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Danny Kirk/the Gauntlet

Sidebar: The first grocery run

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So, just what does it cost to get into the vegan lifestyle? More than you might imagine, unless you're a pessimist. Here's a breakdown of my first grocery run and justifications for some of the items, just in case you need to be told broccoli is good for you.

Vegan multivitamin - $18.99

Better safe than sorry, so I decided to get some pills full of the vitamins vegans are usually missing out on, most notably, the B12 and Iron. The pills are expensive and they make your pee look hella-weird, but are worth it in the long run if it makes the transition smoother.

Hemp protein supplements - $1.99 for about three servings

Just in case soy does have negative side-effects, might as well outsource some of the protein load. Hemp is a miracle plant that makes clothes, diet supplements and good times, now in delicious chocolate powder form.

Rice cakes - $3.59

The browner, the better for rice. Brown rice has a more complete protein, and this goes for rice cakes too. I picked brown rice cakes with seaweed and wasabi flavouring. They don't taste good, but are filling snacks to make it seem like your stomach is less empty.

Eggless bread - $2.69

Bread without eggs? Who knew? It even tastes the same as bread.

Avocado - $1.49

Never really ate these too much before. Why not give it a shot?

Hummous - $5.99

Chick peas have lots of protein and you're deficient if you think hummous isn't just plain ol' diggity. This stuff is gonna become my new staple.

Tofu - $2.79 for a small loaf of about two servings

Tofu is the blandest stuff in the universe. This is a good and bad thing. It's a good type of soy able to give you all the stuff you're missing from meat, but you have to know how to inject some flavour.

Broccoli - $2.53

It's all about the dark greens, and broccoli is one of the most highly recommended vegetables out there. Mom was right.

Cashews - $3.40

Cashews and other nuts are good to eat as a meat replacement. They're also delicious in a stir fry and just about any other context.

Bok choy - $1.30

Another dark green that's been used as a spinach replacement since spinach went homicidal.

Tortillas - $2.99

Made with corn, good for eating with salsa or hummous. Yummous.

Frozen vegan meals - $6.69 each

When I inevitably fail at balancing the food groups, these meals have balanced nutrient sources, so I can rely on at least one well constructed meal in the event of a dietary emergency.

Jam and butter-less peanut butter - $9.18

PB and J--your mom was right to make this the cornerstone of your brown bag lunches. Add some fruits, vegetables and supplemental protein, and you have a fairly well-balanced and easy lunch.

Celery - $1.66

Part of a collection of vegetables to be made into veggie platters for munching. Munching happens a lot as the change in diet leaves me feeling constantly hungry.

Deluxe nut mix - $8.85

More munchables. Mmmm, nuts.

Soy milk - $3.69

Not sure where I sit on this one yet. On one hand, it's fortified with all kinds of stuff, on the other, soy has a seriously bad reputation when it's not fermented. Plus it tastes nothing like milk.

Falafel - $7.19

More chick peas, but dang, falafel is some boss-ass stuff; good start for a meat substitute, too!

Black bean sauce - $4.19

This is going to make for some great stir-fry. If you haven't tried black bean sauce before, you should make a point to go do it now.

Fruit (oranges, apples, bananas) - $5.50

Every balanced diet needs fruit, nature's candy!

Green beans and bean sprouts - $3.55

Beans are important to include in a vegan diet, plus whole beans make good eats even uncooked.

Peppers - $4.16

Mostly for my stir-fry and maybe for tofu flavouring.

Salad fixins - $7.38

Nothing beats a dark green leafy garden salad for taste or nutritional value.

Total - $127.33

Not bad! About the same as could be expected from any grocery trip. It remains to be seen whether this makes a good balance, but it's a healthy start. So, one can expect to spend just about as much on a vegan lifestyle as otherwise.

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