Vegan starter guides and nutritional charts
How to be Vegan
To help you change to a vegan lifestyle we have compiled a selection of resources and links below.
Becoming vegan can seem like a big change to begin with. You may feel like there are just too many foods you need to give up – this is simply not true! You will soon discover all kinds of vegan treats and recipes to substitute for your usual favourites, and realise that a vegan version can be made of most of them.
Today, compared with say 10 (or even 5) years ago, there is a much greater range of vegan products readily available in your local supermarket. There are vegan versions of sausages and burgers, cheese, milk, ice cream, chocolate and yoghurt, just to name a few. More new products come out all the time, so keep checking your local stores.
Quick links to our helpful pages to get you started
Download our free vegan resources to help you navigate your changing lifestyle.
Vegan Society Starter Guide
Our Starter Guide contains food ideas, recipes, vegan food pyramid and nutritional information, reading lists, website links and more.
Vegan food pyramid
Download our vegan food pyramid in A4 size or A3 size. A handy chart you could print, laminate and put on your kitchen wall! (It’s also included with the starter guide above). The chart details vegan food sources of vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, fibre and essential fatty acids. Great for helping prepare meals.
Vegan food plate
Download our vegan food plate chart. A handy chart that gives you an at-a-glance plate perspective of the daily foods we require and and idea of portions, along with examples of foods in different groups.
Vegan guide to NZ Supermarkets
Our Big Book of vegan products details everyday supermarket items. This list was updated January 22. If you see any additions or corrections please let us know.
Vegan Guide - your shopping list
You don’t have to go out and buy everything on this list ~ select what you fancy trying from each section. You’ll find your own favourites and what pops up in the foods you like.
A vegan diet can meet your nutritional requirements, provided you eat a wide selection of kai/foods from all the right food groups and supplement with key nutrients.
Websites & quick links
Curious about veganism? We've put together some great online resources to help you on your journey.
A Guide to Vegan
A Guide to Vegan is an ever-growing, free online directory that you can use to find out what products, restaurants, and other services are vegan-friendly in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
Simple Happy Kitchen
Simple Happy Kitchen is a beautifully illustrated, fun website with loads of good information about plant based living, explained with the help of a crew of cute cartoon fruit and veges.
PCRM Vegan Starter Kit and Kickstart
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine have an excellent online Starter Kit providing nutritional information for all life stages including pregnancy & childhood.
The Vegan Society UK
Great information on vegan pregnancy and raising children vegan can be found on The UK Vegan Society website.
Keep what you have until its worn out, or donate to charity shops if you feel you want to get rid of leather shoes and bags, wool jumpers, down jackets etc.
As you buy new items you can start to become aware of what things are made of. Shoes you can often find in shoe shops that are non leather (check for the diamond symbol only, not animal skin symbol) or online vegan shoe stores, often more expensive but better quality. See our shoes section under shopping.
Here are some of the questions/statements you are likely encounter when you become vegan: from the sensible, to the just plain silly, and how you can respond.
Use up what you have at home and gradually change the brands you buy to vegan options as they need replacing. Household items such as washing up liquid, washing powder, cleaning sprays etc. can be tested on animals and or contain animal ingredients, and the same goes for shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste etc. Check the labels, products will state if they are not tested on animals, and sometimes if they are vegan or contain no animal ingredients (if nothing is stated then assume they test on animals). SAFE have a cruelty free shopper guide which will help identify brands to buy. Options are available at your local supermarket so no need to go looking in any specialist shops or online.
You can also read Beginner’s Guide to Cruelty-Free and Vegan Beauty Products, with lots of great links.
Films and books
The many vegan recipe websites, blogs and documentaries online include some great resources and information.
Here are some of our favourites.