Hey, I’m Mike and over the last 3 years I’ve been exploring the vegan diet in all its glory! In 2016, alongside starting Nutcessity, my nut butter company, I converted to a vegan diet full-time. Prior to this, I ‘tried it for size’ for 30 days (and slipped up on kefir & yoghurt – but that’s ok!)… here are my 7 top tips for staying in the game…:
Change your mindset
Instead of thinking about what you’ll miss out on, focus on the new, intriguing, weird looking, exciting products and flavours you’ll be trying out! It’s 2019. The world is changing – there is SO MUCH plant-based food around. Think flavoured tofu, Korean food, lentil hummus, or simply a good old sourdough or spoonful of nut butter…
Use the library
The library is an incredible resource. Cookbooks? Nutrition bibles? Magazine back-catalogues? Don’t think of anything else: relax, take your time, and spend an hour or two. Take photos of a few recipes or check a few books out.
Explore the Independents
Independent health food shops such as Wild Oats, Better Food, Southville Deli or Harvest sell products at the right price – it’s the supermarkets who undercut them. That’s my take on it anyway! Shops like these have lovely, helpful staff and natural, wholesome plant-based products that the supermarkets won’t have.
Supply your body with Supps
Supplements are essentials for us vegans: they’ll keep your mind in check. I use Opti-3 for my omega-3 and Healthspan for B12.
Snack on veg
When I’m in the kitchen making my evening meal, I’ll snack on red peppers, carrots, shelled peas… whatever really. Eating more raw veggies will increase your vitamin uptake, and since they take time to chew, munch whilst grooving to Bob Marley and stirring your kidney bean chili!
Pick your proteins
Make sure you get enough protein, but don’t overdo it either. Many of us actually eat too much protein, meaning it’s used as energy rather doing its core job: building tissue, making neurotransmitters or transporting substances around the body. Patrick Holford (Google him) recommends 3 servings of protein a day, such as tofu, quinoa, beans, lentils or tempeh.
Keep on baking
Swap honey > maple syrup; butter > coconut oil or margarine; eggs > bananas or ‘aquafaba’ (the liquid from a tin of chickpeas)… Try out my Mocha Banana Bread for starters from the Nutcessity website.
…and a bonus one: enjoy the journey!