January is quickly approaching and with the recent rise in popularity of of veganism I am sure that a few people out there will be looking to try the veganuary challenge.
In case you have not heard of veganuary before it is a challenge where you follow a vegan diet for the month of January (as you could have probably guessed from the name). People do this challenge for a number of reasons such as: a personal challenge, trying to get healthy to start the new year or trying to kick start a new lifestyle.
In this post I am going to share a few things with you which I wish I had known when I first became vegan.
A lot of people either think this is impossible but that is not the case. When I first went vegan about four and half years ago there were only a few places that you could go to eat out, this is no longer the case. Most places now have at least one option for a vegan and many have a full vegan menu to chose from. In addition to this a lot of companies run promotions in January as they are aware of veganuary so it is a good idea to look out for these.
Having said this it is still always a good idea to check the menu online before gong somewhere new to eat just to make sure. I have been in a few situations where other people have decided where we are going and there have been no options for me on the menu, the waiter then acts like I am there solely to inconvenience them.
Planning Your Meals
If you are new to veganism it is a good idea to plan your meals in advance. I have found the best way to do this is to get hold of some vegan cookbooks or find some good vegan blogs. This will give you ideas on new food options as well as different ways of doing things.
The people who write the books and blogs have been cooking this type of food for a while and they will help you with the transition. They will also help you with the basics like how to cook tofu without it just tasting like a wet sponge (yes it is possible)
Join A Local Vegan Group On Social Media
You may not have any desire to interact with the other vegans and that is perfectly fine but these groups are great for finding vegan food in your local area. They will let you know what places are good for eating out and any new vegan friendly foods in your local supermarket.
These groups are also really good at helping find local takeaway options because lets face it there is always going to be times when you really don’t feel like cooking.
You Don’t Need To Just Eat Fruit/Veg
I think when most people hear of a vegan diet they assume that all you will be eating is fruit, vegetables and beans. Not only is this not the case but it is also not something that I would advise trying.
There are plenty of options in the supermarket for vegans and these are becoming easier to spot with a lot of supermarkets now marking their own brands when they are vegan friendly. In addition to this there are a lot of online resources to help you work out what foods are vegan friendly, including what crisps and biscuits are available.
There is also a quickly increasing range of convenience foods available in most supermarkets. I don’t like to eat these too often (as like any convenience food they are not the healthiest) but it is good to have the option of these when you don’t want to cook.
This is a lot better than it used to be BUT, it is still very hit or miss. Some of the options are good but others are horrible. Some are good for cooking and other are good for sandwiches or burgers. The key to working this out is trial and error.
I was massively addicted to cheese when I used to eat meat so I thought I would really miss cheese but that isn’t the case. I mostly only use cheese for cooking now.
This is the hardest thing about following a vegan diet which is why I have left this till last.
There will always be people who take your choice of what to eat as an insult on them. The best thing you can do in this situation is not to rise to it otherwise you will be classed as ‘just another angry vegan’.
It is annoying but people tend to get over this pretty quickly