If you are considering going vegan, here are my 5 top tips to help you begin your journey and succeed in changing your lifestyle for the better.
For some, going cold turkey is the way forward. I’m an all or nothing kind of girl therefore I threw away all of my non-vegan products, donated my leather jacket and started afresh. As much as that approach worked for me, it may not work for everyone. My suggestion would be to make the transition slowly, particularly when changing your diet. Dependent on how much dairy and meat you consume, begin by eliminating animal products one by one over a matter of weeks. This way your body adjusts to the changes and will react in a positive manner.
Craving Meat? Try Mock Products
It is not unusual to crave meat when you are following a vegan diet, particularly if you were once a big meat eater. Thankfully there are mock meat products that can be found in your local supermarket. Quorn offer a great vegan range full of ‘spicy chicken’ burgers, chicken nuggets and even ‘fish’ fingers to satisfy your cravings. Not to mention the fantastic range from Linda McCartney who produce vegan pies, sausages, soya mince, quarter pounder burgers and more. There are always alternatives that offer animals no harm and still taste just as good!
Vitamins and B12
As tasty as mock meat, vegan cheese and dairy-free dessert is, it isn’t nutritious. To provide your body with the right nutrients and vitamins, you will need to base your diet around whole foods. Think leafy greens for iron, beans and Tofu for protein and nuts and whole grains for healthy fats and good carbs. I would advise taking a daily B12 supplement alongside eating B12 rich foods such as Marmite, nutritional yeast or fortified dairy-free milks and cereals. By simply adding a homemade green juice packed full of superfoods and fresh fruit and vegetables to your morning routine can have fantastic effects on both your health and skin too!
Ignore The Haters / Hit The Research
When I first went Vegan, I experienced a lot of negativity. Suddenly everybody had an opinion and they felt I should hear it. The negativity tends to stem from guilt or ignorance which you can either choose to ignore or to educate. Watch documentaries and read up on your facts so that you can make a well informed response. At first it can make you defensive and feel isolated but don’t let that deter you from continuing on your journey. You have chosen to make a positive lifestyle change that not only benefits your health but saves the lives of millions of innocent animals. Seek advice from fellow vegans by utilising social media and online groups. Let the negativity drive you to succeed in what you have set out to do.
You’re Only Human, You Will Make Mistakes
Throughout your vegan journey you are bound to make mistakes, heck I still make them now. From eating crisps with milk powder in or forgetting to check the ingredients in your favourite pasta sauce – it happens. What makes the difference is that you acknowledge your slip ups and keep moving forward. Don’t give up on veganism because you ate a non-vegan cupcake. Let that inspire you to bake or source a vegan variety! It will take time to find what works for you and your body and to do what feels right.
These are my 5 tip tips for anybody thinking about transitioning to a vegan diet. Become part of a supportive community and make that positive change.