Vegan Way of Living
Being vegan means something different for everyone.
For some it means to lead a healthier and more vital life. While others, it’s a non-violent way of life designed to prevent avoidable suffering.
There are people who changed their diet immediately and never looked back.
However, for some, it’s a roller-coaster ride that can take several weeks to months or even years.
If you are interested in a vegan diet or are in transition, this article is for you!
To help you get started in the vegan diet, here are the 10 best tips for a stress-free diet change to vegan.
10 Vegan Diet Tips for Beginners
Know why you want to be vegan
Why do you want to go vegan?
There are several reasons for a vegan diet and lifestyle.
Maybe you want to do something good for your body, prevent illness and become fitter and more energetic.
Or you don’t want to harm other people, animals and the environment through your nutritional choices.
You may also have various intolerances that have motivated you to change your diet.
No matter what your motivation is for a lifestyle and diet change, you should always be aware of why you want a change.
When things get complicated, we quickly make excuses and fall back into old habits.
Keeping in mind why you are doing this whole thing will prevent that from happening.
Your decision to go vegan should be your own decision alone. Remember in difficult times why you made that decision.
The more specific the answer to your “why” is, the higher the probability for a sustainable and successful transition to vegan!
Write your reason down somewhere. Save it on your mobile phone to keep it with you at all times.
That way, in weak moments, you can remember what it’s worth to stay strong and not buckle.
Take your time
Becoming vegan is a step-by-step process. It’s NOT an overnight thing.
It’s great that you’ve made the decision not to consume animal products anymore. And it’s okay to do that step by step.
To start, change 90% of your diet to vegan. Replacing every food and other items little by little with vegan.
For instance, start with a vegan dish a day and veganize at your own pace.
Then you could search for bakeries, restaurants and supermarkets that offer vegan products.
As far as family gatherings are concerned, bring something vegan with you or ask in advance for restaurant visits if you can organize a vegan meal for you.
Don’t make life unnecessarily difficult and give yourself the time you need to try things out.
Find your favorite alternatives and move you step by step in the right direction.
Cook and prepare food yourself
With your transition to vegan, you will embark on a culinary journey of discovery where you will learn many new delicious foods.
Sometimes a vegan diet can be very one-sided and unhealthy.
Of course, vegan substitutes can make your life easier especially in the beginning.
Industrially processed foods, whether vegan or not, are very high in calories, low in nutrients and contain many additives.
Therefore, these things should not be the basis of your diet, they should only be exceptions.
To get the most out of this new diet, eat as fully as possible.
That means your meals should be made with fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
If you haven’t already, get used to cooking yourself.
A standard diet consists of a large amount of animal and processed products, which are very rich in fat and calories.
In contrast, whole or unprocessed foods, contain fewer calories.
So, depending on how your diet was before, it may be that you would need to eat more in quantity to meet your daily calorie needs.
You may need two or three plates to fill up your energy levels.
Be sure to eat enough to avoid calorie deficits on your diet change as this causes unwanted cravings.
Stock up on your vegan supplies
To avoid being tempted to eating animal products again, clear your kitchen cabinets and replace all unhealthy animal products with healthy, wholesome plant foods.
Fill up your cupboards with vegan treats.
Don’t worry, as a vegan, you can continue to shop in discount stores and supermarkets.
You can still get fresh food at your local market. Also, there are now many great online stores where you can order specific substitutes and fancier vegan foods.
Here’s a list of the basic supplies you should stock up on. This isn’t necessarily a guide, but should just inspire you and give you ideas on where to start.
Depending on your choices and taste, your shopping list will be different.
3. Greens and Sprouts
4. Fresh herbs
7. Nuts and Seeds
9. Oils and Fats
12. Processed Products
Switching to a vegan diet may be a big change for you.
And every change costs time and effort in the beginning. Shopping or planning your meals may take some getting used to at first.
But don’t let that discourage you.
After a while, you won’t have to think much about what to cook next week or what to take to work the next day.
But before you reach this point, it helps to plan and prepare your meals well.
It’s easy to cook vegan at home, but once you leave the house it gets a little harder.
Not every cafeteria or restaurant around the corner offers vegan food. And having lunch at your nearest vegan restaurant every day can be very expensive in the long term.
You can master eating out by preparing healthy meals and snacks for work, school, or when traveling.
One of the most important requirements for a successful and healthy diet change is to stay informed.
For example, find out about your nutritional needs and don’t leave the adequate intake of important nutrients to chance.
Incidentally, this is not only true for vegans, but for anyone who wants to be healthy.
You don’t necessarily have to be a nutritionist to eat a healthy diet, but you can acquire some basic knowledge on healthy eating.
Educate yourself what plant foods are good sources of iron, iodine, calcium, and vitamin B12.
The better you are informed, the less you will let yourself be unsettled by the criticism of others.
Avoid stressful environment
It is an interesting phenomenon that no one from a family or a circle of friends expresses their own eating habits.
But as soon as you divulge to your loved ones that you’ve turned vegan; they worry about your nutrient supply and maybe even your sanity.
It would be very likely that you would have to face confrontations with family, friends or colleagues because they don’t want to accept your nutritional change or are uneducated about it.
This is often expressed in ridicule and criticisms, sometimes discussions and arguments.
Instead of engaging in a stressful situation with them, openly explain how important your change is to you and how well you are doing.
And possibly why their support is important to you.
Lead by example and be a positive inspiration to your environment, but don’t try to change others into a vegan.
Seek like-minded people
When frustration with your own family and friends become unbearable, don’t lose hope and give up.
You are not alone!
People who surround you may not understand your transition but there are many like-minded people out there who are going through the same journey.
Especially in the beginning, try to find a vegan community where you can network with others and talk about each of your experiences.
If your family and friends don’t understand your vegan lifestyle, create a new environment.
Don’t let the initial challenges spoil the fun of your vegan journey.
This is something wonderful, celebrate it!
Enjoy new discoveries of different cultures, ingredients, recipes and your personal development that accompany your diet change.
Even when there are difficult times, look at challenges as an opportunity to learn instead of a way out.
Being vegan is a process which you should take all the time you need.
Enjoy every step of the way!