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Yeah you, lurking in the doorway of Learner Vegan, looking nervous and ready to leave. COME ON IN!
We know you’re a bit curious about veganism. That’s why you’re here (you realise this is a vegan website, right?)
Going vegan is not the big deal it used to be. People used to think veganism was a hippy diet, we only ate salad, it was super expensive, nutrient-deficient and all the rest of it. Well, it wasn’t true then, and it’s even less true now (if that’s possible).
Still, you might not know a lot about it. You may not know why to go vegan, and how to start. That’s cool. At Learner Vegan, we didn’t start off as the awesome vegan ninjas that we are now (ahem).
If you want to know why you should go vegan, you want this page right here.
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 no longer eating dead animals. Got it?
1. Change your meat
Eating flesh is SO last decade now. You don’t need to be a nutritionist to listen to the World Health Organisation – who have listed it as a carcinogenic. That’s right, it ranks the same as cigarettes for nasties. So swap it out of your diet now. Get yourself down to the supermarket and choose from vegan Quorn, Linda McCartney, or own brand and find a mock meat that works for you. 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 old meat either, so no excuses.
2. Change your milk
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. Here’s a tip – grab it from the long-life section, by the tea and coffee, as 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. You’ll never look back.
3. Change your eggs
I think we all know what eggs are, and where they come from. Let’s be honest, it’s not a nice thought. In fact, it’s a bit sickening. Go and get yourself tofu to replace scrambled egg or omelette, and check out our egg replacements for baking. This way you get all of the nutrition but none of the cholesterol. And if you REALLY want that authentic eggy taste, buy Kala Namak (black salt) from Amazon to add to your tofu – it’s £6 for 1kg, which will last you around a year!
4. Change your cheese
Cheese is really just milk, but let’s be honest, it’s the thing 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! 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. If you feel like splashing out, try Lettice’s camembert. IT’S AMAZING. Plus, they do a smokey bacon flavour – just saying. After a few weeks, you’ll prefer vegan cheese in all its creative glory.
5. Substitute the other obvious stuff
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. Tesco have an amazing Wicked Kitchen range that is purely vegan, and includes curries, brownies and cheesecake. For more help with spotting hidden ingredients, check out our page on this very issue.
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 browsing this site too! It will all come over time, just make that conscious effort. And 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. You can also join our private Facebook group for those hoping to go vegan.
Still need some help?
And if you’re struggling to replace something in your new vegan diet, let us know. We’re on hand to help!