From Oreos to Zagnuts: Ten Foods Vegans Eat to Scrape By

vegan oprah.jpg
Oprah and 378 staffers recently took a one-week vegan challenge.
Or, "How to Succeed at Veganism Without Really Trying."

Vegans are humans too. Like most Americans, we have only so much time to dedicate to food preparation. So it is an error when outsiders ponder the vegan lifestyle and automatically throw up their hands in mock exhaustion, shouting "I'd never have time to do that!"

The truth is, if we went full-throttle vegan every day, baking quinoa loaves, peeling spaghetti squash, and hunting down wild dandelions for hippie soups, we would probably not have time for things like jobs and families. So many of us vegans truly do it "right" maybe 20% of the time, filling up the rest of our diets with vegan convenience foods like microwavable Boca Burgers, soy "chik'n," hummus, oatmeal, soymilk, trail mix, salads and fruit.

Doesn't sound too bad, right? Well, it gets worse. Do not count on the following list to help you lose 11 pounds like Oprah Winfrey's staffer did during her recent week-long vegan challenge. But for the days when a vegan seriously loses sight of concern for his health, though his karmic convictions still remain strong, there are these ten food-like products to help him just scrape by till the next Hare Krishna potluck.

10. Oreos

oreo bags.jpg
Camille Lamb
Oreos are the epitome of vegan junk food.
It may seem impossible that America's favorite "cookie" could be made without any typical cookie ingredients... eggs and butter, for example... but indeed they are. So what's in them? See for yourself:

oreo label1.jpg
Camille Lamb
Mmmmmmm, I love me some thiamine mononitrate and high oleic canola oil with my soy milk!​ Incidentally, several Famous Amos sandwich cookie varieties and Keebler Vienna fingers also pass the vegan test.

9. Beer

Camille Lamb
Getting drunk is vegan.
Yes, folks, beer, wine, and all of the more potent spirits are completely plant-based. So if you get really sick of being vegan, you can just drink your way through the rough spots. Just be careful not to eat a Big Mac in a blackout or anything!

8. Sugar Cereals

Lucky Charms, Frosted Flakes and Frosted Mini Wheats all contain animal-based gelatin in their marshmallows or frostings, while Honey Bunches of Oats and a few Special K varieties include milk-based ingredients. Other than that, the majority of cereals, from Bran Flakes to Cap'n Crunch, are in fact vegan-friendly, and I for one must admit that if they weren't, I would FREAK. Cereal and soy milk are major scrape-by necessities in my kitchen.

capn crunch 
Camille Lamb
Cap'n Crunch is artificial enough to be vegan.
7. Clif Bars

Camille Lamb
The white chocolate macadamia is gooey goodness that's hard to find in the vegan world.
You may argue that these are not really junk foods. I contend that unless you are actually climbing a cliff, then they are. They're relatively high in sugar, with 41 grams of carbohydrates... a bit much, regardless of whether the ingredients come from "70% organic" sources. Of course, they look like fossilized turds, but little will you care once you take your first bite.

Camille Lamb
Clif Bars don't look that good, but they are that good.
These things are scandalously good, and because of their portability, definitely among the everyday vegan's best friends.

6. French fries and other fast food

Most good vegans avoid fast food chains MOST of the time. I mean, part of the point of veganism is to use your money to support sustainable food production, not chains that regularly raze rainforest to feed cattle in Brazil. But once in a while, even a vegan will put on her dark sunglasses and head through a drive-thru. Wendy's "Natural-cut French fries with sea salt," Taco Chips, and applesauce are examples of vegan fast food options.

In an emergency, even the drive-thru has junk food to help vegans scrape by.

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Not french fries, especially at a fast food joint. "Natural Flavors" can be anything approved to be put in food, and in french fries it's almost always a beef derivative. The same goes for any "Natural Flavors" in any food product, there is no way to know without calling the company and they likely won't tell you because they use "Natural Flavors" to hide whatever that ingredient is for a reason.

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