shopping

Vegan Shopping – No Big Deal

Some things sound scary when they are unknown. Vegan shopping, a shopping list … what goes in there? Will I have to climb to the top shelf and drag items down that are hidden behind some boxes? Or will I have to dash from store to store for various items, wasting valuable time? No, no, don’t worry. It’s neither a quixotic quest, nor an intimidating grocery bill. In fact, when you see me shopping, I am pretty sure that judging from the items in my shopping cart you would never guess I’m vegan. Well, unless you notice the obvious absence of meat or any other animal products, of course.

shopping-cart

Living where I do, it used to be a little difficult to find certain foods (even for people with omnivorous diets), but that was a very long time ago. Los Cabos – which is my hometown and a wonderful place to live – has grown over the last two decades, meaning that many stores have found their way here, such as Costco, City Club, Walmart, and the Mexican store chains like La Comer, Soriana, Chedraui, each and every one offering a wide array of choices.

supermarket

What? That is Vegan? I had no idea.

My colleagues are always surprised when I tell them that several items in the stores are (accidentally?) vegan, products that they buy every week. For example, some breads, snacks, chocolates, and canned food. I always check the ingredients when I buy something (that’s definitely a telltale sign that a vegan is out shopping ;-)) Look out for the person who pauzes in the store isle and attentively reads the finely printed list of ingredients. 😉

Over the years I have learned which foods are plant-based and which ones are not, and for many items I do not need to check the ingredients anymore, but I often still do. I always want to be sure.

bag

Then what on Earth Does She Buy?

While living or vacationing in Mexico, you can buy the following:

  • bread
    • Pan Bimbo, linaza (linaza: flaxseed), Pan Bimbo, centeno (centeno: rye)
    • Golden Wonder Pan Hot Dog & Hamburguesa (hot dog and burger rolls from the Golden Wonder brand)
  • Canned food:
    • Chilorio de soya (packaged or canned), brands: Chata, Sinaloa
    • Canned veggies
    • Mexican salsas
    • Chillies in brine
    • Canned or packaged beans (Some brands use pork fat as an ingredient, so always check the ingredients. La Sierra is one of the few brands that uses vegetable oil)

I don’t buy many canned foods, that’s why this list is a little short. 😉 I will, however, update it in due time.

from-a-to-v-a-complete-vegan-starter-kit

  • Soy chorizo
  • Almond milk, rice milk ( Or am I supposed to call it a rice drink now? Either way, it is delicious), nut milks, etc.
  • Rice
  • Dried beans rice
  • Lentils
  • Quinoa
  • Vegan cheese
  • Vegan sausages – they had to come up in my list 😉
  • Vegan yoghurt
  • Tofu
  • Soy
  • Chocolates:
    • Lindt Chocolate 70% cacao
    • Ghirardelli bitter chocolate
  • Chips & Other Snacks:
    • Nuts:
      • Peanutspistachio
      • Pistachios
      • Cashews
      • Almonds
      • And so many more …
    • Pringles, Original
    • Ritz crackers
    • Oreos
    • Lays salt chips
    • Fritos sal y limon (salt and lime corn chips)
    • peanut, coconut, almond, and apple Nature Valley bars
    • Kettle chips: salt and pepper, salt, salt and vinegar, barbecue, and maple-bacon
    • The Daily Crave chips
    • Spicy sweet chili Doritos
  • Veggies and fruits: ha, that’s a no-brainer 😉 crisps-chips
  • Peanut butter! Yay! I love peanut butter and banana sandwiches 🙂

I may have forgotten a few items in my list, and I usually do not buy so many chips, but it is good to know all these brands, especially if you are planning a party. The next time I go shopping I will write down exactly what I buy, so I can expand this list a little more.

I hope that this helps a little. Although I wrote this blog while thinking of vegan shopping in my hometown, Los Cabos, it is similar, (if not the same) (and possibly more extensive) in many other places. If you ever come here, then you can use these tips. Trust me, you will love Los Cabos, it is an amazing, beautiful place. And remember, if you’re not sure about the items on your shopping list, always check the ingredients.

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12 thoughts on “Vegan Shopping – No Big Deal”

  1. This was a quick and easy read that highlights many great ways to make a vegan approach to nutrition much less daunting! I believe in veganism from an ethical stand point, as well as, a viable nutrition approach. For most people, it is difficult to start as it seems so limiting, but many grocery stores are starting to stock many more options that make it much more manageable. This article was great in highlighting those options!

    Reply
    • Hi Matt,

      I agree with you, many people think that the vegan diet is so limiting when it is the complete opposite. Many grocery stores are starting to stock several vegan options. 

      Thank you for your comment!

      Reply
  2. Great article on Vegan Shopping. Eating healthy is a good idea for everybody. Our family doesn’t eat meat anymore but sometimes fish. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  3. Christine, nice post. First off a little anecdote to relate to your situation. I grew up not vegan, but similarly (macrobiotic). My mom once cooked seitan for a dinner party of unsuspecting guests and they wondered in amazement, “How did you get your meat so tender, juicy and delicious!” Haha! Home-made seitan (wheat gluten meat substitute for those who don’t know) of course!
    Your shopping list tends to look similar to mine and where I live (S. Philly) there is also a lot of Mexican grocery stores, as well as Asian markets and we have the infamous Italian Market of Rocky movie fame.
    Anyway, really nice to see something familiar and it’s so interesting because I plan to make a video for my YT channel about healthy shopping on a budget in S. Philly. Great post!

    Reply
    • Hi Joe,

      Haha, your story of your mom making seitan for unsuspecting guests made me laugh. Seitan is so delicious, I love using it for meals!
      Healthy shopping on a budget is a great idea for a YouTube video. Wishing you all the best!

      Reply
  4. Hi Christine,

    A very informative and insightful article. I think a lot of people who are not on vegan diets think that there are only a certain amount of things that a vegan can eat. When actually, going through your article, there are many, many things that you can add into a vegan diet. I’m not a vegan but I’m pretty sure that the Mexican store vegan food will taste very nice indeed 🙂

    Thank you for sharing and I hope many vegans come to your site often and learn lots from you. Keep up the amazing work.

    All the best,

    Tom

    Reply
  5. Thank you for sharing this shopping guide for vegan products. As a vegetarian, I use soy based foods quite a lot, though I’ve never tried almond milk or vegan cheese. I eat dairy products as part of my diet, but may try one of the nut milks one day:) Vegan sausages are always top of my list as they’re so versatile. Los Cabos sounds like a beautiful place to visit. I’ve not been to South America, but maybe one day:)

    Reply
    • Hi Kathy,

      Los Cabos is a beautiful place. Hopefully one day when travel restrictions are lifted and it is safe to travel again you could come and visit here 😉
      Thank you for your comment!

      Reply
  6. Hi Christine,
    I must admit I am not a vegetarian, let alone vegan. Still, I love some of the food and also need to cook such meals from time to time, as one of my nephews is vegan and my daughter has a vegan friend who visits occasionally and stays a couple of days. At the beginning, it was kind of a problem for me, the correct ingredients, the recipes, the groceries-not much vegan stores could I find, and, as many, I also thought I need to buy in specialised stores. Thanks to these two however, I started to research and over the years I realised there are more and more places to buy from, even an ordinary supermarket, I put together a substantial collection of recipes and developed a skill to improvise not only meaty, but meatless delicious meals, as well.
    I regret never visiting Mexico so far, but when I do, I’ll have your tips with me.
    Thank you for being so thorough in it.

    Reply
    • Hi,
      That’s great that you have found so many ways of incorporating vegan meals into your days. Yes, with time and some research it gets easier to find the items that you need. I am glad that my article was helpful and I hope that you make it to Mexico one day. It’s a beautiful place! 🙂
      Thank you for your comment!

      Reply

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