I come across many people that are vegan, or are currently transitioning.

It’s so interesting to hear the stories about how and why they went vegan. Everyone is a little different! Some go from meat-eater to complete vegan overnight, others make the change over several months.

Sometimes we need a period of time to get our head around the new lifestyle, plan out how it will work for us, and just learn about what veganism is and what we’re going to eat. It can help us find the joy in veganism and stay cruelty-free in the long-term.

It’s easy to get stuck in the “I want to go vegan but don’t know where to start” phase though. Can you relate? This post may help! You can tick off each point before you dive right into veganism, feeling more prepared and motivated to get stuck in.

Things You Should Do Before Going Vegan

Ensure You Know What Veganism Is

What is your knowledge around the subject? If all you know is that vegans don’t eat animals products, and tofu sounds like a foreign language, you probably need to do a little more digging. Veganism isn’t about perfection, but we do avoid animal exploitation wherever possible. This includes meat, fish, dairy, eggs, certain e-numbers, harmful materials such as leather and wool, as well as a host more. Things we love to eat are fruit, veggies, beans, lentils, nuts, staples such as pasta and rice, and dairy/meat substitutes like plant-based milk, chocolate, tofu and tempeh.

This isn’t to put you off! Going vegan is easy, and you can transition slowly. That’s why the lifestyle is growing at such a rapid pace. As a vegan, I personally eat a much wider variety of foods now than I did as a vegetarian or meat-eater. It was all cheese, eggs and roast dinners before – not the healthiest or most diverse! It’s good to have a base understanding of what to eat, avoid and why. You may be interested in these posts:

What Will Vegans Eat?

What Won’t Vegans Eat?

Write Down Why You Want To Go Vegan

veganism saves lives - why go vegan

There are so many good reasons to go vegan, but most people either want to transition due to animal cruelty, health reasons, or the effect on the environment. Perhaps all three resonate with you?

I went vegan for the animals, but around a year ago I started to eat a more healthy vegan diet and felt so much better for it. I try to regularly watch vegan documentaries and keep in touch with vegan news online, as it helps me to keep connected to both the health benefits, and compassion towards farm animals.

Choose your primary reason for wanting to opt into a vegan lifestyle. Write down now what veganism will do for you, how it will make you feel, and how it will help you to achieve your goals (compassion, weight loss etc). If relevant, describe the positive impact you’ll be having on animals and the world around you. Keep this safe so that you can regularly remind yourself of why you’re doing this. It can also help to have visual reminders such as photos or videos, that represent your reasoning or where you want to be. It will also encourage you to go fully vegan sooner, rather than procrastinate at the stage you’re at now.

Decide How You Want To Eat

This point ties in nicely with WHY you want to go vegan.

Vegan sausage sandwich - what vegans eat

A gorgeous chorizo sausage and tomato sandwich from my local pub

If you’re going vegan for health reasons or weight loss, you probably don’t want to pack your freezer full of veggie nuggets and non-dairy ice cream. Except for the occasional treat, of course! Your diet will fit in more with a plant-based plan, rather than standard vegan fare. You will want to familiarise yourself with ingredients such as tofu, tempeh and tahini so that you can create healthy meals at home. Look up how you can make your favourite meals healthy and vegan. For example, did you know you can make plant-based meaty tacos using walnuts? I have a Pinterest board full of Healthy Plant-Based recipes! Check it out for inspiration.

 

If you’re going vegan for the animals and still want to have creature comforts such as meaty burgers and store-bought cheese, you can easily find what you need at the supermarket. Get yourself comfortable around the vegetarian freezer section, free from aisle and vegan ingredients. Being vegan has never been easier! You can find ready meals, Magnums, mozzarella – you can even create your own pizza at Asda! PS. It tastes really good.

It’s always good to know what you’ll be eating, and where you’ll be buying it from. Start buying these foods now! It will make the transition so much easier.

Veganize Your Favourite Meals

Did you know that most of us make the same 5-7 meals at home on rotation? It seems kind of restrictive when you think about it! But we all love having easy, go-to meals when we’ve had a long day or don’t want to experiment with something new.

What are your meals? Have a think about what you’ve eaten at home in the last month. What can you do to make them vegan? Some may be easier than others, such as switching out beef for veggie mince in a spaghetti bolognese. If you’re stuck, google it – there’s a solution for everything now and lots of fantastic meal and recipes sites out there.

When you’re comfortable cooking them vegan, moving over to vegan completely will be a breeze, as you’ll already have meals you can turn to rather than starting from scratch.

Veganize Your Favourite Meals

Add New Foods In

Having a wide variety of foods in our diet not only makes life more interesting, but it gives us better all-round nutrition too. There are many foods that people don’t eat before they go vegan, even though they’re delicious! Some include: houmous, avocado, tofu, tempeh, seitan, quinoa, lentils, and tahini. Have you tried them?

Go to your local large supermarket and browse the ‘free from’ and vegetarian aisles. You should also go down the canned and whole foods aisle as if you’re visiting a brand new store. What can you see that’s vegan and appealing? Buy a few new things every time you go and experiment using them. You may not like them all, but there will definitely be many new foods you can get into your body. Have fun with it!

I’ve personally learned how to make an easy, healthy dressing from tahini and mustard, chocolate brownies, and vegan bacon. How about you?

Get Support

Having people around you is key! Telling family and friends what you’re planning on doing is a good idea, so that you’re not just springing it on them. When you explain, stay calm, non-patronising and don’t expect them to go vegan with you. Simply set a good example! Not everyone will agree with you going vegan, as there are so many myths and preconceptions about the lifestyle. That’s ok, you have to do what is right for YOU.

vegan community get support

If you don’t know anybody else in real life that is vegan, utilise the online community! Most vegans are more than excited to help you transition and answer questions, and there are also Facebook groups and pages (like Learner Vegan!) to support you as a new vegan. I actually didn’t know any other vegans when I first went vegan 6 years ago. But through joining online communities, I now have friends and acquaintances that I know I can turn to online and meet up with. It’s reassuring to know there are people living the same lifestyle as me.

We actually have a private Facebook Group where you can ask questions, share insight and connect with other new vegans. No judgement, only positivity!

Try putting your town/county/area + ‘vegans’ (eg. Stafford vegans) into Google and/or Facebook to see where your local vegans are hanging out. Introduce yourself and get talking. It’s a great opportunity to find out where vegan food is sold, and make new friends too.

If face-to-face socialising is more your thing, many of these groups hold meals, events and meet-ups in person too. The number of vegan fairs held in the UK is also growing rapidly. People arrange lift shares, meetups and volunteering to them. You can find at least one every month!

Go Vegetarian

This one isn’t essential, but if you’re unsure about what vegans eat, and you’re still eating a lot of meat and fish, it can certainly help. Vegetarian is the step before veganism for a lot of people, and gives you a transition period to learn about meat replacements, nutrition and the animal industries. If you do choose to go vegetarian first, remember not to just increase your reliance on cheese and eggs. This could make it harder to go fully vegan and will do your health no good! Instead, go vegetarian with an emphasis on looking for vegan foods too.

Get yourself down to the vegetarian fridge and freezer section to replace your meat and fish. Find out what brands and items you like the taste of – we’re all different! Once you’ve done this, I’d recommend researching the egg and dairy industries to familiarise yourself with why people go from vegetarian to vegan. You can also check out my post ‘Making The Leap From Vegetarian To Vegan‘ to help you make that final step.

How many of these are you already confident with? If it’s all of them, what are you waiting for? Reach out and let’s get you vegan!

So what’s your next step?

Firstly, go and grab the FREE ‘Easy Being Vegan’ pack for even more help with your transition! It includes a shopping list, easy meal plan, personal action points for staying vegan, and my BONUS favourite egg and dairy substitutes.

Next? Have a go at doing your very first vegan supermarket shop, or perhaps you’d like to start by ditching dairy? If you have some bad food habits to get rid of, you will also LOVE this post.

go Vegan Coaching with Katy

 

If you need more tailored support, I also offer personal coaching! It’s completely bespoke, affordable and enables you to transition with ease. Coaching can help with unique questions and issues, motivation, and save time researching the internet for answers. Find out more!

learner vegan - katy signature

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learner vegan facebok group

Join my private Facebook group for those hoping to go vegan. Designed to help the vegan-curious, transitioning and new vegan on their journey!

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  • Did you know that I have coaching slots available?⁠
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This is the bespoke side of Learner Vegan, for those who need a little extra help. I wish I'd had someone personally there for me when transitioning, to cut out all the google searches and going around in circles.⁠
That's why I decided to launch coaching. To provide 121 support on YOUR specific life, situations and issues.⁠
I've been through a healthy plant-based diet, eating gluten-free, vegan pregnancies, living with a meat-eater and a lot more that I can help with.⁠
Troubleshooting with someone is much more effective than spending hours on the internet, plus it's a lot of fun!⁠
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One-off sessions and block booking both up for grabs.⁠
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👍Get rid of those hours researching veganism.⁠
👍Receive personal and confidential guidance on YOUR issues.⁠
👍Be motivated, encouraged and supported to go and stay vegan.⁠
👍Gain confidence in your choices.⁠
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Who needs this?⁠
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#veganhealthcoach #vegancoach #vegancoaching #howtogovegan #veganmom #onlyvegan #goingvegan #goveganstayvegan #stayvegan #veganiseasy #vegantransition #veganeducation #veganknowledge #tryvegan #veganforbeginners #veganbeginner #vegansupport #veganhelp #parttimevegan #parttimevegetarian #vegetarianlife #vegetariansofig #vegetarianlifestyle #vegetarianuk #veganstruggles #newvegan #vegannewbie #almostvegan #veganuary #veganuary2020
  • Thank you for everyone that joined me LIVE!
I was answering your questions and tackling common issues from new vegans, and those doing Veganuary.
One question was around being judged - seems as though everybody has an opinion about veganism! So how do you handle being judged by friends and family?
Give this clip from the LIVE a watch to find out.
  • Before supermarket shopping...⁠
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⭐️ Do A Little Light Reading! ⭐️⁠
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Food shopping as a vegan can be really easy and no fuss, but to get to that happy place you need to remember something: knowledge equals power. ⁠
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Being familiar with key non-vegan ingredients that pop up frequently, can speed up your shop immensely. Lactose can sneak into creamy products, egg white pops up in some Quorn foods, for example. ⁠
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You also need to be familiar with what you CAN eat. Many supermarket chains have a special range of vegan food now so you can completely skip the label-checking for those – think Tesco with Wicked Kitchen. Check their websites, do some research and you’ll be ready to quickly spot that packaging in the aisles and snap up those goodies. ⁠
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If there’s a certain food you can’t live without, make sure you know which aisle it’s in and what it looks like before you visit – nobody likes returning to the same aisle 3 times. I love buying tahini to make sauces, but it took me a long time to find it hidden obscurely between the pickles.⁠
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Don’t expect to get everything right on your first shop either. If you go home with something you later realise isn’t vegan, don’t beat yourself up about it. Take it back, give it to a friend or donate it to a food bank. You’ll remember for next time!⁠
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#newvegan #learnervegan #veganbeginner #vegancommunity #vegetarians #veggielife #veggielove #veganhelp #vegansupport #dairyfree #plantbased #plantbaseddiet #meatfree #meatless #veganbuys #veganmealplan #veganshopping #vegansupermarket #animallover  #veganwannabe #vegannewbie #goingvegan #beingvegan #almostvegan #veganuk #ukvegans #ukvegan #vegansofig #veganuary2020 #veganuaryeats
  • I have to admit, I'm not much of a baker. I'd much rather make savoury meals.⁠
Luckily, I have an amazing mum who is! She makes and sends me recipes for cakes and bakes, that are easy enough even for me to have a go at.⁠
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A basic vanilla sponge cake pleases everyone. It's the perfect starting point for a birthday cake, or with added icing, whipped cream or sprinkles.⁠
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Ingredients:⁠
210 g plain flour⁠
250 ml soy milk⁠
200 g sugar (white or coconut)⁠
80 ml oil (olive or vegetable)⁠
0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda⁠
0.5 tsp table salt⁠
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar⁠
3 tsp vanilla extract⁠
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Instructions:⁠
⭐️Warm the oven to 180oC.⁠
⭐️Add the flour, sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda to a bowl (don't forget to sift your flour!) and mix.⁠
⭐️Add the remaining ingredients, and whisk thoroughly.⁠
⭐️Add the mixture to a greased cake tin (7in diameter works well).⁠
⭐️Bake for 25-30 mins.⁠
⭐️Eat alone or add vegan single cream, vanilla frosting or buttercream if preferred.⁠
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#veganliving #vegans #veganrecipe #veganrecipes #ukvegetarian #ukveggie #veggieuk #vegetarianuk #healthyeating #coaching #vegancoaching #helpgoingvegan #newvegan #veganhelp #vegansupport #parttimevegan #vegancurious #almostvegan #goingvegan #veggie #animallover #veganshare #vegetarianlife #vegetarianlifestyle #flexitarian #petlover #animallover #veganuaryeats #veganuary2020 #veganuary
  • Join me!⁠
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I'll be going LIVE on Instagram at LearnerVegan, this Weds 12.30pm BST.⁠
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Answering your questions and tackling common issues from people doing Veganuary.⁠
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So far I'll be talking about: dealing with judgment, making mistakes, work treats, and telling strangers you're vegan.⁠
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Will you come along and share?⁠
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#veganhealthcoach #vegancoach #vegancoaching #howtogovegan #veganmom #onlyvegan #goingvegan #goveganstayvegan #stayvegan #veganiseasy #vegantransition #veganeducation #veganknowledge #tryvegan #veganforbeginners #veganbeginner #vegansupport #veganhelp #parttimevegan #parttimevegetarian #vegetarianlife #vegetariansofig  #vegetarianuk #veganstruggles #newvegan #vegannewbie #almostvegan #veganuary2020 #veganuary #veganuaryeats
  • This week I’ve been taking part in a #whatieatinadayvegan Veganuary special. Today is my day to share my meals! 
I always start the day with warm lemon water. It’s refreshing and gets the digestion going!
Next is a green juice. My go-to for this is cucumber, celery, apple, orange, ginger and spinach/kale. A hit of nutrients!
Mid morning is smoothie time, and today was mango banana. I always add flax or hemp seeds for omega 3. 
For lunch I usually have a loaded salad. But today was Saturday and Ben was hungry! So we had a lovely brunch 😍
Off to my mum’s for dinner. She’s not vegan but always makes great vegan food! We had spaghetti bolognese, garlic bread and apple cake for pudding. My mum actually prefers making vegan cakes as she thinks they taste better 👍
Eating vegan is so easy! If you have any questions or need meal ideas just hit me up anytime. 
And do go ahead and check out the other lovelies taking part in this week’s posts - @rs_recipes @thecookandhim @veginspired @veganbabelife @eatswithel_ @viva.vegana
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