Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Tips for Going Vegan.

January is a brilliant time to adopt new habits.  This month is Veganuary, a campaign inviting you to try veganism in January, and Issue 3 of Vegan Life Magazine features some excellent tips for helping your friends eat meat and dairy free.

Vegan Life suggests helping vegan wannabes find motivation, a method of changing their diet that suits their personality and lifestyle, and giving them recipe and nutrition tips.

Some things that really helped me when I was a new vegan were,

* Going vegan while living with a vegan friend.  She already had lots of recipe ideas and experience.

* Dealing with my diet first, then thinking about vegan toiletries, clothes and other lifestyle stuff.  I would have been completely overwhelmed with changing everything all at once, even though I'd been vegetarian for a long time before going vegan. 

* Focusing on finding vegan replacements for foods I couldn't do without first.  I'm pretty miserable without chocolate, crisps and meat free sausages, so I made sure I found vegan versions.

* There weren't as many vegan resources online as there are now (I went vegan 8 years ago), but I still found some and having online support was really helpful. 

* Having my vegan wall chart on display in my kitchen, as a visual reminder to eat nutritious food every day. 

I definitely agree with Vegan Life Magazine, that kindness, fun and openness are the most important aspects if someone's asked you to help them to transition to a different diet or lifestyle.  I hate the vegan-police thing, so I make sure I'm a non-shouty, non-preachy, non-pushy vegan.  I don't actually believe in trying to change other people's beliefs, I think they'll come to their own decisions in their own way.  But my quietly vegan lifestyle leads to my friends sharing their curiosity with me ('Can I just ask, do vegans breastfeed?'  'Can vegans eat bread?'), my colleagues all knowing which vegan biscuits to buy for our tea breaks, the canteen in my former workplace, serving 100s of people a day, making every vegetarian option suitable for vegans (because they got fed up of making me a special vegan meal twice a day!), and my meat-eating boyfriend cooking us yummy vegan meals.  Being a friendly vegan has a big impact and makes people think about veganism in a positive way.  Setting a good example, eating yummy food and being happy and healthy is the best way to get others interested in vegan eating, but if a friend asks for help in changing their diet the tips in Vegan Life Magazine are really useful.

Are you vegan?  Do you have any tips for those who want to change their diet?  What helped you when you first went vegan?

You can read the for article yourself in issue 3 of Vegan Life Magazine.

Disclosure - I have been provided with a free digital subscription to Vegan Life Magazine in return for reviewing this publication.  All opinions are, of course, my own. 

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