If you’ve been contemplating going plant-based or vegan, you have a lot to consider. After all, a lifestyle change takes some getting used to, particularly when it involves your health. If you’re transitioning from eating meat or being a vegetarian who eats dairy, there are some things you can do to make the process easier on yourself.
Here are five steps that help you adopt a strictly plant-based diet easily:
- Do your homework. Research a vegan diet and learn about the different vitamins and nutrients the body needs to stay healthy. Learn which vegetables offer the most plant-based proteins and fiber, too. Get to know the different companies that offer vegan foods and beverages.
- Get support along the way. Having someone you can talk to about your transition to veganism is helpful. Joining a group online or finding someone in your community that is vegan to talk to is a great resource. Whenever you need advice or have a pressing question that needs to be answered, you’ll have a knowledgeable person to assist you. When things are hard, and you feel like giving up, you’ll be reminded of why you wanted to go vegan in the first place because your friends will have your back.
- Start eliminating meat and dairy from your diet. Give up one food one day and see how you feel. Then start phasing other meat and dairy items from your diet one at a time. Opt instead for fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats such as olive oil instead of butter. If there isn’t a vegan section in your local grocery store, ask the manager to start stocking products that you want to buy. You can also order items online.
- Start eating more plant-based foods. Learn to recognize vegan-friendly labeling at the supermarket. Experiment with new recipes in the kitchen. You can make easy substitutions for some of your favorite meals using mock meats, tempeh, beans, and even nuts. Swap recipes with your vegan friends. Check out a vegan cookbook from the library to help you come up with ideas of things to make to eat.
- Always have a vegan option for you. Start carrying vegan foods and beverages with you, so you always have something to eat. Not everyone will remember that you’re making a lifestyle change. They may even think that being vegetarian, and vegan is the same thing. Avoid the hassle of always being prepared with something healthy to eat and drink wherever you go. Portable options such as Smart Pressed Juice are perfect because the packets don’t take up much space in a bag or purse and can be mixed on the go using water.
Going vegan is the type of decision that changes your life forever. No matter what your reason for adopting a strictly plant-based diet is, know that it’s far easier than you ever imagined. You’re not stuck eating salads, either, because the vast array of foods and beverages you can consume as a vegan is incredible. Enjoy your new lifestyle that is better for you and better for the planet!
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