BLOGUARY #2 • Tips for NEW VEGANS & What I wish I knew before going Vegan!
Welcome to the second instalment of this mini-series I'm doing, to see the first post you can click here to read that & then come back to this one 🥰
Happy 2021! I'm back on my website & ready to fill it with all of the blog posts that I am itching to write. I'm also doing Vloguary on YouTube (the link for my Vloguary video will be featured at the bottom of this post as well as on my homepage). I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday Season, whatever it was you celebrated. Did you enjoy your New Year's? Not that we could get up to much, but still, it's nice to finally say goodbye to 2020.
First things first, I'll explain a little about what Bloguary/Vloguary shall consist of. Bloguary shall be a weekly blog post of things that I got up to during the week & each week will have a main theme or topic that I focus on - I've planned them out in advanced. Vloguary shall follow a similar structure but will be in YouTube format (I'll also add each Vloguary video onto my Bloguary post).
In January of 2019, I decided that I would take the plunge & try veganism with Veganuary. I had already been vegetarian for 5 years prior, I hardly ate much dairy & just thought it was the right time to do it. Being veggie, I already had some knowledge on the foods I could & couldn't eat, however, my diet was absolutely shocking. I was cooking (if you can even call it that) packets of instant noodles, a bunch of frozen food, crips, chocolate & lots of fast food. So, vegan or not, it was definitely time for a change! I also had an upper hand as a couple of my friends were already vegan, so they would give me some tips on what to do when starting out. Today I am sharing my compiled wisdom with you!
DISCLAIMER: I am sharing knowledge based on my personal experiences, I have done my best to fact check everything mentioned & credited where needed. However, I would recommend doing your own research & speak to a doctor or nutrition if you have any concerns ☺️
If you're thinking about going vegan or even just cutting down on your meat & dairy consumption, there's a few things I'd like to mention:
It's not as difficult as it's made out to be! Long gone are the days where "vegans only eat broccoli & nuts" in fact, I'd say that vegan food is more colourful & rich than meat-based meals.
Not all vegans are angry & preachy! Of course, there are vegans out there who will yell at you for eating meat in front of them, but the truth is that for a lot of us, whilst we would obviously love for the entire planet to be vegan, understand that it's a conscious choice to be vegan & it's not for everyone. I've had many occasions where friends have ordered a meat dish & said: "Can I eat this in front of you, will you be mad?" Of course not! I'd rather you were vegan, but that's your choice so please eat away!
You DO NOT need to take vitamins & supplements. The only time you would need to do this is if YOU wanted to or felt like you needed to. There are vegans (like my Mum) who take vitamins & supplements to help them with their diet & body, but for myself, I don't take any. If you're eating correctly then you probably won't need to. However, if you have concerns then please, please, please speak to a doctor, nutrition or dietion!
We're all here to help you with your vegan journey! If you feel stuck or unsure of certain things, please feel free to reach out to any vegans you know (online & offline) as I'm sure we'd all love to help out with any queries you have.
My 5 Top Tips
Looking back at my time as a vegan, I've created a little top tips list of the things I wish I had known when I was transitioning my diet
Don't be wasteful! If you still have non-vegan food in your home, feel free to finish those off or donate them to a family or friend. No one is going to yell at you for this. In my opinion, it's better to not be wasteful by eating the food you already have opposed to throwing it away
Research! Research! Research! There are thousands of websites, pages & people that will be amazing resources for what you can & can't eat as a vegan. It's also good to mention here that I would advise in creating a shopping list of the basic & fundamental groceries you'll need in your cupboards
Turn your already favourite meals into a vegan alternative! Chilli Con Carne, Spag Bol, Chicken Katsu Curry, whatever takes your fancy, I can guarantee that there is a vegan alternative out there that is just as, if not more, tasty than the recipe you're used to. It's also a good starting point!
Make it fun! Being vegan doesn't mean that you have to be on strict diet & eat salad all the time. Perhaps you could introduce a Vegan night into your household, take it in turns to plan different themes (Mexican, Italian, Asian) & see what you come up with. Who knows, you may even be able to introduce more of your family & friends into the Vegan lifestyle.
No one is perfect! I cannot stress this one enough! In your first month, even your first year, you are going to make mistakes & give into cravings & that is absolutely okay! If you make it too strict, you're more likely not to stick to it. I know in my first year of being vegan I would have the odd chocolate bar or slice of pizza, even now I accidentally eat something that isn't vegan (usually due to a recipe change of a product that I wasn't aware of or miscommunication between myself & a waiter etc). As long as you're making a conscious choice to be vegan, you'll be fine
Delicious Vegan Accounts
Here are some of my absolute favourite vegan accounts that give tasty recipes, advice & food inspo.
NaughtyVeganTreats: My friend Lottie has been veggie for a while & has recently created an account of her journey from Veggie to Vegan. A perfect account for those of you who are about to do the same. There are even things she posts that I didn't know! Here is her Instagram
PocketSizedVegan: Another dear friend of mine, Honica. In fact, Honica was the reason I went veggie all those years ago, later convincing me to go vegan! She has an Instagram & Blog with some absolutely killer recipes (try the cupcakes, you won't be disappointed!)
The Happy Pear: David & Stephen Flynn literally make me smile every time I watch them. Their dishes always turn out amazing & they're very student & budget friendly (usually taking less than 30 mins to prep & cook) not to mention their Irish accents are music to my ears. Here is their YouTube & Instagram
Irene Coco Queen: Irene is a very recent discovery of mine but she is so lovely & her recipes are as tasty as they look! Here is her YouTube
Bosh.TV: I have 3 of their recipe books in the cupboard but believe it or not I've never actually cooked one if their recipes. I'm shocked too! However, another pair of lovely lads that will make your tongue tingle! YouTube & Instagram links
Veganuary: Probably the most helpful page you'll ever find when it comes to transitioning to vegan. They have EVERYTHING & I literally mean everything. Full of resources & recipes. Veganuary website & Instagram
My Top 3 Fave Recipes
There are so many recipes that I cook regularly, but I've narrowed it down to 3 as these are the my holy grail & ones that I cook pretty much every week. Whilst these are recipes that I follow from other people, I do adapt them by adding things in or swapping ingredients if there's something I dislike. 9 times out of 10 I end up adding in extra spices to give the dish a bit more of a kick!
Chilli Con Protein: Original recipe by Maddie - highly recommend trying this with port!
Red Lentil Dahl: Original recipe by Maddie - this one I add in chickpeas too!
Brazilian Coconut Curry: Original recipe by Quorn - sometimes I add less lime
That's one the best things about vegan meals, you can change & adapt them to suit your own taste. It's all about experimenting! I even have my own vegan YouTube video where I bake some Autumn themed meals, feel free to check that out here
I think that's all the starting points that I have for you! If you have any queries do feel free to contact me on Instagram 🥰 until next week, see you soon!