So you’ve embarked on Veganuary and you may be getting a little unmotivated, hungry, bored and craving a big meaty pulled pork burger from spoons. Perhaps the vegan lifestyle is too expensive or your fridge is looking too green?
I went vegan in November 2016 for the eat vegan trend over November. I switched overnight from full on meat eater, latte drinker, cake scoffer and poached egg brekkie lover. It’s not easy for everyone to switch overnight but it is simply mind over matter. The reason I went vegan for 1 month in November 2016 is because I’m a quitter. I quit exercise, I quit healthy eating, I quit jobs, I’m fickle and needed to prove something to myself. If I could go vegan for 30 days it would prove to myself that somewhere, deep down, I had self control. 2 and half years later I’m still vegan and it’s a doddle.
Veganism is always exciting, there’s always new foods on the market, it’s a welcoming, positive and supportive community and you will feel better for going vegan. You’ll cut the cholesterol in your diet and dramatically drop saturated fats. Cutting the sugar is way more difficult due to the delicious cakes and biscuits on the market but we need our treats.
I’ve put together 10 tips that I would give anyone starting Veganuary or a vegan diet whatever time of the year. But I must stress this one tip over any tip:
BE PREPARED FOR HANGOVERS
Plan your hangover day: buy in the No Bull burgers, get your vegan cheese, stock up on fizzy drink, get the vegan biscuits in. Whatever your normal hangover cure is, get it two-fold in the vegan version. Hangovers are hard and kale ain’t going to cut it. You need smoothies, you need bread, you need potatoes, you need cake. Don’t let it beat you! You’re stronger than the hangover!
10 TIPS TO STICK TO VEGANUARY
Join your local vegan Facebook group for ideas of places to eat and motivational tips.
Don't starve yourself, you're not a rabbit so don't eat rabbit food. Burgers, pies, full English breakfasts, chocolate, cake, sandwiches ... there's so much choice!
If you're not into cooking, buy ready meals. There are plenty of quick hot food options in super markets from Bol noodle pots to supermarket own brand frozen meals to Lucy Watson Feed me Vegan ready meals. You can get vegan chicken nuggets, vegan sausages, vegan pies, vegan sausage rolls so you don't even have to think outside the box.
Follow #vegan on Instagram and pinterest, the variety of food and beautiful cakes is enough inspiration to keep you on the vegan tracks. Pin, save, screen shot all the recipes and beautiful food you come across. Even print them off and create your own cookbook!
Don't fool yourself. Veganism is not a quick fix to lose weight. In fact many people put weight on when going vegan due to the huge variety of vegan food. You will want to try it all! Embrace the vegan food in January and try it all, then come February when you love the diet and want to stick to it forever you can focus on healthier eating.
One step at a time. Veganism is a lifestyle choice, not just a plant based diet but no-one expects you to go full vegan overnight. January focus on eating vegan then once you're happy with your food choices gradually stop buying, wool, leather, shells, feathers etc.
Buy bottled beer / cider. Asking at a busy bar if the beer or cider is vegan can be a pain for both yourself and the bartender. Some casks use fish bones so sometimes beer, cider and ale on tap may not be vegan. Most often if you buy a bottle it will be vegan and you can always check the label before purchasing.
Don't let the fight get you down. You'll get into conversations where your defence barrier will shoot up while you try and explain where you get your protein from, why plants don't have feelings and how the beef industry is destroying the environment. It's great to be passionate and active but don't let it get to you and don't burn relationships with people you love over it. If you feel yourself getting worked up change the topic and talk about something else. You don't have to explain yourself.
Find out your reason why and watch the documentaries. Are you going vegan because of the environment? Watch Cowspiracy. Are you going vegan because of your health? Watch What The Health. Are you going vegan to stop animal cruelty? Watch Live and Let Live. If you are feeling unmotivated or fell off the band wagon, watch one of the documentaries to remind yourself why you’re going vegan.
Buy vegan cook books! When you’re feeling creative and fancy cooking, if there is a vegan book on the side it’s easy choose a recipe from the vegan cook book than to find something at random on the internet. The Works is great for cheap vegan cook books and sometimes you’ll get lucky looking in the charity shops!