My Top 11 Tips to go Vegan

11-go-vegan-GRAPHIC

I’ve had a lot of interest and lovely comments on a lot of my vegan posts so I thought I’d compile another Top Tips post on how to become vegan.

Now, I know this is different for everyone and each person will have a unique idea on which factors are easiest or hardest for them. However, these are what worked for me and if you’re at a loss of knowing where to start, then hopefully these will come in handy.
Changing your diet and lifestyle can be overwhelming, as well as leaving you open to criticism and questions. People are surprisingly defensive about their diet but try not to let any negativity affect you and solely concentrate on your own needs and happiness!

11050093_10153249548818693_4452897875052991646_n

1  Going gradual is key.

I went pescatarian when I was 13, vegetarian at 23 and fully vegan at 27. It took me a long time and while there are people who manage to successfully go vegan overnight, I would advise taking gradual steps (maybe not as many as I did!). Start by cutting out red meat or replacing 2 or 3 meals a week with vegetarian ones. It doesn’t matter how long the process is or how you tailor the transition, you’ll get there in the end.

2  Don’t restrict yourself.

Try not to cut out a big food group overnight. If you tell yourself “from tomorrow I will cut out all dairy” etc, it will make it harder to stick to and you’ll feel like you’ve failed if you slip up. Additionally, try not to worry too much about the health aspect. Perfect the vegan diet first and then work on health/raw/whatever you feel the need to do.

3  Research.

Educate yourself on the reasons why you want to become vegan. This helps when you’re questioned about it! Also look up vegan meal ideas and how and where you can get all your nutrients. There are some really good documentaries that I found really helpful: Vegucated, Cowspiracy, Gary Yourofsky’s speech and Forks Over Knives.

As well as these, the PETA website and the Vegan Society will have a lot of answers to any questions you may have.

4  Start with milk.

Now this will vary from person to person but I found the easiest step to be changing milk. I only had milk on cereal and in tea so if you’re an avid drinker of full fat milk, this may be a bit more difficult for you.

There are so many options of vegan milk which means more variety AND it lasts longer. I love unsweetened soy milk in my tea, almond milk in smoothies and hazelnut milk on cereal! Milk has very little health benefits so swapping this is a really good first move. The vegan varieties usually have added B vitamins and calcium.

5  Prepare vegan meals.

Find a vegan meal that you can easily cook, that you enjoy and that is quick. Once you have incorporated this meal into your week, you can then add another one and keep going! With every recipe you find, you’ll learn and find new flavours that you enjoy.

6  Buy your staple items.

Stock up on fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, wholemeal rice, wholemeal pasta and bread/tortilla wraps. Those are the easy items that can be found in pretty much any supermarket. Try and get in the habit of snacking on nuts and fruit/vegetables. Almonds, raw carrot sticks and strawberries are my favourite snacks and I add seeds to salads, soups and stir fries.

7  Stock up on tinned food.

This is handy for a number of reasons. Firstly, tins last for ages so if you buy something that you’re not sure how to use, just leave it for when you’re ready. Also, most tinned stuff is cheap so it can bulk out your shopping trip for little cost. I buy the following tinned items: Plum tomatoes (for making sauces), Amy’s soup (great organic vegan soup), lentils (they’re ready to use so really handy to have), mixed pulses (great for chillis and salad), mixed bean salad (can be eaten cold or cooked as part of a dish).

8  Change your butter.

Similarly to milk, I found this very easy. I liked real butter before but wasn’t obsessed so I swapped my margarine spread for the Pure vegan brand and have never looked back! Pure tastes the same and can used for baking as well so unless you’re a real butter fiend, this shouldn’t be too difficult.

9  Replace, swap and add.

When you cook (or order) food, just think about what you could change or add to the dish. For example with spaghetti bolognese you could change the mince for Quorn mince (this is vegetarian but not vegan) or you can use tinned lentils and a mixture of pulses and veggies. You can make these changes gradually but it gets you used to thinking about alternatives. If you eat out, browse the menu for vegetarian or vegan options and try some out.

10  Get used to checking ingredients.

Usually ingredients that you need to watch out for are highlighted in bold. Anything with milk, cheese, cream, whey, meat, fish, gelatine is a no go. There is an extensive list of ingredients here but concentrate on the obvious ones at first so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

11 Try new foods!

Lastly, enjoy the process! You’ll learn loads about food, herbs and ingredients, you’ll get better at cooking and you’ll find new foods and dishes that you love. Over time your taste buds will change so don’t worry if you’re not crazy about some foods at first. You’ll probably find that you actually end up eating a larger variety of food.

12190086_10153245910848693_1973461252001349473_n

Good luck and let me know how you get on!

12191807_10153249607033693_200452125897980540_n

If you have anything to add, any questions or thoughts please let me know in the comments.

signature

INSTA | TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN

You might like: 11 Reasons to be Vegan, Vegan Homemade Pizza and 11 Vegan Junk Foods!

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “My Top 11 Tips to go Vegan

  1. These are some great tips, especially the one about educating yourself. I went veggie a year ago and tried going vegan in January, but I didn’t stick to it because I didn’t realise just how cruel the egg and dairy industry is. I decided to try again though and even after watching Vegucated I knew I’d never touch animal products again. It’s a really difficult lifestyle to stick to if you don’t know why you’re doing it, but it’s become second nature to me now even after just over a month.

    Like

    1. I totally agree. It is difficult in the beginning but the more you learn the easier it becomes. I don’t feel restricted at all now; I just eat vegan versions of everything I had before. Plus way more fruit and veg☺️ xx

      Like

  2. These are some wonderful tips. Vegan foods are actually quite cheap if you get staples like bread, nuts and fruits so there really is no reason for people to complain! I should definitely check out some of your posts. I love the pictures with all the animals. I study agriculture so it’s lovely to see!

    Ellen,
    http://fishnetsxd.blogspot.ie

    Like

  3. These are really good tips! I still need to watch Forks over Knifes, I’ve always wanted to watch it but so far I’ve only watched Cowspiracy. I completely agree with you, it’s easier to slowly go vegan and to start out by substituting milk, especially as there are so many great alternatives. Almond milk is currently on offer at Waitrose and Tesco, I stocked up on that today. And I wish quorn mince was vegan, do you know an alternative? xx

    113thingstosay.com

    Like

    1. I love almond milk ☺ I know soy mince is vegan and it’s available from Holland and Barrett, not sure where else does it. I prefer using lentils though, for dishes like spag bol. Lentils sort of mush in with the tomato sauce and veggies and it’s a really similar texture to mince. Xx

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s