GUEST POST: Not long ago, I met (virtually) Lauren founder of Lauren Hollie Fitness. Not only is she qualified as a Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor but she also works full time dance training students. Lauren is also an advocate for mental health and body confidence. I am pleased to share her experience moving to a plant based lifestyle on my blog, Heather's Health Habits. Enjoy!
Since September 2019 I’ve been making plant based swaps in my diet since I had more opportunity to do so when I moved into my student flat and was no longer restricted to eating what the rest of my family were (massive meat eaters). I’m not 100% plant based yet, and may never be, but I’m definitely vegetarian and have reduced the amount of dairy in my diet by a significant amount. I wanted to share some of the swaps I managed to make quiet easily.
1. Meat Substitutes
This is probably the easiest. There’s so many out there now and the market is always expanding, and they’re not that difficult to find. I wouldn’t recommend having these in every meal, but they are an easy way to reduce meat consumption. My favourites are Quorn mince for bolognese or chilli con carne, Linda McCartney sausages and burgers, and the Plant Based range in Aldi is also really good.
2. Plant Based Milk
This one can take a bit of time to get used to, especially if you currently consume a lot of cows milk. But stick with it! There’s also a lot of plant based milks out there, so if you don’t like the first one you try, give another one a go. I personally go for Soya Milk most of the time because my flatmate already drank it, and also it’s the cheapest. But I really like Almond Milk in my coffee and Oat Milk is probably my favourite all rounder and has the most ‘normal’ taste in my opinion. Alpro also do a plant based chocolate milk which I highly recommend!
3. Plant Based Butter/Yoghurt
This was an easy one for me, although the yoghurt can sometimes be harder to find. Vitalite Dairy Free Butter is the best one I’ve tried, you can barely taste the difference. Alpro do a good dairy free yoghurt, however it can be a tad expensive. My favourite dairy free yoghurt is actually the Soyummy one from Aldi, it comes in natural, vanilla and blueberry.
4. Accidentally Vegan
There are lots of products that you probably didn’t know were Vegan, or have never really thought about. So don’t think that you have to change everything in your diet - these things can stay! The list includes: Marmite, Just Rol Pastry, Oreos, Bourbons, most crisps, Popcorn, Starburst, McVities Hobnobs, Cadbury’s Bourneville. Always check the label!
5. Vegan Chocolate
Chocolate for me is the thing stopping me from going fully plant based at the moment. I’m way too much of a chocoholic and love my Dairy Milk too much! However, there are a lot of vegan chocolate brands out there, and brands such as Galaxy have been bringing out a Vegan version of their chocolate. My favourite one I’ve found so far is Love Raw!
I hope that this has given you some inspiration to make some plant based swaps in your own diet. Whatever your reasons might be for wanting to make that change, following any amount of these swaps will make a positive change.
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