Whether it’s for compassionate reasons, health reasons or environmental reasons, going vegan will do so much good, not just for others but for you too. Did you know that vegan women have 34% lower rates of developing breast, cervical and ovarian cancer? You’ll probably find that you transition to veganism for one reason and discover that there are hundreds of other amazing reasons to go vegan!
Maybe you’re super interested but you just don’t know where to start. Or maybe you’re trying your hardest but you’re struggling to adapt to the vegan lifestyle. Don’t worry! As long as your reasons for going vegan are coming from a good heart, then you’ve already made the first big step! The rest will follow. In the meantime, you can read my list of 77 quick tips to help you go vegan. It’ll be your trusty companion along your very exciting vegan journey!
- Take baby steps. There are endless articles online about “how to go vegan overnight.” For me these just do not work. Take it a day at a time. I went vegan 1 day a week, then 2 days a week, then 3… the next thing I knew I was vegan!
- Tying in with my previous point, go at your own pace. Just because you know someone who went vegan overnight doesn’t mean that you have to!
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember that you’re doing the best that you can. If you slip up or make a mistake then you’ve learned from that and you’ll never do it again. It’s all a learning experience.
- Research, research, research! People are going to ask you THAT question “where do you get your protein?” time and time again. Make sure that you know where to get all your nutrients from so that you can keep yourself healthy, and more importantly, give a killer answer to that question.
- Watch documentaries. You may have already seen some documentaries about veganism, perhaps that’s what led you here. You can look at PETAs list of documentaries to learn more about the meat and dairy industry.
- If you feel yourself slipping, watch Earthlings. It’s so upsetting that I couldn’t even bring myself to add the link to this post. You can find it on YouTube.
- Get a blood test when you’re transitioning. You’ll find out if you need to keep on top of something. Or maybe you’re perfectly healthy!
- Think positively. Look at veganism as a way to try new dishes and a way to cook new things, rather than a hindrance.
- Follow vegan bloggers and YouTubers. There are SO many different topics that they discuss, like food, fashion, beauty and ethics.
- Go to a vegan festival. It’s a fun way to learn about veganism and meet new people.
- Think about how lucky you are, you’re one of the first vegans in the world.
- Follow vegan celebrities. They’re really inspiring. My personal faves are Lucy Watson and Alicia Silverstone.
- Follow PETA and other vegan accounts on social media to keep up with the latest vegan news. They work as gentle reminders that you’re doing the right thing!
- Reconsider the charities you donate to. The British Heart Foundation actually test on animals!
- A person who follows a vegan diet produces 50% less co2, and uses 1/11th oil, 1/13th water and 1/18th land compared to a meat eater.
- Search vegan infographics on Pinterest and find out 100s of facts.
- Demand = supply is a saying to live by. If there was no demand for non-vegan animal products, companies simply wouldn’t make any. The less money we put into the industry, the more chance we have of stopping it and vice versa.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t worry about what other vegans or friends are doing, go at your own pace and don’t feel pressured to cut something out if you’re not ready.
- Keep a notebook of important vegan facts and recipes so that you can remind yourself in the future.
- Listen to vegan podcasts, especially if you don’t have any vegan friends.
Tips for Food and Eating Out
- If you’re worried about your diet and getting enough nutrients, use Chronometer to track your food intake. It calculates how many nutrients you’ve eaten in a day and will help you get on track, even if you only use it every now and again.
- Look at substitutes. There’s so many dairy free cheeses and meat free burgers to try.
- Take a vitamin b12 supplement. We can’t get vitamin b12 from plants (read this). A lot of foods (like bread and cereal) are already fortified with vitamin b12, but to make sure you’re getting enough, take a supplement.
- Get into the habit of reading labels before you buy anything. You’ll discover that there’s milk added to the most random foods, and you’ll be shocked when you realise that most Bourbons and Sainsbury’s Bacon Crispies are actually vegan.
- Look out for bold and capital letters when you’re reading labels. Milk is an allergen so it must stand out from all the other ingredients. Don’t forget about egg and meat though, they’re not always printed in a different font!
- When you’re food shopping look in the Free From sections. Tesco have a range of vegan frozen foods (try their Mexican Bean Burgers!) and Sainsbury’s have a great free from section too!
- Use Happy Cow, a website that shows you the nearest vegan options to you. If you’re out and about and you don’t know where to eat, Happy Cow will be your best friend.
- Go to a vegan restaurant. There’s so many vegan restaurants in London to try. If you’re not ready to visit a fully fledged vegan restaurant then go for the vegan menu in Zizzis or try some of Pret-a-Manger’s vegan options.
- Live up north? Try Handmade Burger Company! They do THE BEST bean burgers.
- Eat Mexican and Indian food. A lot of it is vegan.
- Visit Las Iguanas, it’s a must!
- Call the restaurant before you go to ask about their vegan options. It’s likely that they’ll prepare something for you even if they don’t have an official option on the menu. The more requests restaurants have for vegan options, the more chance they’ll put something on their menu!
- When there are no vegan options on the menu go for a simple chips and salad. Not the most satisfying but it’ll get you through.
- Always keep vegan snacks with you just in case there’s nothing for you to eat. Believe me, it happens and it sucks.
- Visit every health food store you see and have a nosey. Hello Holland and Barrett!
- You don’t have to look for the vegan symbol on everything you buy or eat. Some food products don’t have the sign because they’re made in a factory that produces items that contain milk.
- Some products don’t have the vegan sign simply because they haven’t registered for it.
- Write down important vegan recipes.
- Vegan chocolate is amazing. Have you tried Booja Booja and Vego?
- Missing hot chocolate? Order a Pret a Manger hot chocolate. They’re vegan and you can’t tell the difference!
- Or make your own hot chocolate. Heat some almond milk and add some cocoa (and cinnamon if that’s your thing).
- There are some beautiful vegan ice-creams available in supermarkets. You really won’t be missing out!
- Just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Chips are vegan and are totally not healthy all of the time. Make sure you eat healthy vegan foods. Fresh veggies are the way to go!
- Most popcorn is vegan.
- Try falafel!
- Quinoa is a quick source of fat, protein and energy. You can add it to anything and it’ll still taste good.
- Watch Bosh‘s videos. They show you how to make delicious vegan food.
- Buy a vegan recipe book, there’s loads out there!
- Google easy vegan recipes.
- You’ll probably consume more lentils and rice in a month of being vegan than you have in a whole year. Buy these in bulk. Bulk amounts of rice is easy to get hold of in supermarkets on the world foods isle.
- You’ll need to eat more to get more nutrients, which is never an issue in my eyes. In the vegan world it’s ok to eat a whole broccoli in one sitting or chomp on a large cucumber.
- Eat fruit for breakfast every day. Natural sugars are what your body needs in the morning.
- Make a smoothie if you want some quick goodness. Add some vegan protein powder for extra nutrition.
- Buy frozen fruit for your smoothies if you want to be more cost effective. Plus you won’t need ice.
- Frozen veggies are just as good as fresh.
- Soy Yoghurt tastes a lot like natural yoghurt, but sweeter.
- Vegan pancakes are just as nice, if not nicer, than non-vegan pancakes.
- Get yourself a Holland and Barrett points card.
- Worried about your pet’s diet? Google ‘vegan pet food’.
Tips for Lifestyle and Cosmetics
- A vegan diet is not a vegan lifestyle. Know the difference. Remember to buy vegan cosmetics, clothes, toiletries and cleaning products too. This doesn’t mean you need to get rid of everything you already have, but when you need something new purchase the vegan version.
- Superdrug is my favourite place for cheap vegan toiletries. Most of their products are vegan and super affordable.
- There’s a difference between cruelty free and vegan. Cruelty free products aren’t tested on animals, but can still contain animal ingredients (this makes absolutely no sense). Vegan products are cruelty free and contain no animal ingredients.
- There’s an array of vegan cosmetics on the UK high street. Brands like Illamasqua, NYX, Too-Faced, Charlotte Tilbury and LUSH all sell vegan cosmetics.
- Go for skincare products that have natural ingredients. They’re better for your skin and are usually vegan.
- If you don’t know if a product is vegan then email the brand. The more requests a brand gets the more chance they have of introducing new vegan products. Demand = supply.
- Don’t worry about medication and medicines too much. Pretty much everything has been tested on animals. If you need it, take it. Conquer that one later on!
- Watch for glue in shoes and accessories, sometimes it has animal ingredients.
- Want to welcome a new animal into your home? Don’t buy from a breeder, go to an animal shelter.
Tips for Social Situations
- Join a Facebook Group. I used to think Facebook was a place to just connect with friends until I went vegan and joined different social groups and help groups! Try searching for your location and the word vegans like London Vegans or Vegans North-East.
- Finding a support group or making vegan friends really helps. They totally understand what you’re going through and will give you loads of tips.
- Watch for the reaction on people’s faces when you tell them you’re vegan, it’ll become an amusing hobby.
- Prepare for friends to say “oh I seen [insert product here] the other day, it’s vegan!”
- Get ready to question everything you’ve ever learned.
- If you’re worried about what people think then don’t tell anyone that you’re planning to go vegan. Once you’ve made progress, then tell friends and family.
- Don’t be an angry vegan. There’s nothing worse than one of THOSE vegans, which in my opinion is sometimes why veganism gets a bad name. Try not to judge others for not being vegan. It’s the right time for you not for them.
- If people start to push you away because of the choices you’re making just ignore them. They just feel guilty, and they’re probably jealous that you’ve put your heart into helping others.
- When people talk shit to you, remember that you’re standing up for what you believe in and you should be proud of yourself. Your conscience is clear.
I truly hope that you find these tips both useful and interesting. You can come back and refer to them in your time of need! If you have any tips for going vegan, please do share them in the comments below or tweet me!
Thanks for reading!