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Veganary might be a distant memory, but the number of people opting for a plant-based diet, and lifestyle, is on the rise.
Just to clarify, veganism is essentially eating a diet from all animal foods including meat, fish, shellfish plus dairy, eggs, honey and anything containing by-products like gelatin. Vegans also avoid leather, wool, silk and anything tested on animals.
If becoming a vegan is on your mind, we have put together some ideas that might help you make the change.
Go your own way
Some people go 100% vegan from day one, and others take their time. This isn’t a race and there are no prizes for getting there fast, so take your time and do what works for you. Take dairy or meat out of your diet one day a week, have a vegan roast on Sunday and take your own lunch into work. Testing the waters and seeing how you feel and what you like can be a more practical approach than throwing everything out of the cupboards and fridge, then regretting it.
Look around your house
If you are serious about being a vegan, you will need to look at your belongs and decide if they fit with your new lifestyle choice and beliefs. From accessories, shoes and clothing to toiletries, animal products and products tested on animals are found in more places than you might expect, so take your time and make the swaps needed.
Find what you like
There’s a plant-based alternative for many foods and home products and this is very much a growing market. Try going to your local health food shop, farmers market, independent delis and supermarkets and begin creating a vegan pantry. Think about those foods you enjoy, but contain animal products, and what you can swap them for. There are some great tofu products out there, almond and oat milks are a great alternative to cow’s milk and if you’re cheese lover, there are options out there for vegans so you won’t miss out.
Be aware of your needs
Being vegan doesn’t instantly make you healthy. You need to take a look at your new diet and ensure you are still getting a balanced intake of food groups and vitamins because if you aren’t this to tiredness and a lower immune system. As well as a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables it is important to add protein-rich foods such as beans, chickpeas, nuts, lentils and seeds into the mix. High fibre starchy foods like oats, sweet potatoes, wholemeal bread and pasta plus brown rice are great for a vegan diet and using herbs and unsaturated fats, such as vegetable and olive oils, in your cooking will add flavour and richness.
Zoos, petting farms, aquariums and taking part in dog or horse racing aren’t on the agenda for vegans but you can visit, and support, animal sanctuaries and charities as they offer safe and loving homes for rescued animals.
Get some support
From the societies, social media groups and vegan magazines, you won’t be alone or stuck for support on your journey and you will probably find some friends along the way too. Have a look at what’s on offer and you will be surprised at just how many other people are choosing a vegan way of life.
Team Pure Beauty