Did you know that 10% of Christmas dinners in 2018 were VEGAN! Also Veganuary is growing faster every year which makes me super excited! I am so so happy I discovered the vegan lifestyle and I’m always keen to share it with more people! It can be a little strange at first so I’ve written up a few tips to help you transition smoothly.
Sign up to Veganuary
If you haven’t already, sign up to Veganuary (it doesn’t have to be January, they go all year round!). They have a vast amount of info on vegan living including sending emails with recipes to try! If you have thought about trying the plant based lifestyle but have no idea where to start – this is one of the best places to go first.
Eat what you’re used to
Being vegan isn’t going to be fun for you at the start if you feel like you’re missing out on your favourite foods. Start by just making vegan versions of your favourite dishes. Used to cooking frozen food? There are so many frozen vegan options from pizzas to ‘fishless’ fillets, burgers to pies, ice cream and desserts. Love eating out? Use apps like Vanilla bean and websites like Happy Cow to find vegan food around your area. Big chain restaurants are also currently rolling out vegan options left right and centre. Do you cook from scratch a lot? Experiment with pulses, beans and veggies to replace meat in dishes like chilli, curry, bolognese, salads and stews. Feeling like you can eat all the same things (just vegan versions) will help you transition a lot easier and happier.
Cook from scratch more often
Saying that, I have discovered my love of cooking through vegan food. I used to be a ‘easy’ meal kind of gal – frozen foods and microwave meals were what I used to eat almost all the time. When I went vegan in 2016 there were a lot less plant based ready meals available so I started to cook my own food. I now love to cook and enjoy a Sunday creating a new meal from a recipe I’ve found online or in one of my fave cook books. If it’s something you’re not used to, start easy. Vegan in 7 is a super great cook book which all of the recipes contain only 7 or less ingredients. You may find that most of the recipes contain ingredients you’re already likely to have in your cupboard. Cooking from scratch is not only healthier but also can save you a lot of money!
If you were used to eat a lot of meat or dairy your body might need a little bit of time to adjust. Vegan or not, it’s important that you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs! Sometimes it’s difficult to get these all from food. For example, all people that live in the UK are recommended to take Vitamin D supplements throughout the winter as it’s so damn grey and miserable here at this time of year (I’m not complaining I swear..). I was vegan for a year and half before I started to take supplements and although I was always super conscious of eating a balanced diet, since I’ve started taking supplements I’ve noticed a huge boost in my overall energy and health levels. B12, Iron (if you’re female) and magnesium are the main three I recommend. I’ve read a few times that multivitamins are less effective than if you take separate supplements but I’m not an expert on this.
Remember your reason
It can be tough sometimes especially at the beginning. In times of frustration or FOMO remember why you have decided to go vegan in the first place. Whether it’s health, environment, animal welfare or something else (there are SO many good reasons to try veganism)! One of the more unexpected benefits I have discovered is the huge online community of kind hearted, passionate people.
I hope these tips have been helpful! Please let me know if you are a new vegan and how you’re finding it in the comments below or find me on instagram.