Vegan Blog - Life As A Vegan

Hi guys, Amy here!

I have been part of The Body Shop family since January 2018 and after two years as a veggie, I decided to take the plunge and go fully plant-based in April. Life as a vegan is different to say the least, many people ask how I do it, what I eat, what shops I buy at, etc. You may also ask why? Am I crazy, giving up cheese?! This is where I will try to provide insight into what it is to be a vegan. Enjoy!


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28TH DECEMBER 2018

New Vegans, Do Not Fear!
What to expect if you are taking on Veganuary this year

Veganuary


So, this is it. Veganuary is fast approaching and you’re feeling the urge to challenge yourself this new year. There are certain hesitations in your mind, that much is for sure. How will I cope without my weekly Sunday roast to keep me going through this bleak time of year? What will I eat when I’m out with my friends? How will I live without cheese? Do not fear, I will try and impart the little wisdom I have gained as an experienced vegan to prepare you for the coming month.

Firstly, you are going to miss cheese. This was the hardest thing of all for me to let go of - worse than chocolate, worse than ice cream, worse than poached eggs. The initial grief of this is only temporary, though, and it is important to focus on the bigger picture. Remind yourself of what you are doing this for, mental preparation is the best thing I can prescribe for these feelings of dread; give yourself some notice that you want to cut things out, and maybe try to do it gradually. Going cold turkey (if you’ll pardon the pun) is hardcore and can often lead to a more spontaneous attitude, meaning that you might quit just as quickly as you began.

The next point I’ll make is a pretty important one. It’s about the way other people will perceive your choice to go plant-based. While you’re probably sitting there thinking this is a choice you can make for yourself, so why should anyone else care, you’re likely to be surprised by some of the reactions you are going to get. People - and I am quite possibly talking about some of your family members here - are probably going to weigh in on this decision, regardless of how much they know about veganism. The whole lifestyle has become a buzzword due to its recent spike in popularity, and thus everyone now has an opinion on it.

Be prepared to take things they say with a pinch of salt, but don’t feel intimidated. Remember that it is your choice and a worthwhile thing to be vocal about. Importantly, you may need to consider how you approach the subject in conversation. It’s no secret that vegans tend to have a bad rep for being preachy about their views. This stems from a passionate, albeit sometimes frustrated, belief in the cause, but in reality it is best for all vegan-kind if you are a little less heated when talking about your lifestyle choices. Try and engage in the conversation with people who may be more open minded.

Lastly, you’ve gotta keep in mind that you are doing this for YOU. Whether you are in it for the long haul or just testing the water next month, it’s good to be prepared and I’m almost sure the aforementioned will resonate with a lot of you after 31 days as a herbivore.

Good luck and stay strong!


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7TH DECEMBER 2018

Got a vegan for Christmas?

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This festive period, you'll probably have everyone and their mother to stay. This probably comes with a hard-to-beat to do list that crops up every Christmas.

This year, this list could quite possibly include one extra thing. Queue the dramatic sound effect.
A vegan is coming...

To boil it down to brussel sprouts, vegans are people who choose not to use, consume or buy any animal derived products, or products that bring harm to animals, as well as meat and leather.

There are many things I am already mentally preparing myself for, like forgoing melted camembert dips and having to triple check whether there is something I can eat on the menu at the Christmas work meal. However, if you are hosting for someone like me, providing a vegan Christmas meal will be a lot easier than you think. I have some pointers that might help you and your turkey-friendly guest during the most wonderful time of the year.


1. Choice is key

More and more supermarkets and food manufacturers are labelling their products as vegan now – often with the Vegan Society symbol or just a green “vegan” label. If you want to be especially thorough, which I would usually advise, it’s always best to have a quick skim of the ingredients to check that you’re good to go.

The other option is consider baking alternatives at home. There are many easy recipes for vegan puddings, pastries and Yorkshires online.

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2. Be considerate at dinner time

Though, you don’t need to tiptoe around us by any means. You can always ask your guest if they would be offended by you serving meat at the table; chances are they won’t be - most people were omnivorous at one time or another.

Meat touching potatoes is almost always a no-no, so think about keeping veg separate so everyone can enjoy them. Probably best to avoid a Joey-from-Friends Thanksgiving moment too - not playing with carcasses is advised for all guest’s sakes.

3. Stay open minded

While we don’t need to talk about it 24/7, most vegans will appreciate genuine interest from people who aren’t wise to the lifestyle. They understand that a lot of people still don’t really know what a vegan is, but if you’re going to ask, please remain impartial while receiving an answer. Lastly, please no jokes about bacon or pigs-in-blanket - trust me, we’ve heard them all before.

Obviously, every vegan is unique like a handmade festive jumper. This won’t apply to everyone and some people are more sensitive than others, but the majority of us will be elated to know, being prepared with the above, that you’ve considered them in this busy, food-centric time of year.


Happy holidays and enjoy!
Amy

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