You might be considering transitioning to a vegan diet but are unsure due to the high expectations that come with sticking to it. Going vegan isn’t nearly as hard as people initially think, and if done right, can help you lead a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. Here are some tips on how to properly go vegan.
You don’t have to do it all at once
People are oftentimes intimidated to go vegan because of the dietary restrictions. If you’re a meat and dairy lover, your concerns are valid; but you don’t necessarily need to cut everything out overnight. It’s perfectly fine to slowly transition to a plant based diet. Some ideas of what this might look like could be cutting out dairy first, then taking the step to remove meat; be vegan during the day, and eat what you want after 6 pm, or even just being vegan for the week, and continuing your diet as usual on weekends. If you’re more of an all or nothing type of person, you could even try making a temporary commitment to veganism. Try it out for a few weeks, and if it’s not for you, go back to how you would regularly eat. There’s no time limit to going vegan; it’s relative to every individual.
While plant based food provides lots of nutrients, you’ll need to be taking supplements to ensure you’re getting all of the necessary vitamins your body needs to function. B-12 is perhaps the most important of all of these as it can be severely lacking in a vegan diet. You can easily obtain B-12 vitamins at an affordable price and should definitely invest in some if you plan on transitioning to a plant based diet. You should also pick up some protein powder you can toss in smoothies; while you can get protein from fake meat, tofu, nuts, and beans, you still may be lacking in the required daily amount if you aren’t eating enough of these. Other supplements you might want to invest in include vitamin D, multivitamins, and iron.
Shop at a natural foods store or farmer’s market
Natural foods stores and farmer’s markets will offer you quality produce at a reduced price compared to big chain supermarkets. A tip for how to judge a natural foods store; compare the quantity of their produce section with their vitamins section. If their produce selection is larger, they’re more concerned with offering you healthy options, rather than just shoving pharmaceuticals down your throat. Another tip; buy staples, such as rice, beans, pasta, and cereal, in bulk. It’ll save money and as you’ll be eating a lot of these items, you’ll need to stock up. Additionally, most natural foods stores offer ready-made items that you can grab for a quick meal if you don’t feel like making something yourself; a lot of these are vegan.
Invest in kitchenware
Investing in kitchenware will allow you to easily go vegan because you can prepare wholesome meals at home for a fraction of the price of eating out. If you don’t already have one, buy a blender, toaster, and/or slow cooker. If you’re willing to, invest in items like bread machines and rice cookers. It also wouldn’t hurt to buy a set of good knives you can use for cooking. Speaking of cooking; learning these five staple recipes (stir fried vegetables, sandwiches, salads, roasted vegetables, and soups) will ensure that you have a balanced diet while also being able to enjoy your food. All of these can be easily and quickly made at home.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that most restaurants these days offer at least one or two vegan options. Simply inform your server of your dietary restrictions and they’ll make an effort to cater the restaurant to you. You can also just ask them to remove any meat or dairy that’s easy to from their dishes, and then, voila; vegan cuisine.