I have written this post hoping it will help if you’re transitioning to vegansim, curious or just want to incorporate more vegan foods into your diet- cos it’s so damn good for you!!
I would like to thank my lovely facebook followers (+ husband) who have helped my compile this blog post. If you have any suggestions send me a message.
- Get one or two dishes under your belt. My husbands recommendations are BURGERS – CHILLI – CURRY. Curry is a great one, as once you master the basic sauce you can use lots of different veg combinations.
- BUY MORE TOILET ROLL THAN YOU THINK YOU’LL EVER NEED. 😂 LOL – Don’t be surprised if you poop 💩 – a lot. This is a good thing. Eating a healthy vegan diet helps keep your guts and stomach clean, as it is high in fibre. Your bowels will slow down on elimination once you have settled into your new diet. – Any stomach pains / blood in your stools you must contact your GP for advice…. that is not normal.
- Enjoy eating fresh and new foods. Shopping will initially take longer but once you have your basics you’ll skip half the supermarket. Follow my facebook page and other fb pages for insights into existing and new vegan products.
- Bulk buy snacks. This is a common stumbling block when out and about. We love pumpkin seeds (omega fats, zinc, + magnesium to name a few), sunflower seeds (selenium and great for good mood and cholesterol levels), and nuts. Energy balls are great nutritionally dense snack, and super easy to make.
- Stock up on substitutes to, so you don’t feel deprived. . (Plant based mayonnaise, cheeses, butter, milk, coffee creamers, dark chocolate etc)
- Don’t give up the things you love. Find replacements! Facebook support groups are great for recommendations.
- Google vegan foods for your local supermarket. You’ll be surprised at what is available. You won’t have a problem with choice.
- Replicate your favourite non vegan recipes, that way you won’t be missing anything, instead you’ll be eating a better version of what you used to eat.
- Always remember why you are vegan. When you feel like craving non vegan food, remember why you made the change in the first place. The craving will disappear. I found watching vegan documentaries really helped my motivation.
- Not all people agree. Not all people care 🤷🏽♀️
- Always have plenty of food in the house. Having a good choice of meals makes you feel less restricted, and less likely to crave something non vegan.
- Home is your safe haven – it can be very overwhelming in the non vegan world 🌎 Do your homework and know what your food options are. Most cafes and restaurants have online menus, so always check it out before you get there, or call ahead to ask if they can modify! Be confident and don’t be afraid to ask what is in certain dishes.
- Bulk cook, something like a big chilli in the freezer is great. Or I make a great vegetable sauce which can be used in multiple ways.
- Don’t be intimidated to try cooking new things.
- Make sure to keep your diet balanced!! Don’t just survive on fruits and vegetables. Make sure you get the nutrition your body needs. Remember everybody’s needs are different!
Foods you think are Vegan – that might not be –
Alcohol. A quick search on google can help you out. Lots of companies are now labelling their products “vegan” – which is a great help.
Bread. Lots contain ….yes you guessed it MILK – where don’t they put it ?!
Pasta. May or may not be obvious – some pastas contain egg so check the labels to be sure.
Breakfast cereals. Quite a few cereals, especially kids ones contain milk powder or whey.
Orange juice. Some contain fish oils.
Margarine. Lots contain butter milk.
Worcester Sauce. Contains anchovy.
Sugar. This isn’t in the UK, but some sugar contains ground up bones to whiten 🤮
Bananas. Such a shocker !! Non organic bananas are sprayed with a spray containing shell fish.
Bagels. Some contain enzyme L. Cysteine, a “dough conditioner” sourced from duck and chicken feathers. (It can also be made from human hair). Some garlic bread too.
Free From foods. Very annoying and they’re missing a trick. Some foods contain egg or milk.
Nuts. Can contain gelatine, milk or animal flavourings.
Jelly. Gelatine …. ground up animal bones. Yum.
Lemons. Or waxed fruits. Often shellac is used (yes like the nail manicure). Shellac is made from the resin of the rear end of the Lac bug. Also found on the outside of sweets, furniture polish, hairspray. Can be listed as confectioners glaze.
Hummus. Because of the lemon issue. Organic is safe.
Chocolate sprinkles. Often offered on your cappuccino – can contain milk. Just ask.
Food colouring “Natural Red-“ often in sweets. Natural red refers to carmine, a pigment extracted from an insect. It’s sometimes listed as “cochineal,” “carminic acid” or “carmine.” Crushed up bugs 🐜
Toilet roll. Can you bloody believe it??? Some contain fatty acids, and gelatin. (Also kitchen roll and wipes). Waitrose / Tesco and Sainsburys own brands are safe.
Cosmetics. This is a huge list. So check out posts that can specifically help. Superdrug labels loads of their items vegan 🌱 so they are a good one to check out.
Documentaries to watch – most can be found on YOUTUBE
What the health
Live and let live
Forks over knives
Fat, sick and nearly dead
Chain restaurants I recommend (UK)
WagaMama – has a pretty good menu and I love any where with fresh juices
ASK – I havent tried personally but have heard good things
Thali – they have a few restaurants and I love their food. Indian is usually a good bet as their menu is easily switched to cater for vegans .
Book recommendations. I’m addicted to books.
The China Study – if you haven’t read this or heard of it … buy it now! One of the main catalysts of me turning completely vegan.
The Gut – by Julia Enders. I’m hugely interested in the gut and this book isn’t directly vegan related, but a great resource for learning more about one of the most important parts of your body. It’s witty and informative.
Skinny Bitch – I first read this book about 10 years ago. Still relevant and funny as hell! If you want inspiration, facts and a giggle – check it out!
River Cottage Veg – not exclusively vegan but a lot of my favourite recipes come from this book.
Keep it Vegan – Aine Carlin. A lovely book with simple recipes that you’ll use again and again.
Why is Honey not vegan?
People often ask why can’t we have honey? The harvesting of honey from bees exploits them and their health. It is common practice to substitute honey for sugar in the hive – which makes the bees poorly.
The selective breeding of bees to increase productivity harms a species that is already endangered.
Vegan facebook groups
Vegans United can be a little heavy on occasion I find. But has its uses.
Forking Fit Vegan Recipe Sharing I started this group for people to share recipes, it’s only little at the moment – but feel free to use it.
Clothes and Shoes
This is a personal one and some people have very firm views on this. For me I have kept some of the leather/wool/silk things I own. I no longer buy these items. I do shop in charity shops and new stores. I love thrift and charity stores – this is a great way of helping charity and the environment.
I don’t believe in throwing out what I have that isn’t vegan (although have given some to charity). Amazingly lots of new vegan products are being made all the time as its popularity grows. Thankfully these are now getting more sustainable and eco friendly, as some substitutes in my eyes were plain bad for the enviroment.
Vegan things I cant live without !
Booja Booja – they make little 2 packs of truffles which are perfect for a treat. My personal favourite salted caramel. Also bigger boxes and other delicious flavours.
I use Aldi soy milk for tea and the kids have it for their cereal. I find it doesn’t curdle and is sweetened with apple – which I like.
I love Kombucha …. I do occasionally brew my own, but for when I cant be arsed I buy Captain Kombucha . I do wish their bottles were glass though.
Jelly for the kiddos.
Marmite ….. yes I love it. Source of vit B12.
My smoothie maker. I’d be lost without it. Perfect for sneaking seeds and nuts into my children’s diets. I make everything from cake, smoothies, nut butters and soft serve ice cream in mine. I have tried many different brands. I currently have a great discount code for a JR ULTRA Blender. Which I have reviewed and I can highly recommend ( my own views to clarify!). Head to my facebook page or Instagram account and ask me for it.
If you can think of more suggestions for this post let me know. If you love it please share it 🌱❤️🌱
Thank you – Lizzie x