Yep, you read that right. As of February 1st, I’m following a vegan diet. I’m doing this as part of a series of articles on SHEmazing.net, so make sure you check over there for some delicious vegan recipes and how I got on at the end of the month.
As part of a college assignment, I wrote about the rise of veganism. I interviewed my fab friend Emma and the lovely Laura from My Makeup Perspective as part of this assignment, and did plenty of research online. All of these factors combined to make me think, “Maybe I could give this a go?”
So here we are, four days into February and I haven’t touched any dairy, meat or animal products. I’m as surprised as you are. I knew that preparation would be key if I wanted to give this my best shot, so I thought I’d share with you how I planned and organised to overhaul my diet.
- Get reading – I rooted through my cookbooks and bookmarked all of the vegan-friendly recipes or recipes I could easily adapt to being vegan. I love Deliciously Ella, with her new book Deliciously Ella Every Day being my saviour the past few days. Deliciously Ella Every Day came out just last week, so it was perfect timing. All of the recipes look delicious and are generally easy to make.
- Go online – I knew that the internet would be the best tool for finding recipes and getting inspiration, so I headed onto YouTube and found some great vegan YouTube channels. My Health Perspective, Cheap Lazy Vegan and Fresh Fit Beauty have some great recipe videos for inspiration.
- Take notes – While watching the YouTube videos and looking online, I took down the recipes that I like in a notebook so that I have them to hand when I’m thinking of things to make. I divided it into breakfast, lunch/dinner and snacks and it’s so handy to flick through when I need inspiration.
- Go through the cupboards – I knew there was quite a few things that I wouldn’t be able to eat or use for the month, so I put all of these to one side. I then looked at what I had left and what I needed to fill out.
- Plan your meals – I don’t mean you have to rigidly stick with what you said you’d eat every day, but rather I made sure I have five meals planned for Monday to Friday, lunches and snacks. This makes it easy to stay on track and will stop me from feeling like I’ve nothing to eat.
- Make your shopping list – After going through my cupboards and recipe books, I wrote down the products that I needed, like fruit, veggies and things to cook with. I made sure I’d plenty of pasta, rice, chia seeds, nuts, oats and peanut butter, as I knew I’d be having them most days. You only need to buy things like chia seeds or flaxseeds every few weeks or months as you use them in small amounts. My shop for this week was quite large, but once I’ve my essentials in I know next week will be easier.
- Prepare in bulk – I graze a lot throughout the day, so I have loads of nuts and dark chocolate ready for me to grab on the go. I made soup on Tuesday to last me the rest of the week, peanut butter bars on Monday and today I’m going to prep my food and snacks for the weekend. I find this is necessary for me as I’m always on the go, but I also enjoy cooking and baking so I don’t mind.
As I said, preparation was key for me in going vegan. It took a bit of time to go through my recipe books and sites online, but I really enjoy that kind of thing. I wanted to make sure that I’d plenty of options of nice food to eat and different things to try out. These few steps really helped me get ready to make the changes in my diet, as someone who has eaten dairy and meat their whole life, and they made the process a whole lot easier. Saying that, I’m obviously still in my first few days. I think as the month goes on, it’s either going to get much harder or much easier. Here’s to hoping it’s the latter!