Being vegan (and gluten-free) can be a challenge!!! I’ve been there. At first it’s just trying to get your head around what vegan means and then it’s working out what you can eat and how you live!!! Here are 10 Things You Need To Know If You Are New To Being Vegan (and gluten-free!).
10 Things You Need To Know If You Are New To Being Vegan – The Basics
There are a few things if You Are New To Being Vegan you should already know.
- It’s a steep learning curve, you will make mistakes, don’t beat yourself up about it
- Vegan is not just the way you eat, it’s the way you live
- Although being vegan is super fashionable at the moment – don’t let this be your main motivation, fashions change
- Being vegan (and gluten-free) is REALLY challenging – but it does get easier.
10 Things You Need To Know If You Are New To Being Vegan
This is not an exhaustive list but it will get you going in the right direction…
- Do your research. Understand your nutritional needs and how you will meet them. Be particularly aware of your B12 (supplements are a very good idea), iron, calcium and protein
- Be prepared for the barrage of questions from friends, family and strangers… ‘but what DO you eat?’. Take it as genuine interest and respond in good humour
- It will take a little time for you to adjust to your new diet. you will get used to the way new things taste and when you accidentally drink dairy milk after not eating it for some time it will taste… Not quite how you remember it
- Don’t swap meat for fake meat. You need to think carefully about your new food sources. Your shopping and cooking will change
- There are LOTS of things you think you will be (should be) vegan and they are not. Many crisps/ chips have milk in the flavourings and bread often contains milk in the US
- Don’t be surprised if vegan products are often a) expensive b) taste like crap (I point you to some non-dairy milks!)
- Just because it’s vegan, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy – processed food tends to be full of fat and sugar regardless of whether it’s vegan
- Eating out is easier than ever – however don’t be too complacent. Asking a few questions of the staff will enable you to work out if they really understand vegan food and whether your food will be vegan (fish sauce in Thai/ Vietnamese restaurants is a continuing bug bear!!!)
- Although many toiletries and cosmetics do not contain any animal ingredients they may not be vegan (many large companies still test on animals particularly those who operate in China). It is a consideration for you when buying shampoo, shower gel and anything else
- Vegan as a lifestyle is about the bigger picture, not just how you eat but how you live. Beyond not consuming any animal products there are further considerations; environment, sustainability, ethics, morals and more. Work out how you live in your surroundings. You are responsible for your own diet and lifestyle, do what works for you.
The 10 E Numbers and Additives That Are Never Vegan – Bonus Top Tip
- Cooking for yourself is the way to go. You know exactly what goes in your food, you reduce the risk of cross-contamination and you save money on crappy tasting ready meals.
The 10 E Numbers and Additives That Are Never Vegan
There is a HUGE list of E Numbers that may, or may not be vegan. To help you navigate the mysterious world of E Numbers you can download the FREE E Number Cheat Sheet by clicking the BIG RED BUTTON below.
So, you’re looking at an ingredient list of… gluten-free bread for example… and it has E471 – Mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids in the ingredients. E471 – Mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids can be made from made from animal fats. So, how do you know if this is a vegan or non-vegan version of E471 – Mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids??
The short answer is you don’t. But there are clues. If the product is labelled vegetarian or vegan, you are fine… This method of deduction is the only way you can be sure but where some additives may be vegetarian but not vegan it starts to get harder. Often the only way to be sure is to contact the manufacturer (but that will not always elicit a clear, unequivocal response). Many Facebook groups post company responses to questions relating to their products being vegan. So, search engines and social media are great places to look (on your smartphone in the supermarket) to find a (fairly) definitive answer.
In the meantime check out the cheat-sheet with all those additives and E Numbers that definitely not and definitely maybe vegan!!!
10 Things You Need To Know If You Are New To Being Vegan – Simple Recipes
It can be a little bit daunting starting out being vegan (and gluten-free) so here are five of my go-to recipes that are super-quick, easy and use easy to get hold of store cupboard ingredients
- Perfect Plain Rice – I adore rice and have it at least once a day. This recipe works everytime
- If you like curry you’ll love Chick Peas and Kale in Tamarind Tomato Sauce. Perfect with plain rice
- Snacks are super important. Peanut Butter And Chocolate Crispie Protein Bars are amazing
- Miso Soup with Tofu and Shitake Mushrooms – so quick and easy to make. Nutritious and delicious
- Uber Rich Chocolate and Strawberry Brownies – we all need a treat from time to time. These are delicious.
What Is Your Tip To Share If You Are New To Being Vegan?
There are lots of tips If You Are New To Being Vegan – this is my tiny selection of faves…
What are your tips to share If You Are New To Being Vegan? Drop a comment below or ping me on social media! 🙂