As of August I will have been Vegan for officially 10 months, Wohoo!
If I’m honest, this lifestyle feels so natural too me I often forget that I am vegan. Not in the sense where I forget and go ahead and binge on animal products… more in the sense that everything that I was trying to change 10 months ago, has become second nature to me now.
I know that being a vegan for 10 months doesn’t make me an expert or anything, but I feel like I can give some pretty useful advice to people who are considering veganism or new to veganism.
So here are my 10 tips for New Vegans
1 | Don’t let others opinions affect your choice
Whether you are living at home and getting stick from your parents or just worried what your friends will say. You should NEVER let their opinions stop you from transitioning to a vegan lifestyle. It can be especially difficult when you are being teased for wanting to be vegan – I used to hear a lot of sarcastic comments like “aww are you doing it for the animals” and I thought that if I said yes it would make me sound silly, so I used to reply with a straight No and “I’m doing it for my health”.
Now if someone says that to me I say, “Hell yeah i’m doing it for the animals! It’s the only reason I have stuck to it!” You need to realise that the people saying these things are people who have not exposed themselves to the same things that you have, if they saw the documentaries on slaughter houses, read the studies on how terribly bad meat and dairy are for their health and the environment… they might just be considering veganism too.
2 | Do your research
Seems simple enough and researching the reasons to become vegan may help with your transition more than you think! Exposing yourself to the inside footage of slaughterhouses is one of the most effective ways to change your entire view on the meat industry.
Couple that with looking up some articles on PETA or Forks Over Knives websites about the damage meat and dairy does to your body, and you will soon realise that large companies mass producing lives for profit are one of the most damaging things to our health and planet.
It also helps when coming to a debate with a non-vegan… Let knowledge be your best weapon.
3 | Don’t Preach, Educate
I used to think that preaching was the best thing a vegan can do to get their point across.
But I have recently realised that this usually does nothing but enable that person to build more walls around their idea of what is right and to protect their ‘choice’ to consume animal products. It also gives all vegans a bad image… and when it comes to trying to change the lifestyle of everyone around you. A bad image is the last thing you want.
Rather than preaching to people, try educating them. If they ask you about veganism reply with a factual answer without getting into an argument about it. And if those people still try to pick out arguments with what you are telling them… well chances are they have built up some pretty concrete walls around their idea of veganism and nothing you say will penetrate through.
You can always flood your Facebook timeline with videos, and articles on animal agriculture…. that’s what I like to do anyways 🙂
4 | It’s not a fad diet
If you are coming into this transition with one agenda – Weight loss. I say go back to the start and really think about how that will work out in the long term, I’m all up for people going vegan for whatever reason but from personal experience, when trying to go vegan just to loose weight quick.. it never works.
Veganism has one agenda – Saving the lives of innocent beings who are being captured, tortured, sold, skinned, milked, raped and killed against their will. Yes you will loose weight on this lifestyle and if that really is the only reason you want to do it, then fine. As you were, but I would say little by little research on the animal agriculture industry and give yourself some food for thought.
You are more likely to stay on this lifestyle if you are doing it for unselfish reasons.
5 | Invest in cookware
During my first couple of months being vegan I was very lazy with my food. I was going for simple things like salads with Linda McCartney sausages, or pasta and frozen veggies.
It’s safe to say that I rarely eat that stuff anymore and my fridge is regularly filled with homemade chili’s, curries, hummus, pasta sauces, gyoza, raw vegan bars and an abundance of fresh fruit and veg.
Cookware will become your partner in crime, and you don’t need to go out and spend a ton of money on the stuff either. I got a Tesco own brand food processor in a sale for £12.50 it’s worked wonders for me so far and I use it multiple times a week! I would say get yourself a food processor, a blender, a load of tuppareware and if you want to be really fancy maybe even a dehydrator!
6 | Hit up VegFest
Last Febuary I attended my first ever VegFest in Brighton, I took my Omnivore boyfriend and we both absolutely LOVED IT!
He was so impressed with the range of cheese free cheeses and meat free meats, we went back to the seitan steak stall about 4 times for more samples! When you visit VegFest you quickly realise that the vegan options you see in supermarkets are a mere dot in the vast amounts of vegan options available elsewhere! Sure you may have to do a bit of online shopping to get most of the products at VegFest, but supporting these companies is one of the best things you can do for the movement!
As well as mass amounts of free samples of cruelty free/vegan products and food you will also see Vegan infulencers there! I had the pleasure of seeing @VeganSidekick (check out his insta, you won’t regret it) but was too shy to go up and say hello. So go to VegFest take some omni friends/family and show them how fun and tasty vegansim is!
Also try the V Dog (vegan hot dog) Tastiest thing I have ever eaten!!
7 | Cook for friends/family
People who have never been exposed to Vegansim are less than likely to start rustling up some awesome, adventurous vegan food!
So why not do it for them? Get a bunch of people round (or go to theirs) and offer to cook them all food. You could even hold off on telling them that what they have eaten is fully vegan until the end, that would really surprise them! Check out my Easy Vegan Meals on a Budget post for some tasty ideas!
8 | YouTube
Youtube isn’t just a great tool for binge watching cat videos, its fantastic for getting vegan meal ideas and discovering new cruelty free companies!
I love watching vegan vloggers. When they daily vlog their lives you get some really good ideas on how to substitute certain foods and beauty products. A couple of good channels I would recommend are LauraCanFly, Kiera Rose, FreeLee The Bannana Girl, Mommytang, Wild Daze and Mango Island Mumma -Her channel is worth a look if you have children!
9 | Get to know your food
Discovering Vegansim has unexpectedly lead to a new found love of my health and well being. I am now so interested in the different benefits you can get from various plant foods. Pretty much every time I pick up a piece of fruit or veg to snack on, I will google its benefits.
I have found that this has helped me to really understand nutrition and what foods are best for different issues I am currently dealing with (bloat, fatigue etc) and keep me motivated in the ultimate journey for health and happiness!
Food is medicine. That isn’t just a quote to throw around. It really, truly is your medicine.
10 | Don’t give up if you Slip Up!
And last but not least
Before I officially classed myself as vegan I had a TON of slip ups. Give yourself some credit and realise that you have been eating a certain way for your entire life, and you need to allow yourself time to adjust if you really want to stick at it long term.
If you accidentally eat a cheese topped breakfast muffin because you thought it was plain (hello) don’t suddenly say “ah what the heck” and go binging on cheddar for the rest of the day. See it as an innocent mistake and move on.
I hope these tips helped you in some way, and I’m sorry if I rambled on 🙂 But I could go on forever with tips on veganism and the different benefits of becoming vegan.
I wish you all the best in your journey, you are making an awesome lifestyle change and I promise you, you will NEVER look back <3
If you have any useful tips, share them here! And don’t forget to follow my blog, I post every Thursday at 6pm
“We choose to eat meat and have therefore built slaughter houses for the animals and hospitals for us.”-Akbarali Jetha