We spoke to Naturally Stefanie, one of Scotland’s top vegan bloggers, about her journey to veganism. Here’s are some of her top tips to help you, if you’re considering ditching animal products and moving to a plant-based lifestyle.
Watch documentaries, read books and articles, and view YouTube videos to really get clued up on what veganism is all about. Most people already eat about 70 percent plant-based and just need to make small swaps on their plate. For example, a common household meal might be chicken with veg and potatoes, so swap out the chicken for a vegan alternative and your meal is 100 percent plant-based.
Check the Labels and Know Your Stuff
Plant-based means you avoid any products that derive from animal sources, such as meat, fish, dairy, eggs, or honey. You would be surprised at how many everyday foods have at least eggs or dairy in them, but equally, many daily products are what we call ‘accidentally vegan’. Some of your favourite biscuits and sweets might already be vegan-friendly and you just don’t know it.
Follow Social Media Inspirations
Just about everyone has a smartphone, so get on Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube and see what vegan pages are cooking up for some inspiration. There are pages on Instagram which show everyday foods that are not labelled as vegan but just so happen to be suitable for your new lifestyle. This is especially good if you’re just starting out and need some convenience food and snacks to grab on the go, or to have with your night time cuppa.
Keep it Simple
There is nothing worse than trying a new lifestyle and thinking you have to flip your whole diet upside down with complex recipes. Pages like my own @naturallystefanie have plenty of ideas for simple meals you can make in under 30 minutes, with cost effective ingredients. You don’t need to be spending lots of money on superfoods and powders – simple everyday foods such as beans, lentils, pasta, potatoes, rice, fruit and veg are cheap.
Veganism is a Lifestyle
Veganism is not a diet or a fad that you try for a few weeks to shed some pounds. It is a lifestyle change that can make you feel and look your best by eating a balanced range of healthy foods. A diet is short-lived, as most of you probably know. If you treat it like a diet you will fall off the wagon and claim that veganism ‘doesn’t work’ when it is a perfectly healthy way of life.
So many restaurants nowadays have vegan menus available, so have plenty of options for you to try. It makes it a lot more realistic when you can go out with family and friends to restaurants they love where there are both vegan and non-vegan menus; as opposed to trying to convince everyone to try a 100% vegan restaurant with you. It completely normalises your new lifestyle to those around you and helps everyone see just how easy and convenient being vegan can be!
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