You’ve completed 31 days of a vegan diet and you’re ready to make the change permanent. Does this mean chucking your leather boots in the bin now you’ve embraced a vegan diet? And how difficult is it going to be having a meal with friends, family events, or even Christmas next year?
While it has never been easier to embrace a vegan lifestyle, there still might be some hurdles along the way. Here are our top 5 tips on veganism after Veganuary:
Go easy on yourself
The longer you’re vegan, the more you’ll be surprised at those accidentally vegan foodstuffs. You’ll become an expert at label checking and quickly scanning for The Vegan Society Trademark. But you’ll also find that you’ve accidentally eaten some animal derivative on one form or another (we’re looking at you waxed lemons). Or that something which was once vegan is now no longer so. If this happens, don’t beat yourself up about it. Put it down to experience and know that one day in the not-too-distant future, constant label checking will be a thing of the past.
Small steps, long term change
You’ve started with what you eat but now your attention is turned to the other things in your life. Your bathroom cupboard, under the sink, your wardrobe and even your make up bag all start to look a bit different when we look at them closer. Change is difficult for us. We are easily set in our ways, used to our habits and buy from certain places. Accept that if you make big, sweeping changes then you are less likely to stick to them. It might seem like an overwhelming amount of your life is not yet vegan, but rather than trying to change everything at once, do it over time so it doesn’t seem so daunting. Take it one step at a time.
Be the organiser
We don’t live in a vegan bubble and everyone has a varied group of friends who like to go out and eat together. Be that person who offers to book the restaurant or pick the pub where you meet up. That way you can check the menu and the bar before you go. Likewise, if you’re going to have dinner at a friend’s house, take a pot with you. They’ll thank you for contributing something to the evening and you might even change their minds on what vegans eat.
Grab a few cookbooks
There are some amazing vegan recipes online, including on this website. This is a great place to start getting handy in the kitchen. You don’t need to go out and buy top of the range kitchen gadgets to be a great vegan cook, you just need to know what you like. Most vegan cookbooks will cover the foods you need to meet your nutrient levels and tasty, filling meals don’t need to take hours to prepare. Start simple by veganising your favourite meals and go on from there. Check your local library if you don’t feel ready to invest in a cookbook just yet.
Find your vegan tribe
We all love sharing our favourite vegan tips, products and cafes. Find your local vegan groups either online or in person. A great place to start is your local vegan café, they will know when the social events are happening and might even host some. Likewise, there are sports clubs for vegans too which may meet up in your local area. These are a great way to meet other vegans.
By Fiona Brennan at www.indieessentials.co.uk
The views expressed by our bloggers are not necessarily the views of The Vegan Society.