No surprise, with so many foods verboten: Some of your tried-and-true meal ideas won’t fly. For some vegan newbies, that’s a delight. “I like the challenge of thinking of how to make a meal. I’ve discovered new ingredients and don’t feel restricted,” says Abramian. “Personally, I think it’s exciting to try new foods,” agrees Rizzo.
Others found their new high-maintenance path required a bit of adjustment. “The first few dinners at home I remember thinking, ‘What the hell am I going to eat?’” recalls Rob Mohr, an amateur Ironman triathlete and a vegan for four years. “After some recipe research, I figured out some go-to meals where vegetables are the center of the plate,” he says. “The key is finding five or six of these dinners that you really like and can make pretty easily.”
Natalie Slater, a vegan cookbook author and blogger, had expected her transition to be a breeze, since she was already a vegetarian. But since her family didn’t go vegan with her, meal planning was tougher than she expected. “Honestly, I would sometimes see them eating a gooey cheese pizza and want to cry from jealously,” she says.