Welcome to another instalment of my Veganuary guest series. You can read previous posts written from Mark and Sarah.
Amy has sent me her post about why she became Vegan and also her top tips for going vegan too. Thank you Amy.
My name is Amy and I write a blog about my vegan life. However, it wasn’t always like that, I started writing Little Nibble in February 2015 and back then I wasn’t vegan, I was a full blown meat eater and egg scoffer but a bit wary of dairy’s affect on my skin. I did however suffer from a wheat intolerance and I was getting nagged by my friends to start writing about what I eat and how easy it can be if you’re diagnosed with an intolerance.
I then plodded along sharing my favourite foods and recipes what were both tasty and wheat free until about October 2015. It was around this time that I started to really think about what I was doing and how I was leading my life, I’ve always thought of myself as an animal lover and someone who looks after the environment as much as I can, I recycle, I reuse and I never waste food.
First things first, I started to cut down on my intake of fish, not because I had any intention of going vegan, purely because I’m obsessed with sea animals (#emptythetanks) and even the line and pole tuna didn’t feel like it was cutting the mustard. Slowly the thought of needing to cut out meat too started to creep in so I spoke to one of my best friends who’s a nearly vegan, vegetarian and she recommended a few documentaries for me, Conspiracy, Vegucated and Forks over knives.
The timing of watching these and attending Vegfest made something click in my head, I can only describe it as a switch that flipped. Before Christmas 2016 I dabbled with a vegan diet, at first it made me feel weird and ill, I was bloated and sluggish but it only lasted a week and from that moment on I started to feel a lot better. I can’t lie to you, at the start it was difficult, I got a whiff of bacon and wanted to cry, I dreamt of stilton but I was very surprised at how fast these bad feelings and cravings disappeared. I stopped being tasty bacon and started seeing little, cute pigs.
On 1st January 2017, I celebrated my first year of being vegan, veganniversary if you will! When I look back on last year I look back on it as the year I really found what I wanted to do with my life, it taught my about nutrition (I wanted to make sure those malnutrition myths weren’t true) which in turn helped me lose 2 and half stone, it also made me realise that I needed to look after my body and started training at the gym properly too. Going vegan is honestly the best thing that I have done with my life so far.
My top tips for going vegan:
1. Figure out why you’re doing it – obviously I would love it if everyone was vegan to live a kinder life for the animals and the planets but that’s not going to be the case for everyone. I’m vegan for everything, the animals, the environment and the health benefits. Whatever your reason for going vegan, immerse yourself in it, watch documentaries, follow fellow vegans, read books. It’s easier if you’re surrounded by reasons to keep going.
2. Plan – the key to vegan success is planning, especially at the start. Plan your meals, snacks, your shopping list and even your places to grab a coffee on a shopping trip. The more you plan ahead, the more you learn about where’s vegan friendly and what foods are going to become your staples
3. Create a support group – join some groups online, there are loads of closed vegan groups out there, usually you can find one for where you live too so there’s always the possibility to meet up with people and get tips for where to eat.
4. Don’t worry about what people think – this was a biggie for me, I didn’t think my family and friends would be behind me going vegan and although I don’t think they would admit it but people thought it was a phase, I got into March/April time and they started to come round. The decision to go vegan is a very personal one, it really doesn’t matter what other people think at the end of the day, it is none of their business.
5. Don’t be hard on yourself – going vegan is about living a kinder life and that needs to include being kind to yourself. Personally, I couldn’t afford to replace all my leather/suede shoes and bags, I don’t think that makes me a bad vegan. Instead of binning everything, I’ve decided to use them until they wear out and then replace them with vegan alternatives.
If you’re looking for tips on Veganuary then check out my Veganuary post!
Good luck everyone.