It’s easier than ever to eat a vegan diet! but if you’re not sure where to start, why not take on the #Veganuary challenge. Veganuary is not just a hashtag, it is a charity that encourages and inspires people to try eating a vegan diet throughout January. You never know, after a month you might decide to stick with it, or you might not, but you’ll never know unless you try it.
The stereotypical image of veganism has changed dramatically over the last few years, the demand for non animal products is now mainstream with many people under the age of 25 leading the way. Personally, I’ve been eating a mostly vegan / plant-based diet for the last 18 months, but to be completely honest, I didn’t want to shout about it too much, because I didn’t know if I would stick with it. My family and friends know that I don’t eat meat/ dairy etc but I was very hesitant to share this with the online world. I didn’t want to label myself as vegan, I just wanted to try it out. Plus, for many people veganism is more than just a diet, it’s not a trend or a fad, it’s a whole lifestyle. I really admire people that chose to live their lives more consciously, but I guess I wasn’t 100% sure and I didn’t want to set myself up for criticism if I changed my mind, but 18 months later, I’m still eating greens! In fact our whole family has pretty much switched, Jude says we are herbivores 🙂 I’ve discovered loads of delicious recipes, found some great places to eat out and I’ve figured out some tricks and tips for making eating vegan easier.
I feel kinda silly for admitting that I was fearful of other peoples judgement. Reality check, who really cares what I eat? or don’t eat? Nobody! (Unless they’re inviting me over for dinner of course, in which case they probably think it’s just an Instagram thing and I’m a pain in the arse!) But seriously, I’ve made this choice, I have my reasons and that’s good enough for me.
So if you’re joining #veganuay, here are some of my top tips …
Instead of focusing on the foods that you can’t eat, focus on all of the foods that you can! Get a vegan cookbook or magazine for some recipe ideas, follow some vegan foodie blogs and get experimental in the kitchen. Here are a few of my faves …
Vegans Of LDN
Find Out The Facts
Health headlines are always changing, every year there is a new superfood or a new guideline, it’s hard to distinguish fact from fiction. I am not a certified nutritionist and I recommend that you do your own research. I encourage you to explore both the nutritional and the environmental aspects of veganism. I have read a lot of studies, watched hours of documentaries, as well as talking to a nutritionist and a GP. You can’t argue the environmental impact that consuming animal products is having on the planet and the ocean and personally, for me that was the deal breaker. Regardless of the reason and/or whether you’re talking to a pro athlete, a doctor or a chef, you should still find out the facts yourself, before you start making big changes to your life.
Initially, I was really worried that eating vegan was going to ruin my social life! I love food and I love going to restaurants and dinner parties. Fortunately, most places are now offering way more vegan options and I predict this will only get better as more and more customers are demanding more plants on their plate!
Last month I shared some of my fave London spots for eating out, check it out here …
5 Vegan Restaurants in London
Try Your Best
I can not stress this enough!! Just try it and don’t beat yourself up if you eat a slice of cheesy pizza or a bit of chocolate. Each day that you go vegan will have a huge positive impact on the environment so over a whole month your overall contribution will be significant. If you make strict rules for yourself, you probably won’t enjoy it as much. Essentially, it’s your choice and no one is going to give you a medal for becoming a vegan. If you decide to take on the challenge, just do your best and if one day it doesn’t work out, try again the next day.
No, I’m not taking about doing a whole weeks food prep in little lunch boxes, who has the time for that! I’m taking about doing your food shopping and getting as many vegan options as you can to make your life easier. Here’s a few things I add to my basket every week…
Wraps / Bagels
Bananas / Apples / Oranges / Berries / Dates
Sweet Potato Wedges / Chips
Alpro Chocolate Soya Milk
Oreos / Hobnobs / Kettle Chips / Popcorn
Cereal / Granola / Porridge Oats
Almond Milk / Soya Milk / Soya Cream
Free From Grated Cheese / Humous
Cashew Nuts/ Almond Nuts / Pine Nuts
Avocados / Tomatoes / Sweetcorn / Peas / Spinach
Beans / Chickpeas / Kidney Beans
Pasta / Spaghetti
Ice Cream (Ben & Jerry’s now do vegan choc fudge brownie!)
The challenge starts tomorrow, let me know if you’re joining, tweet me @adrienne_ldn & follow @weareveganuary