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Vegan "Start Up Kit" in Singapore

Sean & I only started our vegan diet in April 2019, and growing up we were both used to a lot of meat in our diet. So when we decided to switch to a plant-based diet, there was quite a bit of getting used to, unlearning & relearning how to prepare our meals etc.

Thankfully these days, especially in Singapore where there are so many options available, it's become so much easier to incorporate more plant-based items in our diet.

The purpose of this post is to help anyone who's transitioning to a vegan diet or trying out a plant-based diet, so we'll be sharing some of our top favourite vegan products or meat substitutes!

First of all, why vegan diet?

These are the 3 main reasons people turn to veganism:

✔️To stop harming animals

✔️To reduce your carbon footprint for the environment

✔️For the sake of your health

For Sean and I, we decided on eating a vegan diet for the animals.

Remembering why you're thinking of doing it in the first place is very important in guiding you in your vegan journey.

If you grew up eating meat, dairy and egg products (what we used to be familiar with), you'll really need reminders from yourself to stay on the vegan diet.

In the long run, I think it's best to have minimally processed/ no processed food and focus more on whole foods. But from our experience growing up with lots of animal products & also due to many people's busy schedules, taking baby steps and getting used to meat-substitutes first and then relying on them less and less over time, was actually very helpful for building sustainable eating habits.

Pastes or Sauces

These are so helpful & convenient because stocking up on these means that I can just buy a whole bunch of veggies & stir fry/ cook soup/ curry/ pasta with them.

Essential for cooking to enhance flavour of everything

I swore by this & used it daily when we first turned vegan haha

Very popular & thankfully vegan Lao Gan Ma Chilli

Hai Di Lao Soup Base (look for the vegan options)

Meat Substitutes

Omni Meat (to sub minced pork)

Impossible Meat (to sub ground beef)

Minced Meat (more affordable choice)

Dairy Substitutes

One of the things I found hard to let go of was dairy products, because I loved carbonara more than tomato pasta, I loved cakes and desserts.

Thankfully there's sooooo many non-dairy options nowadays, we don't even miss out on anything anymore. Good for recommending to people around you who are lactose intolerant too.

Soy Milk for cooking hotpots,

making pasta creamy, cooking ramen/ soups

Oatside Oat Milk for coffee, cooking etc

Oatly OatMilk for coffee, cooking etc

Nuttelex Butter (for cooking, BBQ, bread etc as you would use normally)

Other Yummy Vegan Finds

Essential Supplements

Vegans & meat eaters alike may be at risk of certain nutritional deficiencies. Here are some common deficiencies and essential supplements to consider:

1. Vitamin B12: This is perhaps the most crucial supplement for vegans. Vitamin B12 is primarily found in animal products, and deficiency can lead to anemia and nervous system damage. Vegan sources include fortified foods and supplements.

2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Essential for heart, brain, and eye health, omega-3 fatty acids are typically found in fish. Vegans can obtain them from flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and algae-based supplements.

3. Iron: While iron is found in plant foods like lentils and spinach, it's less absorbable than the iron from meat. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia. Iron supplements may be necessary, but it's essential to consult a healthcare provider, as excess iron can be harmful.

4. Calcium: Important for bone health, calcium is abundant in dairy products. Vegans can find it in fortified plant milks, tofu, and leafy greens, but a supplement might be needed to meet daily requirements.

5. Vitamin D: Often obtained from sun exposure, vitamin D is also present in fortified foods and supplements. Since vitamin D deficiency is common, especially in regions with less sunlight, supplementation might be necessary.

6. Zinc: Important for immune function and wound healing, zinc is less absorbable from plant sources. Nuts, seeds, and whole grains are good vegan sources, but some individuals may need a supplement.

7. Iodine: Critical for thyroid function, iodine is found in seaweed, iodized salt, and some plant milks. However, intake can be inconsistent, so a supplement or regular consumption of iodized salt may be beneficial.

You can also talk to a vegan nutritionist for more customized supplements for your individual needs cause everyone's body is different.

Special treats

For the extra special vegan groceries (lots of special flavoured chips, chocolates, cultured cheeses, pot pies, mashed potatoes etc) that you can’t get anywhere else in SG, your best bet is at Everyday Vegan Grocer. They have a membership where you get to enjoy wholesale pricing - basically if you spend above $75 a month on groceries, the membership cost is already paid for - and any additional orders are extra savings!

Vegan Chinese New Year 0 Cholesterol Swaps

We have also compiled some of the swaps you can consider for festive periods like CNY, so that there is no compromise on flavour during family gatherings (if your family members or friends aren't vegans).

We do share some of our plant finds on our IG highlights "Plant Power" as well:

You can also download abillionveg app to look for vegetarian/ vegan options near you, read the reviews and type your own reviews as well!

Super helpful and the app is free.

Also, the app will donate $ to your chosen animal charity when you leave a review.

We will keep updating this from time to time. Hopefully this post will be helpful with transitioning to a more plant-based diet easily for your health/ environment/ the animals!


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