Hello, lovely future vegan!
I know you’re a bit curious about veganism. That’s why you’re here!
Going vegan is not the big deal it used to be. People used to think veganism was a hippy diet. They thought that we only ate salad, it was super expensive, nutrient-deficient and all the rest of it. That’s so untrue, and I can show you!
Still, you might not know a lot about veganism. You may not know why to go vegan, and how to start. That’s fine – we all start somewhere. I didn’t start off as the awesome vegan ninja that I am now (ahem). There was a lot of learning along the way!
Want to know why you should go vegan? Then you need to read the benefits of going vegan.
If you’re ready to take the plunge, keep reading! This is a really easy, step-by-step guide to going vegan. There’s 6 steps, so do one at a time. No cutting out or missing out, just changing your food around so that you’re eating cruelty-free. Hooray!
1. Change Your Meat Source
Eating flesh is in real decline, with the number of vegans and vegetarians on the rise. You don’t need to be a nutritionist to listen to the World Health Organisation – who have listed it as a carcinogenic. That’s the same ranking as cigarettes! So swap it out of your diet now. Get yourself down to the supermarket and choose from vegan Quorn, Linda McCartney, or supermarket own brand and find a mock meat that works for you. You might be surprised to find out that there’s freezers full of pretend prawns, vegan sirloin steak, sausage, burger… do I need to go on? It’s no more expensive than regular meat either, now that stores have come out with their own branded vegan foods. If you don’t want to carry on with processed foods, try great sources of protein such as tofu, tempeh, seitan and beans. Once you’re comfortable without meat in your life, move on to step 2…
2. Change Your Milk Source
Plant-based milk is full of calcium, other nutrients and it can be cheaper than dairy too. You can buy organic (YEP, ORGANIC) soy milk from Tesco for £1 per litre, or 59p for regular soya. Even smaller stores such as Co-op, are stocking plant milk now.
Here’s a tip – grab it from the long-life section, by the tea and coffee. It’s cheaper and lasts longer, meaning you can buy in bulk. Don’t like soya? Next to it you’ll find almond, hemp, coconut, cashew and a load of other milks. If you’re an environmentalist, oat milk is one of the best for the planet. Grab one of each and see what you prefer. Start using it in your cereal, tea and baking – some of them may taste a little strange at first, but your taste buds do adapt. You’ll never look back.
Top tip: Oatly Barista (grey bottle) is highly recommended for coffee!
3. Swap Out Eggs
I think we all know what eggs are, and where they come from. Let’s be honest, it’s not a nice thought. Go and get yourself tofu to replace scrambled egg or omelette, and check out some egg replacements for omelettes, scrambles and baking. I recommend this one from Follow Your Heart. This way you get all of the nutrition but none of the cholesterol.
If you REALLY want that authentic eggy taste in savoury dishes, buy Kala Namak (black salt) from Amazon to add to your tofu – it’s £6 for 1kg, which will last you around a year! In fact, I’ve had my bag for almost a year and its still half full. You only need a teaspoon at a time as it’s really strong.
If you enjoy baking, you may be surprised to know that there are many ingredients that can replace egg in cakes. Banana, apple sauce, flax seeds, and oil to name just a few. Try searching for easy vegan bakes online and get making delicious goodies!
4. Substitute Out Cheese
Cheese is the thing I always see people struggle with most. It deserves its own step on this list! With cheese, you need to go cold turkey and replace it with vegan alternatives. I’ll warn you, vegan cheese is delicious but doesn’t really taste like cow’s cheese, and brands can vary so experiment a little. Have fun with it! Some people do better when they have no cheese at all for a month to reset their taste buds.
There’s vegan cheddar and soft cheeses in all big supermarkets, so no excuses. You can also buy parmesan, brie, pizza cheese, and everything else at health food shops like Holland and Barrett. I highly recommend trying Applewood Vegan Cheddar, currently sold at Asda. If you feel like splashing out, try Lettice’s camembert. IT’S AMAZING. Plus, they do a smokey bacon flavour – I love treating myself at Christmas. After a few weeks, you’ll prefer vegan cheese in all its creative glory. You just have to find the brand that’s right for you.
If you’re really struggling with giving up dairy cheese, you can watch my video where I go into full detail and how to kick the habit for good.
5. Substitute Other Items
… as you come across them. Once you’re comfortable without meat, dairy and eggs, you can look at the less obvious sources.
Honey. Gelatine in sweets. Hidden dairy in ready meals and desserts. Once you’re rid of the meat, dairy and eggs, that’s when you start reading labels a little more. At first, you can simply look out for vegan labelling. Tesco have two great ranges – Plant Chef (affordable) and Wicked Kitchen – that are vegan. If you want to geek out, you can get more help from me on spotting hidden ingredients.
6. Keep Learning
There’s more to being vegan than substituting things, but you can’t do it all at once. Sign up to websites and Facebook pages, that way you’ll be drip fed information about ethical fashion, why palm oil is bad, which e-numbers to avoid, and all the rest of it. Keep in contact with me for new posts and advice too!
It will all come over time, just make that conscious effort. Vegan secret No 1 – there’s no such thing as a perfect vegan. We all mess up, you can’t always trace products, and most of us drive cars or take trains which are terrible for emissions. Unless you go and live in a cave and survive from your own produce, you’re not perfect. And that’s ok. Cue loudspeaker:
BEING VEGAN ISN’T PERFECTION. IT’S ABOUT DOING EVERYTHING YOU PRACTICALLY CAN TO MINIMISE HARM TO ALL SENTIENT BEINGS.
Just by implementing these steps, you’re well on your way.
PS. Are you a mom? Before you go, join the community. We have a private Facebook group designed to help moms reach their health goals. It’s a positive, non-judgmental safe space where all questions are welcome. We have plenty of meal ideas and brainstorming, too!
You should also grab my FREE Action Plan: ‘From Junk Food Mom To Nourished Vegan!’ It includes 5 steps I took to ditch the junk food from my diet, lose 28lb and gain energy.
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