How To Cut Down On Vegan Junk Food
Okay so yep, guilty as charged! I write about organic, healthy vegan food and yet I love to indulge on vegan junk food way more often than I should, and I am sure that I am not alone! Many vegans are battling with the, How To Cut Down On Vegan Junk Food dilemma and the issue of self control.
Let’s face it, it ain’t easy, as these days we vegans are spoilt for choice! Practically every single animal based junk food, or fast food item available to mankind, is now available in a vegan option.
The big companies producing these items know the vegan, ethical movement is big and that they stand to profit from it. Therefore, they are churning out vegan options faster than you can say pass the tofu please!
Even knowing refined sugar and fructose based corn syrup is the enemy, it is still pretty hard to resist it entirely, unless you are equipped with the willpower of an elite athlete with Olympic Gold in sight. Or you are one of those rare, RARE, people who hate sweet foods.
So how do we navigate the vegan junk food pitfalls?
Here are some of my tips for minimizing vegan junk food consumption and I hope they work for you.
1. Palm Oil In Vegan Junk Food
I find it easier to avoid that tempting chocolate bars, candy and biscuits, if I know I could be inadvertently harming animals via palm oil deforestation. A lot of vegan junk and snack food made by the big confectionary giants also tend to use a lot of palm oil, which is often simply listed as vegetable oil in their products. Many like Nestles, say they are moving towards sustainable Palm Oil. Nestles date is 2023, however, read – https://www.rainforest-rescue.org/topics/palm-oil/nestle
2. Avoid Junk Food Bulk Buys
If you are a vegan junk food eater and find it hard to stop, I recommend you avoid buying bulk and multipacks. We all know if it is sitting in your home, that suddenly that block of chocolate, develops its own voice and begins loudly begging you to eat it. It is almost as if it has come to life! Craving chocolate, then buy one small item. Eat it slowly and savour it, knowing that that is it, there is no more for today! Personally, I prefer to spend a little more buying a 45g Pana Organic small chocolate block and enjoying that, rather than purchasing a cheaper, bigger, block of vegan chocolate.
Or, if you can’t buy single items, open the box with others around. Share rather than scoff that contents yourself. As I write this, I am laughing at my hypocrisy, as I definitely need to follow my own advice here. Ahh guilty as charged. My own 11 year old thought this sentence was hysterical, as he said, “Mum you always eat it all yourself!”
3. Vegan Junk Food and Plastic Packaging
Plastic, plastic and more plastic, it’s everywhere! Next time you are tempted to indulge think about the amount of plastic involved and how so much plastic production is harming the planet, along with all of us living on it. Yes, I know that you can now REDcycle soft plastics here in Melbourne by taking them to your local supermarket, but there is still the production phase.
My personal wake up call to how much plastic we use, can by attributed to being in the pandemic lockdowns here in Melbourne and feeling safer shopping online rather than going into supermarkets. I was appalled at how much food packaging I accumulated in the space of a couple months. Yes I collected them all and took them back to the REDcycle bins, but shopping online made me more aware of my choices and stopped me from over ordering vegan junk food. Actually it helped a lot being able to see my shopping cart online, I kept thinking, wow this is a lot of plastic packaged food I am ordering, what can I cull from my order? The vegan junk food was always the first to go!
4. Vegan Junk Food Is Expensive
Ordering on line is actually a great way to avoid vegan junk food, as you think twice about your choices when you see your shopping cart total sky-rocketing up. It’s easier to say to yourself, “do I really need that, and how on earth did I reach $200 already?” Shopping online will help you not to buy so impulsively, and you don’t have the allure of rows and rows of junk food tempting you.
The other tip is go in with a list of what you need and don’t deviate! Also never shop when you are hungry. Even when going to fill up on petrol, walk straight to the cashier, don’t look left, don’t look right and get out of there fast, before that vegan donut, or bag of chips becomes just too tempting to resist. Just think of how much money you can save by not buying vegan junk food.
The money you save by avoiding impulse junk food buying can be put towards supporting and buying healthier, organic snacks, made by ethical, smaller companies, trying to do the right think.
5. Vegan Junk Food Is Not Any Healthier
Vegan junk food is not healthy, it is the same as any junk food! It is high in sugar, high in salt and often heavily processed, with additives, artificial colours and flavours. If you have been over-indulging in vegan junk food and are over 40, I recommend getting your cholesterol and blood sugar checked. This really hit home personally during lockdowns. I was eating a lot of junk food. I guess I was self-soothing a feeling of boredom and hopelessness at the state of the world and my attitude was… well who cares if I put on weight. A routine blood test showed me that my cholesterol had gone up considerably and that shocked me into action, as I had also just turned 50 years old. I reduced the junk food intake immediately, and within months my levels had gone back down to normal.
Try getting into the habit of making your own vegan treats instead of buying, using healthier ingredients, like organic dark chocolate, oats, hemp seeds, rice bran syrup, stevia, and less raw sugar. I often like to melt down a bar of Aldi Organic Dark Chocolate and mix in chia seeds, hemp seeds, crushed nuts, and vegan protein powder like PranaOn . I mix everything together, then dollop it out onto a silicon baking mat to make little vegan chocolate drops. I also regularly make homemade smoothies, homemade cakes and pizza and this allows me to use a lot less sugar, less vegan cheese and oils, less salt and nothing artificial.
I hope these tips are useful and help you reduce your vegan junk food munching. Be sure to check out my Vegan Reecipes for some healthier treat ideas.