Substituting a meat-based meal for plant-based here and there is a great way to introduce more balance into your diet and to try new recipes at home. Deciding to switch entirely to a vegan diet is a huge leap and one that needs a lot of consideration and pre-planning.
Here are a few top tips if you are thinking of going vegan in Veganuary:
Choose Your Vegan Path
First, you need to decide what kind of vegan you want to be – will you be a dietary vegan and change your food consumption completely? Or will you be a lifestyle vegan, changing your diet and every aspect of how you live; the clothes you buy, the way you travel etc (this is the extra hard one!)
Replace Your Guilty Pleasures First
What are the things you just can’t live without – ice cream, chocolate, buttery biscuits?! Simply replace these first so you still have yummy treats to hand - missing snacks could trip you up. There are gorgeous ones available via Veganic and VBAG.
Check the Supermarket
You would be surprised at just how many large supermarket chains stock all the amazing items you need for your pantry and fridge! Try Oatly Oat Drink, Violife cheese and Quorn Smoked Ham Slices – all absolutely gorgeous!
Mentally Prepare For Big Change
And I mean positive change! Who is really ready to feel healthier, more energised and not feel bloated after meals? No one is! We’ve become so used to feeling lethargic and sluggish that you could be guilty of feeling suspicious when a plant-based diet starts to make you feel so good!
Print Out An FAO
And hand it to people who just don’t understand what you are doing. The word ‘Vegan’ still seems to bring out weirdly negative reactions from people. It's as if eating pure, plant-based foods is somehow gross. The best thing to do is smile, hold your ground and change the subject when they start telling you how much they adore steak.
Keep Nutritionally Balanced
There are a lot of products on the market that are meat substitutes. However, a lot of them are simply processed food. Treat them like you would treat any other processed food and eat them sparingly. The fun part about a plant-based diet is discovering that you can cook delicious meals without meat; not find ways to replace it.
Find Your Tribe & Have Fun
There are tonnes of groups and forums online where people share information about the foods they have discovered or the places they like to go to eat out. Get involved and ask all the questions – there will always be a fellow vegan who is willing to help you out!