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Go Vegan With These Easy Recipes

By TIA BLANCO

Going vegan can be difficult for people that use animal products in every meal, but it's not impossible and with a little help, it can be fun. You just have to make sure that you substitute the meat products with plant-based products whenever you sit down to eat.

[Read More: Top Myths About Plant-Based Diets]

Start by planning your meals out: Stock up on fresh and organic vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, beans, and legumes.

Give yourself time. Being vegan is a lifestyle, not an overnight thing. One way to make the transition slowly is to take out red meat first, then white meat, then eventually, all animal products.

Courtesy Tia Blanco

I love to eat raw for breakfast. I usually make a green smoothie every morning and eat a bar of nuts. This meal gets me going for the day and provides the fuel I need for my stringent training schedule.

Green Smoothie
* 2 cups of your favorite frozen fruit into a blender
* 2 handfuls of organic spinach
* 2 handfuls of chopped organic kale
* 1 organic banana
* 1 teaspoon of chia seeds

Push down all ingredients to the bottom of the blender and add coconut milk to the very top of the ingredients. Add more coconut milk until everything is blended smoothly and drink up.

[Read More: Top 5 Vegan Protein Smoothie Boosts

For lunch, I like to eat a veggie sandwich, quinoa and lots of fruit. This quick snack completely re-energizes me.

Veggie Sandwich
* Toast 2 pieces of Ezekiel bread (or your favorite bread)
* Spread hummus or mustard on one of the pieces
* Add 1 thin slice of Tofurky (or your favorite vegan meat alternative)
* Wash and add lettuce or spinach, tomatoes, onions and cucumbers
* Add 1/4 of an avocado
* Add as much lemon pepper as you want and eat up.

Bottom line: As long as you're eating a variety of plant-based foods, your energy levels will be high and you are going to feel great. Being vegan is a lifestyle that will benefit your mind, body and soul.

– Tia

Readers - Have you tried going vegan and failed (or succeeded)? What are your tips for making the transition? What are your favorite vegan recipes? Leave a comment below and let us know. Want more content like this? Sign up for the LIVESTRONG.COM newsletter.

Tia Blanco, a Trestles local, is one of the hottest up-and-coming West Coast surfers. Tia was born in Puerto Rico and has lived in Hawaii and Southern California. This graceful goofy foot is a member of the prestigious Surfing America team. She's an Ambassador for Reef and committed to Surfing America Prime and NSSA events. She enjoys painting, yoga and living a vegan lifestyle. While she is focused on a national title and maintaining her 4.0 GPA at Connections Academy, her long-term goal is to make the ASP Women's World Tour. 

Connect with Tia on her website and follow her on Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter.

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