The New Year is officially here, what a perfect time to think about making some positive changes.
You may have made a New Year’s resolution or maybe you’ve been thinking about going vegan for a while. Now that Christmas and New Year celebrations are out of the way, you can fully commit to giving it a go! We know it can seem like a big change at first and so if you’re not sure where to start we’ve put together our top tips for going vegan in 2019.
Stay focused and stay motivated
Ask yourself what drove you to want to go vegan? The answer will help you to stay motivated along the way, particularly in the more challenging moments.
There can be many motives that trigger the start of your vegan journey. Often, these will include health and wellbeing, animal rights and liberation, and to protect the planet from further environmental destruction. Whatever led to your decision to go vegan, do as much research as possible on that topic so that you can reinforce your motivation. But remember to also explore the wider benefits of a vegan lifestyle. Focusing on the bigger picture will help you to stay on track and give you more determination in sticking with it!
Do it with friends
A great way to go vegan is to get some friends to try it with you. This is not only great way to keep the motivation going but you can also try new vegan options together. There are many restaurants that now offer vegan menus and with more and more vegan options appearing in supermarkets, now more than ever, it’s never been easier to give it a go. If you can’t think of anyone that would try it with you then you can download our new app, VeGuide. This will take you along our 30-day pledge and keep you motivated each day with facts and quotes, you can also get access to new recipes and discount codes.
Veganise your favourite vegan meals
Yes, you can make just about anything vegan – from good hearty meals to vegan treats. You may be a healthy vegan or a junk food vegan, or a mix of both! Maybe you’re a pizza lover or you enjoy a lovely homemade Shepherd(less) pie? You don’t have to miss out on Yorkshire puddings for your Sunday dinner or scrambled eggs for breakfast. Whatever you prefer, there is a vegan version of it and we have you covered.
Know your nutrition
It’s easy to get stuck in food ruts and forget all about nutrition, everyone has to look after their nutritional needs and vegans are no exception. It is important to remember that vegan doesn’t automatically mean healthy, so having a good idea about nutrition will certainly give you a leg up. If you have the determination to go vegan in the first place, then this will be a piece of (vegan) cake! With the help of our registered dietitian, Heather Russell, we created a dietary self-assessment tool to help you keep on track. VNutrition allows you to keep a food diary and a nutrition check-list that you can tick off on a daily basis, after some time this allows you to see a progress report which should give you a clear idea of any nutrients that you may or may not be lacking.
Start with your diet and the rest will follow
It’s important to remember that the definition of veganism is “a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose”. So although sometimes people only consider the dietary aspect of veganism, being a vegan expands far beyond what you eat.
Swapping food items for vegan alternatives is a great place to start, and once you figure out what vegan products you like this will naturally extend this to other areas of your life including clothing, cosmetics, cleaning products, etc. As you discover new vegan items you can easily swap them for non-vegan items. But remember, there is no rule that says you have to adopt all elements of a vegan lifestyle overnight, unless that’s what you feel most comfortable doing. It can sometimes feel as though vegans are held to impossible standards of perfectionism by others. Focus on viewing the experience as a journey, if you slip up or make a mistake along the way – which will undoubtedly happen – you can always chalk it up to a learning experience and move on from it.
Most of all, remember to enjoy your newfound lifestyle and being part of a continually growing and caring community.
The views expressed by our bloggers are not necessarily the views of The Vegan Society.