I know a lot of you are planning to give Veganuary a go this year and I’ve got a whole month’s worth of posts lined up to help you to make going vegan easy! My eldest son and I both signed up for a month of vegan four years ago and it led to him going fully vegan almost immediately, me following suit a little while later and my youngest son joining us on our journey in spring of 2018. I’m very used to filling bellies and making sure that everyone is getting all the nutrients they need!
Over the next few weeks, and on into 2019, I’ll be covering everything from ‘Where do you get your protein?’ to ‘What to feed vegan children’. There will be recipe round ups for snacks, packed lunches, breakfasts and dinners as well as delicious desserts and treats to prove you don’t have to ‘go without’ to be vegan!
Today I’m offering you my top tips to make going vegan easy, to help you over that first shopping hurdle and to support you on your exciting foodie journey.
How to Survive Veganuary – 4 Tips to Make Going Vegan Easy!
1. Keep It Simple
You don’t have to cook everything from scratch, vegan food doesn’t need endless lists of weird ingredients and it’s really easy to veganise some familiar favourites. Curry, Chilli, Pasta and Risotto are all easy meals to make vegan and they all fill you up in dark, dank January!
The supermarkets have all realised that veganism is a huge growth area and they are upping their game with lots of vegan ready meals, plant milks, vegan cheeses, frozen goods, snacks and treats. Look in the Free From aisles and in the Vegetarian section of the freezers. Reading labels will soon be second nature to you but, when you are starting out, you need to be looking for the ingredients listed in bold on the back of packets – dairy and eggs are allergens so they have to highlighted clearly, which is very handy!
2. Be Kind to Yourself
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, there are lots of us out here who are more than willing to give you a helping hand! Find a supportive community to help you on your journey, whether that is where to buy the best vegan cheese or how to deal with friends and relatives who find it hard to believe you are still alive on a vegan diet and really want to know where you get your protein! Facebook is full of vegan support groups (don’t be afraid to join lots and then to leave most of them immediately if they don’t fit you – that is what I did!), Veganuary has a very good website full of advice and recipes and I am always very happy to answer questions here, via email or over on my Facebook Page.
3. Be Prepared
Lots of my recipes can be doubled up and you can freeze half for another day, this is a life saver when you have had a really busy day and you just can’t be bothered to cook! I also make sure I have a good stash of frozen vegan burgers (Linda McCartney’s 1/4 pounders are a firm family favourite), sausages, falafels and oven chips to hand as well as baked beans, hummus, good bread, snacking nuts and a big bowl of fruit – I never know which children are going to be here at any one time or who they will have with them so I need to be sure I’ve got stuff handy to fill them up with at the drop of a hat! Vegan doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t all have to be cooked from scratch – a good balance is easy to find and I’m happy to help you to find it!
4. Experiment and Enjoy!
Going Vegan isn’t going without and as you begin to explore the possibilities I am confident that you, like me, will quickly discover just how much variety there is with vegan cooking. When you remove meat, fish, eggs and dairy from your menu you have to find exciting ways to use vegetables, pulses, grains, fruits, nuts and seeds and there are an infinite number of vegan recipes to discover. Follow me here as I show you how to make creamy curries, cheesy pasta dishes, light and fluffy vegan cakes and how to produce dramatic showstoppers to wow even the most entrenched meat eaters at your table!