Changing a diet is never easy – especially when you have grown up eating dairy products and meat every single day of your life. How can you suddenly forget the milk to your coffee, the butter to your bread or the eggs to your breakfast? Step by step, you will find that the journey is not as difficult as it looks. In fact, with each new day it is becoming easier and easier.
When I started eating vegan 2 years ago, there was almost nothing vegan to buy at the store. At best, I could buy oat milk (incredibly expensive) and some kind of vegan minced meat which tasted like plastic and was definitely not budget friendly. Since then, things have changed. Now, I can buy vegan cheese (very tasty one) for my pizza for just under 2$, which for Copenhagen is actually really cheap (as cheap as regular cheese).
For those just starting out, I would like to share 5 vegan tips that will make your transition earlier that I wish I knew when I began my vegan journey.
1. Go around your neighborhood.
This one took me almost a year to realize. For a long time I kept going to the same old supermarket hoping to find new vegan options, cheaper vegetables or something new on sale. Shocker – it never happened.
Going to the same store and expecting to find new things is quite foolish. After a lot of disappointment, I went around and noticed that the neighborhood had at least 3 other supermarkets and 2 vegetable stands that I could have been buying organic, cheaper products from this whole time!
My vegan tip – go around your neighborhood and check out what other options you have for buying your products. Chances are that you have been missing out on something and you might (like me) suddenly find a vegetable stand that sells organic vegetables for half the price than your usual supermarket.
Learning to cook vegan food is not that difficult but it takes time (like everything else). That is why, one of the best vegan tips that you can implement in your journey will be that of being open minded towards experimentation when you cook.
Once a week, I like to try to cook something new. That way, I allow myself to never have to be stuck with few dulls meals in a week and are able to learn something new each week.
Vegan food is a lot about experimenting with what you like, figuring out what you don’t like and deciding on what you will never ever cook again. For me, that is coconut milk. So many amazing, simple vegan recipes require coconut milk and I wish I could eat it but for some reason I just can’t handle the smell of it. Find out what you love, and find out what you hate.
3. Forget about “vegan” products.
You might find yourself wasting too much time looking for vegan cheese, vegan meat, vegan sausages and whatnot. You do not need any of that to have a full vegan meal. I almost never buy these kinds of processed food and I encourage you to also try cooking with vegetables, legumes and pasta/rice, etc. as much as you can, avoiding processed fake meat and cheese.
4. Join vegan forums/instagram profiles/twitter.
You can find a lot of inspiration online! Some of the best snack ideas and vegan recipes I have found while I was just browsing through my feed. Try following some vegan accounts you like and see what you can learn. People online are constantly trying to give vegan tips and make the transition for beginner vegans easier than the one they had.
5. Take it easy
When I first started eating vegan, I did it for about two months and then one night I had a slip and ate chili cheese tops from McDonald’s. I told myself that I was stupid and now I could not be vegan again but that is not how it works.
You don’t need to be vegan to eat vegan! I don’t ever in my life tell anyone to become vegan, what I do is encourage people to try cooking vegan, eating vegan and snacking vegan as much as they can. If eventually one decides that they want to call themselves “vegan” then that is ok too. I am not there yet, I do not consider myself vegan because I am sure I often use products such as soaps and clothes that are not 100% vegan.
And that’s ok! It’s about the small steps. Learn to cook vegan food, start snacking vegan, learn more vegan tips and tricks and eventually you will see your health improve, while you are making a difference in the world.
It’s a really simple way to make a difference!