Being vegan is a big commitment. It’s almost impossible to go, erm, cold-turkey, for want of a better word. There’s so much you need to cut out in one go, right? Well, not actually…
Tammy Fry of Fry’s Family Food Co. has been plant-based her whole life, but she only recently made the switch from vegetarian to vegan. Here are her tips if you’re keen to do the same.
Tammy Fry has never eaten meat
“I was born a vegetarian and just over six years ago I finally made the decision to cut out all animal products,” says Tammy. “I’ve never looked back.”
Tammy has recently been named one of the eight women changing the world for animals through food. Not only is she a trailblazer for the vegan industry, but she’s also an international spokesperson and a serious athlete. But it’s been a journey getting here.
“When I was born, my dad was a goat farmer,” she says. “As a child, I was always torn apart by the death of those animals. That was one of the reasons my dad moved away from animal farming and started creating meat-free alternatives at home.” It was the birth of Fry’s Family Food Co.
“I spent many a school holiday working in the factory helping my parents,” Tammy says. So after finishing up her BCom in marketing and economics, it made perfect sense for her to take over the marketing side of the business. “[But] my dad had other ideas. He didn’t believe in marketing, so I was relegated to the weighing section of the factory – while working on the first Fry’s Family Food Co. website in my spare time.”
After a few years, Tammy’s dad was convinced and today, Fry’s Family Food Co. is a leading vegan food brand worldwide.
And are you convinced yet? If yes, read on for her tips on making the switch…
1/ Take it slowly
Go slowly and see this as a journey. It takes time to learn new recipes, try new food and adapt to a different way of cooking meals — 99% vegan, almost vegan or weekday vegan are all fantastic steps. You may just find you naturally transition and one day realise you no longer use animal products at all.
2/ Avoid becoming a carbo-vore
It happens to the best of us. Pasta, bread and potato chips are not the only vegan foods around. Eat a variety of fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and grains. Make sure you get all the micronutrients your body requires to function and feel energetic.
3/ Plan ahead
Plan your meals ahead of time so you’re not panic-buying frozen chips at the petrol station. Sometimes life does get in the way, and that’s why convenient, tasty grab-and-go plant-based products are an important addition to your shopping list.
4/ Inspire yourself daily
Do what it takes. Buy a few cookbooks with easy to make plant-based recipes such as The South African Vegan Cookbook by Leozette Roode or Hungry by Anthea Amore.
5/ Stay in touch with your why
Making the switch may seem easier than you initially expected but there may come a time where you hit a wall. If or when this happens, remind yourself why you made this decision in the first place and the benefits you’ve felt since. If necessary, watch a documentary on veganism or visit your nearest animal sanctuary.
6/ No need to feel deprived
Veganism is not just rabbit food. From burgers and sausages to ice creams and pies, there are brilliant alternatives to make you wonder why you ever ate meat in the first place. I mean, there’s Fry’s Family Food Co. people…
7/ Let someone else cook for you occasionally
There are so many excellent vegan restaurants that offer incredible options, so get out and explore every once in a while.
8/ Find your tribe
No, this doesn’t mean you have to ditch your meat-eating friends, but find people who are also considering making the change — or have already. Having a community by your side supporting you can be incredibly comforting.
9/ Be healthy
Just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Make sure you do the necessary research and follow a varied diet to get all the vitamins and nutrients you need to thrive.
10/ Get creative
Don’t be afraid to try new things. Veg-based meals can be exciting, delicious and full of flavour, so take this opportunity to try new foods and experiment with ingredients.