Each day, more people are embracing a vegan or plant-based diet. Why? Well, one of the main reasons is the number of benefits it has for one’s health. Plus it’s an amazing choice for the environment and for animals.
So now that you know why you should move to a vegan or plant-based diet, let’s start talking about how to go vegan. The reality is it is much easier to eat a plant-based diet than most people think. In fact, before they converted, most vegans said “oh, I don’t know if I could go vegan”. However, the key is to give it a try, because once you try, you realize it’s not that hard.
Step 1: Take it slow
Keep your end goal in mind, but go on at your own pace. Going vegan not only takes getting used to, but it takes time to determine what will work best for you. Making small changes to your everyday meals is one of the easiest ways to increase the amount of plant-based foods in your diet.
Step 2: Don’t worry about what you can’t eat
Many people thinking about how to go vegan often focus on what they're cutting out of their diet. For every food you're worried about giving up, take some time instead to find an alternative that you love like plant-based cheeses, milks, and yogurts, or tempeh and tofu to replace burger patties. With a little experimenting, you'll find so many new products you love.
Step 3: Maintain an average amount of carbs and minimize protein
Protein is NOT the key to weight loss and in fact, animal protein is one of the biggest contributors to the obesity epidemic. Not only that, a high-protein diet more likely causes diabetes and heart disease. Replace a portion of your protein food with high-carb vegetables every meal like sweet potato and others.
Step 4: Get a Vegan starter kit
One of the most helpful tools to begin your vegan journey is getting a vegan starter kit which you can find in https://thrivemarket.com/c/mdv19. It’s a mixture of vegan staples, meat and dairy replacements, and some wholesome and satisfying vegan snacks. There are also amazing programs like PCRM’s 21-Day Vegan Kickstart (link https://kickstart.pcrm.org/en) to help you get going and stay on track.
Step 5: Plan your meals
It can be so hard to come up with a satisfying vegan meal at the end of a long day. There are quite a few meal plan apps you can purchase if you want to customize your own meal plan. But if you’re just starting out, then you may opt to refer to this free blog site where you can find hundreds of vegan recipes that use simple to find, whole food ingredients with minimal prep.
Step 6: Part of the day strategy
Some people start with a time of day; for instance, you could go plant-based before 5PM. If you find going vegan for an entire day seems too hard, this strategy could be a good alternative. However, keep in mind that the propensity to cheat is probably higher with this method, so plan this properly.
Step 7: Try something new
Use this time as a new vegan to embrace all the foods you might not have tried before. Things like tempeh, tofu, nut butters, plant milks, coconut yoghurts and fermented foods are all delicious and have many varieties. But remember to primarily focus on whole and minimally processed foods to keep your nutrients boosted.
Step 8: Keep calm and have compassion
Veganism is about compassion and it must start within. The transition might be bumpy, not always easy, and come with unexpected challenges. While you’re transitioning, don’t think about it as all or nothing but a chance to learn new ways to do good with the foods you choose to eat.
Step 9: Don’t worry about being perfect
Don’t get hung up on being 100% plant-based, rather get as far as you can in the transition. Don’t beat yourself up if you need to cheat here or there or eat some meat or dairy by accident. This is a long-term transformation to a plant-based lifestyle. It is not a diet, it is a lifestyle and over time you should get most of your calories from plants.
Step 10: Ask for support
Don't do it alone! There are loads of great organizations and groups out there for anyone wondering how to go vegan. Veganuary and The Vegan Society are both excellent resources. Look for local Meetups and social events with other plant-based peeps, and chat with your friends! Just because they may not be going vegan themselves doesn't mean they won't be supportive and interested.
We hope that this gives you a few new ideas on how to easily introduce a vegan lifestyle into your daily life. Don’t be scared of the transition no matter how bumpy the journey is, just take it slowly and you’ll soon get there.