I created these tips to go vegan as plant based living is on the rise. In the past five years or so apparently it is up 400% in the UK alone. People are more intrigued and interested in going plant based than ever before. Often people ask me whether it is challenging being vegan.
You’ll be glad to hear that I can answer is not it wasn’t hard, however it kind of came with some minimal preparation and small changes. This is where top tips to go vegan can come in handy!
So if you are considering going full throttle on those plants, here’s my top tips to go vegan:
- Be kind to yourself! I know this sounds like a cliche, but it is a case some people take time to transition. Others do it straight away. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up, tomorrow is another day. It can take time for some people to become prepared and familiar with this new way of eating. While others can go overnight – this isn’t the case for everybody. It will take a little while to become accustomed to new food products in your food shop. You will find your flow.
- Explore alternatives – there are so many vegan food alternatives out there. Remember all food can be veganised! Just google vegan lasagne and voila! Supermarkets are now well equipped for the increased demand for plant based products. Mock meats and tofu might not be your thing – but certain textures and flavours can be attained simply by the way you cut, season or accompany ingredients in a dish. There are more alternatives than ever before, be sure to check the freezer section for handy burgers and sausages. These are a life saver when you have little time to chop and play around with veggies and for a quick meal.
Family and Friends
- Reassure cynical family that becoming vegan isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Starting out you could always bring your own grub to family gatherings or guide them to the vegan society website for ideas if they wish to cook for you. Involve them in veganism by trying out new places together. Soon they’ll realise that vegan food is actually really delicious. I love nothing more than cooking up a big vegan feast for my Omni family, much to their delight.
Explore Vegan Dining Out
- Treat yourself to vegan meals out. Loads of high street chains now cater for vegans and actually capitalise on Veganuary with lots of meal deals. Also there are specific vegan restaurants that are always a treat to go to for special occasions.
- Fall in love with food again. Going vegan actually makes food so much more exciting. It almost opened my eyes to the amazing flavours, spices and herbs that are out there. The versatility of some vegetables still blows my mind! Some vegan dishes are almost like art. There are endless vegan recipes available at your fingertips.
- Explore your favourite blogs for ideas. Create a food board on Pinterest. Join vegan groups on Facebook. Whatever your style of cooking is – get some vegan cookbooks. Bosh TV are great for inspiration. I personally was completely inspired by various Instagram accounts when first going vegan. Did you know the hashtag vegan has over 6 million posts?!
- Keep track of how you feel moving away from animal products. Are you less bloated? Less heart burn? Sleeping better? More energy? Sometimes all these benefits can really help people stay on track. I certainly noticed a greater sense of “clarity” going vegan – like a fog was lifted from my brain. Noticing physical and mental change in yourself is always one of tips to go vegan.
- Watch videos and documentaries on the impact factory farming has on animals and the environment. Read how going plant based can literally save you from innumerable health hazards like heart disease, stroke and cancer. Veganism is not by any means a total cure, but it can certainly be beneficial in increasing plant based, whole foods in your diet. Domininon, Cowspiracy, What the Health, Earthlings, Forks over Knives – all of these are available on Netflix. However my favourite animal activists have to be Earthling Ed and James Aspey. They have such gentle and eloquent ways of explaining things.
Don’t Set Limitations
- Don’t limit yourself to a certain vegan orientation (e.g. raw vegan, junk food vegan) as this could set yourself up for deficiency – try all the food out! Balance is always key as you don’t want to get ill. It is important to consider this especially if you have food allergies. You could always consider seeing a dietician or nutritionist if you have health issues or concerns.
- Do not panic about a lack of protein. All foods contain proteins, just some more than others. If you are looking for a whole protein source, consider hemp, quinoa or food combinations such as beans and rice which provide a whole protein source.
- Going vegan can bring a sense of smugness. Saving animals and the environment is enough to send you way on your high horse. However – do consider that many people can’t go vegan for various reasons, be it health reasons or access to information etc.
People go vegan for various reasons, be it health, animal welfare or environmental reasons. Either way it has positive implications. For me, it was a combination of all three – however it was quite firmly animal welfare that has upheld this way of life for me personally.
Your vegan journey gets much easier. Once you get into the swing of things it will become second nature. You will discover your own favourite veganised dishes that you will be keen to share with friends and family. A vegan radar will be your new skill, with great abilities to hunt down amazing vegan burgers and other treats.
Preparation can mostly be key when you are new to veganism. Just making sure to check ahead of meal plans or gatherings. Perhaps packing your own lunch so you don’t get caught short. In my experience, veganism has exploded since I went vegan five years ago. Most places now offer specific vegan dishes and drinks – with many cafes having multiple plant based milks as a go to for your morning latte. Also if you do find yourself stuck in a meat heavy restaurant with friends – theres always the option to order a few sides like chips, roasted veg and salad.
Good luck with your journey to veganism. I have loved my journey so far and it has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I hope these tips to go vegan have been helpful.
If you have and questions – leave a comment.