So you want to go vegan. You’ve heard about what the ethical, environmental and health benefits the vegan lifestyle delivers and you want in. You’ve been planning it all year, but just haven’t quite gotten around to it. You tell yourself that after the holidays and into the new year is the best time to make the transition – when the slate is clean and motivations are high.
But… how do you make the change, and make it successfully? Here are some useful tips and guidelines to ensure your transition to being vegan is one that sticks.
Before anything else, make the effort to learn everything there is to know about being vegan. This will really help you feel prepared and get you excited to embark on a positive life change. Read all about the benefits of the vegan lifestyle. Learn how to optimally nourish yourself on this diet so you won’t have any deficiencies. Start understanding ingredients lists and which ingredients are off-limits. All the insights will help you ease into a plant-based lifestyle with confidence and ease.
Add before you subtract.
Rather than just going cold turkey and eliminating all meat, dairy and eggs from your diet straight off the bat – start incorporating more vegan-friendly foods before you take anything out. That way, the transition will be smoother and won’t shock your body. Start adding more legumes, seeds, nuts, vegetables, non-dairy milk (like almond, rice, or soy) and tofu into your diet. You can also start a collection of delicious vegan recipes you can get excited about making.
Leave the hardest for last.
What’s your favorite food ever? That one you think you’re gonna have a really, really hard time letting go? That one. Maybe it’s a creamy feta cheese, or your Sunday morning eggs on toast. Whatever it is, don’t cut it out straight away. Leave it until last. Phase it out in a slow, controlled manner – this could take weeks or even months. You’ll find that the less you have it, the less you’ll crave it.
Learn all the good substitutes.
Being vegan doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the good stuff. Did you know that nutritional yeast flakes make a great substitute for parmesan cheese? Or that coconut yogurt tastes just as good (if not better) than dairy yogurt? Experiment with all these substitutes to find which ones you like best. Soon enough, you’ll be creating your own new plant-based versions of traditional favorite recipes.
Don’t lose sight of why.
When the going gets tough, it’s easy to be tempted into giving in. But, when you know exactly why you decided to be vegan and remind yourself of that, you can quickly reign the temptations in. This is why it really helps to know all the benefits of a plant-based diet and the positive effects it has on our health, environment, and mood.