With 2018 around the corner the Veganuary campaign is well and truly underway. More and more people are opting for a vegan diet…this week my cousin…which is fantastic, but there’s a lot to take in and it can be overwhelming as well as exciting.
If you’re reading this then i’m assuming that you’re either interested in trying Veganuary yourself or helping a friend or family member do so. Either way, welcome! You and I appear to have something in common and i hope that you find these tips useful.
7 tips for doing Veganuary
1. Clear out your food cupboards, fridge and freezer
The first step is to find a new home for any non-vegan food. If it’s not there then you won’t be tempted by it. Say farewell to that box of Thorntons that you got given for Christmas or that leftover cheese. We’ll find you some new favourites so don’t you worry.
If you live with a non-vegan like me then separate your storage. My boyfriend and I have a food cupboard each and then a shared cupboard with rice, pasta, pulses and all that good stuff. I also have my own draw in the freezer and shelf in the fridge. It just helps me identify what’s vegan.
2. Find some quick and easy vegan meals to make
There are going to be times when you get home and need something quick to eat. It’s moments like this where it’s easy to break and go back to what you know, perhaps an omelette or a bacon sarnie? That’s why you need some quick and easy vegan meals to hand. Here are 5 meals that I can make in less that 5 minutes.
- Stir Fry
- Avocado on toast
- Hummus and pita bread with salad
- Tinned vegetable soup – for those really lazy moments
I won’t be opening up a restaurant with any of these dishes (can you imagine the reviews on the tinned soup!?) but they are quick and easy and will see you through your “hangry” phase.
3. Get organised
To begin with it’s worth writing down a meal plan and listing out the ingredients that you need to buy. This way you can take a military approach to your supermarket shopping.
When i first turned vegan i found the supermarket quite overwhelming and frustrating as i read every ingredient under the sun on the back of food packets. The time that I spent in the supermarket almost doubled, so my advice to you is to get organised. Write down your ingredients and any snacks that you want and stick to it.
4. Follow some vegans on Instagram for food inspo
The vegan community on Instagram is quite honestly phenomenal. People are so supportive and encouraging from all corners of the world. I get inspiration from those I follow on a daily basis.
If you’re interested in vegan food like me, then as well as myself (@welltravelledvegan) – obvs – here are a few people i’d recommend following.
5. Get yourself some treats.
You may be dairy-free but that doesn’t mean that you’re treat free. You’ll be amazed by the quality of vegan goodies but also the number of products that are accidentally vegan.
Here are some of my favourites, all of which are available from mainstream supermarkets like Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s and M&S Food.
6. Educate yourself
If you have a strong stomach then you may want to consider watching programmes like “Cowspiracy” and “Earthlings.” If like me however you don’t then there are a few other thought provoking speeches and films that get the facts across without making you silently weep in your seat.
7. Eat out
One of my hobbies is dining out – don’t judge, it counts as a hobby! When i first became vegan i was apprehensive as to whether this hobby would be easy to continue, so i did my research.
If you’re in the UK then the majority of the chains have vegan options if not a vegan menu.
- Fancy Vietnamese? Go to Pho!
- Fancy Italian? Go to Zizzi’s or Pizza Express.
- Need a sandwich? Pret a Manger is your best friend.
- Want a meal on the go? Try Leon’s.
- Want some sushi? Wasabi has loads of options and Itsu has some too.
- Fancy a burger? Handmade Burger Co. has vegan burgers and milkshakes.
- Feel like Greek cuisine? Why not The Real Greek?
There are also lots of independent restaurants that offer vegan options or menus. My favourite way to find vegan options around me is to search on Instagram. If i’m going to a new place, say Nottingham, i type in #VeganNottingham and then scroll through the photos. Instagram is such a great search tool.
There you have it. My top 7 tips to get you or a loved one set up for Veganuary. If you have any other tips then post them in the comments below.