12 tips on how to go vegan
If you are wondering how to go vegan but and you’re not sure where to start, you are in the right place. For those who are not sure what being vegan means, it is a label given to people who choose not to eat or use animal products. This ranges from food all the way down to cleaning products and furniture.
The best starting point for becoming a vegan is to give up meat and dairy, gradually swapping for a wide range of plant based alternatives. Many substitute foods are available in supermarkets and once you become more familiar with them and know where to find them, the vegan transition becomes a lot easier. PETA is a great resource for those who are interested in becoming vegan.
It’s important to know that veganism isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle. If you’re seriously considering switching, we’ve put together some tips that will make your transition to becoming vegan little smoother.
Dodge The Fast Food
Now that you’re avoiding meat and animal byproducts, that doesn’t mean you should go crazy on eating vegan friendly junk food. Chips, crisps and dairy-free chocolate are fine in moderation but shouldn’t form the cornerstone of your diet. A lot of newly transitioned vegans are guilty of turning to wonderfully concocted vegan junk food, turn to whole foods like nuts and fruit when you’re in need of a snack to boost your energy and nourish your body with essential vitamins.
Allow More Time For Cooking
Patience is a virtue. When considering the vegan transition, the foods you eat will take some getting used to. You’re probably going to find yourself using ingredients you’re not very familiar with, so give yourself some leeway as you acclimatize to vegan eating. Cooking with the likes of lentils and organic chickpeas can take some time but the benefits of healthy vegan eating will always be worth the wait.
Re-calibrate Your Larder
If all you’ve got in the cupboard is pasta and BBQ sauce when dinner time comes around then you’re going to struggle. Stock up on legumes, whole grain cereals, sweet potatoes and other fillings that are adaptable ingredients in replacing non-vegan dietary intake. Eating vegan allows you to try out foods that you have never considered before, be creative, be healthy and it will all pay off with the benefits on your health, the animals and the environment.
Adopting a vegan diet is a great opportunity to get your vegetable intake up. Leafy greens are your friend here: kale, spinach, collard greens and the like are packed full of nutrients and can be incorporated into a wide range of dishes. These foods are something you really can’t eat too much of. Add them to curries, chilli, smoothies and salads and feel your body change for the better.
Don’t Justify Yourself
You don’t owe anyone an explanation for why you’ve gone vegan. Even if you did, the environmental and ethical reasons to maintain a vegan diet are manifold. Though, if people are willing to listen, embrace it and spread the word of why you decided to start eating vegan. Expect negativity, random questions and even bullying but know deep down in your own heart you are doing what is best for your body, the environment and the animals.
If you are pondering how to go vegan when you are travelling, expect there to be nothing available on the other side and take your own food with you. Try to pack a lunch in advance, or take some vegan-friendly supplies like fruit, cupboard food like tofu, chickpeas and legumes and a ready to eat trail mix with you.
Don’t Get Disheartened
Going vegan can feel like a drastic lifestyle shift at first, but stick with it. Once you get into the rhythm of it, eventually planning your meals will become second nature and you’ll wonder why you hadn’t done it earlier.
Go Easy On Yourself
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you mess up and eat some non-vegan food. It can be a difficult diet to accommodate at times, but remember, you’re aiming to be in it for the long haul. If you accidentally eat dairy or find yourself having to eat in a place without vegan options it’s not the end of the world. Try your best, always ask about ingredients and cooking methods and read labels in stores. One you have the knack there is nothing stopping you.
Don’t Be Judgmental
While it’s great that you’re taking ethical eating seriously, you’d be remiss to impose your values on others. If you want to share the benefits of vegan eating, why not try making your friends some tasty vegan dishes and impress them with the range of culinary options available to you. Negativity only attracts negativity and life is too short to be spent arguing.
It’ll be much easier to stay motivated at being vegan if you keep things interesting in the kitchen. Use the opportunity to make food with ingredients you might not have considered before. Check out your local market for interesting or unusual produce that you can mix into your dishes. Remember, there are lots of vegan ingredients that can mimic the function of meat on your plate, try a range of tofu, seitan and tempeh and find what fits your pallet perfectly.
Though watching slaughterhouse videos isn’t for everyone, it really helped us transition. Seeing innocent animals exploited for profit really made us not want to be a part of it. The best vegan research you can do is about nutrients in food and environmental facts. For example, not many people know that, per calorie, broccoli contains almost double the protein than beef.
Join Vegan Groups
You may find yourself feeling a little isolated if you have no fellow vegan friends or family nearby. Joining vegan social media groups is a great way to connect with the community to share tips, recipes and finds. We get most of our recipes and products through recommendations on vegan social media.
The Vegan Calculator
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Finally, keep up the great work, ignore negative comments and focus on those who care and show support to your great decision of becoming a vegan.
This guest post was written by Jerry Fisher, a 28-year-old photographer from Essex, UK. Though he’s not a professional writer, his hobby is to put together articles from time to time and share them with an online audience.
Jerry has a master’s degree in Math and has been working for 3 years in a small photo studio that he established by himself.
Jerry is looking for new inspiration and searching new topics to write about.
Do you have any more tips on how to go vegan? Let us know in the comments below.