How to NOT be a “Junk Food” Vegan

I have the biggest sweet tooth of any vegan I know. I really do. I will drive miles and miles for good vegan soft~serve ice cream, and I could eat vegan cupcakes all day long if I had them! I LOVE SWEETS!

But I often get emails from people asking me for help because they are new to being vegan and suddenly find themselves eating lots and lots of sugar and processed foods. They thought they were going from being a lazy carnivore to a vibrant and vivacious vegan when all of a sudden… they feel like a big blob.

“I’m dedicated to being healthy! But I’ve found myself right in the predicament that I swore I never would be: a junk food, processed food vegan. It’s killing me. Help!” (writes a MVJ “fan”)

Well, here’s the scoop! What I’ve learned is that if I don’t have highly processed & sugary sweet vegan foods in the house, I don’t eat them. And If I make the time to prepare yummy & healthy foods, I eat them. And enjoy them! It’s that simple.

Don’t buy the junk. Or at least not too much of it. Violence begins with your fork and junk food veganism begins with the shopping cart.

Once you have good food in your home, take a 30 minute chunk of your day to make the time to chop fresh veggies and cook lentils or some black beans for dinner. Or throw lots of yummy veggies in a big pot or slow cooker to make a stew! And did you know you can bake beets just like you bake potatoes? Wrap in a bit of foil (or simply place in an oven safe glass dish) and throw a few in the oven – so easy! Get up an extra 10 minutes early to prepare a few snacks for your day. Chopped or dried fruit maybe? Carrots & celery? Nuts? Maybe an avocado & tomato sandwich? Mmm! Or make some quick and easy chia pudding or soak oats in almond milk the night before… or make a fruit & kale smoothie for breakfast! You don’t need a fancy blender! I could go on and on…

The point is: MAKE the time to be healthy. You know you have it. Meander on facebook a little less… pin a few less “pins” on pinterest… watch 30 minutes less TV. We really DO have the time to make good food. And if you don’t, you’ll get sick and you’ll spend all that time you “didn’t have” in bed… because your body will make the time to heal you. I’d rather spend that time eating yummy food.

As for me, it felt like I pinched a nerve or something in my right upper leg yesterday…and it made it difficult to walk. I feel fine now, but for a few hours I thought “WOW, I have totally taken for granted the health of my legs!” They’re just always there, and I never think about what it would be like without them. So I decided to make more time for hiking and riding my bicycle. I’ve been putting off healthy outdoorsy activities lately thinking I didn’t have enough time. Well, I’m going to make time. And you can too! We’ll make time to be healthy together.

Here’s to being vegan AND healthy!


Have a beautiful day everyone!


Jackie Day, Author of the new book The Vegan Way: 21 Days to a Happier, Healthier Plant-Based Lifestyle That Will Transform Your Home, Your Diet, and You (St. Martin’s Press / Macmillan) Check it out! It’s getting GREAT reviews!