It’s Veganuary! Veganuary is when you go vegan for the whole of January. So many people sign up for it (one every eight seconds!) and it’s such a great way to meet other people on the same path as you. There are loads of people who can help you through your journey. Of course, you don’t need to sign up for anything, you could absolutely do this on your own, so I’ve come up with some ways that make going vegan so easy!
Going vegan can seem incredibly daunting. What can I eat? What can’t I eat? Well, it’s easier than you’d think! If I’m not sure about something, I leave it then look it up. Being vegan, for me, has been about research. There are quite a few things I was surprised to find out are vegan, and some I was shocked aren’t vegan. It’s all about research.
Before going vegan I was a horrendously picky eater, I still am really, but now I’ve tried and discovered I like a lot more food than I originally thought I did. I’ve definitely been more adventurous with my food.
I went from omnivore to vegan overnight and I haven’t looked back since. I decided that I was going to try it and I did. Not only that, but I went immediately to a week of raw vegan – only raw fruit and vegetables. I wrote about my first three positive months of being vegan here.
Anyway, here are my tips on moving on to a vegan/plant-based diet:
- Don’t overthink it. Just do it. Do some research on what you can eat, stuff that you know you already like, then just cut all non-vegan foods out of your life. If you miss something then it’s super easy to find a vegan alternative, there are so many websites that inform you of alternatives. Check out vegkitchen.com for some help and information.
- Take your time. If just going for it overnight is too daunting, then slowly incorporate vegan food in with your normal non-vegan meals. So, swap out minced meat for vegan mince. Or try vegan burgers one night. Find out what you like then fit yourself around that.
- Watch documentaries. Some people find that they don’t need to watch documentaries on the meat, fish or dairy industry. I mean, I haven’t watched any of them. I don’t think I need to. I know what goes on and I’m vegan because I hate it. But you can watch shows like Earthlings, Cowspiracy (it’s on Netflix) or What The Health (that’s on Netflix too!). They will open your eyes. Just a warning that there are some incredibly graphic films out there, so don’t feel the need to sit and watch all of it if it gets too much.
- Visit a local ‘Cube of Truth’. A cube of truth is a group of anonymous activists for the voiceless. They stand in a square holding laptops which highlight the truth of where your meat, fish and dairy actually comes from. There will always be people there you can talk to and get information about. You can find out more here.
- Join groups on Facebook. There are thousands of vegan Facebook groups out there. They all contain people who will help you on your journey. You can get advice, recipes and support.
- Try to recreate your favourite non-vegan meals. Like Spaghetti Bolognese? Why not make it with only vegan products? I guarantee you won’t notice a difference. There are alternatives out there for so many foods, too many to even think about. You can for sure find something as a non-vegan meal alternative. You’ll definitely find something you’ll like.
- Cook your own food. This is instead of buying ready-meals. When you cook your own food, from scratch, then you know exactly what is going into your food. Cooking is really fun and you can create some really awesome things.
- Research the health benefits. Knowing the health benefits of going vegan can really push you. When I found out what some of the health benefits are, I was totally sold on being vegan. There are so many positive outcomes of going vegan. You help the animals, the environment and yourself!
- Try different brands. If you tried one brand of vegan burgers and didn’t like them, don’t be put off! There are so many different vegan brands. You may like the Linda McCartney burgers but not the Iceland ‘No Bull Burgers’. That’s okay. Me too. Shop around and find things you do like. There are so many options now and it’s only growing. Just don’t be put off if you find one thing that you don’t like, there will be ones you do.
- It’s okay to mess up now and then. No vegan is perfect. We have all unknowingly eaten something non-vegan. If you do mess up, it’s okay, don’t beat yourself up over it. Just learn from it and avoid it from now on. Don’t be put off.
- Follow vegan accounts on Twitter and Instagram. Following accounts like this really helped me. The food they share is so beautiful, it’s really inspiring. Here are some of my favourite Instagram accounts: Vegancommunity, Livekindlyco, Naturally.Jo, Raelikesfroot, AccidentallyVeganUK. There are so, so, so many more!
- Track your food progress. I’ve found that I normally perform better when I track and monitor myself. Knowing that I have to write everything down normally pushes me to actually do it. Writing down your meals and what you did and didn’t like gives you the opportunity to change and adapt what you eat so you do like it! It also allows you to see how well you’ve done, that’s important.
- Visit local vegan markets. It’s always really important to support your local vegan markets and restaurants. These are really good places to meet people who can help push you in the right direction, they can answer your questions. I definitely recommend visiting some to get food inspiration too.
- Sign up to support sites. Challenge22 is a great site to help guide you. There is plenty of information on the website. It’s only a twenty-two-day challenge and they provide you with lots of information, advice and help on your journey. You can access recipes and ‘going to restaurants’ help. You can also find information at Raelikesfroot’s blog. She has made a wonderful guide for new vegans. Take a look here!
I hope these tips help you on your vegan journey. It definitely gets easier the longer you’re vegan. Once you forget what cheese and chocolate taste like, the less you’ll want them. I’m definitely going to write a lot more vegan related posts. If you have any questions about my journey or would like some advice, then message me! I’m more than happy to help and support any new vegans.