5 Tips For New Vegans

Aine Carlin is here to guide you to a plant-based diet.

Going vegan doesn’t need to be a daunting prospect. There are many steps you can take to make the transition that little bit smoother, which doesn’t necessarily involve hours in the kitchen or going without – rest assured, chocolate and wine are still on the menu. So, let’s get started!

  1. Smart swaps
    Begin by adding a few plant-based dishes to your normal weekly menu. My advice is to keep things simple by tweaking already familiar dishes, such as shepherd’s pie or your usual go-to curry. For the most part, it’s simply a matter of swapping the meat element for an equally-substantial bean or legume – puy lentils are particularly good in ragu and tofu makes a super protein-filled addition to stir-fries.
  2. Thoughtful snacks
    Most people falter when they first become vegan because they struggle to find suitable snacks when they’re on-the-go. For that very reason, I recommend stashing a few bliss balls in your bag to avoid any such pitfalls. The last thing you want is to be caught short and be tempted to reach for a non-vegan muffin.
  3. Look good
    Veganism isn’t just about what you eat, so now’s the time to start looking into cruelty-free beauty alternatives. Luckily most brands now clearly label their products, and you’d be surprised how many are already deemed vegan-friendly. Alternatively, you could always try making your own – I have a selection of easy DIY beauty recipes in my how-to guide The New Vegan including a triumphant tomato and tahini face pack that I absolutely swear by.
  4. Make it last
    Vegan fashion is a growing trend but I would advise against throwing out the animal products you already own before you can invest in new, sustainably-sourced replacements. I wore my leather boots for many years after going vegan and phased items out gradually because I believe it’s kinder to the environment and less wasteful. Try buying second-hand and support smaller independent traders where possible.
  5. Get social
    Lastly, make sure you don’t isolate yourself. It’s important to socialise, so invite friends over for an easy, laid back, plant-based brunch or have a girly night in complete with cocktails and vegan nibbles. I also advise keep the vegan-talk to a minimum, especially at the table – not only will it put your guests at ease, but it also takes the attention off your newly-found vegan status. Margaritas all round!


For more recipes from Aine Carlin, visit her blog here 

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