Thinking of becoming vegan?

You’re in the right place! I’ve been there, done it, and bought the t-shirt (literally). katy wearing a black vegan t-shirt at vegan festival

Transitioning to veganism can be a mental minefield, I get it. So before you dive into e-numbers and aquafaba, take a look at my super simple top 10 tips for the absolute ‘veginner’.

1. Take It Slowly

You want to become vegan after finding out about the horrors of the farming industries. You want a clean slate, a lovely fresh start. You wake up on a Monday morning, all motivated and ready to go. Then realise you still have Saturday night’s meaty leftovers in the fridge, and £50 until payday to restock every cupboard with vegan food. Oops! No can do.

Does this resonate with you?

We all love to start afresh, and I’m known for the ‘health kick starts Monday…honest’ cycle. But please, don’t put too much pressure on yourself! Make it do-able. Replace your milk with a vegan alternative first. Try out different vegan cheeses to see what you enjoy. Find out what your local supermarket sells. You’ll also avoid waste by consuming what you already have, before buying vegan alternatives. The more pressure to be 100% vegan from day one, the more likely you are to fail because for some people, there’s a lot to change all at once.

Interested in starting the transition? Learn more about getting started.

Lidl vegan shopping meal buys

It’s amazing what the supermarket sells now. These are all from Lidl!

2. Identify Your Vices

vegan biscuits in a green tin

Biscuit, anyone?

We all have that one food item we could eat and eat until we’re sick. Mine’s biscuits. Delicious, sugary bourbons dipped in tea. I can eat a pack in one sitting and not come up for air.

Yours? Whatever it is, there’s a vegan alternative that you’ll love.

Use your vice as assistance in going vegan. If it’s chocolate for example, always have a small bar of the vegan version stashed away. Then, if you crave a non-vegan item, you’ve got a little treat, a distraction, without resorting to old food and familiar habits. Plus that new food you’ve discovered will remind you how awesome veganism is. You probably wouldn’t have found it if you hadn’t made this change!

Seriously, it works for me and bourbons, and a load of other delicious biscuits I discovered as a vegan. Who needs cow’s milk in biscuits anyway!?

3. Make Your Own Mould

The vegan community is AMAZING. But *deep breath* just like in any group, there are the rare judgemental folks lurking around. Are you a ‘real’ vegan if you drive a car (pollution!), eat fake meats (yuk!), love junk food (so unhealthy!), make an honest mistake (do better!)?

Yes!

Let’s make something clear – those who say otherwise are wrong! It’s fantastic to be healthy. It’s admirable to never slip up because

Vegan woman in supermarket putting an apple into a green basketyou’ve been vegan for years and know every product like the back of your hand, every sign to look out for. But it’s also ok to do what’s right for you and follow a learning curve.

As a vegan following a well-balanced diet, you will feel better than ever. But, it’s ok to indulge in vegan snacks now and then. It’s also equally fine to follow a  healthy raw vegan diet. You may miss the taste of meat and load up on similar alternatives. There’s nothing wrong with that either!

It doesn’t matter if it takes you a few months to move to a fully vegan diet because you’re still learning the ins and outs, if you enjoy vegan treats, or aren’t zero waste. Every step you make saves lives, so focus on the progress, the positives. Get there as quickly as you can, for the animals you’re saving, but acknowledge mistakes may happen. The rest will fall into place. You’re amazing already for doing this!

4. Create Motivational Items

The practicalities of going vegan can be confusing initially. Going out for a meal with friends and trying to find a vegan option. Seeing your favourite dairy chocolate on offer in the supermarket and resisting the purchase. Even general cravings and bodily changes. They can all cause us to think ‘one meal won’t hurt’.

For me, the first month of being vegan was the hardest. It wasn’t instinctual yet. I had to break many lifelong habits and keep telling myself why I had made the decision.

To stop you from ordering that ice cream sundae at the dessert shop, have something nearby that reminds you of why you went vegan. A photo on a key ring, a list of reasons on the fridge, a recap of that Youtube video that converted you, or even a print out of a baby calf! Whatever resonates with you. These are the motivators that will keep you on track and reinforce the fantastic decision you’ve made.

Reminders of why I am vegan photos

5. Don’t Take Criticism To Heart

Veganism comes with a whole community of support and advice from people who have been vegan for decades. But, if you are a

happy vegan girls with hearts in a green field

social media user, you probably already know that everyone has an opinion on everything. Unfortunately, vegans are no exception. We are a passionate bunch, and why not!?

There will be others out there, who are extremely dedicated and enthusiastic vegans, but perhaps less than tactful. Don’t feed them fuel! Ignore them, block them if you need to. Take only constructive criticism and integrate into groups that support and advise, rather than moan and attack. You need encouragement, great tips and new friendships. This is your journey, not theirs.

I actually think this point relates well to life in general too, not just veganism!

Remember, you can join us on social media for support and positive chat, anytime.

6. Get Friends And Family On Board

If you become vegan without warning, it might be a shock to people at first. Mainly due to practicalities, such as what will they feed you when you visit, how you can go for meals together, why are you doing something so ‘difficult’? This usually just comes from a place of misunderstanding, or lack of knowledge.

Have your reasons ready! Be clear on why you have chosen to transition to veganism. Support them so they can support you. If you’ve already been vegan for a few weeks, tell them how easy it is and how much better you feel already. Let them know how easy it is to buy vegan food. Make it clear that they are welcome to try your delicious meals and find out more if they want to (it could be their first step into veganism too… who knows!). family eating at a vegan restaurant

When I became vegan, I was asked ‘why’?

ALL.
OF.
THE.
TIME.

It wasn’t a huge shock to the family, as I was already vegetarian and sensitive to animal rights. It helped when people saw that I was committed to it, and knew why I was doing it.

I also took food to my mum’s, until she learned what and where to buy. Now it’s second nature for her. She makes beautiful vegan cakes and has a freezer full of goodies for me when I visit!

Be mindful that not everybody will agree with veganism. There’s always one person who takes it as a personal attack and tries to change your mind! Don’t get drawn into arguments and make clear points calmly. You may be the first vegan they’ve met, so you can show them how easy it is!

For help on answering that, check out our page explaining ‘why vegan?’

7. Join A Community

There’s something about chatting to like-minded strangers, people that won’t judge you.

group of people from vegan community having food togetherYou can be open, honest, ask questions and share problems.

You’re in luck! There’s an amazing vegan community out there, online AND in your local area. Utilise the power of the internet first of all! Try popping your town + vegans (eg. Stafford vegans) into Google and Facebook to see where your fellow vegans are hanging out. Introduce yourself and get talking. You’ll find interactive blogs, Facebook groups, Pinterest boards and a whole world of support out there. From easy recipes, to vegan pregnancy, to vegan weightlifters. If you have a specific hobby or pressing question, chances are there’s a group for it!

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!

8. Try New Foods Frequently

Vegan steak cooking in a pan with mushrooms and tomatoes

Vegan steak, purchased from Tesco

Vegan food is amazing. You can get a substitute for anything these days, even haggis, caviar and black pudding!

Keep trying new things. The first vegan cheeses I tried were awful, they smelled like old socks and wouldn’t melt on toast! Of course, I was just unlucky, there are hundreds of delicious cheeses out there. I persevered, and now I know exactly what to buy for my taste. There are many different styles of chocolate, fake meats, tofu. When I speak to fellow vegans, they always say that their diet is much more varied and interesting now. It’s an amazing opportunity to diversify and find what works for you.

For a great range of products, check out online vegan stores, independent health food shops, and vegan fairs. The festivals are especially great to visit, as you can grab items not found in shops, save on delivery, and they often have event offers on too!

There’s also the obvious places to visit like large supermarkets and Holland and Barrett. They do great staples like cheese, yoghurt and sandwich ‘meat’.

Read reviews and recommendations online too. Other vegans will be able to give you detailed descriptions of what products taste like, and great vegan alternatives for your old firm favourites. In other words, variety really is the spice of life!

9. Plan In Advance

If you’re THAT person – the one who makes dinner plans when they arrive home from work, you could try advance planning. It is much easier to follow a varied vegan diet if you know what you’ll be eating, have the ingredients in, or even partially prepped. You won’t be tempted by a snack on the way home, because something delicious will be waiting! It doesn’t have to be a week’s worth of complex meals, just a few days ahead. Choose easy options when you know you’re home late, and use weekends for experimentation. Being organised can be handy AND fun!

vegan colourful tacos meal prep

Making meals in bulk can be really useful. Photo by Rustic Vegan.

Slow cookers also save us from ‘hanger’. Make use of one! Pop a casserole or curry in before you leave the house, so dinner is ready when you’re home. Make extra portions of meals to freeze, so you have your own ready meals on lazy days. Do online shops too – you can filter for vegan foods at most supermarkets now and have them delivered to your door. And if you’re a takeaway fiend, know what the vegan options are beforehand. This works well at restaurants too – know your choices before you go! Preparation is your friend.

For a variety of easy and lazy recipes, we’ve got you covered!

10. Be Kind To Yourself!

This actually may be the most important point. Becoming vegan is a

kindness is magic black and white photo

transition. It takes some people longer than others to get their head around it all and progress. That’s why we are here to help!

I’ve made a ton of mistakes along the way, so don’t beat yourself up if you make them. Learn from them and move on.

And remember – being vegan shouldn’t be viewed as a hassle. It’s a whole world of possibilities, with new foods to try, a fantastic community to mix with, amazing ethical fashion. It’s a new compassionate way of living, and you should be proud that you’re taking this path.

You can find loads of inspiration and positivity on Pinterest – it’s full of vegan quotes from Learner Vegan and others!

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.

Feeling motivated and ready to go vegan? Why not learn more about what vegans eat?

Don’t forget to share this with your friends who need a nudge in the right direction.

Featured! Free Group
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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?⁠
⁠
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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