What’s the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan diet?
Whilst both diets exclude eating meat, a vegetarian diet includes animal by-products such as eggs, dairy, and honey. A vegan diet excludes all animal products completely. Being vegan or vegetarian doesn’t just stop at diet, it also affects some lifestyle choices. Choosing not to wear real fur and leather, checking hair and beauty products for animal products, and choosing to support cruelty-free brands are just some of the ways to get started on transitioning to a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. However, we know it’s not realistic to change your entire lifestyle overnight, and it may be best to break it down into manageable steps for you or just start with diet first, then other lifestyle changes later.
Why you are trying vegan?
Changing diet, just as changing any other part of your lifestyle can be a challenge. It’s important to remember why you decided to do this in the first place! As with all change, there can be some hard times – you need to define your WHY. Something to hold on to when it gets difficult. Why are you doing this? For the animals, the environment, your health? Your family? To try something different? There is no right or wrong reason here, take a moment to think about it and maybe even write it down somewhere you can read back to at a later date.
Learn to read the labels
One thing you may come to realise when starting your vegan journey is that dairy is in almost everything! However more importantly there are some commonly used animal product ingredient labels such as whey, casein, and gelatine which may not be obvious to one who is beginning a more plant-based diet. Remember to not only check foods, but drinks such as alcoholic beverages, shakes, and even juices can all include animal products.
Slip ups happen, don’t give up!
We’ve been there, someone accidentally made you a coffee with cow’s milk and you drank it having realised too late. You had a craving for dairy cheese and you fulfilled it. It’s okay, it’s all part of the transition. Just because you slipped up, does not mean you can’t get back up, dust yourself off, and try again. Remember why you chose to do this. Becoming more plant-based is a journey, not a race and it’s important to remember that being plant-based may not suit everyone, so please be kind and support one another!