January marks the annual Veganuary campaign – are you taking part, or are you curious about trying veganism?
There’s so much to think about, and if you don’t personally know any vegans, the prospect of making such a big lifestyle change may be daunting. It’s great to feel supported and have guidance from the experience of others, so we had a chat with the parents over in our online community who are already established vegans to help anyone considering veganism!
As ever, they were full of advice and handy information to help anyone keen to take part in Veganuary (or even make it a full time lifestyle change). It can be a bit of a minefield to navigate; ingredients, labelling, where to shop…
Hopefully these tips make things much easier for you!
Kathryn Dibb – she and her family are currently around 80% vegan.
“Using meat substitutes (Linda McCartney range is our fave) is a good stepping stone at first, we love a good curry so just mix it up with different beans/lentils and spices, herbs/spices become your best friend, try a range of plant based milks to find your favourite for different things (for us it’s almond for tea, coconut & almond for cereal, oat for coffee), cheese is a hard one so I try avoid it.”
“My biggest tip that I would give anyone considering Veganuary, especially parents, would be to not feel the need to buy the vegan alternatives to everything, instead concentrating on using whole foods as a replacement in some meals instead. This makes meals super healthy, nutritious, tasty and (my favourite word) cheap. Win win all around.
As a family of 6 on only one wage we have to watch our pennies when it comes to everything, especially food shopping! And I know, especially this time of year, many other families are having to budget tightly until that end of the month January pay day. Some vegan meals that I use whole foods/healthy ingredients in are chilli, spaghetti bolognese, fajitas and lasagna. For the spag bol, chilli and lasagna I use beans, pulses and lentils as an alternative to vegan mince.
There’s many different beans and pulses out there so you can change ingredients around to stop the meals becoming boring. Our favourites are lentils (which I use in all of the three meals I mentioned to bulk it out) chickpeas, three bean salads, cannellini beans and kidney beans. But sometimes I use butter beans and black beans to mix things up a bit. For fajitas I use tinned jackfruit instead of vegan chicken. It’s so cheap and so healthy too!”
“The one great thing is that there’s pretty much a vegan alternative for everything now and most of it you can find in the supermarket. Things you have to watch for are E numbers, honey, egg and Carmine which is crushed beetle.
Make sure you check every thing on the back, some things say vegan/vegetarian but sometimes they are not, but that’s quite rare now. You can always find if something is vegan or not on the web too so you’ll be fine. Remember you can veganise anything! Good luck!”
“Cut it slow. Cut read meat, then white meat.. maybe follow pescatarian diet so fish only. Fine a good dairy milk sub. I like oat milk the best. Alpro or oatly. Invest in nutritional yeast. B12 is important. And just research.
I went pescatarian first but quickly had to give up dairy because breastfeeding baby has cow’s milk allergy so it was a quick vegan transition. Read labels. Lots of things are accidentally vegan. Lots of stuff contains milk powder. Mainly crisps.
If you like biscuits bourbons are vegan… certain brands.. .most dark chocolate… Nono chocolate is lush.
Lots of Lidl own stuff is vegan… and Aldi sell loads of frozen vegan food, just not butter but Lidl does.
Not only is my baby happier without dairy, my health has had a massive impact. My fibromyalgia has eased and easier to manage, my blood pressure is at an incredible best, bloods have never looked better, energy is more, feeling much better.
Also Diet Pepsi isn’t vegan (they can’t say why for ‘commercially sensitive’ reasons)!”
“I’m trying as well. I like hazelnut milk best as it’s still creamy and Morrisons sell it cheaply.”
If you have any tips of your own that you’d like us to add to the list, feel welcome to comment below and we can add them into this feature!
Love from Katie & Team BBY. Xx