You heard it here first! (Or here. Or maybe here). I’ve decided to go vegan, and couldn’t be more excited about it. All those new ingredients and recipes to discover and indulge in; my new diet is really pleasing the food – and animal – lover in me.
Having been vegetarian for coming up to 5 years, making the move towards a completely plant-based diet is perhaps easier than going straight from an omnivorous one. That being said, I’d gotten accustomed to snacking on cheese and other milk-containing processed foods, as well as relying on eggs as a primary source of protein. At the beginning of my move into veganism, I admitted that it’d probably be a long and flawed journey; so far, though, I’ve found it to be really rewarding and fun, and honestly not that difficult at all.
I thought I would share 4 quick tips that have helped me in the first month or so that I’ve been vegan. Please add any advice you have in the comments!
1 | Educate yourself
While I think that being vegan is a worthy enough cause to just go into blind, it does help if you understand and feel confident in your reasons for doing so. As a vegetarian I was only mildly aware of the impact that the dairy and egg industry has on animals and the environment. It wasn’t until I watched Cowspiracy that I truly understood the situation, and what I could do to not be a part of it.
I would wholeheartedly recommend watching Cowspiracy for a galvanising, fact-led introduction into veganism. However, there are many documentaries out there that I’m sure would prove equally effective and educational. Unfortunately, few are readily available (i.e. on Netflix, or free to stream) but Earthlings, which is next on my list, can be watched free of charge on YouTube.
2 | Have fun
We’re talking about food and cosmetics here, guys! There is a world of fun to be had in discovering new ingredients, products and brands that are not only great quality but good for your health, animals and the planet. It’s a no-brainer, really.
My most recent discoveries of note have been chia seeds – I think I may have an obsession looming – and Biscoff spread, which is the scrummiest cookie butter there is! Cosmetics-wise, as you may know if you’ve followed this blog for a while, there are so many alternatives out there. Superdrug (if you’re UK based) is a great place to start.
3 | Go social
One of the best resources for inspiration I’ve found has been the online world. Struggling for ideas on what to eat? Head to Instagram – Pinterest and Yummly are handy, too. Looking for moral support? Why not take part in a Twitter chat? The weekly #veganbloggers and #cfbloggers chats are so much fun to join in with – not only have I picked up some great recommendations and helpful tips and advice, I’ve found myself feeling part of a community, too.
4 | Don’t be scared of messing up
How many things do we not do in life, for fear of getting it wrong? A few weeks ago, having decided to commit to being vegan, I completely forgot the ‘rules’ and gorged on non-vegan cheesecake at work. And there was that time when I ordered a pad thai, totally spacing on the fact that egg is a key ingredient. Last weekend, I made sure to order the vegan option at Franco Manca, and even negotiated a vegan risotto at a pub lunch, all the while drinking non-vegan friendly cider.
Often, we don’t get things right straight away. We learn, make mistakes, and try again. It doesn’t mean we’re bad people, or bad vegans, and it certainly shouldn’t stop us from carrying on.
I hope these starter tips have given you some food for thought. If you’re a vegan, making the transition or are just interested in veganism, then don’t hesitate to get in touch!