How to go vegan

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cakesIt’s time we let you in on a little secret: going vegan is actually a piece of cake!

Whatever brought you as far as this page, you’ve already taken the all-important first step on your vegan journey. Congrats! Here are some tried and tested tips to make it even easier and more fun.

Take it slow

Keep your end goal in mind, but go at your own pace. Some people manage to go vegan overnight and if that's the right approach for you, fantastic. Yet don't be concerned if you feel you'll need more time. Like any other lifestyle change, going vegan not only takes getting used to, but it takes time to determine what will work best for you. It's not a one size fits all experience and there are numerous approaches you can take.

Making small changes to what you normally eat every day is one of the easiest ways to increase the amount of plant-based foods in your diet. You could start by removing meat or cheese one day a week and go from there. Or you could try changing one meal at a time, having vegan breakfasts during your first week, adding a vegan lunch during week two and so on. You could even try changing one product at a time by swapping cow's milk for almond or soya milk or butter for coconut oil or margarine. There's a plant-based alternative for almost every type of food you can think of, so you don't have to miss out on any of your favourite things! For more inspiration, check out our recipe section.

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Do it right

Make sure you don't miss out on essential nutrients. As with any calorie-rich diet lacking in macro and micro-nutrients, some forms of vegan diets are not necessarily 100% healthy ie. there are vegan versions of almost every type of junk food you can think of. As long as you eat a wide variety of tasty plant foods, planning a healthy diet that incorporates all the vitamins and nutrients you need will be a breeze. Check out our nutrition pages for more information or seek advice from a registered dietician.

Go shopping

Treat your taste buds to new foods and new flavours. Many people learn to enjoy food a lot more when they become vegan. Leaving your food comfort zone will take you on a voyage of discovery of new flavours, new spices and new cuisines. There are thousands of vegan recipes out there from every corner of the globe. Whatever your culinary preference, you'll encounter amazing new dishes and interesting variations on your old favourites. Yet you don't have to be an award-winning chef to achieve this. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the number of meals you can easily prepare from things already in your kitchen or local supermarket ingredients.

Keep learning

Remember that going vegan is a learning curve to be embraced. To live as a vegan in a non-vegan world takes both courage and curiosity: the courage to approach new challenges with a positive attitude and the curiosity to discover and experience new things. Veganism has been around since 1944, but it’s still a relatively new concept to many people. It’s important you allow yourself time to learn about the various strands of veganism - and remember to pat yourself on the back along the way for the progress you've made.

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Ask for help

"Where can I buy vegan chocolate?" "How do I bake cakes without eggs?" "I don’t know how to speak to my family about veganism!” Fear not. Our website is full of information and resources covering all of these questions and more. You're not alone. There's nothing like talking to other vegans to make your transition even easier. Link up with others through channels like Facebook or Twitter, or check out our Local and Group Contacts to find your nearest vegan group. You'll discover many friendly people happy to help you find everything from the best vegan cheeses to the greatest recipe books to the most popular online blogs. For additional support you can also sign up and take our free Vegan Pledge where you’ll be supported with daily emails to help guide you through your first month as a vegan.

Remember why

Keep reminding yourself of the reasons you've chosen a vegan lifestyle. You'll probably find going vegan to be a lot easier than expected, but if you do have a bad day or feel this whole vegan thing is too much like hard work - take a deep breath and briefly reflect on your choices. Reading books or regularly watching informative and uplifting videos about veganism can help, as does keeping motivating visual reminders like photos of your favourite animals. Or how about locating your nearest animal sanctuary? Spending time with traditional 'food animals' and getting to know their wonderful personalities is a great way to reaffirm your commitment to veganism.

Don’t give up

If you believe in yourself, vegan living will soon become second nature. There is always a better reason to stick with your decision than to go against it. Take it one day at a time. Make sure that you do things along the way that remind you of the joy of vegan living, and try not to let others get you down. You've chosen an amazing, exciting and profound way to live your life - be sure to enjoy it!