If the thought of cutting meat, fish, dairy and animal byproducts from your diet seems more alarming than achievable, don’t worry – these top tips will help ease you in to your new vegan diet. So from meal prep to easy vegan substitutes, here are seven expert tips for making going vegan that bit easier.
1. Eat more
If you’re switching to vegan from an omnivorous diet, it can be hard to get your proportions right. Not getting enough protein in your diet will leave you feeling hungry, so Lyz Swanton, co-founder and COO of food tech start-up Feedr in the UK, recommends adding beans, nuts and legumes to your meals to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
If you’re still hankering for a late-night snack, dairy-free blogger Nutella Tasha encourages new vegans not to feel bad about eating more: ‘Allow your body to get used to the change and listen to what it wants. If you feel hungry in the evening, have some fruit or a slice of toast.’ Just add vegan butter.
2. Veganise your favourite meals
While being vegan might encourage you to experiment with exciting new dishes, to begin with, it might be easier to veganise your favourite go-to meals. Jane Land, co-founder of the charity Veganuary, flags chilli, shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, pizza, fajitas, curry, casseroles and pasta as meals that can easily be tweaked to be vegan with faux meats and cheeses.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, start experimenting with flavours and textures. Don’t think you’ll have to hunt high and low for vegan ingredients, either: try switching out egg pasta for a vegan alernative.
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3. Stock your cupboards
Before you commit to a vegan diet, cover your bases by stocking your kitchen with vegan versions of staple groceries (and noting the ‘accidentally vegan’ products already in your cupboards). Delphine Chui, one half of the British organic beauty blog FToxins, replaced butter with organic sunflower spread, and milk with alternatives like almond milk. Once the basics are at your disposal, you’ll find it much easier to get on with your new vegan diet.
Nutritionist Resource member Sonal Shah in the UK also recommends stocking up on tinned beans, dark green leafy vegetables, fresh fruit, nuts, bread, hummus, dairy-free dark chocolate and nut butter spreads.
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4. Find your support group
If you’re struggling to think of an exciting vegan dinner or just want to check if Oreos really are vegan (good news, they are), Rhian of Rhian’s Recipes in England advises new vegans to get online: ‘Facebook groups can be a great source of inspiration. There are lots of people sharing their tried and tested recipes as well as packaged food recommendations, plus it’s a great way to pick up cooking tips and people are really helpful if you have any questions.’
This Vegan White Bean Mac and Cheese is luxuriously creamy, so comforting and most importantly, quick and easy to make. Full recipe here and in bio: https://www.rhiansrecipes.com/2017/05/27/vegan-white-bean-mac-and-cheese-gf/ . . . . . . . . #vegan #whatveganseat #recipevideo #veganfoodvideos @veganfoodvideos #cookingvideo #veganbaking @thehealthfoodedition #thehealthfoodedition #vegansofig #vegansofinstagram #veganlove #eatplants #veganfoodshare #veganfoodspot @veganvideos #veganvideos @veganvideoshare #veganvideoshare #feedfeedvegan @thefeedfeed.vegan #glutenfreevegan #glutenfree #veganeats #plantbased #healthyvegan #veganrecipes @veganshares #veganheroes @veganheroes @thefeedfeed.recipevideos #vegetarian #macandcheese
5. Do your research
For mouth-watering vegan brunch inspiration and cheap, delicious dinners, make sure you’re following bloggers and Instagram feeds that will inspire your new diet.
Wicked quick and spicy 🌶 insta-ramen, modified. Seared smoked tofu block, bag of spinach steamed, tender stem broccoli, steamed, 1/4 purple cabbage chopped and burnt in the same pan as the tofu, garlic cloves added to the broth for garlic and sriracha for spice. #satisfying and wicked simple fast food. . . #newyearseve #ramen #plantbased #veglife #instantpot #noodles #tofu #veganuary #londonfashion #veganaf
6. Plan in advance
‘As with any diet or lifestyle change, preparing ahead will help prevent from falling off the wagon,’ says Helen of Fuss Free Flavours in the UK. After researching vegan meal ideas, make a weekly plan and fill your cupboards with the ingredients you need.
If you have time, bulk cook so you always have a few lunches and dinners in the freezer for times when cooking from scratch isn’t an option. It’s also a good idea to have a few vegan snacks in your handbag for when you’re on-the-go.
7. Know your subs
When veganising your favourite recipes, it’s useful to know handy swaps. Helen tends to swap butter for vegetable oil and instead of egg tries ‘apple sauce, banana, flax or linseed, depending on the recipe.’ Pick apart recipes a little more than you would normally, meaning you’ll be able to find a substitute that has the same function. Ask yourself what the non vegan-friendly ingredient is actually doing and when you find a substitute that works, note it down!
From: Good Housekeeping UK