These posts came about after I put some questions on my Instagram about the sort of things I might be able to help people with if they wanted to try Veganuary, going vegan, or just including more plant based meals in their lives.
There were a lot of the same questions – mostly about recipes, swapping ingredients and how to check labels and get meal ideas. I started writing out a mini cheat sheet for a friend and it turns out that I had a lot to say on the subject so it quickly turned into an 8 page HoW tO bE a VeGaN.
I want to say from the outset that I am definitely not the perfect vegan – I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way. But also let me say that I am not an expert! I’m not writing this because I feel like I know it all and I’m writing rules for other people to follow. But I do truly believe that the best way to encourage veganism and plant based eating (NB those are two different things) is to help and support people – to answer questions they have, to offer advice and ideas and to share recipes; to show how easy it can be (if you really want to do it).
I wrote previously about my journey into veganism and I started with Veganuary in 2018. I actually started on the 2nd January as I *ahem* needed a farewell hangover Dominos. You can read more about that time here. But I never actually intended to go fully vegan – my aim was totally vegetarian with as little animal product as I could manage. 2 years later and here I am! I haven’t been 100% vegan in that time and I have had slip ups. Both accidental and on purpose, and I am not ashamed to admit that.
There are some members of the vegan community who are very outspoken in their views and their activism and I think that’s great. I recognise that those people are the ones speaking out for animal rights and brining veganism to the forefront of people’s minds.. but it isn’t me. I’m just not one of those people. So consider this my form of activism – encouraging, advising, guiding and helping anyone that wants to take steps towards, around, in and out of, veganism and plant based eating. I got you.
I’m aiming to write a whole lot of mini guides on different topics; covering resources (see below), ingredients, recipes, and lots of other tips. Please only see this as a helpful guide and not a set of rules or dietary advice! What you eat is up to you!
I’ve listed below some categories of resources and some of my favourites to use. These cover everything from help and advice, to meal plans, to recipe inspiration.
I am guessing that you coming here means that you might be taking part in Veganuary, which is how a lot of people start their journey. So it won’t come as a surprise that one of the best resources out there is the Veganuary website itself.
The best way to use their website is to sign up and let them know you’re taking part. Give them your email address and they send you a daily email with information, tips and more importantly, recipes. There’s also a free e-book you can register for. I found their daily emails really helpful when I first signed up so I highly recommend giving them a go.
They also have sections of their website which cover eating out guides, a vegan starter kit, recipes and loads of other very useful stuff. I really recommend spending 10 minutes having a mooch around their website.
Food blogs and other websites
If I’ve included a website in this list, it’s because I have used it myself since doing my own veganuary and means that, if it’s not a completely vegan website, you can search for vegan recipes: I also tend to use websites and recipes that are fairly simple and don’t include weird ingredients you can only buy from the dark corners of Holland and Barrett.
These are just a few recommendations to get you started, but Google is also your friend!
Ones with * are my favourites and sites I use regularly for inspiration!
Lazy Cat Kitchen ***
Minimalist Baker *** (used to be 100% vegan but isn’t any more so double check the recipe)
This is such a good platform for finding vegan food bloggers and hopping on to their websites. More and more people now are just posting the recipe as a comment under their food photos.
Again, these are just some of the ones I follow and use for inspiration and recipes:
There are also a lot of vegan/veganuary bloggers who don’t necessarily write recipes, but do write about new and upcoming products and who also review products as well. This is great because if you want to try something like a new meat alternative, you can bet that someone will have already bought it, photographed it and reviewed it for you!
I tend not to join too many Facebook groups on the topic of veganism because there are some very strong minds and opposing views out there. But one that I am a member of is “Vegan Supermarket finds UK”.
This group is great because people post pictures and descriptions of any vegan or accidentally vegan products they have found in supermarkets (particularly helpful in veganuary when you’re trying to find your way). They also post when there are good deals and discounts on common vegan items. There are strict rules about what can be posted and the admins run a tight ship to make sure the comments don’t descend into debates about topics like palm oil and the ethics of companies. It’s all about the food and that’s right up my street.
I follow @plantbasednews who regularly tweet articles about food, veganuary events, products and other plant based.. stuff. There are also a few accidentally vegan twitter accounts , if you prefer that to Instagram!
I find that people’s preference for recipe books can be quite personal so just consider this a list of veganuary friendly books that live on my shelf and that I flick through for recipes and inspiration!
Vegan Bowl Attack – Jackie Sobon
Bosh! Simple Recipes
Vegan on the Go
Keep it Vegan – Aine Carlin
Vegan-ish – Jack Monroe
Feed me Vegan – Lucy Watson
So that’s it, the end of Part 1! I hope these resources come in handy and lead you to find accounts, recipes and books that you love and can incorporate into your daily routine.
If you’re reading this and know of another resource you’ve found really helpful – let me know and I’ll keep this page updated!