How to Include More Plant-Based Foods in Your Diet

In partnership with The Co-op.

Whether you’re trying out Veganuary, overhauling your entire diet or just want to explore some more plant-based foods, here are some tips and hints from young vegans to make it easier!

Change your feed

Your social media feed that is! We all spend time scrolling on social media so it’s good to fill your feed with encouragement. Check out the best vegan or plant-based foodie Instagram’s. This will help you find more vegan alternatives and recipes, read reviews of them and stay motivated by keeping in touch with like-minded people!

Plan ahead

If you’re making a big change to your diet or lifestyle it’s important to be prepared. If you plan ahead and pick meals you’d like to try or meals that you are confident at cooking then you’re less likely to give up if they don’t go to plan! For example, vegan recipes may use ingredients you haven’t used before and it might not work out or you might not like the dish. So if you have a go-to recipe to use as back up or some freezer food then you’ll be able to stick to the plant-based eating.

Remember, you can get 10% off at the Co-op with your Young Scot National Entitlement Card.

It's also important to make sure you're getting the right nutrients. With a carefully planned and varied vegan diet you can get most of the nutrients you need, but you might miss out on essential nutrients such as calcium, iron and vitamin B12 which often come from dairy, fish or meat. Take a look at the NHS Vegan Diet guide for more information and to check you're getting what you need from your diet.

Do some research to prepare

Sometimes people can get caught out by not knowing what to look out for in food labels. Depending on how strict a plant-based diet you follow you might want to look out for the following; milk powder, honey, gelatine, beeswax, and whey.

When changing your diet or lifestyle it’s also important to know what nutrients you need and what foods you’ll get them from. This varies from person to person based on age and gender so make sure it applies to you. This way you won’t be missing out on any of the good stuff!

See what is available in your local supermarket

Some recipes require very specific products and you might not want to travel far to get them. In that case, try a different recipe or look up substitute ingredients!

Ease yourself in slowly

It can be quite an adjustment changing what you eat. You can start with meat-free Mondays and work your way up to entirely plant-based a few times a week or more! If you’re easing yourself slowly into the lifestyle this also allows you to try new recipes to see if you like them, before you fully commit to it!

Get to know your seasoning

A lot of meat flavours can be replicated by non-meat products like Tofu, Tempeh, Seitan, Lentils. This can help with those cravings and there is plenty of help online!

Use up what is in your cupboards and buy alternatives next time

Some people switch to a plant-based diet to avoid waste. It’s a good idea to use up whatever products you have in your cupboard before buying new products. This prevents waste and helps you transition to a plant-based diet gradually.

For more hints and tips on following a plant-based diet or vegan lifestyle visit our Keep Your Plants On page.