Have you take the Veganuary pledge this year? I did last year and although I am proud of myself for making a positive change for myself and the planet, I did found it tough (and still hanker after cheese…)
The first month was definitely the worst. I wasn’t sufficiently prepared and discovered that food labelling is woefully inadequate. I believe that products need to state that things are made to a vegan recipe but made in a factory or on equipment with specific allergens to protect those with allergies.
So here are my 5 top tips to getting you through this first month of being a vegan even when you are finding it tough to stick to:
1: think about your favourite meals and how they can be adapted. Experiment with alternatives and substitutes (oil instead of butter, flax eggs or aquafaba instead of eggs)
2: make the decision about food labels: if the ingredients seem vegan then is that adeqaute (remember they cannot state vegan if they MAY have come into contact with eggs and dairy due to the same production facilities)
3: ask brands and restaurants to confirm their products are vegan. I have used Twitter to reach out to brands and servers in restaurants are usually very helpful. Italian restaurants are very good at providing vegan and gluten free options for pizza and pasta dishes
4: it isn’t all about food, think about your cosmetics, toiletries and home cleaning products as well.
5: don’t give up if you can’t resist a taste. I had tons of food in the cupboard and once my Veganuary month was over I gradually worked my way through it in my first 6 months of being vegan if I couldn’t get Chris and the kids to eat it. I felt bad that I wasn’t 100% vegan for a few months but wasting food would have been even worse for the planet, plus it was perhaps a single mocha in a whole day.
Remember, it is better to be vegan imperfectly or 99% of the time than to not try at all.
Veganism might not be the right choice for you and your family but a weekly meatfree Monday might suit you well. Vegetarianism could prove to be an important step in reducing meat consumption and embracing the associated positive environmental effects.