As if it’s 2019 already… does anyone else feel like last year went waaaay too quickly?
According to the internet (the most reliable source ever), 2019 is going to be “the year of veganism”, which is amazing because it means more vegan options, more online vegan friends & more of an impact on the world – YAS! So to start the new year off, I wanted to write a post to help the newbies in 2019 successfully transition to veganism.
I’ve said before that you can’t turn some people vegan, no matter how much you back up your argument. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve put so much effort into explaining facts to my family members about how there are studies that show that there’s a link between dairy and breast cancer, that bacon is a number 1 carcinogenic, and that believe it or not animals do feel emotions, like pain, fear and loneliness, just like us. And… to my disappointment, not one person has turned vegan. I even gave my Auntie, Uncle & 2 cousins a heartfelt (and admittedly drunken) speech on veganism & GMO’s at 2am one night, which at the time I thought was a brilliant idea. I knoooow, I knoooow, I need Jesus.
Anyways, here’s ‘How To Successfully Transition Into Veganism The Easy Way’!
Firstly, it’s a good idea to pick a day or week (if you haven’t already) that you’re going to fully commit to giving this new lifestyle 100% of your effort. Even if you don’t want to go vegan overnight, it takes a lot of motivation and determination to change your lifestyle and to change your attitude, so picking a day to make the change could help a lot.
2.Start off being flexitarian. If you’re jumping from being the biggest meat eater to veganism, then more than likely you’re going to be overwhelmed and you’re not going to stick with it for very long. Start slow with ‘Meatless Mondays’, or maybe commit to eating no meat in the weekdays. Whatever works for you! And then once you’ve got the hang of things, you can eventually become completely vegetarian, which is one step away from veganism!
Don’t take something out of your diet without adding something. This was my first mistake when I first went vegan. I gave up all meat, dairy & eggs and didn’t replace it with anything else which is a recipe for disaster let me tell you! I ended up missing meat and falling off the band-wagon a few times before I realised I should be eating more “vegan” options.
So if you’re going to give up chicken, replace it with breaded tofu. If you’re giving up pork, start making some yummy pulled Jackfruit recipes. If you’re giving up milk, find a plant-based milk that you like the taste of. If you’re giving up eggs, then make your own vegan fried egg. You get the point… start experimenting with all the vegan options out there. And I didn’t even mention all the fake meat alternatives that are in the supermarkets now.
A big thing that I noticed during my first few months of veganism was that I began trying a lot more vegetables that I never even knew I liked or knew existed! So expand your pallet and get out of your comfort zone. Your taste buds change so much when you become vegan, and it’s crazy how you begin to love food you never liked before.
Cut out the things you eat the least. For me, it was easy to cut out fish & sushi because I hardly ever ate it. But I did find it hard to give up cow’s milk, so I think that was last on my transition to veganism. But I think if I’d have found cashew milk back then, it wouldn’t have been such a problem for me. Again, it’s all about replacing things and experimenting with all your vegan options! If you’re stuck on ideas, then buy yourself an affordable vegan cookbook to get you going.
Don’t punish yourself when you make a mistake. Everyone transitions in their own time, and I honestly think if you go at your own pace, then you’ll stick to it. I jumped in the deep end as soon as I learnt what “veganism” was back in 2014 and I tried to go vegan overnight, which to my disappointment didn’t work.
To be honest, I didn’t do enough research into what I should be eating, and I had many slip ups. And don’t get me wrong, I still make mistakes even now, but I would never make myself feel bad because I know I am trying my best every single day, and that’s all that matters. I think every vegan has had that moment where they realise they’ve been eating something which they didn’t know contains dairy/eggs. I always seem to forget to check bread items, but I’m learning to pretty much check everything now. If you want to learn how to read labels and look out for vegan food then check out The Ultimate Vegan Food Label Guide.
On a side note – Since doing a few trips out of the country last year, I have decided that in some places it is just virtually impossible to be vegan. It’s obviously easy to eat vegan in popular cities, like Amsterdam, where there are vegan options on the menu and vegan restaurants. But last year I went on a holiday to a quiet part of Greece, and after 3 full days of food poisoning, I decided that being vegan wasn’t going to work and that there was no way I could live on bread and crisps for the next week. And ever since, I’ve been vegan about 80% of the time when I’m out of the country. This works for me, it may not work for other vegans, but I will always put my health first. I will never eat meat again, but if I have to eat the odd bit of milk or cheese to get a decent meal, then that’s what I’ll do. And if that doesn’t make me a “proper vegan” as someone has pointed out before, then screw it!
Make smart swaps. If you usually have a latte every morning from your local coffee shop, then switch your usual cow’s milk for Soya or Almond Milk. It’s such a simple swap and it tastes basically the same. Since the ‘vegan trend’ blew up in 2018, there are now substitutes for everything which means it’s easier now than ever before to make vegan choices on a daily basis, even if you’re not vegan. An amazing vegan swap for if you’re biscuit obsessed (like me) is swapping “milk chocolate digestive biscuits” with “plain chocolate digestive biscuits”. Honestly, the plain chocolate biscuits are vegan & they taste so much better. I would swap them even if I wasn’t vegan. Check out the picture below for examples of some easy vegan swaps!
Invest in a budget blender. I know it sounds like such a random thing to say, but you can make sooooo many vegan recipes if you just have a blender. I bought my amazing blender on Amazon for £20 and it’s been my life saver for the past year and a half. I use it for all my recipes, and it’s brilliant for making vegan sauces, soups, smoothies, nice cream, blending nuts and so much more. I used it in my recent YouTube video to make a vegan fried egg if you want to check it out! Not convinced? Here are 3 amazing vegan recipes you can make with a simple blender:
And lastly, ENJOY your new lifestyle! If you’ve already decided that veganism is 100% for you, then I promise you this is going to be so much fun! Don’t limit yourself, try as much food as you possibly can. And don’t forget to look out for all the accidentally vegan products in the supermarkets. If you live in the UK, then try Morrisons for the yummiest vegan donuts (Raspberry, Strawberry, Salted Caramel & Gingerbread are all vegan). And don’t forget to leave me a comment & let me know how it’s going! 🙂
OMG, this is going to be so useful. Like you I have tried and failed a couple of times through not being prepared enough. I have two teenage boys so trying to make stuff that they will even try is a mission in itself. And can I just say how wonderful it is that you are in the UK, so I can actually get what you’re talking about! Thank you!!!