On the surface, a vegan diet can look somewhat lacklustre. When you’re used to eating the standard meat and two veg most days, switching to a plantbased lifestyle can seem like it would be overwhelmingly dull. Fortunately, this is not the case in the 21st century. Veganism has taken off in a big way over the past few years, with mainstream eateries ranging from Subway to KFC to Papa John’s to Wagamama offering multiple vegan options. There are also plenty of plantbased alternatives available in supermarkets, making veganism a fun and affordable way to change your diet.
So, apart from tasty meals, what are the benefits to making this change? The most obvious are a diet that includes more fruit and veg, and the knowledge that no animal has to suffer in order for you to eat. But there are more than just these two advantages to embracing the vegan way of life. Read on to find out more.
A topic of hot debate between those who promote a vegan lifestyle and those who condemn it is cost. Is it financially viable for the average person to switch to a completely plantbased diet? Concerns raised include the price of vegan alternatives to meat and dairy, as well as the kitchen tools necessary for making several common vegan recipes, such as a food blender. The good news is that veganism needn’t cost any more than a vegetarian or carnivorous diet – in fact, it’s likely to save you money! One of the hidden benefits to veganism is a reduction in your monthly shopping bill; the secret is that vegetables are one of the cheapest foodstuffs that you can buy. In order to reduce costs further, it is sensible to shop for fruit and veg that’s currently in season and to cut back on buying those expensive processed fake meats and cheeses. Stick to these guidelines and you’ll be surprised at how much money you save, alongside saving the planet.
Of course, if you’re used to cooking with meat, dairy, eggs and even honey, then it can seem impossible to come up with enough vegan recipes to keep you well fed, nourished and happy with your meal. However, going vegan represents a fantastic opportunity to further explore your culinary creativity – and you don’t need any fancy kitchen equipment in order to do it. The internet is absolutely packed full of ingenious plantbased recipe ideas that won’t cost you or the Earth. Just as you’d look to Sound Cloud or Spotify for new music, and Steam or Poker Stars for new gaming ideas, there are plenty of apps and websites where you can research inspiration for cooking. Some great ones with vegan options are Kitchen Stories, the Minimalist Baker, and All Recipes. However, there are also endless social media channels, TV programmes, cookbooks and YouTube channels that can help you out as well. Embrace this opportunity to try something new and you’ll soon be thanking your lucky stars that you decided to go vegan.
Whilst you’re on this journey, you will find that new connections are springing up all over the place. Because the motivations behind going vegan often involve compassion for other people, for animals and for the planet we all live on, you’ll find that a lot of plantbased people are a friendly and welcoming bunch. By engaging with the aforementioned apps and websites, you’ll soon make new friends through your exploration of vegan food and start to feel like part of the worldwide vegan community. This is a great example of making a change for yourself in your own life, and the positive knock-on effect it can have in regards to other people. During this time when we’re more connected than ever before, it can be difficult to form deep and long-lasting new relationships. Once you know that you’re both coming from a good place – i.e. an interest in the vegan diet – then you’ll find it that much easier to open up and connect. Whether somebody is vegan for the animals, for their own health, for the environment, or for financial reasons, you’ll know that they have good motivation.
It’s worth mentioning that, whilst there are many natural concerns about the health of a vegan diet, generally, taking a plantbased approach to eating will have a positive effect rather than a negative one. Of course, each individual must take into account their own unique body type and any dietary requirements, but even if you’re only able to be vegan some of the time, you’ll still see the benefits in your mind and body. The reason for this is that, when you’re concentrating on making sure that everything you eat is plantbased, you also pay more attention to getting in all our vitamins, minerals and well balanced macros. A person can be vitamin deficient no matter what category their diet falls under, but if they’re paying closer attention to what they’re eating, then they have a better chance of being able to correct any unequal areas.