If you have ever pondered about whether or not to follow a vegan diet, there’s probably a strong chance that one of the factors that put you off was the strictness of the vegan regime. Restricting yourself to a diet that includes only plants or plant-based derivatives can seem like a huge step to take.
Another factor that can be a challenge for those wishing to convert is just how to decide just what you can and can’t eat. Many foods contain hidden animal fats and how to truly know that what you eat is 100% vegan takes a certain amount of research.
However, where there’s a will there’s a way, and if you are determined to ensure that you play your part in making a stand against any cruel use of animals for food or indeed any other purpose, veganism is a way of life and not just a dietary choice.
So, with decision made and determination fully installed, just how do you embrace the vegan way of living?
One of the first things to realise is this is not likely to be an instantaneous process. Simply waking up and ‘going for it’ is achievable of course but as it usually means quite a dramatic change, people often phase the diet in. As well as being a period to experiment with new flavours and ideas, it can also bring changes to your body which whilst ultimately healthy, can cause the body to react initially whilst it goes through a temporary adjustment phase. One way to avoid this is by introducing a vegan meal one at a time – so for the first few days concentrate on breakfast, followed by lunch then your evening meal. This gives you time to learn about what you can make, buy and enjoy without the pressure of doing it all in one go.
Think a vegan diet is all salads and veggies? We live in an era where demand dictates that choice is out there and this is no different with vegan foods. Head to your local supermarket and shelves of specialised vegan food are available but also informative labelling should mean that a lot of foods will state if they are vegan friendly. If in doubt, ask, but also if you know what you are heading off to the shops for, researching on the internet in advance will make life a whole lot easier.
Eating out? From healthy choices to junk food, as well as vegan specific restaurants and cafes, a lot of other eateries recognise the vegan market and cater accordingly. From pizzas and kebabs to cake and ice cream, yes vegans can enjoy a scrumptious dose of junk food too!
And when it comes to ditching the milk, it isn’t all soy, soy and even more soy. Coconut milk and coconut water have a mild and sweet nutty taste that makes a refreshing and healthy alternative, whilst ditching the animal fat in favour of coconut oil may well be one of the best culinary moves that you’ve ever made.