Have you ever seen a food post on Instagram that looked incredible then looked at the description and then thought to yourself: wow this is vegan?!?!? I did. Becoming vegan is one of the best decisions of my life and even though some people might argue that veganism is difficult and not obtainable, I’m here to tell you it is. If you’re interested in becoming vegan, here are 10 tips to help you in terms of how to transition to a vegan lifestyle easily!
1. Actually take the time to do your research.
This is by far the most important tip I can give you if you’re interested in this lifestyle. Since the majority of us have grown up eating meat we may not know any harm it can bring us. Doing research keeps you stay motivated and keeps you vegan for the long run.
Do you want to speak intelligently on the matter when someone asks you why? Well, there are plenty of books and even documentaries you can look up that will give you the factual and scientific approach to veganism.
Some books you may want to check out are as listed:
The China Study
Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition- Based Cure
Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism
Some documentaries you may want to check out are as listed:
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret on Netflix
Forks Over Knives on Netflix
Food Inc. on Netflix
Vegucated on Netflix
Hungry for Change on Netflix
“Don’t wait for a better world. Start now to create a world of harmony and peace. It is up to you, and it always has been. You may even find the solution at the end of your fork.” ― Sharon Gannon
2. Find your go-to sources of inspiration.
Get inspired. There are SO many foodies on Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube that will help you get inspired. Find recipes that you love and veganize them. There is a vegan substitute for almost everything! Between vegan ranch dressing, to vegan mac and cheese, and even vegan “faux meat” products.
Yeah, I said it… Faux meat. This is great when you first start off because it shows you how obtainable this vegan lifestyle can really be. After you’ve experimented with those products and you feel more comfortable with veganism you may want to go on a more healthy whole foods diet and less processed food if weight loss is one of your goals.
3. Understand that there are different types of vegan diets and find the way that works best for you.
Vegan is not just one diet. There are many ways you can actually be vegan, but don’t let them overwhelm you. Do whatever feels right to you. If you’re someone who is on this lifestyle for weight loss than you might want to try a high carb, low fat diet or an 80/10/10 diet.
If you’re someone who does it for the animals than you might not care what you’re eating as long as it’s vegan. There are different reasons why people become vegan so figure out the best option for you.
4. Make sure you get enough of the nutrients that you need.
This is key to having a sustainable vegan diet. It can be overwhelming however when you go on any diet, so you need to be cautious. A great way to know you’re getting enough of everything in your diet is looking up the vegan food pyramid. One way I check I’m getting enough of everything is going to this site which gives you a breakdown of everything, the only thing you have to do is type in what you ate for that day!
5. Gradually cut things out instead of transition cold turkey.
This alone will help you in becoming a successful vegan. If you go cold turkey you may find yourself going back to some animal products you can’t live without. It’s more than okay to cut things out one by one, especially since we’ve been eating these animal products our whole lives.
Try cutting out the animals you know you can live without first and then work your way up. Also, when you cut things out gradually you won’t feel so overwhelmed. I would highly suggest cutting out animal products in this order: meat, direct dairy, fish, hidden dairy or other animal products and then beauty products, clothing, etc.
6. Subscribe to your favorite vegan YouTube channels.
There are SO many vegan YouTubers out there, all you have to do is explore! Doing this gave me so much food inspiration and brought my interest to the next level. Once I consumed all the knowledge and benefits plus the amazing recipes, I was hooked!
I still watch my favorite YouTubers least once a week for satisfying meals and little helpful reminders of why I became vegan. Some great YouTubers I highly suggest are: TheEdgyveg, Hotforfood, BananaTV, Kalel, and Caitlin Shoemaker.
7. Know that you’re not alone, there is a whole lifestyle out there.
Know that there is a vegan community out there and other people who have the same lifestyle who are there to support you. Because the vegan community is often frowned upon, it might be hard to tell your friends and family but always remind them why you did and that it makes you happy and soon enough you will have support from almost everyone. Just stay positive.
8. Know restaurants that have vegan options like the back of your hand.
You might be surprised to know that your favorite restaurants actually have vegan options on their menu. Whether it’s a well-known food chain or a café in the city, know that you can get something that does not have animal products.
One thing that helps me is telling the waiter or waitress to take out certain things and just to modify my order. Going out with friends who are not vegan is not impossible! Some fast food restaurants even have vegan options such as Moe’s, Taco Bell, Chipotle, Johnny Rockets and Red Robin.
9. Don’t give up, even if your body doesn’t adjust well at first to the change.
Becoming vegan might be overwhelming and you might not know what to do at first, but just like the prior tip mentions, remember you are not alone. When I first became vegan, I had a lot of issues with my stomach and to be honest I did feel weak. When you put your body through an extreme change, things can happen.
It’s important to understand this is NORMAL and happens to almost everyone when they first start off. If you want more information on what vegan diet is the best for your body type I highly suggest visiting a nutritionist. That being said, after three months of being vegan, I feel amazing. I stuck through it and now I am genuinely happy with my decision. So remember you are not alone in this journey. Many celebrities from Ellen DeGeneres to Miley Cyrus, and even Russell Brand are 100 percent vegan and loving it!
10. Remember there is no right or wrong way of transitioning to a vegan lifestyle.
Do whatever makes you happy. At the end of the day, it’s YOUR body. If becoming vegan is something you’re interested in then go for it, if it’s not then don’t allow as we like to call them “ vegan police” tell you that you’re a horrible person.
There are too many people in the vegan community who have their own beliefs and it’s important to stick to your own. At the end of the day do whatever makes you feel good!
Which tip is most helpful for you in terms of how to transition to a vegan lifestyle? Comment below and be sure to like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!
Featured image source: weheartit.com/entry/249722997, garden-of-vegan.tumblr.com
Angela is a student at St. John’s University majoring in Advertising Communications. Her career aspirations include becoming a Creative Director as well as one day managing her own non-profit organization. In her spare time she writes poetry, goes to the gym and loves to spend time with quality friends.