Becoming vegan is a learning curve and it’s fun to try new things and learn a lot along the way. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes, it’s all part of the journey. But you might wish you had some tips to help you start or wish you knew a few things before you started.
I could probably think of a million things but here are a few key things to help you get started:
1. You can give up dairy cheese
I was such a huge fan of cheese and ate it often. Cheeseburgers, cheesy pasta, toasties, alone, in a sandwich, literally any way I could.
It might feel like a big adjustment at first and not all vegan cheeses taste like dairy cheese but there are so many nice ones on the market now. Also, your tastebuds adjust big time when you’ve been vegan for a while and you just get used to coconut/nut cheeses. So you really don’t have to give up anything, just replace it with the non dairy stuff.
2. There is milk in literally EVERYTHING
Some stuff might seem like it won’t contain milk, take fruit for example but the dairy industry are sneaky fuckers and that shit is in sooo much. If it doesn’t say vegan on the packaging and you’re not sure check the ingredients.
They also list it as whey, milk powder, lactose and other names. I have a list of ingredients to look out for which you will find helpful too. Check it out here. Don’t be put off by how long the list is though, everyone does their best to avoid animal products but some companies are super sneaky and don’t call them what they are (animal fat etc).
3. You will be able to eat at your favourite restaurants/fast food places
KFC in the UK has a vegan chicken burger dude, you’ll be fine. All restaurants are competing for the vegan market right now and it’s become so mainstream. You won’t miss out on anything.
To name a few:
- Greggs have vegan options
- KFC have vegan options
- Mcdonalds have vegan options
- Papa Johns have vegan options
- Pizza Hut have vegan options
- Subway have vegan options
4. Oreos are vegan
Tons of accidentally vegan products exist and you can eat them all. This isn’t just biscuits it’s every type of food but they are just a very well known one. If you don’t have allergies and mind the whole may contain thing there are so many foods you can eat.
I created a list for this too but some can be easy to spot. Check out the UK list here.
5. Eating vegan can be cheap but it probably won’t be
Yeah if you eat rice and beans, don’t buy gardein and don’t go to Greggs all the time it’ll be cheap as chips! But if you don’t want to live off pasta, lentils and veg all the time and try all the exciting new products it will start to be expensive. But I’m not the sensible saving type and I will go and spend £30 on lunch for just myself.
6. The online vegan community are great (mostly)
If you’re like me and know exactly 3 people irl who are vegan don’t worry because the online world is full of vegan pals. If you need support, guidance, recipe inspo the vegan community is at your fingertips to help you with anything your heart desires. They’re generally a wonderfully supportive bunch but you get the occasional twat who think they’re a better vegan than you.
Most of my vegan friends are online and I’m so cool with that. Being an introvert means I can talk to them as much or little as I want/can, not having to avoid social engagements, it’s perfect!
But if you’re more of a social butterfly you can easily find friends by searching for vegans in your area on Instagram etc.
7. There’s an app for that
Need help finding a good vegan restaurant? There’s an app for that. Want to check if a food item is vegan? There’s an app for that. Need to tell your Spanish waiter that you’re vegan? Guess what there’s an app for that too!
There is so much out there to help vegans and these apps make it a breeze. Especially if you like to do things independently and would prefer not to ask for help.
I like lists and have made one for useful apps too. Check it out here.
8. Pressing and freezing tofu makes all the difference
The first time I made tofu it was kinda burnt and a bad texture all at the same time. It was a disaster. Pressing the water out helps the tofu crisp up and not be mushy. Freezing it takes it to THE next level and makes the texture better for a mock meat substitute. Think tofu nugs. Yummm!
9. Don’t throw away the liquid in your can of chickpeas.
It’s called Aquafaba. It can be used to make mayo, meringue and other amazing things.
Store it in the fridge in a jar for up to a few days and you can use it for so many things. The internet is full of recipes and ways to use it.
10. Nooch is life
Nutritional yeast is a staple and is considered a food group in my house. You can sprinkle it on pasta, use it in sauces, the possibilities are endless.
It’s cheesy, cheap and full of goodness. It might sound and look weird to you but trust me it will be your best friend. You should have at least 1 pot in your cupboard at all times. You can thank me later.
Like this post? Subscribe to my newsletter and follow Vegan Babe Life on social media to keep up to date with the latest news, recipes, guides and product launches.
I hope you enjoyed this post and that you find it useful.
Let me know what you think in the comments or tweet me @veganbabelife
Thanks for reading!