So, with eating meat on the decline in this country and plant-based diets getting the thumbs up in celebrity circles, veganism is trending.
Healthy, natural, compassionate and easy, switching to a vegan diet has never been less of a challenge, however there are still some myths out there to bust.
Myth 1. You don’t have to wear socks & sandals
Myth 2. You don’t have to buy loads of specialist produce
Myth 3. You won’t lack protein
Myth 4. You won’t struggle for a meal when eating out
I could go on for the whole post, but I won’t! the simple fact is that Veganism is causing the supermarkets and restaurants to sit up and take note, they are keen to capitalise on this blossoming market which is showing no sign of slowing down at all. Let’s go right back to basics and understand the main principles of eating a vegan diet.
What Vegans DON’T EAT:
- Meat, including chicken, fish and all shellfish
- Milk from any animal
- Products containing milk as an ingredient; bread, fresh pasta
- Milk-based products; cheese, yoghurt, cream,
- Products containing eggs as an ingredient; cakes, mayonnaise
- Honey and products containing honey; breakfast bars, biscuits
- Gelatine and products containing gelatine; wine gums, jelly
- Beeswax and products containing beeswax; additive E901
What Vegans DO EAT:
- Grains and natural cereals; wheat, rice, etc.
- Vegetables, including potatoes
- Pulses and legumes; peas, chickpeas, beans
- Soy and Tofu
- Oils and vegan margarine
- Herbs, salt and spices
There are also many vegan products available to replace milk, cheese etc. if required. In fact there are many products which are accidentally vegan, check the label or download an app to check like ‘Is It Vegan?’
Cooking from scratch is the best way to know what’s in your food. However your cooking and eating habits may have been formed over many years and this might seem daunting when your basics cupboard is out of bounds!
Here are some very simple swaps you can make when you first start cooking vegan, to ensure you don’t make an accidental mistake:
- Cow, sheep and goats milk for soy, almond, coconut, rice or oat milk
- Cow, sheep or goats cheese for vegan cheese
- Cream for vegan pouring cream or coconut cream
- Animal stock for vegetable stock
- Butter for vegan margarine
- Honey for maple or golden syrup
- Ice cream for vegan ice cream
- Yoghurt for vegan yoghurt
- Pastry, make with vegan margarine, glaze with plant milk or buy vegan ready to roll pastry
- Meat products, swap for vegan options, (be aware some vegetarian products contain milk)
- Some alcohol is not suitable for vegans, unfiltered wines or those marked vegan are good
There really is no need to worry. After a month of eating this way, you’ll naturally know what to look for. If you’re unsure, check labels or check online – there are so many resources out there helping us stick to our commitments to our health, our wellbeing and the health and wellbeing of the animal kingdom and the planet we occupy