Going vegan can definitely be a big change for a lot of people. As a society we are taught that dairy will make us strong, and a meal isn’t complete without a portion of meat, however when we begin to question these long taught ideals, we really begin to open up a space for growth within ourselves, and change for the world. Below are some tips and advice on keeping up a vegan lifestyle!
1 – Plenty of people will use the notion that we’re only one person, what can we possibly do to save things or make a change? However it’s so important to remember if each of us makes a change in our own small (but enormous) ways, and then all of us decide to do the same, that’s monumental in itself! Never let that idea deter you or bring you down from doing something you truly want to try and in turn make a change for.
With any new lifestyle change – we may be tempted to go back to our old ways, for a matter of reasons that may be quite difficult for us. However if we can remember why our conviction was so strong initially, this may help us stay on track. Personally, I watched a lot of videos on animal cruelty and realised no matter what, this reason was big enough for me, and my satistication around a meal and needing it to have meat / dairy, would never be as important as making sure I was a part of a journey that tried to help ensure that animals didn’t suffer any more.
2 – A lot of people very easily go back to a meat or dairy heavy lifestyle, because they feel unsatisfied, or that they’re lacking something. Make sure you’re eating enough of the things you love and incorporate more items that will keep you full and feeling energised. While ingredients like soy and wheat proteins should be eaten in moderation, making your favorite dishes that were once meat into vegan versions, can be extremely motivating – as you’ll realise that even in a vegan lifestyle, you can mimic the old dishes too and aren’t missing anything! Some great whole foods to get your hands on would be:
- Potatoes (very nutritious and the skin is equally nutritious! And will keep you full.)
- Kale (it really energises me and puts such an recognisable energy in my day)
- Mushrooms (really easy to cook and season in various delicious ways!)
- Tomatoes (great snacking treats, as they taste savory but aren’t a huge mess to have!)
- Kiwis (they apparently have three times the amount of Vitamin C in oranges!)
- Vegetable stir fries (not a whole food, but a dish. Really easy and healthy way to mix a lot of vegetables into one dish, there really isn’t a technique so you don’t have to be a masterchef to cook this up at all! Chop, season, stir fry, serve!)
3 – Be around like-minded people and those who respect your decisions – it’s so vital to have a great circle of people who don’t bring you down or disrespect your choices, especially when your choices are compassion based. In turn – along with honest, heart-breaking, and real documentaries on Netflix such as Cowspiracy, Blackfish, Forks Over Knives, it’s amazing what an inspiring social media feed can do to your mindset! Here are some great vegan accounts I’d recommend are:
- @IAmTabithaBrown (a vegan chef on TikTok, who makes incredibly delicious dishes and she is so kind and positive!)
- @UglyVegan (Instagram account demystifying the idea that vegan food is expensive or that it has to be fancy or unobtainable. There are so many things that are accidentally vegan, and that you can make the dishes as simple as you want to!
- @TotallyVeganBuzz (Instagram account highlighting amazing news around the vegan community)
- @AccidentallyVeganUK (Instagram account highlighting items that are accidentally vegan – aka things you wouldn’t expect to be vegan, or aren’t highlighted as “vegan” but seemingly are! Likewise there are most likely worldwide accounts for this, but this one specialises around the UK)
- @Eden_Perfumes_Vegan (Instagram account of Eden Perfumes, which will take your favorite scents – even from famous perfumes – and veganism them for you)
- @ErinIreland (Erin makes daily vegan cooking demos and has great content pertaining to vegan news, information, documentaries etc)
- @EarthlingEd (Ed is a vegan activist who has amazing resources, documentaries, and information regarding the realities of animal cruelty, factory farming, and more.)
- @SpitBlue (Shingi is a plant based artist, and on her Instagram she makes amazing dishes that are fresh, light, and so inspiring!)
Finally, remember that veganism is a lifestyle, and that by being on a vegan journey, you really are changing the game bit by bit and in turn allowing yourself to truly grow immensely! It’s important to give yourself the credit as you’ve literally changed your life path / what you’ve known both mentally & physically, and are questioning the past norm.
Be gentle with yourself and understand that there are going to be days where all we may do is eat vegan cookies and chill, and other days we may want to be extremely vocal about vegan activism, either way – remember you’re doing your part. Stay strong, and keep the fire within you ignited! You can do this!