Alex and I have been vegan for almost exactly two years now. When we first decided to give this thing a shot back in June of 2016, we never imagined just how passionate we’d be about sharing this lifestyle with those around us.

I’ve been able to share my journey with others and help them on their own journeys to veganism. That gives me so much joy. However, my heart is overflowing now. I’ve recently found myself in a position where I’m guiding a person very near and dear to me in his journey to the dark vegan side.

My brother, Anakin, was drawn to job opportunities in Kansas City and it turned out that we had a spare room, so it made sense for us to invite him into our home while he explores this new city. One of the first “rules of the house” we discussed was that there wouldn’t be any animal or animal byproducts in our home. Anakin, who has always been supportive of our lifestyle, told me that he wanted to go all the way and be vegan full time instead of just when he’s at home with us.

Y’all, my ethical vegan heart exploded right then and there.

I wanted to make sure we started him off right, so I loaded up a basket and a section of our freezer with new products for him to try so he could discover just how delicious vegan eating can be.

These reactions are straight from his mouth as he’s in his first week of vegan living. Full disclosure: these are not the healthiest items at the store and I wouldn’t recommend they make up the majority of one’s food intake, but they’re fine for occasional snacks and treats.


Earth Balance Vegan Aged White Cheddar Puffs

“Oh! Tastes like Cheetos! They’re really good. They’re a funny shape and i don’t know why they did that, but they’re really good. If I could find those in a store, I’d choose those over Cheeto puffs because I feel they’re better for me.”

Where to buy: Earth Balance Store Locator

Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy Chocolate Fudge Brownie

“First, it took a little getting used to, but I kind of don’t like the chocolate. It’s not bad, especially when I get to the brownie. That part tastes pretty good. I wish there were bigger brownie bites in the chocolate, but other than that, it’s pretty good.”

Where to buy: Ben and Jerry’s Store Locator

Gardein Golden Fishless Filets

“Oh man. Alright, where do I begin on that? They look like actual fish. They taste better than actual breaded fish that you can buy. The flavor, especially the breading, is really good. If you were to tell me that’s not fish, I’d be surprised.”

Where to buy: Gardein Store Locator

Daiya Deluxe Style Cheezy Mac

“It tastes good, but way too cheesy. I think I’d add a little cashew milk or soy milk to mellow it out and find balance. You could also add non-vegan butter, what do you call it? It just needs something to balance out the cheese. I liked it with the gardein fish filets. I guess you don’t have to give up cheese to be vegan.”

Where to buy: Daiya Store Locator

Free2b Sun Cups

“I really like the dark chocolate in these and I hadn’t actually realized before this that a lot of dark chocolate was vegan. I could taste the sunflower seeds in it, but it was sweet and had a really nice flavor.”

Where to buy: Free2b Store Locator

365 Breaded Chickenless Nuggets

“I like it. Tastes just like chicken nuggets. It tastes like Tyson’s chicken nuggets, but vegan. If you put them side by side, you couldn’t tell.”

Where to buy: Whole Foods Store Locator

Enjoy Life Soft Baked Snickerdoodle Cookies

“I wish that they were bigger because I really liked them, especially with the vanilla almond milk I got this week. For a little snack now and then, they were great. I just wish they were bigger. Do they make them any bigger? It’s kind of sad they don’t make them bigger. I don’t think I have any more of those left.”

Where to buy: Enjoy Life Store Locator

Silk Cashew Chocolate Milk

“I could definitely taste the cashew in there. Not my preferred milk. I think I prefer sweeter. It just had a little more cashew than I liked.”

Where to buy: Silk Store Locator

 

Question for you, my friends

If a non-vegan friend or family member came to you wanting help transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, what three vegan products would you have him or her try first?

Please comment below so I can make sure Anakin has tried all of our favorites!


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