With January just around the corner and plenty of people already talking about ‘new starts’ and ‘healthier lifestyles’, we’ve been thinking about Veganism and all of the health, and environmental benefits. If you’ve been thinking about going Vegan, here’s a few suggestions as to how you can start the process…
Learn as much as you can about it
Learning about veganism can help make the transition easier and a lot less daunting. Familiarising yourself with well-known vegan brands, what is and isn’t vegan and dishes you already eat/make that are vegan is a great place to start.
- What are the benefits of a vegan lifestyle?
- Why are you going vegan?
- How much will you need to consume to properly nourish your body on a vegan diet?
- Which ingredients are and aren’t vegan?
- What is your end goal?
Don’t immediately cut out your whole diet
Just like any transition, you need to go slowly. Add to your diet before you subtract from it. Try turning some of your favourite dishes vegan, incorporate more whole grain, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and tofu into your diet.
Make a list of vegan recipes that you want to try, figuring out what you do and don’t want to try.
Start with easy recipes so you get comfortable making them.
Switch out milk for a non-dairy alternative. There are loads of different options (soy, almond, oat. etc) experiment and see which ones you prefer and like best.
Begin planning your transition
- Start by going vegetarian.
First cut out the big things like meats and fish, for some, this is the easiest part of the transition. Pay attention the ingredients in food, avoid products with gelatine, rennet and other animal products (excluding dairy and eggs).
Try swapping your meat dishes with tofu or different types of legumes.
Once you’ve gotten used to being vegetarian then you can continue transitioning even more.
- Now transition to vegan
Start by cutting out the animal-based products you won’t miss. Dairy products are the easiest to find alternatives for in supermarkets.
Then gradually cut out the rest, so eggs, honey, fish oil, anything that’s animal based.
When cutting things out of your diet, don’t forget to replace it with something else so grains, beans, legumes etc to ensure you have a healthy and balanced vegan diet.
Most people find relying on vegan burgers, hot dogs, vegan meats, cheeses etc can really help ease them into the transition more comfortably.
Going fully vegan
A lot of people forget that veganism doesn’t just stop with food. If your main reason for going vegan is for the animals, then you still have a way to go.
Most skincare, cosmetics and toiletries aren’t vegan, a lot aren’t even cruelty free!
Start by swapping that leather jacket or leather shoes for faux leather, there are loads of amazing options on the market, some of them you wouldn’t even know that it wasn’t leather.
Then go through your cosmetics, personally this is one of the easiest things to change. The cosmetics industry is becoming more and more vegan and cruelty free every day. Although this isn’t an overnight process. First finish the products you already have, when you’ve finished one, find a vegan alternative.
Once you’ve done that with cosmetics, you can start doing skincare and toiletries. These are a little more difficult to find alternatives so don’t worry if some are harder to swap than others, take your time.
Pay attention to how your body reacts
The most important thing throughout this whole process is making sure you check on how your body is reacting. Sometimes the vegan diet doesn’t give some people the nourishment they need, some may need a little extra help so take vitamins where necessary. Even go back to being a vegetarian temporarily if you need to, this transition isn’t about how quickly you can do it, so take your time.
We’d love to hear if veganism is something you are going to try; or any Vegan’s out there who’d like to share your journey and any helpful advice – please let us know! Also feel free to share your best vegan recipes – who doesn’t love a vegan brownie.