How to live life as a Vegan in the UK?

Cereshugo

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Hello everyone,

My name is Sammie-Jo and I am making the transition to a vegan lifestyle. I was wondering if anyone could give me a idea of how they went about it. Perhaps even en lighting me on what sort of shopping you do within the month? Items you have to snack on? The one issue I have is that my partner who I live with is going to carry on as a meat eater and finding vegan products in my town is a nightmare when I can not drive so out of town is a issue too.

Thank you for taking your time to read this,
I look forward to your responses.
 

Damo

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Hello!

Welcome to the forums :)

It's actually really easy to find vegan friendly foods, which supermarket do you normally shop at? Supermarket home brand products will have a logo on them to indicate if they are vegan or not.

You can't really go "monthly" shopping for fruit and vegetables, I normally go every week. Try to buy your fresh food so fruit/vegetables from markets as they are so much cheaper than supermarkets.
 
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Hi, I shop weekly at Tesco, I think their dairy free ranges are quite good. I get my fruits and veggies, tofu and Linda McCartney vegan sausages as a staple. I love baking and make my own bread and cakes but theres loads of regular products that are vegan, it's just not common knowledge. If you go on Instagram theres a page called "accidentallyveganuk" and you'll see a big list of products that you'll recognise. Your partner will probably like them too so you can share them together.
 

emilynt3

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Hi Sammie,
I would definitely say to try Sainsbury's if you have one locally although not all their stores carry their whole range. For me I have to travel to a larger Sainsbury's to get the stuff I need but its worth it.
But as the person above said its actually surprisingly easy becoming vegan!
The hardest part for me was giving up things like nutella but in the free from aisle at Sainsbury's they have a vegan nutella! (not actually nutella but hazelnut chocolate spread) and It is delicious :) they also have a vegan vanilla icecream in a black tub which is amazing, so far I've got 5 of my friends who went"ew vegan" to try them and they said that they're nicer than the originals... win. But anyway both things are about £2.50 so not more expensive as many people assume. I would definitely recommend getting a cookbook as it can be quite overwhelming trying to cook proper meals at first. But anyway good luck its definitely worth making the transition xxx Ps eat lots of nuts
 
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Magdalenav

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Hello !
It's very easy to do that!
I recommend to all of you website HEALTHYSUPPLIES, you can buy in bulks for cheaper. I do my oats,seeds,cocoa powder etc, have a look what's in there, you won't believe how much money you will save becoming vegan, glad you've asked for advice as when I was becoming vegan I didn't know a lot, ended up spending more time and money.
Sainsburys got amazing wholegrain breads,and so Tesco too. Fruits and vegetables is really good to get after 6pm as they reduce stuff, you won't believe how much money you will save!!! Beans and lentils that's a must in your cupboard, canned beans are very cheap and save you loots of time soaking them.
For more information don't hesitate to ask, I am here to help :)
 
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Sally

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Hi Sammie-Jo
I have been vegan for a month or so. I was vegetarian for about three years before. My husband and cat are carnivores. I live in a small town and only have a Co-op and Holland and Barrett. I have found that Holland and Barrett have a good selection of vegan foods, especially those made by Fry's, a family run company. Find them in the freezer compartment. Their nuggets are really nice, as is their polony - tastes like liver sausage.

I got a really good vegan cookbook from Viva. Also Hamlyn's 200 Vegan Recipes is very good. It can be good fun making new things, having a go with quinoa for instance. When you have made a couple of recipes you will find that you have the main storecupboard items so that you don't have to buy much to make something new. Linda McCartney's veggie mince is great, and my husband is happy to eat that if it is in a chilli or something spicy. We have a vegan night once a week where he eats what I eat. A lot of the recipes can be made and frozen so that it's easier to cook two different meals some nights.

Do keep some Vegan vitamins on hand, although I actually feel great without them, I'll take them on alternate days because too much B12 makes me feel irritable, don't know why. Keep it up and good luck. We are the change the world needs.

PS I like Alpro chocolate desserts better than Provamel, I'm eating a Provamel as I write this. It's okay, but not as nice. I've got three more to eat as well. The downside of being the only vegan in the household.
 

Sally

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During this winter I have been making vegetable stews, they last about three days. If my carnivore husband is having something with rice then I have stew with rice (actually very nice), if he has mashed or roasted potatoes I have stew with those, otherwise I just have stew with wholemeal bread. The Co-op do packets of mixed vegetables and then I add a swede and potatoes, I love swede. Just fry the onions then put in all the veg with a couple of vegetable stock cubes, salt, pepper, mixed herbs and French mustard. Every day you heat it up again it gets better. You can do a version with beans or veggie mince, but I like it best just vegetables. Instead of stock cubes you can use curry powder.

When I need a break from stews I'll have Iceland veggie burgers, they are light and fresh with just carrots and beans and stuff in breadcrumbs, you get four in a packet, nice with mashed pots and vegetables. Not heavy like the sweet potato ones, I don't like those. Mostly I eat lots and lots of different kinds of vegetables. Sometimes I have spaghetti with a tin of tomatoes and some mushrooms on top.

Make sure you have tins on hand that you can make a meal from like mixed beans, tomatoes, baked beans, things like that. Pasta, rice and potatoes and onions in the cupboard and some frozen veg in the freezer.

Tonight we are having a stir fry with fried potatoes. Red pepper, spring onions, mushrooms and potatoes for me, and I will add chicken for hubby. Easy.

I keep nuts and raisins to snack on, and bananas and apples. If I can stay off the sugar I feel so much better, more energy and find I sleep well.

It's such a pain having to cook two different meals, I find the stew gives me a couple of days off. I hope this is some help.
 
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Hi there! I have a website that lets you search vegan products in the main UK supermarkets (still a work in progress), and you can filter by category and supermarket. I also have some guides to eating out at chain restaurants. http://myvegansupermarket.co.uk/ Hope this helps.

I found Pinterest really useful for finding recipes when I first went vegan. I think it's best to focus on finding exciting new things to try, rather than dwell on what you're giving up. Also be sure to eat enough, as plant foods tend to contain less calories, so you might need bigger portions to feel full. Good luck!
 

fzjohnson

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Hi, I found out the Jus-rol puff and shortcrust pastry (not the one labelled "butter") are vegan. If you want to make your partner jealous why not use some of that cooked, cold stew to whip up a pastie in the oven? What would it be - 10-15 min at 200? Easy!

I love swede too, only I call it rutabaga. Either way it is a much under-rated root vegetable. Here in the UK there are times when it tastes really good and times when the flavour is a bit bland. Either way, the crunch factor is tops of trees.