As a vegan I’ve had many trial and error moments along the way.
so here are my personal top tips
1. Start with what you know! If you like a certain dish google a vegan version! There’s one out there! Trust me.
2. Cook from fresh where you can. Not only is it healthier and you’ll feel better for it, but products come and go. If you rely on a product you’ll end up in disappointment
3. Get some good cookbooks
my top 11 list are:
Bosh. Henry Firth & Ian Theasby
Dirty Vegan Matt Pritchard
vegan in 7. Rita Serano
vegan treats. Emma Hollingsworth
leon Fast Vegan
Rachel AMA’s vegan Eats - Rachel AMA
The Happy Pear
Vegan Food. Saskia Fraser
First time vegan. Leah Vanderveldt
the New Vegan. Aine Carlin
Zaika - vegan recipes from India - Romy Gill
My top milk for coffee is Oatly barista
I’m not a tea drinker but I’m always told rice milk is da bomb
i tend to stay clear of soy milks, Cleese’s and yoghurts
Violife sliced cheese is my favourite
i stay away from hard cheese as I haven’t found one I like but there are more and more artisan vegan cheese suppliers now than ever so I might try again.
Im not a fan of most of the vegan grated cheeses. Too strong in flavour. Things tend to be better without.
6. Variety is key. You need to make sure you are eating a wide variety of fresh foods to hit your nutrient targets.
The biggest deficiencies tend to be Vitamin B12, omega 3, Vitamin D (but who doesn’t in Ireland?), zinc and iron
heres some tips to get them in your diet
Noosh- nutritional yeast
Seeds- especially sesame and pumpkin
Green leafy veg
mid you are still low get advice from a Nutritional Therapist like myself. It may not be simply you aren’t eating the right foods, often it’s a digestive issue
7. Don’t panic. Read up, join groups on social media. Remember why you’re making this change
8. You are going to get the comments - these mainly feel like an attack on your choice but normally it’s someone defending their choice because they believe you are judging them, the Irony😳😂
- where do you get your protein from? Answer - the same place as you, the supermarket- many vegan food sources are high in protein. Watch Gamechangers
- vegan diet isn’t better for the environment- erm most of the science backs up that overall vegan is better for the environment- this however may not be the reason you are vegan. Yes you’ll get the oat, soy and almond argument but they are still better than the alternative and only make up a small part of your diet, plus you can choose other dairy alternatives or not use them at all.
- we aren’t meant to be vegan, you can’t get everything your body needs- I love this one, it normally comes from someone’s who’s diet is lacking so much of what their body needs. Simple answer “nooooooo! This is like the sixth sense isn’t it? I’m dead and I had no idea! Did you go to my funeral? Was it a nice service?”
mainly don’t take it to heart. You don’t have to justify your choice the same as I don’t expect anyone to justify their choices to me.
9. If you are using products check the label.
dairy and eggs are known allergens so will be in bold, you can see quite quickly if it in there.
many vegetarian meat alternatives are not vegan - many quorn products have egg and milk, some Linda McCartney products as well
10. Get adventurous and have fun. Try new things. You’ll be amazed at how many gorgeous foods you’ve been missing out on
Carina is a Nutritional Therapist, Herbalist, Naturopath and former Nurse amongst other things. As a vegan herself she loves to help people make the transition with a bit more ease. If you need help to make the switch easily contact Carina for an appointment or her Vegan in a Nutshell program.
you can follow Carina @itsanaturalchoice on social media for lots of vegan recipes
Carina Kennedy was formerly a Nurse, now a Nutritional Therapist and Herbalist living in the west of Ireland. Her passion is food, health and teaching clients to gain control of their life with simple techniques.