Vegetarian for Life (VfL) is the leading authority on diet and healthy living advice for older vegans and vegetarians. The charity has produced this self-isolation survival guide to support vulnerable older adults who are vegans or vegetarians (veg*n), but the content will no doubt be useful for anyone who is self-isolating during these challenging times.
There are an estimated 300,000 older vegetarians and vegans in the UK and whilst many organisations are working hard to support vulnerable people during the pandemic, dietary considerations are often not taken into account. The self-isolation survival guide provides simple ideas to help vegetarians, vegans and others with specific dietary requirements keep safe and healthy whilst still maintaining personal values that may dictate food choices.
1. Another meal is possible
When you have seemingly bare cupboards, or have bought whatever you were able to nab, the Supercook recipe search engine might save the day.
Simply type in the ingredients that you have in your cupboards, fridge and freezer, and it will come up with a raft of recipes you can make without leaving the house to buy more.
2. Delivered meals
If shopping really isn’t an option and/or cooking proper meals is challenging, Vegetarian for Life has a great guide called Veggie Meals to Your Door. It details all of the companies that can deliver vegetarian and vegan meals – either hot, chilled or frozen – straight to your home.
If preferred, Vegetarian for Life will post a copy to you, free of charge. Please contact the charity on 0161 257 0887 for more information.
3. Keeping in touch
It’s important to keep in contact with your friends and family, so why not make use of programs such as Facebook, Skype, and Whatsapp for sharing photos and a (virtual) face-to-face chat?
Vegetarian for Life runs the Mature Vegans and Veggies UK group on Facebook, which already has over 1,400 members, and also a veggie pen- and phone-pal scheme, exclusively for older vegetarians and vegans.
4. Good nutrition is a priority
Making nutrition a priority is important for a healthy immune system. And thankfully there are some key things you can do to keep it simple and eat well, even when housebound.
Pick ambient foods, such as canned goods, pasta, rice and beans. Make the most of your freezer if you have one to ensure you have a good store of bread, vegetables, fruit and more. Stock a good variety of foods where possible, so that you don’t rely too heavily on items that might easily run out at the supermarket.
Vegetarian for Life has compiled a handy guide to what to buy for your store cupboard and freezer, here.
[Editors note: If you are keen to find out how to ensure your vegan diet is providing all the essential nutrients you need, Go Vegan – A Guide to Delicious Everday Food is definitely worth a read. As you will see from our review, this is no ordinary cookbook! Or click the image opposite to view on Amazon.]
5. Enjoy your time at home
If you are having to self-isolate at home, you may well start to feel lonely. But try to think of this extra time as an opportunity to try something new, or spend time on hobbies you have neglected for a while.
Keep your spirits lifted by exercising, watching TV, reading a good book, or listening to the radio, with the window open, for a light breeze of fresh air.
Why not start that new hobby you’ve always wanted to have a go at? Or take advantage of the time of year and, start off some seeds indoors to plant out in the garden when the time is right for a few veggies of your own creation. This handy Vegetable Planting Calendar provides a helpful guide.
For inspiration, check out the incredible 81-year-old vegan whose mission is to complete one million press-ups, here.
We hope that you and yours stay well during this challenging time. If you’re experiencing any difficulties, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Vegetarian for Life on 0161 257 0887.
You can also find out what shopping and home delivery services your local Age UK offers, here.
For more information about Vegetarian for Life, check out the website and social media channels:
Image by mentrea from Pixabay