If you’re thinking about going vegan for Veganuary or perhaps even switching to a plant-based diet longer-term as a New Year’s resolution but aren’t sure where to start – don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. As makers of indulgent plant-based chocolate, we know that a vegan or plant-based diet doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice enjoying delicious food. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to help.
What are the benefits of a vegan diet?
There are plenty of reasons to try a plant-based, vegan or flexitarian diet. We’ll highlight three of the big ones here:
There are, of course, other benefits, including the fact that a flexitarian or plant-based diet can, in the long run, help lower food shopping expenses. Who wouldn’t want to spend less money on their food shop while still enjoying all the tasty, nutritious options on offer?
Tips for going vegan
Tip #1: Take it slow
You may want to make a clean break, and come Veganuary feel ready to start with a completely plant-based diet. However, we recommend you take it slow and make gradual changes. Maybe begin by making your breakfasts plant-based, then your lunches. Or alternate the days when you eat vegan food. Adopting a more flexitarian approach will make incorporating vegan alternatives into your daily routine so much easier.
Tip #2: Practise simple swaps
There are plenty of vegan options and alternatives to foods containing animal products. For example, you can swap cow's milk with nut-based or plant-based milk. You can also swap butter for coconut oil or a vegan spread. If you’re concerned about your protein intake, then look to supplement meat with chickpeas and lentils. All of these are simple swaps that still allow you to have nutritious and tasty meals.
At LoveRaw, we love simple swaps. Our plant-based chocolate is made for unvegan vegans - our chocolate isn’t just an alternative for vegans, it’s a delicious plant-based treat that can be enjoyed by anyone.
Now, more than ever, there’s a simple swap for all the foods you enjoy. So whether your aim is to complete Veganuary, or make a more permanent shift to flexitarianism or veganism, you don’t have to worry about food FOMO.
Tip #3: Plan Ahead
Planning ahead can save you a lot of time, energy, and stomachache! We suggest you:
- Make a meal plan every week
- Make shopping lists that contain the ingredients of the meals you’ve planned before you go shopping
It doesn’t hurt to start off by cooking vegan dishes that are easy to make while still yummy. Ottolenghi’s confit tandoori chickpeas is a good one – all you need to do is throw a few ingredients in a pot, stir together, and cook in the oven. Pretty foolproof tbh, with the added bonus of very little washing up afterwards!
You can also find lots of inspiration for your next meal in podcasts, on Instagram cooking accounts and cookbooks. There are also some absolutely smashing vegan recipes on our website, if we do say so ourselves.
Tip #4: Check the ingredients
When in doubt, check the list of ingredients. If something is vegan, then it will have The Vegan Society logo. If the logo isn’t there, then you can check the ingredients list for common food allergens – they tend to be listed in bold.
Tip #5: Stay on top of your nutritional needs
When you swap to a semi or fully plant-based diet, you may want to take supplements such as vitamins D, vitamin B12, omega 3, zinc. Few foods contain vitamin D, so it’s a good idea to take it, particularly during winter when there’s little sunlight (one of the best sources of vitamin D). And omega 3 and zinc aren’t easily found in plant-based foods. With this said, it is entirely possible to take on all the nutrients you need from a plant-based diet, as demonstrated by top-level athletes that practice plant-based diets, like Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton.
Good luck! Whether you’re going vegan for the month of January, or trying a more flexitarian or plant-based diet long-term, there’s lots of simple swaps you can make which allow you to continue enjoying all your favourite flavours. If you find yourself struggling or accidentally slipping up, don’t panic! A diet change is a big thing, and definitely a learning curve that gets easier!
To make sure you get your plant-based diet off to a mouth-watering start, have a look at our range of delicious vegan chocolate. We even have a starter mix - a selection box full of all our most popular products so you can give them all a try and figure out which are your favourites. Alternatively, we've created a handy chocolate quiz to help you find the ones you'll love most! Our chocolate is available to order online, and you can also pick up a selection of our core range at your local Tesco or Holland & Barret.