan which does include the one above.  So watch the video to find out the rest:

Enjoy good food

What Is A Vegavore?

Exactly … what is a Vegavore?  Think that’s odd – try Carnesparian

These are just two of the new buzz words out there and, add to that Sustainatarian and Reducetarian and you have a miriad of words that now define the nuances from the standard Carnivore, vegetarian and vegan.

You see, vegetarians can be those who don’t consume the flesh on animals (including seafood) but do still have animal protein in the form of dairy, eggs and honey. Of course the pure vegetarian or total or 100% vegetarian eat no animal protein at all and stick with the original meaning of the word – vege (vegetables) tarian.

And this is where the nuances begin.

So the vegavore is perhaps the oddest word, because one assumes it means no animal, but in reality is is a combination of vegan and carnivore (the two most outer reachers on opposite sides of the scale). So a vegavore is someone who very rarely eats meat … perhaps once a month.

The Carnesparian is perhaps better terminology as it comes from the words – carne (animal flesh) and sparse (infrequent, sporadic). These people are mostly vegetarian, but will have some meat on some occassions. Perhaps a bit less meat than a Flexitarian who is the flip side of an Omnivore

Keep up …..

More nuances. You see vegans come in different ways –

  • The vegan who say they’re vegan because they eat a pure vegetarian diet.
  • The vegan who does the food, won’t buy new animal products but will wear recycled.
  • The vegan who does the food and doesn’t buy or wear animal products new or recycled.
  • The vegan who does the food won’t buy new animal products nor use or condone anything that is associated with animals such as zoos, acquariums even pets.
  • … and then there is also the vegan who does all of the above and is zero waste as well.

Is it easy being a vegan?   Well, actually, yes it is.  It’s all in the WHY – why are you doing it and how far you wish to take it.

So welcome Vegavores and Carnesparians at least you’re doing your bit to help save your health, the health of the animals and the health of our planet.

p.s. Other new words – Climatarian, Reducetarian and Sustainatarian – pretty all self explanatory.

Which one are you?



How To Stop Being Hungry On A Vegan Diet

Just gone vegan?  Here’s how to stop being hungry when going vegan.

So many new vegans tell me just how hungry they get.

Well, some of you may already know that I do suggest taking things slowly for example starting with two or three days a week going completely animal free.

But some of you may see a movie like Speciesism or Earthlings and just decide that you can’t go another day consuming animal flesh and by-products.

And when you jump right in, then hunger can be quite a factor.

So just how do you tackle the hunger and stop it from happening ?

The first thing you have to do is make sure you are getting enough protein such as beans, nuts, pulses etc and enough fats ..  again nuts, seeds and oils like coconut or olive.  Then there are the carbs (which seems to be especially true for men) and this can be potatoes and other root vegetables, bread or rice.

Get a list from the internet on both vegan carbs and vegan protein.

Unfortunately many new vegans think they just need to subtract the animal and they’ll be right.  Unfortunately this isn’t the case. you need to replace the protein and fats.  The beauty is that you’ll replace with much healthier protein and fats.

Another thing you can do is don’t go so long between meals.  Be prepared by having snacks at the ready.  Hummus and crackers are excellent as are a things like Sundried tomatoes with avocado or olive tapenade on pita.  Of course there’s fruit, I find a banana fills me up long enough before the next meal.

And last tip – Slow down … like really slow down.  This is so much better for your digestion anyway and  if you have gone to the trouble of preparing the meal, the least you can do is enjoy it.  So turn off the T.V. (unless you live alone) and enjoy your family and the meal together.

If you have any other tips, please leave a comment below … would love to have them added here.

Until next time – be a conscious consumer and enjoy life.





Quick Post – What Do Vegans Eat

A question I get asked quite a lot … “What do Vegans eat?

So here’s the answer.


Check out this awesome array – and, I might add, the chocolate cake was to die for!!!






A Change of Scenery

cat survived

The cat survived!  And, her mum was so pleased to see her.  In fact she even commented on how her darling looked sooooo good.  ….. Well Done Me!

Leaving the suburb of Pyes Pa I had a night free, so off I went to Katikati to stay with my dearest friend Caitlin.  How great that was!  Chilling out with great conversation and good food with her and her darling hubby – nothing could be sweeter.

But it came to an end the next afternoon when I left to get back to Tauranga and to start the next house-sit.

Vegan Onion & Mushroom Tart

Vegan Onion & Mushroom Tart

So, where am I ?  Geez it sounds like a Where’s Wally book!  I’m now in Devonport road about two blocks from my favourite restaurant, Grindz  – a cafe that serves my kinda food!!  Definitely within walking distance.  So I can see that on my days off I’ll be trotting along there, with laptop underarm, to get my coffee fix and work on my book.

So for those who don’t know Devonport road … this is the road that goes through the CBD shopping – kind of Tauranga’s version of The High Street.  Although, now days, because of the malls that have been built, Devonport road is not as bustling as it once was.

The house has a beautiful outlook over the water, seems to get the winter sun nicely during the day, but sure is cold in the morning as the night air circulates around a fairly open plan living area.  Still, it has such a lovely feel to it, there’s no animals to look after and the owners are away for 10 weeks.

Finally I have been able to unpack properly.  The lady of the house kindly provided an empty closet in the room and empty scotch dresser … although, as you can see by the photo of my packed wagon above, I don’t have enough to fill it all.  She thoughtfully also cleared a couple of shelves in the panty so I don’t have to keep my “pantry” boxes in the kitchen as I normally do.

It probably all sounds very mundane to you, but trust me, it’s the little things that makes my life easier!

Now it’s all hands on the computer.  I really must get this next book finished.  I’ve been asked to speak or do a cooking demo at a “Vegan Vibes” expo being held here in September and it would be excellent if I could have this book ready for sale.  Might be pushing it a bit, but we can live in hope.

Haven’t totally committed to the cover of the book yet … your comments will be appreciated.


On that note – I will say adieu and get my focus reset.



What Do You Put Your Energy Into?

vegetarian foodI know I say that I am “vegan”, but in actual fact I’m more vegetarian than vegan.

But if I say that then the assumption is that I eat dairy and eggs.  By definition a vegetarian only eats plant foods, no animal products at all.  Think about it – the word itself should give you a clue – vege-tarian …. vege as in vegetables – I don’t see “dairy” or “egg” anywhere in that word at all.

The problem is that the food industry have cosy-ied up to the corporations and have indoctrinated the public into believing that a vegetarian is someone who eats plant foods, dairy products and eggs, hence the animal food industry still is able to make money from this ever growing portion of the public.

Even the medical fraternity is on board with this, by declaring that one must have dairy in order to get the right supply of calcium – Doctors, who have never had a decent lesson in nutrition at all.

The word “vegan” is taken from the first three and last two letters of the word vegetarian.  Being vegan is a lifestyle. One that is totally devoid of animal products.  For example not wearing leather.

So even though I say I am vegan, my reason for eating a plant based diet is first and foremost, the environment.  Yes I abhor animal exploitation in any form and I do choose products I know have no animal content nor have they been tested on animals.

But, because my number one reason is the environment, I do recycle.  Which means I do visit op-shops (thrift stores for my American friends), and I do purchase leather items.  The reason is that leather is one of the hardest things to break down, and then, when it does, it is so full of chemicals that it contaminates the ground.

This is where I come into odds with Vegans.  Vegans don’t wear leather at all as their argument is, (and I have to concede they have a point), it doesn’t matter if you have recycled it, wearing it still says to the world that you condone the use of leather.

EnvironmentWhat a quandary.  But in a round-about way this brings me to the title of this post.  If you try and take on too much … it just messes with your head!  Well, it does with mine.  So out of all the BIG issues – environment, animal welfare, poverty, world hunger, world peace etc etc etc
I have chosen Environment.  My reason? Simple logic – if we don’t have an environment, we don’t have anything else.

I’ve just spent 5 weeks in the home at Papamoa and in that time I only needed to put the rubbish out once which was on the last day…and even then the bag was not full.  The home I was in had a compost (in fact had both normal and worm farm types), had the recycle buckets for glass, plastic, paper and cans and the rest went into the council bag to be put out on the curb.

I’m also very realistic.  I am fully aware that here in N.Z. our recycling efforts (paper, plastic, glass etc), are just a token gesture, most of the stuff goes to landfill or gets shipped offshore.  We actually have a poor record of encouraging the recycling industry.  But that is something I really don’t have control over.  What I do have control of is what I can personally do for the environment.


  • I use plastic bags (like bread bags) as often as I can … these odd plastic bags come with me to the supermarket and I put the fruit/veggies into them rather than get a new one.
  • The bags for nuts I’ve recycled so many times it’s hard to find the space to write the number on as there are so many numbers now crossed out.
  • Naturally I have the canvas/jute re-usuable bags.  Lucky for me I bought several of them in America, they’re big and sturdy and go through the wash like a pro.
  • I compost where I can, use a garbage disposal unit (the one in a sink) or boil up my peelings which I freeze to use as stock/soup.

I don’t like to label myself an Environmentalist, nor a “Greenie” – I think those titles are reserved for the more wealthy who are able to go the whole hog, and the only reason I say I’m a vegan is so my food choice is understood in this warped society.  I just live the best way I know how and try to “do my bit” for the environment that I am currently living in.

What do you put your energy into?


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