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It’s time we let you in on a little secret: going vegan is actually a piece of cake
Whatever brought you as far as this page, you’ve already taken the all-important first step on your vegan journey. Here are some tried and tested tips to help this exciting process go smoothly.
Take it slow
Keep your end goal in mind, but go at your own pace. Some people manage to go vegan overnight and if that's the right approach for you, fantastic. But don't be concerned if you feel you need more time. Like any other lifestyle change, going vegan not only takes getting used to, but it takes time to determine what will work best for you. It's not a one size fits all experience and there are numerous approaches you can take.
Making small changes to your everyday meals is one of the easiest ways to increase the amount of plant-based foods in your diet. You could start by removing meat or dairy one day a week and go from there. Or you could try changing one meal at a time, having vegan breakfasts during your first week, adding a vegan lunch during week two and so on. You could even try changing one product at a time by swapping cow's milk for almond or soya milk or butter for coconut oil or margarine. There's a plant-based alternative for almost every type of food you can think of, so you don't have to miss out on any of your favourite foods. For more inspiration, check out our recipe section as well as Food and drink and our sandwich and wrap filling ideas. On a budget? Our blog featuring the cheapest vegan meals may be able to help.
Do it right
Make sure you don't miss out on essential nutrients. Just because you're vegan that doesn't mean you're 100% healthy, as there are vegan versions of almost every type of junk food you can think of. As long as you eat a wide variety of tasty plant foods, planning a healthy diet that incorporates all the vitamins and nutrients you need will be a breeze. Check out our nutrition pages for more information, or seek advice from a registered dietitian.
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Try new things
Treat your taste buds to new foods and new flavours. Leaving your food comfort zone will take you on a voyage of discovery of new cuisines. There are thousands of vegan recipes out there from every corner of the globe. Whatever your culinary preference, you'll encounter amazing new dishes and interesting variations on your old favourites. Yet you don't have to be an award-winning chef to achieve this. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the number of meals you can easily prepare from things already in your kitchen or local supermarket ingredients. Check out our section on shopping for more information, including a list of specialist online vegan stores. If you're based in Britain and not ready to enter out of your comfort zone just yet, our list of vegan-friendly options at UK restaurant chains may help. Those of you interested in vegan cheese may be interested in this blog where we rate some of the different varieties against each other.
Remember that going vegan is a learning curve. To live as a vegan in a non-vegan world takes both courage and curiosity. Veganism has been around since 1944, but it’s still a relatively new concept to many people. It’s important you allow yourself time to learn about the various strands of veganism – and remember to pat yourself on the back along the way for the progress you've made.
Ask for help
"Where can I buy vegan chocolate?" "How do I bake cakes without eggs?" "I don’t know how to speak to my family about veganism!” Fear not –you're not alone. Our website is full of information and resources covering all of these questions and more. There's nothing like talking to other vegans to make your transition even easier. Link up with others through channels like Facebook or Twitter, or check out our 'Local and Group Contacts' to find your nearest vegan group, where you'll discover many friendly people happy to help. For additional support you should sign up to our free Vegan Pledge where you’ll be supported with daily emails to help guide you through your first month as a vegan.
Keep reminding yourself of the reasons you've chosen a vegan lifestyle, and the benefits you've felt since going vegan. You'll probably find going vegan a lot easier than expected, but if you do have a bad day or feel this whole vegan thing is too much like hard work – take a deep breath and briefly reflect on your choices. Reading books or regularly watching informative and uplifting videos about veganism can help, as does keeping motivating visual reminders like photos of your favourite animals. Or how about locating your nearest animal sanctuary? Spending time with animals who are traditionally farmed and getting to know their wonderful personalities is a great way to reaffirm your commitment to veganism. If you can't do that, these positive videos of animals will do the same thing.
Don’t give up
If you believe in yourself, vegan living will soon become second nature. There is always a better reason to stick with your decision than to go against it. If you're having issues with friends or family, don't give up: our sections on socialising and solutions to these problems can give you some advice. Remember, there are lots of vegan groups online and off that you can join.
Make sure that you do things along the way that remind you of the joy of vegan living, and take it one day at a time. You've chosen an amazing, exciting and profound way to live your life – be sure to enjoy it.
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Go vegan in 30 days
Everyone wants to feel healthier, lighter and more vibrant. Couple these fantastic benefits with the knowledge that you can also do your best for animals around the world, as well as reducing your effect on the environment. There is a simple action you can take that will have a positive effect not just on you but on many other lives.
The Vegan Society's 30 Day Vegan Pledge can help you out with simple steps as you investigate and learn more about the benefits of a plant-based diet and vegan living. Sign up via email and for 30 days you’ll receive advice on all aspects of a vegan diet (including lots of healthy and easy recipes to try out), allowing you to really sink your teeth into the lifestyle.
The Vegan Pledge has helped over a thousand people go vegan and stay vegan with its regularly updated tips and support, and we're proud to have received an abundance of positive feedback from ex-Pledgers around the world. What are you waiting for? Follow this link to sign up to the Vegan Pledge today, and get ready to uncover the delights of veganism and vegan living; whether you're already trying to go vegan or are merely curious, we can help.
Q: Do I need to be vegan to take the Pledge?
A: The pledge is intended for people who aren’t vegan but are curious about veganism; or those who may have attempted it before and wish to try again in a more determined manner. However, it is also useful for new vegans just learning the ropes, and we encourage anyone who needs the extra advice and support to take it. If you’re already a vegan why not head over to our 'Take action' pages to discover other ways to become involved.
Q: I ate cake that had dairy in it – do I have to start at the beginning again?
A: Not at all – sometimes even the most careful vegans get tripped up by something. We all do the best we can and by making a conscious decision to being vegan for a month you have shown that you are already thinking differently about your choices.
Q: I have a specific question – where can I get help?
A: Our 'Resources' section is full of lifestyle information, nutrition advice, recipes and answers to frequently asked questions. Yet if you feel you have a question that only a human can answer, then why not contact your local representative for The Vegan Society, or pop over to our Facebook and Twitter channels?
We've been running the vegan pledge for many years. Over this time we've received countless emails from people saying that it was so much easier than they expected. A great deal of them say they wish they'd tried the lifestyle years ago, as they're so much happier, healthier and more content. For a lot of us, it's the best decision we ever make.
Article and Post from the -Vegan Society Website/