I may not be a seasoned veggie veteran yet, but as someone who’s only been vegan for a few months I feel like there was some advice I wish I’d been given first. It’s really not always as easy as it looks, so if you’re considering giving it a try here are my 5 quick tips for going vegan:
1. Keep an open mind
As an example; I absolutely hated beans, nuts and most seeds before going vegan. That rules out a pretty huge source of vegan protein and, generally speaking, a large portion of the vegan diet. With a bit of perseverance, some wincing and a whole lot of hummus, I’ve eventually started to like some of them. I eat a fair selection of nuts now, for example, and seeds aren’t such a huge deal. I’m still not an enormous fan of beans, but I’ve stopped picking the kidney beans from my chilli or burritos. I’ve also learned a whole new way of preparing veg I never thought I liked too. I may never be a keen avocado fan though, sorry.
Whatever your reason is for going vegan, it’s still gonna be harder to stick to in the long run if you’re not really invested. No matter how you frame it, going vegan for your health is pretty similar to just about any crash diet where you cut food groups, except in this case you’re likely to be cutting a fairly huge portion of your diet out that you’ve grown used to over the years and this can get difficult. I’ve spent a lot of time researching the food industry and the environmental effects it has, as well as how truly horrible animals are actually treated. A lot of people call this militant veganism – but being educated is a really good way of helping you stick to your new lifestyle even if your primary reason, like mine, was health related.
3. Learn to plan ahead
I made the choice to go vegan overnight and I very quickly learned how hard that would be. For the first month or so I was aggressively sticking to it- going as far as skipping meals if nothing was available. Once I moved and started working full time though, I learned how difficult it could be to eat while working, travelling or generally just being away from home. In this case, learning to plan is fairly essential to save yourself from starving, being hangry at everyone you work with, and really generally feeling crappy. Learn to bulk cook, keep supplies on hand for healthy, readily available snacks and learn to plan your meals.
4. Get involved with the community
Contrary to popular belief, vegans aren’t all terrifying militant food police. We seem to have a bit of a reputation which definitely isn’t true of all of us. In fact, a scan through youtube, a few blogs and a bit of twittering and you’ll find some pretty cool people to get inspired by, befriend, and generally just get involved with. Not everyone is ready to shout at you for not doing it right- which was honestly one of the things that scared me most when I made the switch.
5. You don’t have to go vegan all at once
There’s something to be said for doing it all at once and going cold turkey, but for most people that’s not possible. I started with just a vegan diet and then started to push for more cruelty free beauty products. I want to try be more conscious of what I buy in terms of household products and clothes, where I can afford to. Bbut to simply bin/recycle most of your beauty collection, household products, clothes and everything else you own will cost a lot to replace and that really isn’t feasible for most. Every small change you make is progress and is making a difference, so if taking it slow makes it work for you then do it.
Do you have any quick tips for going vegan?