It’s near on impossible to be a completely perfect vegan. Veganism is about doing the very best we can to minimise harm, but in our modern day society it’s difficult to 100% avoid all animal products. From the medicines we need to survive, to the transport we take, unfortunately many everyday things contain animal-derived materials
But choosing a vegan diet is a fantastic step that anyone can make for their health, the animals and the planet. It’s the easiest way we can reduce animal suffering, but we know it’s a huge commitment to make, so what happens if you fall off the vegan bandwagon?
First of all, don’t stress. As a new vegan you’re on a steep learning curve to discovering new recipes and foods. Sometimes it can be really easy to slip up – whether you accidentally ate some crisps containing milk, or you gave in to your cheese craving – but the first thing to remember is that you’re only human. However, this doesn’t mean you need to give up completely on your new found lifestyle or 31-day vegan pledge.
Here’s What To Do If You’re Struggling With A Plant-Based Diet:
- Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself
Accept that you’ve fallen off the bandwagon and move on. You’re doing a great job, and with a support network in place you can receive the encouragement to keep going on your journey. Check out Veganuary’s Facebook group for some moral support, or perhaps find a local vegan group. You never know – you might make some brand new friends who live nearby.
- Remember Why You Signed Up
If you signed up to Veganuary to reduce animal suffering, you could watch a documentary such as Earthlings to remind yourself why you decided to remove animal products from your diet. Likewise, if you signed up for health reasons, documentary What the Health has some great insights into the benefits of a plant-based diet. Or, if reducing your carbon footprint is your main driver, check out Cowspiracy.
- Check Out Some New Recipes
If it’s pizza you’re missing, or you have a craving for spaghetti Bolognese, there are a whole host of amazing vegan recipes available to keep you going. It’s possible to veganise almost any dish, and luckily most supermarkets now stock a range of vegan convenience foods if cooking isn’t for you. Check out the likes of Bosh! or Wicked Healthy for some delicious recipes, or visit the Veganuary recipe section for inspiration.
- Be Patient
They say it can take up to three weeks to break a habit, and most of us will have been brought up eating meat, dairy and eggs. Quitting a habit of a lifetime cold turkey (or should that be… cold tofu…?) can be tough, and for some people it can take time and several attempts – a bit like giving up smoking. Just because you’ve fallen off the bandwagon this time, it doesn’t mean you can’t continue on your next attempt.
- Make Sure You Eat Enough
Meat, dairy and eggs are calorie-dense foods, so when switching to a plant-based diet make sure you’re eating enough. For example, if you’ve switched to a whole-food plant based diet you may find that you need to eat more to obtain the same amount of calories that you were eating previously. Yes, we’ve given you an excuse to eat more grub J.
Fancy trying vegan with us this January? Sign up to our free 31 email series, and we’ll help you every step of the way.