The part-time vegan.
Going vegan can be scary, maybe it is something you have been thinking about for a while but just not managed to take the plunge.
To go from eating anything and everything to vegan is a complete lifestyle change. There is always that thought in your head of having the ‘vegan’ label, then there is no going back!
There is another way, try going part-time vegan. Remember every step you take towards being completely vegan is a step in the right direction.
I was a vegetarian for a few years. I didn’t take the plunge to be vegan until I sat with my daughter and watched a couple of documentaries on Netflix. I really believe a vast percentage of people still have no idea what goes on in the meat and dairy industry.
From my own experience, I had never liked the thought of eating an animal but hadn’t given it any more thought than that. Once I knew the facts, it became easier to stop consuming animal and dairy products.
Your first step to becoming vegan
Let’s start with what we eat, eating is no longer just a means of fuelling our bodies to live. It is an enjoyment, a social event with friends and family. I am a chief, so cooking (and eating) is my hobby. Nothing needs to change when you swap to eating vegan food. In fact, it becomes more fun and interesting. With so many recipes and ideas online nowadays you will never be stuck for what to cook.
The best tip I can give you for your part-time vegan journey is to pre-plan. At the start of the week (whenever you do your weekly shop) yes, I would also recommend you do a weekly shop. Fill your fridge with yummy foods, so you don’t get tempted to order a takeaway!
Plan Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Do this alongside your diary, if you have a night out with friends and you want to leave that open to the option of not eating vegan that day, you have that option.
Look at vegan and plant-based recipes online and on social media. You might be surprised at just how many products have vegan alternatives you can swap straight away. Especially everyday products such as milk, butter and bread. Take a second to think about what you will have in your sandwiches and take fruit or healthy homemade snacks to work, shopping and while out and about. These are the times in the beginning that you get tempted to go back to old habits.
Even eating vegan food on weekdays or making vegan dinners when at home will make a massive difference to your health. You will be on your way to going vegan and being completely cruelty-free. This is better for the animals and our environment.
Most people who start to cut down on meat will enjoy plant-based meals so much that eating meat will naturally become less and less.
It is the snacks etc that can take a little more thought and willpower, look at vegan snacks to keep with you.
A healthy vegan diet
It is fabulous that all the large supermarkets stock a huge range of vegan and plant-based products. This is a great help to us all, whether starting your part-time vegan swaps or fully vegan. But, eating packets, pre-cooked, pre-prepared processed foods every day, whether it is vegan or meat dishes will not be good for your health.
If you are not great in the kitchen obviously these products are going to make a big difference to you making swaps. Do your best to buy fresh produce and cook yourself, by pre-planning you can also prepare food in advance then freeze in portions making it easier to reheat.
Cook 2 or 3 different meals, making double the number of portions so you can then freeze enough for a couple of weeks. This is particularly handy if your partner is not yet making the swap to eating vegan, your delicious vegan dinner is there ready for you in the evenings.
All the extra fruit and vegetables are giving you added vitamins, especially needed in the winter months.
One of my favourite foods this time of year is a big pot full of vegetables such as carrots, butternut, celery, leeks, peas, peppers, onions, garlic and fresh ginger. Then add either noodles, mixed grains or lentils, absolutely delicious. It will be fabulous for a couple of days and freezes beautifully.
Making these changes slowly will help you succeed in the long term. You will feel healthier, lighter and happier.
Here are a couple of my vegan dinners.
Making ethical vegan lifestyle changes
There are many easy changes we can make towards a part-time vegan lifestyle that does not involve food. Thinking a little about ethical choices in the home can make a big difference, when replacing products for the home take a closer look at how the item has been made.
When buying and sending gifts, choose vegan gifts even if it is for a non-vegan. Kind and thoughtful gifts will be appreciated so much more.
Think carefully when purchasing clothing from ‘fast fashion’ outlets. Look for vegan clothing that will last, that has been produced ethically with natural plant-based materials and dyes.
Small changes will make a big difference. Every drop is a drop in an ocean!
Good luck on your vegan journey
If you have any questions or would like support please feel free to get in touch.
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