The quest on how to go vegan for beginners is considered highly nowadays since veganism is growing more and more popular and for great reason.
Whether you are doing it of health reasons, environmental or as an ethical point of view, going vegan literally changes your life.
Interested to know my story? You can read it here
BUT, going vegan can seem like an extreme shift with your current eating habits.
Maybe you have decided that it is something you are truly interested in but you have absolutely no idea where to start and all you think about is.…
WHAT THE HELL DO I EAT?!
Since I have been vegan for a number of years, I’ve compiled my top tips to get you in the right mindset to ensure you succeed.
Knowledge is power. You mustn’t underestimate how powerful this step is! Being armed with the right knowledge will help clarify your WHY.
It will keep you motivated when temptation is lurking and it will help with those around you who are suddenly now concerned about your new diet.
The BEST way to do this is to immerse yourself in as many resources as possible.
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There is not a one size fits all approach to this unfortunately. Maybe you are someone who can easily make the change over night and do a full 360.
However, for the majority, taking a gradual approach is far easier and will avoid relapse.
TIP – You don’t need to tell anyone what you are doing. Some people will not understand and may be upset that you are making better changes for yourself.
Not sure where to do first?
How to go vegan for beginners can be started through gradual approach in this order:
Remove all obvious meat sources
Remove all obvious fish sources
Remove obvious dairy sources
Remove hidden dairy sources
Remove animal by products such as honey
Clothes, fabrics and skin/hair care can be swapped in whatever way is easiest for you
TIP – Don’t forget to clear away anything that isn’t vegan friendly from your fridge, freezer and cupboards. What isn’t available, won’t get eaten!
#3 CHANGE YOUR MINDSET
Being vegan can sound scary at first but trust me its SO MUCH BETTER!
Firstly, think about all the foods that you CAN have rather than the ones you can’t.
You can have SO many foods beside meat and cheese!
Add new foods to your diet rather than taking away, eventually you will have so many good nutritious foods on your plate that you will crowd out the nasties.
As everything in life,
The more you learn and practice veganism, the easier its gets
For whatever craving you have I promise there is a vegan alternative. Haggis, bacon and creme eggs included!
# 4 READ INGREDIENTS
When going vegan, you will be shocked when you start reading ingredient labels. Personally, I find milk and its by-products to be the sneakiest culprit.
However, to narrow down on the everyday staples, avoid the following:
milk, whey, casein, lactose
honey, beeswax, pollen
gelatin, confectioners glaze
keratin, musk, pearl, glycerol
vitamin D, cod liver oil
# 5 USE TRANSITIONAL FOODS
You will be AMAZED by how many awesome vegan products are out there.
Although some of these may still be processed and unhealthy (including fake meat products), in the beginning they provide a great substitute.
Here are some everyday items that are more healthy and easy to replace
Always opt for unsweetened varieties, preferably organic and do not contain added oils.
Nut Varieties such as Almond, Hazelnut, walnut, Brazil… you get my point.
soy – I find this tastes the best in a cuppa 🙂
Oat, Rice, Hemp, Flax & Coconut are also great .
You can get many recipes out there for non – cheese – cheese.
Many cheese recipes are made from nuts, soy or any other concoction vegans can be creative with.
If cheese is your thing I recommend the books like:
This Cheese is Nuts
Chloes Vegan Italian kitchen
Alternatively you can buy vegan cheese substitutes (because lets face it were all busy mamas here!) Brands such as Daiya, Violife and most supermarkets now stock its own range!
Again tons of varieties such as soy, nut and my personal favorite coconut.
Soy (so delicious) soy dream, rice dream almond dream & booja booja (THE BEST ONE EVER & SO HEALTHY!)
Even more amazing, did you know there’s something called nice’ cream? Its basically a healthy ice cream using bananas that takes less than 5 minutes. #mumpoints
If you’re vegetarian and still believe dairy is still okay, watch this video.
#6 BE PREPARED
This is absolutely key!
When you know what you are going to eat and you have those foods readily available you are much more likely to stay on track.
Organise what you are going to have in advance. You don’t need a full weeks worth of meals prepared, but having a few days worth and some quick meal ideas will dramatically increase the chance of success.
Make sure you’re stocked up on items you know you can eat. There’s nothing worse than being hungry and trying to resist cravings.
Not knowing what to eat AND not having any food in are both a recipe for disaster. Make meal planning simple and enjoyable. You don’t need to over complicate things.
Overwhelmed by food choices? Stick to simple meals and allow yourself time to adjust to new recipes and meal planning.
#7 INCLUDE ETHNIC FOODS
Such as Thai, Mexican, Indian, Ethiopian & Chinese.
Most ethnic foods have tons more variety and lets face it…taste way better than standard western cuisine! Plus many vegetarian options don’t contain dairy so they are already vegan.
#8 ENJOY EATING OUT
Yes you can still eat out on a vegan diet! Vegans are well catered for these days.
Tips for eating out successfully:
Choose ethnic restaurants first over standard British/American outlets.
If you really think there might not be anything on the menu, don’t be afraid to call beforehand and REQUEST A VEGAN DISH. Chefs cater to allergies and dietary requirements on a daily basis.
Choose a variety of sides and starters and make your own meal. This is sometimes better than the vegan option!
You need to research and choose a place before you go so that you know you are catered for.
Use the happy cow app for vegan friendly places in your location. This has helped me out on numerous occasions.
#9 DO A VEGAN CHALLENGE OR TAKE A PLEDGE
I’m sure some of you have heard of Veganuary, aiming to help people go vegan through the month of January.
The following websites also offer challenges you can take for free. This can provide much needed motivation when starting out
#10 GET SUPPORT
If you need support, real life or virtually, then get it. It’s so easy these days with that little thing called the internet.
Being part of a community can really help when you have questions or you need some encouragement.
There are some people in the vegan community that get a bit high strung on exactly what vegan diet is right (high carb, low fat, no fat, high fat, raw, starch based etc etc).
But there are PLENTY of people out there that are very supportive.
Be part of this friendly and inviting community right here on the blog *WINKS*
Facebook groups to join
#11 Go VEGAN, SAVE MONEY
Theres a misconception that being vegan and eating healthily costs more money.
In fact its quite the opposite, my food bill has dropped so much by being vegan. I cant imagine what it would cost to eat animal produce!
#12 TAKE THE RIGHT SUPPLEMENTS
You certainly don’t need meat to get adequate amounts of calcium, healthy fats, iron and protein.
More so, you will THRIVE on this diet
However all vegans need a b12 supplement. I also recommend people to take a good quality multi vitamin and a probiotic.
#13 REPLACE BEAUTY PRODUCTS
Eventually there will come a time when you will want to change your existing make up, skin & hair care products for a cruelty free option.
Although, this part of veganism isn’t my strongest suit, I’ll link some experts below.
The ultimate guide to cruelty free & vegan make up brands 2017 by Cruelty Free Kitty. This post complies a huge list of popular make up brands and lists those that are vegan. Her website is chock full of information on vegan & cruelty free products so I highly recommend taking a look.
Ive recently found this blog and its super cute! Honesty for skin has a wealth of information on science backed skin care. She shares lots of fantastic tips, articles & resources.
Vicki from Ethical Elephant has a great easy to read blog that answers questions on all things beauty, hair & skin so you know how to shop cruelty free.
Elisa runs the popular blog style on vega. She has a cruelty free, ethical fashion and lifestyle blog. She has a great post on vegan fashion for beginners, a great read.
# 14 DO NOT PREACH!
If you have decided to go vegan then a huge congratulations to you because honestly, you will never look back.
However, this is your journey and no-one likes the ex-smoker who is critical of anyone else who smokes!
LEAD BY EXAMPLE
You will inevitably want to tell everyone how amazing you feel, how much weight you’ve lost, how all of your health problems have subsided and how much more connected you feel.
But this is not how we learn people! we learn by modelling others behaviours of those we admire.
Once upon a time you were not vegan but you are here now, let others find their path too!
Of course, if you know someone interested, give them the information and also direct them here for some inspiration.
If you would like a huge list of resources that you can print out for free. Enter your name and email address below and ill send them right over!
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