Starter guides

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

Vegan Alternatives
Vegan Alternatives
Shopping List
Nutrition
Pregnancy and Toddlers
Pregnancy and Toddlers
Cooking Guide
Cooking Guide
Join a Challenge
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Recipe Ideas
Kumara Burger
21 Day Dinner Plan
Turmeric manioke and vege sapasui sml
21 Day Pasifika Dinner Plan

Free Downloads

Download our free vegan resources to help you navigate your changing lifestyle.
Starter Guide

Vegan Society Starter Guide

Our Starter Guide contains food ideas, recipes, vegan food pyramid and nutritional information, reading lists, website links and more.

VeganFoodPyramidA41

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

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.

Beginners Guide to Vegan Shopping

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.

Websites & quick links

Curious about veganism? We've put together some great online resources to help you on your journey.
A Guide To Vegan Logo

A Guide to Vegan

Facebook page is a New Zealand based resource for vegans. It contains recipe ideas, vegan product information for items you can buy in the supermarket, and tips for where to eat out. Browse the photo albums for ideas. They have also produced a Big Book of all the vegan products and companies in NZ.

Simple Happy Kitchen Logo

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.

Physicians Committee

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.

UK Vegan Society

The Vegan Society UK

Great information on vegan pregnancy and raising children vegan can be found on The UK Vegan Society website.

Clothing

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.

 

FAQ

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.

Household products/toiletries

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.

Films and books

The many vegan recipe websites, blogs and documentaries online include some great resources and information.
Here are some of our favourites.