Going Vegan can feel, and be, difficult initially as you are changing some deep set habits and your taste buds. Doing it gradually and not being too restrictive on your self helps. For me, it was a slow but sustainable change. Almost without realising it I ended up vegan and have never felt or ate healthier than I do now! So here's my five ways to make going vegan easier:
1. Find Plant Based Snacks
We all have moments where we want to eat some cake, tuck into something hearty and heart-warming or simply just dip into whilst we watch a film, so knowing what your go-to snacks and treats are going to be will stop you reaching for animal products and overly fatty or processed food. My go-to's are toast and hummus or jam, cereal and rice milk, dairy free yoghurt, ginger nut biscuits (if vegan), oat and honey bars.. I'm not saying these are healthy but if you can find plant based (and preferably healthy) snacks then you'll have your 'comfort' moments covered :)
Read the First 3 Changes I Made When Going Vegan
2. Use CRON-O-Meter
CRON-O-Meter is a great tool for keeping track of the nutrition in what you're eating. If you want to make sure you're getting all your nutrients on your plant based or vegan diet, click here to check out CRON-O-Meter. Also, here's a video showing how easy it is to get all your nutritional needs on a Plant Based diet, using CRON-O-Meter as a tracking tool:
3. Start the day right, preferably with fruit
If possible, eat or drink fruit first thing in the morning. There's plenty of smoothie ideas online and if rushed, blend it, bottle it and drink in during your commute. Or start with a glass of fruit juice or shop bought smoothie then follow with a bowl of oats or cereal. When you've got time start the day with a green juice, that feels really good!
4. Don't be too restrictive on yourself
I don't believe in counting calories or setting yourself unrealistic goals. Sustainability is the key here. There's no point attempting to be healthier in a way that means you're only going to continue for the next 6 weeks or 6 months! Our bodies respond to consistency so play the long game. Don't try to be too 'pure' about it, it's better to be eighty or ninety percent plant based and stick with it than try to go 100% and drop off a few weeks or months in. I don't say this so that you can 'treat' yourself have an excuse to 'fall off the wagon' but so that you will develop a mindset that doesn't think in terms of wagons, treats and diets. Think Whole-foods, Plant Based and eat plenty of the good stuff so that your body is nutritionally satisfied.
5. Keep it simple
Eating Plant Based doesn't have to be a dramatic change or mean buying a whole bunch of fancy new ingredients (unless you like cooking!) There is a lot of easy foods out there that are simple and quick to cook, fill you up nicely and taste great! Veggie burgers, frozen veg, soups, potatoes (baked/roasted/boiled/mashed). I make a lot of stir fry style dishes with rice as that's straight forward. For getting salad in, buy some wraps, a bag of mixed salad leaves, cook up some rice (or buy the microwaveable packet type), throw in a tin of mixed beans and anything else you'd like, maybe a salsa or sweet chilli sauce and make your own burritos! It can be as simple as having your usual Sunday roast but leaving the meat off, or initially simply cutting the amount of meat down and increasing the amount of veg. Roast veg is always delicious! You can still have a cooked breakfast on Saturday, just make it veggie sausages, mushrooms, hash browns, fried onions and baked beans. Add a couple of slices of toast and enjoy. On a healthier note, how about rice with a stir fry mix of peppers, mushrooms, onions, sweetcorn and anything else you want to throw in?
Thanks for reading, happy eating!
Follow me on Instagram @plantbasedandpositive