Tuesday, 2 January 2018

My Top Tips For Veganuary

It's the start of a new year and another Veganuary challenge is upon us! If you didn't already know, Veganuary is a campaign which is set up to encourage people to try being vegan for the month of January. It's a really great way of dipping a toe into veganism and seeing what it's like for yourself, and what better goal for the new year than to reduce harm to animals!? 

I thought I would compose a list of handy tips for all of you giving it a go and collect together all my of my best advice into one place. 

Plant Milks

There are so many plant based milks available now I think it can almost be overwhelming knowing where to start in terms of finding one that you like. This will be my third year of not buying dairy milk and I have tried quite a few different ones in my time but it's a choice that can ultimately come down to personal taste. If you're looking for a good and easily available straight swap I would suggest trying Alpro Soya Light first. I found the original version to be too sweet but this one is near perfect. It also works extremely well in tea which is of course the most important point for us Brits! 

Dairy Free Spread

Again, just like with milk, there now seems to be many great choices available in terms of dairy free spreads. I tend to mix mine up quite a lot and I don't tend to stick to only one brand but the one's that I have always found myself going back to are Vitalite, Pure Sunflower and Flora Dairy Free. All of these can easily be found at your local supermarket. 


To be honest I found eggs the easiest thing to give up and I don't miss them at all. In fact the thought of them makes me feel a bit queasy! I would suggest just cutting them out altogether but if you are someone who can't live without them then I would definitely recommend trying a scrambled tofu recipe. My husband made me this once and I couldn't eat it because it was just so egg like! 


Cheese was always such a big one for me and something I never thought I could live without. I was really surprised how quickly I managed to ween myself off it altogether and I think for me the easiest option was to just go without. It's also not the healthiest of foods so it's really only going to have a  positive effect on you if you do give it up. That being said, and for all the real cheese fanatics out there, there are now some really great vegan alternatives available. For example Sainsbury's now offer their own vegan cheese range and Violife is also a brand which is readily available in supermarkets. When I first went vegan I found the original Violife slices the best replacement for me.  

Eating Out

Eating out is really no issue as a vegan, as long as you know where you're going. So many high street chain restaurants now offer good vegan options, it's almost hard to choose where to go. Yo Sushi, Wagamama, Pizza Express, Zizzi, Pizza Hut, Toby Carvery, Prezzo, Nando's, Las Iguanas and Wetherspoons to name just a few! There's an abundance of choice out there and you may be surprised by just how much you enjoy the vegan options. As long as you have a say in where you're eating this shouldn't be a difficult one to conquer. 

Lunch To Go

Just like the restaurants there are also a number of lunch outlets now offering a superb choice of vegan friendly sandwiches and lunch options. Pret would have to be my standout favourite as their sandwiches are so inventive and tasty. Boots are also upping their game recently and their Christmas sandwich last month was a real favourite of mine. Oh, and lets not forget M&S who really made an effort in 2017 to offer up more vegan options. 

Don't Have The Time Or Energy To Cook? 

I'm lucky enough to have husband who loves to cook but if I wasn't with him I would no doubt be living off quick and easy dinners like beans on toast or convenience meals. Last year I tried some ready meals from All Plants which were so incredible, I really can't recommend them enough if you can afford them. I personally don't buy ready meals very often but I know that supermarkets like Sainsbury's and Tesco's also offer some vegan meals now. Just head to their dairy free or free from sections and explore!  Amy's Kitchen is another brand I am aware of who offer a selection of vegan meals, some of which can be found in supermarkets. 

Looking For An Easy Meal Plan? 

I wrote a blog post a little while ago which detailed my typical easy vegan meal plan which I tend to stick to. Hopefully this will help inspire you and provide you with some kind of guidance!

Best Place To Shop?

If you like doing your weekly shop online I would suggest that Ocado be your best all round option as they have a really wide selection of vegan friendly foods available. In my opinion their app / website also works the best in for searching for vegan foods and is most easy to use. You can literally just type in the word 'vegan' into their search engine to bring up everything on their site which is vegan friendly. 
I think to get the most out of vegan products though you may need to be prepared to shop around. For example, dairy free Ben & Jerry's is only available at Tesco's. The Vegan Kind also now have their own online supermarket which is well worth checking out. I think the longer you try being vegan the sooner you will realise and learn that different shops have their different benefits!  

More Than Food

If you're new to veganism and trying Veganuary for the first time then I would maybe suggest just focusing on your diet for now. But if you are feeling super ambitious and up for the bigger challenge you could also think about making sure your other products and household items are vegan friendly too. 

My biggest piece of advice to anyone looking to immediately swap up their toiletries for vegan and cruelty free alternatives is to shop Superdrug's own brand. It's an amazing one stop shop for all of those every day items like deodorant, toothpaste, shower gel, haircare, skincare etc etc. Their labelling is also excellent so you won't have any issues finding what you need. I would say that 99% of Superdrug's own brand products are vegan friendly but always check the writing in bold on the back as some products are veggie friendly only. But you'll be pleased to hear that they are ALL completely cruelty free.

With regards to household / cleaning products I tend to mainly buy Astonish products who are a completely vegan and cruelty free brand. You can also find their products super cheap in shops like B&M, Wilko's, Savers, Pound World, Pound Land and Ocado. The only other place I tend to pick up cleaning products is Co-Op whose own brand range is predominantly vegan friendly and all 100% cruelty free. 

Hold On, Is Vegan Not The Same As Cruelty Free?

No it's not, and this is an important one. The word 'vegan' relates purely to the ingredients in a product and the words 'cruelty free' mean that a product hasn't been tested on an animal. It is possible to have a cruelty free product which hasn't been tested on animals but isn't vegan friendly because it may contain an ingredient like beeswax. You may choose to just try to focus on shopping cruelty free at first - and that's ok! It can be overwhelming to try to change everything all at once.


If you're looking to learn more about veganism or simply watch some inspiring films to help motivate you along the way I can really recommend Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy, What The Health and Okja - all available on Netflix. Another very powerful documentary is Earthlings which isn't for the faint hearted but it's a film I feel everyone should watch. Any of these films will widen your understanding around why people choose to go vegan and the positive impact it can have on animals lives, the environment and your health.

Recipe Books

Recipe books are the perfect way to find some inspiring vegan meals to make yourselves at home, especially if you enjoy cooking from scratch. There are an abundance of vegan recipe books out there but some of my personal faves include Thug Kitchen, Feed Me Vegan, Keep It Vegan and Deliciously Ella Every Day 


Ok so it goes without saying that I'll include my own blog and YouTube channel here! And if you're already reading this post then great - you've already found me! But I'm not the only one promoting a plant based and cruelty free lifestyle out there. Some others include Simply Living Vegan, Not So Quiet Grrl, The Ethical Evolution, Tea, Cake & Make, The Zombie Said, A Considered Life and many many more! I would be here all day if I tried to name them all. But one thing is for sure is that the online vegan blogging community is amazingly supportive and full of knowledge. 

Get Social Online

Another great source of information is the online community. I am sure that just by searching 'veganuary' on Twitter and Instagram you will come across a wealth of ideas and knowledge right at your finger tips. There is also the #VeganHour chat on Twitter which takes place every Tuesday at 7pm and everyone who takes part is super friendly and supportive. From my own experience Facebook groups can be a bit hit and miss and may make you want to pull your hair out, but there are a couple I personally really like - Colourful Vegans and Bad VegansOh and don't forget that there's also the Veganuary Facebook group too!

I hope I haven't overwhelmed you with all of this information and I hope that it serves you well on your Veganuary journey. I think even by considering to take part in Veganuary you are doing an amazing thing so well done you! And just remember to not feel disheartened if you have any slip ups - they're normal and totally ok. Any changes that you make and each and every day you are able to be vegan is a massive help and will make a huge difference. Veganism isn't about perfection, it's about doing what you can, no matter how big or small, to reduce harm to animals. Every little counts.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year and an even happier Veganuary! 

Good Luck! 



  1. Great tips Sarah :) I also hate egg, that was definitely the easiest for me! X

  2. This is the best blog post i've read on veganuary - love how you went beyond food to things like beauty, as people can forget about that! Last year for example i resolved to stop buying leather and can't believe it took me so long :( but i can only do my best and am learning every day!

    I LOVE how society is catching up, with more and more vegan options than ever before. Las Iguanas is my absolute favourite, but i had the nicest Vegan dinner at the Ivory Brasserie for NYE :)

    Bumble and Be


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