If you’re wondering how to go vegan if you don’t like vegetables, then you’re probably also worrying about how you’ll survive as a vegan.
But the truth is, you can do it.
There are different stages and everyone is different, so the ultimate way you incorporate vegetables into your diet will depend on you.
But there’s lots you can do.
Table of Contents
Bottom Line of How to Go Vegan If You Don’t Like Vegetables
- Phase 1: Your starting point when you don’t like any vegetables (and maybe you’re eating some processed foods to help you transition.)
- Next you incorporate vegan whole foods without the veggies into your diet.
- Phase 2: You find ways to disguise some vegetables in some recipes.
- Phase 3: Your taste buds begin to evolve and you start to experiment with a larger variety of vegetables.
- Your taste buds change and grow as your perception changes and grows.
- You find yourself enjoying many vegetables your previously couldn’t stand.
- Stay positive and recognise your progress.
- Take a multi vitamin and vitamin B12 daily.
Phases of How to Go Vegan if You Don’t Like Vegetables
There are three main phases in the process and you may go through all three or alternatively you might stop at stage two for example.
- Firstly, the comes the phase which is your starting point: you really don’t like to eat any vegetables. In this phase, you need to find a way to eat relatively healthy food despite the restrictions.
- Next comes the phase where you discover some ways of including vegetables disguised in your favourite recipes, or certain veggies cooked in specific ways.
- Lastly comes the phase where your taste buds evolve and you find lots more vegetables that you (seemingly magically) begin to enjoy, sometimes after a lifetime of not liking them in the past.
Phase 1: Starting Point – You Don’t Like Any Vegetables
When you decide you want to be vegan, you’re looking at a great journey of change no matter what the circumstances. For some it will be a matter of less adaptation and for others a radical change affecting everything they’re used to cooking.
Where you come from will affect the path you take.
If you’re used to eating a lot of meat or processed foods with potatoes on the side for example, in order to become vegan in a healthy way, you’ll need to reframe your perception of what a meal is.
Eating Vegan Processed Foods to Replace Meat
Avoid just substituting your favourite meat meals with their processed vegan equivalent. Not only are these products much more expensive than their meat counterparts, they aren’t the most healthy way forward.
That doesn’t mean you can never enjoy them though, and coming from a high meat low-veg diet means it can come in handy to have a few of these products up your sleeve.
Treat it like a weaning period. Use the processed foods as a transitioning tool rather than seeing them as your end-goal.
Eating Vegan Whole Foods When You Don’t Like Vegetables
The most important thing in any change as big as this is to go at your own pace and congratulate yourself every step of the way.
If you think you’re going too slowly, reframe your thoughts and recognise the progress you’ve made.
Learning to cook, eat and enjoy whole foods is a process, especially if you eaten a lot of processed foods in the past. So set yourself a path to follow, maybe learning one new meal a week, or a month or whatever suits your schedule.
If you don’t like vegetables, there are still loads of healthy vegan foods you can enjoy. In the back of your mind, keep it open that you may start to like vegetables in the future. I can’t stress how important that slight shift is.
Your taste buds are conditioned by your experiences so far and any deeply help subconscious beliefs (like the fact that you don’t actually like vegetables right now) will affect the flavour your perceive.
So during this phase, just open your mind to experimenting. Don’t try to force yourself to eat vegetables, but accept that there might be ways which you haven’t yet tried, and which you will actually enjoy.
In the meantime, eat lots of things you do like from the whole food vegan food list: rice, quinoa, chickpeas, nuts, beans, pasta and whatever vegetable comes into your range of being ok such as potatoes, sweet potatoes or whatever.
Phase 2: Finding Ways to Include Disguised Vegetables
As you get used to eating more and more whole foods you’ll find your taste buds naturally changing as your whole eating habits adapt to a vegan whole foods diet.
During this phase you can play with vegetables by making vegetable sauces, blended soups or dishes with a small bits of vegetables chopped into the recipe like noodle bami or rice nasi served with spicy satay sauce.
Phase 3: Discovering New Ways to Eat Vegetables and Like Them
You might find that after a process, you begin to taste vegetables differently and actually enjoy some of them or all of them.
This isn’t so far fetched because the way of cooking the vegetables may be totally different to the way you experienced previously, for example if you used to be fed boiled veg on the side.
And also because your taste buds change when you cut out refined sugars from your diet.
And incidentally, on the topic of sugar, did you know that refined sugar is often filtered through bone char?
Yes, I know, it’s surprising isn’t it.
But regardless of the fact that it may not be vegan, you should really aim to cut out sugar from your diet anyway.
Because sugar creates a sugar addiction. And a sugar addiction will destroy your natural taste bud perception.
I mean seriously, food will taste different (and sweeter) when you give up added sugar.
Taste Buds Aren’t Fixed: They Change and Grow
Taste buds are Influenced by many factors, including smell, texture and sound. But one of the biggest effects on taste buds is the phycological association to a specific food type.
The Phycological Effect on Taste Buds
Imagine being offered a slice of caramel cake and as you reach out to take a piece you’re told that it’s made with something you find repulsive (think roasted toenails for example).
What’s the betting that you would have tasted it completely differently when you thought it was caramel than when you discovered something that repulsed you?
This is the power of perception and it’s effective with everything we eat, all the time. You only have to think about different cultures to see this in effect.
People from Spain visit the UK and complain that the food is disgusting. Why? Because it isn’t what they’re used to. Often the same vice versa.
This isn’t just about their taste buds being different, it’s about their perception of the food.
When I was young I hated olives. Then one day, extremely hungry after a long walk, I was offered some spaghetti in the mountains of Italy and yes, of course, the spaghetti came out covered in black olive paste.
Because of the situation and the wonderful hospitality of the family who were inviting me to spaghetti in their home, and because of my hunger, something which had previously tasted disgusting to me, suddenly tasted yummy.
It was the first step to liking all olives and gradually I tried more and more types until I could safely say that I liked all olives. My taste buds had changed and in the process they taught me a big lesson: we aren’t held captive by our taste buds. We can choose for them to change if we want to.
If you served me something and told me that it was meat, I can guarantee you that it would taste disgusting to me, because I don’t want to eat meat. Not on a conscious or a subconscious level.
So if you have this kind of deep belief around vegetables but it isn’t in alignment with what you want anymore, you can choose to change it. Not overnight, but gradually, over time.
Your Taste Buds Change When You Give Up Processed Sugar
Ask yourself, do you feel better physically since switching to a vegan diet? If the answer isn’t a resounding, 100% yes, then consider what you can change to make your diet more healthy.
And the number one culprit is sugar. Give up sugar and your taste buds will reward you lavishly.
As mentioned above, an important factor is sugar addiction. Although you may not realise it, there’s a high chance that you are addicted to the sugar which has been fed to you in processed foods and sugary drinks (or alcohol).
When you stop eating refined sugar, your taste buds become sharper and pick up more flavour in the fruits and veggies that you eat.
Cutting out refined sugar can be difficult in the first few weeks and can make you suffer with withdrawal symptoms.
But persevere, because once you’ve broken through the initial withdrawal symptoms you’ll find your food tasting so completely different it’s almost unbelievable.
Suddenly your food will taste more than it ever has before.
What to Eat Vegan When You Don’t Like Vegetables
Apart from all the points above, we come down to the brass tacks. How to cook the vegetables which you haven’t ever enjoyed in the past?
Experiment with different methods.
It can be that by roasting the veggies, they become tasty to you.
All these ways of eating vegetables are so different that until you’ve tried them, you can’t really say if you like them or not.
I mean boiled carrot has nothing to do with roasted carrot.
Serve Sauces on Your Veggies
Another way to help change your perception of vegetables is to serve them with your favourite vegan sauce, whether that be a spicy satay sauce, creamy cashew sauce, instant cilantro sauce or a homemade pesto or tomato sauce.
Serving with sauces can be a game changer.
How to Go Vegan if You Don’t Like Vegetables: Don’t Give Up!
Don’t give up on changing your taste buds.
Don’t beat yourself up if you still don’t like cauliflower. (By the way, here’s a recipe for cooking cauliflower and making it taste great even if you don’t like cauliflower!)
Just keep going, keep experimenting, and keep an open mind.
You’ll find that you will grow to love some things quicker than others. That’s just natural and to be expected.
Remember that your subconscious beliefs drive your conscious behaviour, so if you change your subconscious belief deep down to really recognise that you find flesh repulsive and vegan food attractive, it’s going to have a knock-on effect on everything.
I can guarantee that everybody who hates all vegetables actually doesn’t want to like vegetables on a subconscious level. They believe that they’re doing the best thing for themselves by not eating veggies.
There’s nobody alive who hates all vegetables and truly wants to eat them (subconsciously, not consciously).
Because that is mutually exclusive. When you subconsciously know that you want to be vegan, you’ll start to experience new flavours and exciting new tastes, even from foods you previously thought you didn’t like.
But it takes time. Give it time and be kind to yourself.
You’re doing great.
For more vegan FAQ click here.
Take Your Vitamins
When you go vegan it’s a good idea to cover your bases and take a great daily vitamin supplement plus a vitamin B12 every day. You may also benefit from taking a vegan omega 3. I am not a qualified nutritionalist and this is just my take on it.
Please get advice from a vegan-friendly nutritionalist if you have any doubts.
That way you can be sure that even if you’re not eating as many vegetables as you would like, you’re still getting the essentials.
Remember, taking vitamins isn’t the same as eating a balanced diet, so you still want to aim at including a wide array of veggies in your diet.
And you’re gonna love it when one day you realise that you just adore that broccoli rice or sweet potato in coconut sauce, or whatever dish is the first to grab your inspiration.
Conclusion on How to Go Vegan if You Don’t Like Vegetables
The most important things to do are 1. make the firm decision to be vegan 2. go slowly, absolutely knowing in your gut that you’re going to find some delicious new foods which you’ll love 3. always reward yourself, be excited and be positive.
This is a positive journey!
I hope this post helps you to know that you can do it. It’s a balance of patience and faith that it will all be absolutely ok in the end: your taste buds will change.
And you will have a glorious whole foods plant based diet that makes you happy every day!