Vegan 101


A top tip from the inner circle of veteran vegans; once you make the decision regarding the BIG ‘V’, please do yourself a favour & prep, babe! This is not a choice to be taken lightly, it is a lifestyle change at the end of the day & your current pantry staples are more than likely not really up to scratch! You reckon you’re fine, ‘cause you have bread & butter, you’ll just make a sarmie? 

Nope. That bread is probably made with milk & your fave sandwich spread is 100% made using eggs. UGH!

You are about to venture into the most intense game of speed reading you could ever imagine. I am pretty sure every single Pick ‘n Pay employee in Jozi must think I’m not lekker in the head; I stand for hours reading labels. Why does everything use MILK POWDER? You’re about to lose A LOT of the products you once knew & loved. Perhaps, take a moment of silence for your once beloved packet of Doritos.  Shame.

This all may sound scary & overwhelming, thinking that you’re ‘losing out’ by going vegan. But, you are about to gain so much more! You would not believe the incredible vegan alternatives to absolutely everything you can imagine… Vegan chocolate is the flippin’ bees knees! (No bees were harmed in the making of this blog thanks to SunnyBo Hunny!)

Oh, while you’re here, check out my other blog: VEGAN POLICE: THE TRIALS & TRIBULATIONS OF A MODERN DAY PLANT-EATER

Vegan Food

Shopping List

Back to business, though! My newbie vegan shopping list is short & sweet, to get you through your first week. You probably think it’s a list as long as my arm, consisting of quinoa, agave syrup & tofu? Well, the truth of the matter is, there is only one thing in this realistic vegans starter pack…

Peanut butter.

Yep, that is all you need, honey. Peanut butter (OhMega Nut Butters being my personal favourite!)  & a spoon big enough to feed the inevitable cravings. Because, they will come. Trust that! I think the vegan community has created an air of being ‘from the Earth’, drinking water straight from the damn stream & bathing in oat milk… (Oat milk is hella expensive, it would be a very shallow soak.)

But the reality is, most of us are just as unhealthy as the next person. Myself included! I can promise  you right now, every single vegan alive has some sort of nut butter in the cupboard. Not all of us want to eat kale & drink Kombucha. DO NOT BE FOOLED!

You need to understand, going into this that your body is going to go through some major changes. A lot of withdrawal & you are going to have some hectic cravings for things you never thought you would miss! Fish paste from boarding school when you were in grade 7? GET IN MY BELLY! A lekker oily boerie roll from that dodgy braai stand outside of Builders Warehouse? ASSEBLIEF! 

But, if you’re committed to your decision to tread more lightly on the planet, then push through! The reward far outweighs your need for a lamb chop or even a Wimpy burger! Think of the impact you as a person are making in the world. For every year that you choose not to eat meat, you would have saved 10 055 pigs, 647 737 chickens, 11 357 cows & 3 million prawns! I highly suggest checking out Fry’s website to see some really eye-opening stats!

 I mean, that is a hell of a lot of good karma!

A Raw Deal

I think my least favourite question I get, being a vegan (and trust me, there are PLENTY) is, “but why are you vegan?” I am never quite sure how to respond to that one. Should I be brutally honest? Should I sugar-coat it so that I don’t offend you? And, are you genuinely asking out of interest or are you just waiting to give me your opinion? 

My answer? I am vegan for all of the reasons. 

But mainly ‘cause Russel Brand told me so & who could ever say no to him?


Want some meal inspo? Check out these plant-based meals: 





Vegan 101


The Journey: Part 1

I don’t really remember the day, to be honest, the specific day that I stopped eating meat. It was more of a slow process of eating less of it & a whole lot more frozen broccoli than I care to admit. 

All of a sudden, I realised it had been MONTHS since I had eaten any meat. I kind of accidentally became a vegetarian & felt like a new woman. But to say I was nervous to tell anybody about my new lifestyle change, would be a MASSIVE understatement. I knew the stigma. Hell, I had possibly added to the problem many times throughout my life, with poorly timed jokes at the expense of someone else. 

The Saturday afternoon that I had been dreading for months finally reared its ugly head… A family braai. It was time. Time to break the news to my VERY Afrikaans family that, “no, I will pass on the boerewors today, Oom. How about a fried mushroom instead?” Shock & horror followed this, as predicted & there was a moment of silence for the loss of a comrade. I scoffed down that rubbery mushroom & got the heck out of there before they had the chance to ask me, “but where will you get your protein?”

Although the braai was not nearly as difficult as I thought it might be, the judgement & scandal behind my choices extended past my family. Strangers felt the need to let me know why meat is a necessary part of my diet, their favourite argument being… “If we’re not meant to eat meat then why do we have canine teeth?”


The Journey: Part 2

My living hell was only perpetuated when I took the next step of becoming vegan. A no-brainer for me, but more of a NO-BRAIN to those around me. It was an easy transition, my only regret? Not doing it sooner.

I was living in the mountains of the Drakensberg at the time, doing yoga in the veld & eating tomatoes straight from the freaking earth, man. I was some kind of hippy, minus the leg hair (mostly.) I was always the odd one out. The black sheep, or rather the black BeyondMeat patty.

For the most part, being vegan in the Berg was a breeze. I got a few quizzical looks at coffee shops when I asked for non-dairy milk. Huh? Like… Goat milk? Uh. Never mind, I’ll just have still water. It was actually during that time that I learnt how to drink black coffee & pretend like it didn’t taste like sadness. I only cried in the shower a few times. WINNING!

But everything changed when I moved back to the city. Jozi, baba. You beaut! I found a community here, a community of like-minded people. A place where I could vent about the RIDICULOUS price of vegan yoghurt & not have someone roll their eyes straight back into their skull. I so appreciate that in a friend. If you’re looking for a starting point, I would highly suggest you check out my fellow veggie compatriot Caley’s blog, for all the inspiration you could ever hope for, honey!

Vegan Job Opportunities

At the same time, I realised that within this beautiful community of amazing people, there are a plethora of other factions. Societies within society & they’re out for blood. Human-blood, of course. They would not appreciate that joke!

I’ve affectionately named these groups; The Vegan Police, The Plastic Police, The Palm Sugar Police, The Gluten Police & The SAPS. Well, the last one is only on this list ‘cause I’m pretty salty about my lack of vegan wine in the cupboard, but that’s a whole other story.

These groups work tirelessly to ensure that you’re happy, but never TOO happy. Like your mother-in-law on a good day.

Enjoy that oat milk latte, Claire. But it better be in a paper cup! Oh, I hope you didn’t add any refined sugar to that? Is that coffee fair-trade? Are you going to recycle that cup or do you just hate sea turtles? 

All I can say is that I am so happy that during a global pandemic, during this Coronacoaster, these cops have jobs & that they’re able to work from home! LUCKY! I just hope they’re being paid for their ‘ESSENTIAL’ services to the vegan community. 

My wish is that this blog spot somewhere on the interweb inspires you. Inspires you to try a Fry’s Chicken Nugget without dry-heaving. Even if you chase it with a mouthful of fatty biltong. I’m not here to anybody; I’m just here for a good time not a long time, uhh. I mean, I’m here for the animals. 

Eat food. Not too much, mostly plants.

“The most damaging phrase in language is; we have always done it this way.” Grace Hopper

While you’re here, check out some of my recent recipes with WellBe: 





Until next time…





Time: 5 minutes

Serves: 1

The perfect dessert to make in a hurry! Filled with all the right flavours, this vegan mug cake is the treat you need (right now).


  • 4 Tbsp spelt flour
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp chocolate chips


Add all the ingredients to a mug & mix well. Microwave on high for 1 minute & 30 seconds.






Time: 7 minutes

Serves: 1

This very berry quinoa porridge is an easy, clean eating breakfast for busy mornings. It’s full of good-for-your-gut nutritious ingredients, leaving you feeling fuller for longer and energised to take on the day!


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3/4 cup macadamia milk or any milk of choice
  • 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence


  • 1/2 cup of berries of choice
  • 1 tsp  sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp goji berries
  • 1 Tbsp nut butter of choice


  • Warm the milk, honey & vanilla in a small sauce pan over the stove.
  • Place the cooked quinoa in a bowl & pour milk over it.
  • Top it with all your delicious toppings.





Time: 20 – 30 minutes

Serves: 4

There is absolutely no shortage of ancient grains to add to your pantry, but if you haven’t tried bulgur wheat, lockdown is definitely the time to give it a go! Rich in fibre and so easy to cook! This delicious and flavourful meal packs a healthy punch!



  • 2 large aubergines
  • 1/2 Cup Mediterranean style vegan cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 Cups of uncooked bulgur wheat
  • 2 Cups of water
  • 1/4 Cup  cherry tomato pasta sauce
  • Salt & pepper


  • Slice the eggplant down the middle & open it slightly. Make criss-cross lines inside with a sharp knife, drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper. Start baking in the oven at 180C for 30min.
  • In a medium pot, heat the olive oil & sauté the onions & pepper until soft.
  • Add the bulgar wheat & sauté for a minute, stirring constantly.
  • Add the water & the pasta sauce.
  • Simmer for about 20 min, adding more water as needed.
  • Fluff with a fork & serve inside your baked aubergine, top with crumbled “feta”, red onion & fresh parsley!