If you’re thinking of adopting a plant-based lifestyle, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared. To help you get in the right state of mind, here are 9 tips for going vegan help make your transition successful.
Vegan tip #1: You don’t have to go vegan overnight
Doing it gradually will lead to an easier transition overall. Eating animal byproduct and going cold turkey (no pun intended) the next day can lead to a frustrating experience. It also often leads to giving in to cravings for things that are not plant-based.
- Start off slow with meatless Mondays, and expand from there.
- Cut animal by-products out of your diet one at a time as some will be more difficult than others.
- Try transitioning to being vegetarian first, and slowly eliminate other animal products
Vegan tip #2: Set time frames for yourself that work best for you
Don’t worry what other people are saying or recommending. Remember, this is your choice and your new lifestyle. Only you can dictate what works best for you. Keeping this mindset will ensure you stay on the path to success. If it takes a month to transition that’s fine, if it takes years that’s fine too.
Vegan tip #3: Remember why you chose to go vegan
Always remember why you chose to follow a vegan lifestyle. There will always be temptations placed in front of you. For me, I always say “nothing tastes as good as being vegan feels” and I instantly remember why I chose this lifestyle. When times get tough, reflect on what had you consider a plant-based lifestyle in the first place.
Vegan tip #4: Take vegan snacks with you everywhere
It is critical to have vegan snacks on hand when you are still learning the do’s and don’ts of a plant-based lifestyle. If you’re prepared when hunger strikes, you won’t be able to give in to non-vegan cravings. Eventually, your body will adjust and you won’t crave things as much, and you will learn what food you can eat out and what you can’t.
Vegan tip #5: Don’t worry if you make a mistake, it will happen
Mistakes happen. how could they not, you have totally shaken up your lifestyle. You’re now reading labels and learning ingredients that never would have been a concern before. Animal byproducts find their way into products you would never even think of. Label reading is key to cutting back on mistakes, but should you make a mistake (I made many) don’t beat yourself up about it. Learn from it and move on, you’re doing the best you can!
A website that I find helpful when reading labels is ‘Vegan Peace’ . They tell you if those strange ingredients such as Calcium Disodium EDTA are an animal ingredient, vegan or an ingredient that exists in both animal and vegan versions.
Vegan tip #6: Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan!
This is so important and my #1 piece of advice! I meal plan our weekly dinners every single Sunday before our grocery trip and it really is a lifesaver. It makes your grocery trip easy and straightforward, cuts back on spending on spontaneous purchases, ensures you aren’t buying groceries you don’t need and cuts down on wasted food.
Vegan tip #7: Don’t try cheese substitutes for at least 60 days
When I say don’t try cheese substitutes for 60 days, I mean it. It’s not worth it! Fight the cravings for the first two months and you will be happy you did. Vegan cheese is delicious and has many wonderful uses, but it’s no big secret that it doesn’t taste like your traditional cheese. The first time I tried it there was so much hype about it. We were given the impression it would be an identical substitute. It’s not. Brigette may be the only person who enjoys the taste, even compared to regular cheese. Your tastes buds change and forget flavours over time. By giving them time to forget what sharp cheddar tastes like it will help vegan cheese to fill that gap.
Vegan tip #8: Follow vegan blogs
There is no better way to transition to being vegan than by learning from other people’s experiences. So many have done it before you – why not learn from their wins and mistakes? Being vegan is more than a diet, it’s a lifestyle. Having blogs to learn from and to reference will make your new lifestyle that much more enjoyable. Plus, blogs are filled with recipes, and who doesn’t want to make lots of delicious food?
Vegan tip #9: Have fun and enjoy your new lifestyle
This final point is critical to a successful transition and to maintaining this lifestyle indefinitely. Enjoy everything you are reading, learning and, most importantly, cooking and eating. There are so many new tastes, flavours, and colours that will fill your plate, you need to take them all in. Think about all the lives you are saving, all the good you are doing for the environment, and all benefits your body is reaping. That alone has to put a smile on your face!