If you’ve read my vegan story posts then you’ll know I went vegan overnight. I knew that for me that was the best way to do it, however for most people I have spoken to, this seems like a crazy, unrealistic goal. If you feel you have done all your research, you know your stuff and you want to wake up one Monday morning and not consume any animal products again then that’s great! Go for it, that’s what I did and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. However if this seems daunting, that doesn’t mean you can’t still do things to help the animals, the planet and your own health in your own way and your own time. Here are some ideas I’ve come up with for ways of starting a vegan diet without diving in head first.
SWITCH THINGS UP
This is the tip I recommend to anyone that wants to do their bit for animal well fair and the environment but isn’t really sure where to start. Have a look in your fridge at the stuff you mindlessly buy week in and week out, things like milk, butter, cheese, chocolate. Write them all down on a list and next time you go shopping trying picking one or two things off the list and swapping them for a plant-based alternative. So instead of buying your regal 4 pints of semi-skimmed milk, have a look in the diary free aisle and picking from the vast range of different vegan milks they have on offer from oat to almond to hazelnut or soy. The chances are maybe you’ve tried vegan milk before and sworn it off as staying like watered down cream but there is such a huge variety to choose from I promise you, you won’t hate every single one. If milk is too hard to start with why not try butter? Again there are so many dairy free spreads out there and lets face it, ones you have your sandwich filler to your peanut butter and jam smeared over it are you really going to taste a difference. This is such a little shift but imagine how much good you would be doing if every week you didn’t buy butter and milk and instead found a dairy free alternative you were happy with.
TRY NEW THINGS
In the last two years I’ve been vegan, the amount of restaurants that have added plant-based meals to their meals has rocketed. Next time you go on date night, or out for a meal with your friends after work, have a look for vegan options on the menu and give one a go. This way you’re getting to try some professionally made plant-based food. If staying in and cooking is more your thing, why not google a vegan recipe and throw it together one night. A lot of plant-based food revolves around dried food such as rice, lentils, pasta, quinoa and I’m sure we all have a least one of these already rolling around in the back of a cupboards.
A DAY A WEEK
As a vegan myself I’ve had a few people asking me if I get annoyed when people call themselves flexitarians or people claim to be vegan except on the weekend and I thought this was a good place to address this. No, I don’t get annoyed by this in the slightest. The opposite, I think it’s so so great that people are giving it a go. Diving straight into a 100% vegan diet can be hard, no one is perfect! I was at a meeting the other day and there was a bowl of crisps, without thinking I reached down and ate one and after a few seconds I turned to my boyfriend and said that was definitely not vegan. I then spent the rest of the day with my breath smelling of cheese and onion walkers. No one is perfect no matter how it might seem. If you’re vegan 6/7 days a week or you’re vegan after 3pm that’s great! Whatever works for you. Veganism isn’t a competition, it’s a way of living a healthy life whilst protecting thousands of animals from captivity and slaughter. So if not eating animal products for one day a week makes it seem manageable, do that and be proud of yourself.
Thank you so much to Rachelle Buckley for sending me the lovely vegan print in the photos, go check out her Instagram and blog. Oh and happy Valentines Day everyone!