Okay, it can be hard. A lot of people are pushing against you, your choices have become more limited when eating out where you used to and there's a lot of things to figure out.
But it can also be really fun. So many new things to try. So many new places to eat you may not have thought of going to before and, best of all, you're making a difference to animals, the planet and depending on your habits, you may have gone vegan for your health.
As a vegan of 6 years with a family who doesn't get it, a partner who eats meat and a bunch of allergies, here's a few tips I've learned to help keep on the vegan track when it feels difficult.
1. Remember why you're doing it.A top tip from one of our members Kathie - when it gets hard, remember why you're doing it! Write it down. Put a note in your phone. Make it your wallpaper. Print out cute pig pictures and stick it to your fridge. Follow pro-vegan instagrams, Tik Tok's and Facebook pages. Whatever works for you. When things feel difficult, go back to your core reason for being vegan, or adopting more vegan friendly foods into your life.
For me, its the environment and reducing harm to animals so I watch documentaries that stir my emotions about those subjects, and I feel motivation to keep choosing vegan.
2. Set a shopping list and stick to it.This a good rule for your bank balance too. Include some treats in your shopping list, especially if you're finding it tough to stick to vegan choices when you're feeling snack-y.
I've found that when my partner has snacks around the house, I've been tempted to have a little bit. By keeping vegan friendly versions or treats that I like in the house, I can get excited and tempted by those instead.
3. Be prepared.This is especially true if you have any allergies.
Don't expect you'll be fed. Sometimes at family gatherings or parties I've found myself going hungry. It can be difficult for people who don't often encounter veganism to know what to look out for, or sometimes, it's not obvious that something will have dairy or eggs in the ingredients. Pop a Cliff, Nakd or some kind of protein bar in your bag.
If you're going out for the day, or you know you're going out to eat, check out the menu of the place you're going or call ahead. At our café in Manchester on Oxford Road, we do all vegan food, but allergens like gluten or nuts can sometimes be in our food. It's worth calling to see what we can do for you - we can normally accommodate you.
4. Tell people that you're doing it, and that you want to stick to it.Over the past 6 years, many people have questioned why I'm vegan and told me they 'won't tell anyone' if I eat meat. For some reason, some people think it's a punishment to be vegan, when it's actually something I want to do. For this reason, it's a good idea to let those around you know that you would like to choose vegan. It'll add an element of accountability if others are around to help you make vegan choices.
Equally, some people do not want to hear why you have chosen veganism, and become defensive about their own choices. Try not to judge others. If you want to share your amazing vegan discoveries, get them excited about it as something new to try - it'll save a lot of arguments.
5. Don't be so hard on yourselfThis is a big one. Firstly, accidents happen. I've eaten things before without realising they have dairy in them, or others have bought me gifts without realising they aren't vegan friendly. There's not much you can do if it's already done, and it will happen. Forgive yourself, your everyday choices are what count.
Also, if you're struggling going whole meat-free hog, then transition slowly. Don't mind oat milk in your tea or can go for a black coffee, then start there. Every vegan choice is a step forward, and does make a difference!