I was recently asked whether I had any tips for going vegan via Instagram and it turned out I had so much to say on the matter that I thought I’d extend my response into this post!
I was asked the question on my Sarahah page (in case you didn’t know it’s an anonymous website where you can ask questions or leave comments – feel free to click this link and ask a question, maybe something you’d want answered in a future blog post 🙂
As I’ve mentioned before on a post regarding veganism, please only make the changes if you know that you’re doing it for the right reasons, you feel well enough and if you have medical support. Also make sure that you’ve done plenty of research and know what it requires. Okay, if you’ve fulfilled all of those requirements then please read on!
- Be prepared for how much of a change it will be to your life. For some people it might not be a huge change, maybe your lactose intolerant friend who’s also allergic to wool and leather (wow that would be a very unlucky person – they would never have been able to go near an alpaca! Just look at this guys sad face, one less person to give him cuddles 😦 ) But for others (we all have at least one friend that’s obsessed with cheese) it might require a lot of change and for those people, they’re going to need to be prepared to get creative and probably plan their meals in advance.
- DO YOUR RESEARCH. I know I mentioned that before but it’s a big one! When I became vegetarian when I was 11 I discovered that lots of foods I’d previously enjoyed had ‘meat’ in them and that was the case times 10 with the switch to veganism. There are so many products that contain milk or egg that I was unaware of but thankfully, once you’re aware of what they are you’ll find that there’s almost always an alternative. And a lot of people don’t realise this but veganism isn’t just about food, it’s about living a completely ethical lifestyle that doesn’t harm any living creature, including humans and so if you want to be a ‘perfect’ vegan you should make sure that all the companies you buy from are ethical in the way they treat their workers as well, making sure that they’re in safe conditions and being paid fairly.
- Definitely don’t go cold turkey. I made small changes over quite a while like swapping out milk for non dairy (e.g. soy or almond) and then swapping out products that contained dairy and then looking at the non-food areas like clothing and cosmetics. I definitely think if I’d done it all at once it would have been too difficult but it’s also a good way to let your body adjust.
- Be prepared for slip ups and try not to beat yourself up for them – you’re only human and everyone makes mistakes.
- Don’t be afraid to try new things because otherwise you’ll end up eating the same things over and over again and that can get incredibly boring and repetitive. Try things and experiment with new things as well as looking in different places – if you shop at one supermarket currently then you should probably be prepared that you might want to look in a few others after a while. And you should also be prepared that there will be things you don’t like and that’s okay. I’ve tried three vegan cheeses and hated them all (they’ve all tasted like feet – not exactly what you want on your lentil bolognese or mushroom pizza…) but luckily I love nutritional yeast (that sounds like it should taste and smell like feet, or even be some kind of infection…but it’s a vegan’s best friend!)
- Experiment with new recipes, there are literally millions out there, just give it a google and see what you find! But also remember not to get too upset if they don’t work out as you’d hoped the first time – practice makes perfect. This is another place where your research will come in handy.
- Remember to take any necessary vitamins and supplements. The majority of things you can get from a vegan diet (well all things actually if you had enough of them but that isn’t always possible) but sometimes you will need supplements to stay in tip top health.
- Keep reminding yourself of your reasons for going vegan. It can be easy to be frustrated when you realise that you’re not able to have your favourite chocolate bar or wear the same foundation you’ve worn since you were fifteen and have to find alternatives that might not always be as good (it’s a real game of trial and error) but the knowledge that your lifestyle doesn’t cause pain or suffering for any living creature, is potentially better for you and is so, SO much better for the environment should be more than enough reward.
I hope you found this post informative and helpful, feel free to share with your wannabe vegan friends!
Have a great day pals,