It’s been almost a year
I have been plant based/vegan or whatever you want to call it, since March of 2017. We got back from a week in Center Parcs and decided just to go for it. I can say with some pride that I haven’t touched meat since, though I have had a bit of dairy here and there in the form of chocolate or the occasional bit of cheese if we were out and about and there was no other options food wise.
I do feel like 2018 is my year though, for really embracing the whole vegan thing. I touched on this in another post but I will talk about it again here, briefly. I will use the word vegan to describe how I eat but perhaps plant based might be more accurate as I don’t live I wholly vegan lifestyle. Or at least, what I imagine to be a wholly vegan lifestyle. It is all a bit of a grey area isn’t it. I try and choose non leather when I can, I try and choose cosmetics and products not tested on animals or containing animal products when I can. But the emphasis is on the ‘when I can’ bit of those sentences. I just do my best. But for 2018 I intend on not eating any meat or dairy and just seeing how I get on.
Veganism is having a massive moment in 2018
So far, there are over 150,000 people signed up for Veganuary and it seems like every day so far this year there is news of it becoming mainstream. Tesco have just released their own range of vegan ready meals, Ocado have their own vegan meat subs and Asda are doing vegan and soya free cheeses. Not only that but the offerings from loads of restaurants have really stepped it up too. Pizza Hut finally do vegan cheese (and I can confirm it is delicious), Wagamamas released a new vegan menu last year and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Having been at this for a few months now, there are definitely a few things that make the whole process a little easier. I will be sharing a post later on about eating out as a vegan and how to overcome that and make it enjoyable, but for now here are my top tips on being a vegan (or plant based, whatever you call it) at home.
Veganuary: My Top Tips
1. Pinterest. I use Pinterest almost daily for recipe inspiration. It really is as simple as typing things like ‘vegan breakfast ideas’ or ‘vegan lasagna’ into the search bar and then perusing all of the results that come up. If you don’t already have a Pinterest account then my number one tip is to get one, it is super simple and it is kind of like creating a scrapbook of things you like the look of. Click Here for a peek at mine… feel free to hit that follow button!
2. This one doesn’t have a punchy one word title but what I recommend is for making veganism that little bit easier is, to do one big food shop every month for all of the ‘weird’ vegan ingredients and then just topping up with fruit and veg as and when you need them. I tend to use Ocado and I order things like plant based milks, hot dogs, cheeses, pizzas, all the hot sauce, nutritional yeast yada yada yada. Then I just pop to Aldi as and when I need to for fruit and veg and other staples like bread.
3. It depends on what your motivation for being vegan or plant based is for this one I suppose, but I find that whenever I’m wavering or struggling I watch the Netflix documentaries again – to strengthen my resolve. If you are doing it for reasons relating to cruelty I can recommend ‘Cowspiricy’, for environmental reasons give the Leo Dicaprio documentary ‘Before the Flood’ a try, or for general health reasons I would watch ‘What the Health’.
4. Make an effort to try new stuff. Make the diet exciting by trying things you wouldn’t normally. For example, my husband recently made steamed buns and vegan gyros for us and they were amazing. We made a whole day out of it, by spending a Sunday researching the ingredients, buying them and cooking them. It was a length process but really enjoyable. Check out websites like Lazy Cat Kitchen or buy the Thug Kitchen recipe books for inspiration and ideas.
5. Dupes. You can pretty much get a vegan dupe for anything out there nowadays. Here are a few of my favourites:
Finally, I feel like it is a public service announcement to let you know that bacon frazzles, as in the ones you buy from Tesco or CoOp in a big bag for like £1 are almost always vegan. So if you need your bacon fix, there you go.
How are you finding Veganuary? Any tips? Questions?