The Vegetarian Society provides you with ten brilliant tips to help you along with making the transition towards going vegan.
Recreate Vegan Versions of Your Favourite Meals
You don’t need to go without your favourite foods when you make the switch to vegan, simply swap in ingredients such as soy milk, vegan cheeses, meat alternatives or vegan margarine. The great thing is that you already know how to make these recipes, so it’s really simple and easy and, often, healthier!
Adopting a vegan lifestyle is a great way to shake up your diet and try things you’ve never thought of before. Our website has some great recipe ideas to get you going – tofu scramble is perfect for a lazy weekend lunch.
Take the Time to Stop and Think
If you’re new to vegan eating it will require some time to plan your new diet and ensure that you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need. Try planning your meals a few days in advance or cooking at the weekend and chilling/freezing portions for the week ahead. Do a bit of research to find the best local cafes, restaurants and shops for vegans in your local area.
Make Sure You’re Getting a Balanced Diet
It is important to make sure that you are eating a healthy and balanced diet, so take the time to brush up on the facts.
Watch out for Hidden Ingredients
Hidden non-vegan ingredients like to hide in products like confectionery, desserts, crisps and soups. Make sure you check the label thoroughly for non-vegan ingredients such as stock and flavourings made from meat or fish, gelatine, rennet or cochineal/carmine red colouring/E120. Don’t worry, there are now lots of vegan alternatives to pretty much everything you’ll find on the shelf – and our Vegetarian Society Approved vegan trademark makes these even easier to spot.
It’s worth considering that not all alcoholic drinks are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. In beer, cider and wine production, animal and fish gelatines can be used to clarify the end product – but by law, this does not have to be declared on the label as it isn’t considered to be an ingredient. If you have a favourite tipple, check with the producer if it is suitable for your diet – or go to www.vegsoc.org/approved to find a list of suitable products.
Give Yourself a Break
If you need a break there are lots of delicious vegan products out there that mean you don’t have to cook from scratch. Vegan-friendly burgers and sausages and ready-meals can be served with simple side dishes for a tasty, quick meal.
Every Meal Counts
Don’t feel disheartened if you ‘fall off the wagon’ or don’t feel you can go vegan all at once. Feel good about what you are doing to reduce the amount of meat products you are consuming.
Keep an Eye Out for the New Vegetarian Society Approved Vegan Trademark
We’ve designed it to be easily recognisable and let you know when a product is free from animal-derived ingredients, cross-contamination during production, GMOs and animal testing. Keep an eye out in the supermarkets and cafés and restaurants.
Be Proud of What You’re Doing and Stick to Your Decision
Some people may make jokes or try to convince you out of your decision. It’s sometimes best to have a laugh with them and join in the banter but be proud of what you’ve done!