It's the time of year for change. You feel refreshed and committed to creating a new you. You may have decided to exercise more, or perhaps to drink less, or maybe you have committed to removing animal products from your diet and go vegan.
Vegan charity Veganuary, have a target of 300,000 people who will pledge to go vegan in January 2019. It is set to be the biggest Veganuary to date since it kicked off in 2014 with 3,300 people. People will give up meat, fish and dairy for a variety of reasons including sustainability, reduction of environmental damage, animal welfare and health. Click here to sign up to take the Veganuary 31-day pledge this month.
Anyone choosing to go vegan may have may have a hundred questions...
"How do I go vegan?"
"How easy is it to go vegan?"
"Where do I even start?"
"What do vegans eat?"
"How do I go without milk and cheese?"
These are all valid questions which everyone making the transition has had to deal with. Whether this is your first time, you’re vegan already, or just sitting on the fence unsure which way to go this January, we’re here to give you some extra support, ideas and inspiration.
We’ve teamed up with some of UK’s top vegan advocates to share their top tips for going vegan, to make this Veganuary a successful one.
Let’s get started...
Tip #1: Take it slow
"Keep your end goal in mind, but go at your own pace. Some people manage to go vegan overnight and if that's the right approach for you, fantastic. But don't be concerned if you feel you need more time. Like any other lifestyle change, going vegan not only takes getting used to, but it takes time to determine what will work best for you. It's not a one size fits all experience and there are numerous approaches you can take."
The Vegan Society is a registered charity and the oldest vegan society in the world, founded in the UK in November 1944 and currently has thousands of members. The Vegan Society provides a vast range of information from vegan nutrition to local contacts, campaigns, magazines and their 30 Day Vegan Pledge.
Tip #2: Veganise it
"Whenever people ask me for help with ways to jump start their switch to eating a vegan diet, my first and I think most important tip is to veganise your favourite meals. The reason for that is so you don't feel like you are limited and missing out. There might be a little trial and error but over the years I have managed to make all my favourite comfort foods into a delicious, and equally satisfying vegan version."
Erin is a vegan mum with a certification in plant-based nutrition. She has some great recipes to share with you and being a plant-based mum herself, knows all about good nutrition for expecting mothers and starting off your baby the vegan way.
Erin's favourite plant-based product of 2018:Tyne Chease
Tyne Chease is lovingly handmade by acclaimed vegan chease artisan, Ami J. Tadaa, in the North East of England using the finest organic ingredients. A small family run business, Tyne Chease produces a unique range of 100% plant-based, raw chease of the highest quality and received the Best Vegan Cheese Award at the Vegan Awards UK in 2016.
Their cheese making is inspired by traditional methods going back thousands of years and the entire range is authentically cultured and matured.
Tip #3: Think outside the box
"Be creative. Get creative with the ingredients you buy, the meals you prepare and the food you eat! Being vegan means we aren’t stuck in cooking meat & 2 veg every meal - think outside the box, and have some fun in the kitchen!"
Kate is a business coach and former world champion triathlete who doesn't believe in compromise. She has had many successes including being a world record holder in cycling, an award-winning entrepreneur, philanthropist and a TEDx speaker. Kate knows all about vegan food and its impact on performance in the sports arena.
Kate's favourite plant-based product of 2018:Vegbred
A gluten-free, plant-based, sweet potato packed and scrumptiously seeded artisan vegetable-bread. Bread packed full of veg, Vegbred is made of 50% sweet potato so is lower in carbs, higher in fibre & packed with protein.
Vegbred is handmade in small batches and contains no grains, no gluten, no dairy, no eggs, no added sugar and no preservatives. What makes Vegbred so great is simple, its 100% natural.
Tip #4: Make a smooth and healthy transition
"Start incorporating beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and tofu into your diet as soon as possible, and familiarise yourself with their preparation, storage, and uses. Meat and dairy substitutes, such as soy burgers and plant milks, will ultimately make the transition much smoother than diving straight into only eating whole foods right off the bat."
Jay is a popular Instagrammer and athlete with over 12,000 followers. Originally from Wales and now based in London, he posts about all things plant-based from food and nutrition to health and fitness. Jay is an athlete himself and his Instagram page is well worth a visit for vegan nutrition, recipe ideas and workout tips and techniques.
Açaí is a palm fruit that grows on the banks of the Amazon, the most bio-diverse ecosystem on the planet. Sambazon's Acaí Pure Superfruit mix has immense flavour, packed with powerful antioxidants healthy omegas and is made with organic and GMO-free ingredients sustainably sourced in the Brazilian Amazon. Perfect for making smoothies and authentic Açaí bowls or enjoying straight out of the pack.
Tip #5: Remember your 'why'
"Remind yourself why you're doing it. Be prepared for at least one person per day to tell you how much they love cheese and could never go vegan."
If you want to know about vegan food in the UK, restaurants, funky pop-ups, recipe ideas and reviews, go no further. Tsouni has visited eateries all across the UK and brilliantly provided some great suggestions, reviews and recommendations in her Instagram blog. She is an established blogger with a following of over 30,000 people.
Oatly usually needs no introduction. They are famously known for their Oat Drinks and other products. Oatly's Creamy Oat Fraiche is a lot like crème fraiche, but they used oats instead of cream to provide a different take on one of the most flexible ingredients in the modern kitchen.
Made from Swedish grown oats, it’s a fraiche without the crème! Oatly have worked really hard to make sure that their fraiche provides the same great performance as a traditional crème fraiche, but without the cream.
Tip #6: Get Social!
"Find your tribe. There's a learning curve to veganism. Find and meet people who are undergoing a similar journey, or who are experienced and can help you out. Find local vegan Facebook groups, vegan meet-ups, and see if there are any vegan festivals or fairs in your area. Find a network of friends and head out together to a local vegan restaurant. Vegan food can be a great way to expand your social circle."
Purezza is the UK's first vegan pizzeria, with branches in Brighton & London. Specialising in Neapolitan pizza with a plant-based twist, Purezza proudly make their essentials in-house. In 2018, Purezza won National Pizza of the Year despite being the only plant-based entrant, putting vegan pizza on centre stage. They are currently raising investment for a factory to produce their plant-based Mozzarella on a larger scale.
Tempted to try your hand at vegan food but don’t know where to start? Or even just to make meat-free Monday a regular thing?
Long gone are the days of vegan food being dull and boring: Vegan 100 is bold, vibrant and gorgeous. Gaz, aka the Avant-Garde Vegan, was once a meat eater and often didn’t feel well. Overnight, he decided to go vegan for the health benefits, for his love of animals and to do his part in looking after the planet.
He found that, as a trained chef, it was surprisingly easy to get big tastes and colours into vegan dishes without compromise, and he also noticed an improvement in the way he felt. The emphasis in Gaz’s 100 amazing vegan recipes is first and foremost on FLAVOUR.
Tip #7: Plan & prepare
"To make everything easier, plan ahead and batch make meals on a Sunday for the week. Bircher muesli can be made in a few different jars or containers that will last a few days. Super easy to make just grab some fresh or frozen fruit, some nuts and seeds and a bag of oats and you're away."
Elspeth has a massive love of food! A professional chef who is passionate about veganism and all things health and wellness which led her to create Elspeth's Kitchen and Norty. Both food brands create delicious cakes, puddings, nut butters and drink blends. Elspeth's focus is on big bold flavours created from combining highly nutritious wholesome ingredients and products which are free from refined sugar, gluten and soya.
Norty Puds are vegan pudding pots in three delicious flavours. Indulge your sweet tooth through their natural, healthy recipes. The focus is on wholesome, nourishing ingredients, to allow for that feeling of indulgence without any of the naughtiness. All the puds are made by hand in small batches. Everything is pitted, squeezed and blended by hand before being lovingly tucked up in the finest packaging.
Tip #8: Strap on your tool belt
"There are a few tools that will make your life MUCH easier when you’re on the road. If you have a smartphone, the first two apps you should download are the HappyCow app and The Vegan Passport."
"HappyCow is a worldwide directory of vegan and veg-friendly restaurants. The Vegan Passport, on the other hand, is a multilingual vegan phrasebook that includes a whopping 78 languages."
Launched in the UK in January 2014, Veganuary is a registered charity that encourages people to try vegan for January. Veganuary is dedicated to changing public attitudes while providing all the information and practical support required to make the transition to veganism as easy and enjoyable as possible.
Veganuary has had an incredible degree of success in a very short time and is changing lives all over the world. With vegan recipes, expert advice and information, it provides all the answers to "why go vegan", but it is the support offered to answer "how to go vegan" that truly sets Veganuary apart.
Tip #9: Look out for accidentally vegan items
"A brief scour of the supermarket shelves will reveal all manner of staggeringly secret items that you never knew were vegan! Original Oreos, Jus’ Roll Pastries and even vegan ice cream such as Swedish Glace are just a few of the secrets in the vegan community, with many more to be revealed!"
Vegan Food and Living is Britain’s best-selling and multi-award-winning vegan magazine dedicated to celebrating the delicious side of ethical eating. Containing at least 75 plant-based recipes in every issue ranging from seasonal specialities to quick & easy breakfast, lunch and supper ideas, perfect weekend dishes that are made to share and foolproof baked treats, you’ll never be stuck for inspiration again.
Plus you can learn everything there is to know about the foodie side of veganism with features on specialist ingredients, nutritional advice, celebrity interviews, product reviews, travel guides and much more! Available from selected Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Tesco supermarkets, as well as WHSmith, Hobbycraft and independent newsagents.
Tip #10: Get over those meat cravings
"Want to go vegan but still sometimes find yourself fancying that steak dinner? Chances are it’s your body saying your B12 and iron levels are low. If you want to know for sure, tell your doctor that you’re vegan and aren’t sure if you need supplements. They’ll get your blood tests done straight away which will give you a clear answer. B12 and iron supplements are readily available from any good health store or online. Note, there are some claims around that spirulina contains B12 - it doesn’t. So make sure you’re getting a good quality supplement."
Tim is a passionate advocate for plant-based health and wellness who cares deeply about us living the greatest lives we can. He sees outstanding physical health, coupled with deeply rooted happiness, as absolutely fundamental to having a great life. He runs superfood smoothie masterclasses and other plant-based events.
Superfoodies Matcha green tea powder is 100% certified organic and suitable for raw, vegan and vegetarian diets. Made from the organic green tea leaves, it has been enjoyed in Japan for generations. It can be used to add natural colour and flavour to a variety of drinks and dishes, contains amino acids, Vitamin C, minerals such as selenium chromium, zinc and magnesium, and natural plant pigment (chlorophyll).
It can be used to add natural colour and flavour to a variety of drinks and dishes, contains amino acids, Vitamin C, minerals such as selenium chromium, zinc and magnesium, and natural plant pigment (chlorophyll).
Tip #11: Resist the temptation
When the temptation for meat or diary gets too much, just watch a vegan documentary: Cowspiracy, Earthlings, 101 Reasons to go vegan, Fork over knives. And your desire will pass away :)))
Laura Zabo creates upcycled fashion accessories from scrap tyres. She became vegan when she visited her first vegan fair and realised that vegan food is much better than anything else. These days she is mixing vegan lifestyle and eco-consciousness by offering handmade and repurposed tyre goods which are a perfect substitute for leather.
Zims Tribe aims to jiggle your palate with spicy, mouth watering flavours from the mother continent. This tweaked, time honoured traditional recipe, has been passed down through the generations and is unique to the Nigerian ethnic heritage. Zims Tribe saucy marinade will definitely make your tummy smile.
We hope you've found these tips useful and wish you all the best for Veganuary and 2019! There is a tonne of information out there about what to eat and how to live a healthy vegan lifestyle. Sometimes it's just the mindset and inspiration that's missing!
If you know someone trying to go vegan, please do share these great tips with them using the buttons provided.
Need more help? There are a few resources listed below which are worth visiting for more information, advice, tips, and inspiration...
At Omvits we know how important good quality nutrition is and to give you a helping hand to get started, we are offering a promotion on all products this January. Use code 'VEGANUARY10' to claim your 10% discount. Click here to see our full product range.
We hope you have a happy and healthy start to 2019!
The Team at Omvits
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