7 Tips To Becoming Flexitarian With LoveRaw’s Co-Founder Rimi Thapar

To mark Veganuary, our plant-based food expert and co-founder Rimi Thapar shares some tips and tricks to help food-lovers who are looking to transition to a more plant-based lifestyle. 

Whether you’re looking to make the leap to a 100% vegan diet or are looking for ways to integrate more plant-based snack options into your day-to-day, Rimi has given the low-down on all things plant-based, sharing some insights to help make dipping your toe into the vegan world a little less daunting. 

    1. Establish your goals 

      We’re all familiar with the term ‘vegan’ nowadays - the movement is becoming more and more popular. And the concept has expanded as people identify with different ends of the vegan spectrum. I personally follow a predominantly plant-based diet, for example, which means the foods I eat still contain animal-based products like honey and eggs. 

      But your motivations for making the switch are personal to you. Whether you’re looking to eat more healthily or protect the planet, it’s important to establish why you want to adapt your diet as this can help with giving your meal and snack swaps some purpose - and help you to find the willpower in moments of temptation! 

        2. Don’t feel like you have to strip away your favourite foods all at once 

          While many are committed to going fully vegan, some choose to ‘flex’ their diets. Flexitarianism allows you to give the plant-based world a try and experiment with a new diet without stripping away foods that you enjoy all at once. 

          Flexitarians generally stick to a plant-based diet but have a little bit of meat and dairy here and there. This lifestyle is definitely becoming more popular, and 14% of Brits now see themselves as flexitarian. 

          So, don’t feel like you have to completely restrict yourself when it comes to cutting out meat and dairy - be flexible in your consumption, as the name suggests! If you decide to keep a little dairy in your diet from time-to-time, then don’t beat yourself up for having some, but if plant-based versions like oat milk work for you, then adding it to your shopping list is a no brainer! 

            3. Get creative 

              Getting to know meat and dairy alternatives can be a bit of trial and error. From lentils to jackfruit, there are a number of options out there, but you’re not expected to love them all! Packed with flavour and super filling, lentils are a great meat substitute and are one of my personal favourites. Full of protein, fibre and iron, they can be used in a chilli, bolognese or a casserole. But don’t stop there - why not get creative and try lentil tacos or enchiladas? 

              And remember, seasoning is your best friend. It helps to enhance flavours and keeps meals exciting.

              4. Go nutty for nut butter 

              Butter is a staple in most diets, but great tasting alternatives are here to save the day. Nut butters such as almond or cashew provide the same texture as dairy butter, but are also full of protein and fibre. They make a great snack throughout the day too, so stock up on crackers and rice cakes to make the perfect pairing. 

                5. Don’t assume you need to cut out ‘naughty’ treats 

                  Opting for a more plant-based lifestyle doesn't mean cutting out indulgent treats like chocolate. For example, LoveRaw’s chocolate is just as good as - or if not better than - traditional chocolate, and our range includes a Milk Cream Wafer Bar, Nutty Choc Balls, and Caramelised Biscuit Wafer - all reminiscent of heritage favourites, but - crucially - they’re plant-based! 

                    6. Read up on your labels 

                      Sourcing substitutes is often a lot easier than you think.You might be surprised at how many products are already ‘accidentally’ vegan, like some cereals, store cupboard favourites like brown sauce, and many noodle and rice-based ready-meals. Next time you're in your local supermarket, take some time to read the label and you might be pleasantly surprised with what you find! 

                        7. Explore your supermarket for the latest vegan and plant-based finds 

                          You can find so many fantastic vegan and plant-based products in the supermarket these days, but they're not always where you’d expect them to be. All supermarkets are laid out slightly differently, so get to know your local store to make adding vegan or plant-based alternatives to your basket that bit easier.

                          Finding out where your free-from bay is located is a must, but be sure to keep your eyes peeled for vegan products when you’re walking up and down the main supermarket aisles and when you’re scanning the meal-deal section too. You might spot some hidden gems! 

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