My Go Vegan Guide! ..inspired by Oprah's "Vegan Challenge"

Everyone is buzzing about today's much anticipated "Try Vegan" Oprah show.

Oprah and her entire staff (nearly 400 people) are going vegan for one week. O's Vegan Challenge. Show guests will include the brilliant Kathy Freston and Michael Pollan. Also, Lisa Ling will give Oprah viewers a rare look inside some of America’s farms.

Get Inspired and Go Vegan! This post will help you step inside the vegan lifestyle (for a week or more!) You can also forward this post to someone you know who is not vegan, but might be curious. They might be inspired to give the vegan lifestyle a try!

"A week of vegan" can be done! And I want to help. I've whipped up an HHL Go Vegan Guide. It includes my fave shopping list items, favorite newbie-friendly vegan recipes, a few wellness tips, inspiring links/resources and cooking tips/techniques. Get inspired and try vegan with Healthy Happy Life!..

My GO VEGAN Guide below.
My Oprah Show re-cap follows the guide.

Wanna Try Vegan? Here are my resources for you if you are trying vegan for the first time, or maybe just want to brush up your vegan diet with a refresher guide to recipes/tips.

Kathy's HHL Go Vegan Guide

Included in my guide below:
1. Shopping List (feature items to try)
2. Wellness Tips
3. Kitchen Tips/Cooking Techniques
4. Inspiration Links
5. Newbie Recipes to Try

1. Kathy's Vegan Shopping list includes all my favorite must-have vegan pantry items. But here are a few ingredients that I highly recommend you add to your vegan kitchen (I'm not including basics like fruit/veggies - but you should always have a wide assortment of produce on hand!)..

Nutritional Yeast
Coconut Water
Liquid Smoke
Almond Milk
Grade B Maple Syrup
Almond Butter
Field Roast Spicy Chipotle Vegan Sausages
Sprouted Grain Bread
Seasoned Rice Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar
Bedtime Tea
Breakfast Chai tea
Good vegan Cocoa
Various Mushrooms
Steel Cut Oats
Vegan Buttery Spread for baking
Farro, Sprouted Grain or Kamut Pasta
Brazil Nuts
Mache (variety of dark leafy greens)
Soy Yogurt or vegan probiotics
Gardein products (like vegan buffalo wings)

see my entire vegan grocery list here

2. A few favorite Wellness Tips:

Vegan Dining Out Parts: 1 and 2
Vegan Protein Ideas List
Healthy Fast Food: 5 Easy AM Upgrades
Cold-Season Wellness, gone vegan
Vegan Help for Seasonal Allergies
Vitamin D Discussion
Juicing for Health (and fun!) Series
Healthy Vegan Desk-Side Snacks
10 Juice Recipes to Start Your Day!
Healthy Fats 101
All About Tempeh (my favorite vegan protein!)
Non-Dairy Milk Guide

3. Vegan Cooking Techniques/Kitchen Tips:

How-to make fluffy Quinoa!
Juicing At-Home 101
How-to Make Cashew (nut) Cheese
Guide to Soaking Raw Nuts
Smoothie FAQs
Vegan Salads 101
Green Juice 101
20 Smoothie Tips: blend like a pro
Cooking Tofu Tips and Advice

4. Inspiration Links:

PCRM Vegan Kickstart iPhone App
Discuss: Fake Meat Products, aka vegan chick'n
Vegan Smoothies! iPhone App
Are You Hungry?? Video
10 Skinny Dip Recipes!
Best Vegan Blogs List
People! Interviews! Check out these inspiring vegan people.

..please feel free to add your own off-site links in the comments section!

5. My Favorite HHL Vegan Newbie Recipes:

Tofu Scramble
Vegan Breakfast Sandwich
Tempeh Bacon
Breakfast Quiche
Breakfast Risotto

Try these recipes vegan newbies!!..
Curried Carrot Tahini Salad with Tofu Cubes
Smoky Tempeh Wrap
Cheezy Roasted Broccoli/Golden Quinoa
Rockstar Pesto Pasta
Cheeze and Peas Mac n Cheeze Pasta
Vegan Ricotta Cheeze Lasagna

Vegan Desserts (I'm really bad at selecting from these - so I'd advise browsing all my vegan dessert recipes!)

Soy Mocha
Banana Berry Smoothie
Strawberry Lemonade Smoothie
Easy Energy Almond Banana Shake
Lemon Mint Water

Tu-Nut Pitas (tuna-free!)
Mean Green Soy Burger
Vegan Chickenless Salad Sandwich
Vegan Club Sandwich
Fruit Rainbow Wraps (kid-friendly!)
Tempeh Sandwich w/ Olive Tapenade
Vegan Grilled Cheese
Black & White Cheezy Panini
Daiya Cheesy Quesadillas

Tahini Apple 2-Minute Salad
Seedy Tahini Cole Slaw
Grilled Portobellos w/ Zesty Lemon Dressing
Wilted Spinach/Balsamic Shrooms
Savory Roasted Potatoes

Spinach Dip
Vegan Cashew Cheese
Raw Almond Spreads: 3 ways
Perfect Butternut Sage Dip

Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Sweet Potato Biscuits
Orange Glow Muffins
Morning Melon Bowl
Lime Papaya Bowl

NOTE: I encourage you to include your own links/vegan resources in my post comments!

vegan bag

but really.. here's why I'm vegan...

Vegan Oprah Show Re-Cap below..

Bravo to Oprah!! I absolutely LOVE when she features vegan guests and talks about vegan living. I wish "O" would go vegan for good - well, maybe someday!!

The 411.. From Ecorazzi: "Beginning February 1, Oprah and 378 members of her Harpo staff will spend one week taking “The Vegan Challenge” where they will cut out all animal products as part of a segment for The Oprah Show."

UPDATE: Show Review! I just finished watching the show. Wow. My mind is spinning with thoughts. Mostly I want to say bravo to Kathy Freston. She was amazing. She spoke with such strength, intelligence and compassion. Love her. I can't wait to read her new book Veganist. The Slaughterhouse tour was intense. Brought tears to my eyes, as that type of footage always does. I'm so proud of Oprah for showing the real deal footage. I was pleased to see so many Harpo employees truly embrace the vegan lifestyle. And even get excited about it! And even lose a little weight too. My new favorite word "veganish".

There were a few very annoying parts like when Oprah said the animals "don't suffer" whaaaa?! And how they didn't show the actual killing - why not?? And the real truth is that the footage shown was from probably the "best" slaughterhouse out there. Just imagine what the lower quality procedures are and how much pain and suffering is felt by the sweet cows (and chickens and more).

But I'm staying positive about the show (even though the vegan community seems to be split on how they feel about it.) I say anything that sparks conversation about "where our food comes from" and "vegan living" is good.

Also, I loved how Kathy Freston compared one of the employees "junk food diet" to a true addiction - and analyzed her negative attitude towards veganism to be like that of an addict. I've found that a lot of people communicate to vegans with this type of anger - Kathy said: it's like telling an alcoholic you are going to take away their alcohol. And yes, you can be a "junk food vegan" - relying on only processed foods and lots of carbs. Don't let this happen to you! Get your nutrients from healthy, vegan, nutrient-dense whole foods. And lastly, I really loved how Oprah will be embracing Meatless Mondays from now on! As I watched the show I live-tweeted on Twitter..

(highlight live-tweets)..
*"Maybe that's what I'll be: veganish!" -Oprah .. @kathyfreston's husband is #Veganish too word for the folks who can't commit to 100%!*
*"The vegans deserve some credit for that.." Shoutout from @michaelPollan to amazing animal activists & @peta on #Oprah*
*Wow... @LisaLing is brave. And I'm totally sick after watching that.*
*..onto the meat processing facility. Lisa Ling reports. "they are very curious animals" -slaughterhouse employee on cows in pasture*
*"..we NEED to think about the cow, chicken, pig.." -Michael Pollan*
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