Making the transition into a plant-based diet is one that will benefit you just as much as the animals you’re not going to be eating. Amongst other great results, veganism can leave you feeling happier, lighter and will seriously decrease your carbon footprint. As awesome as the outcomes are, getting started can be tricky and difficult.
How to Make The Vegan Transition
Follow these helpful hints and preparation warnings to make your journey a little more peaceful:
Commit to Your Decision
If you make the decision to go vegan, take that decision seriously. Commit yourself to that diet and stick to that commitment. If you’re wobbling on the fence, or making promises to yourself like, “I will still eat honey, but that’s it,” you’re more likely to give up. Or it might take forever to transition. Start your time as a vegan off right by taking it on full force. You’ll be happy you did!
Research Protein and Vitamin Alternatives
Although a plant-based diet will provide you with some great nutritional perks, the diet may not be able to give you absolutely everything you require. In some instances, vegans may need to consider taking supplements.
For example, you will also still require vitamin B12, although it is only naturally present in animal foods. A diet without B12 will leave you tired, weak and facing other unhealthy issues, so seek fortified foods or a supplement to get your share.
Iron is another thing you need to consider when taking meats out of your diet. Vegans can get their iron in dark leafy greens, broccoli, sunflower seeds and fortified foods or through supplements (although supplementation is not always recommended – iron is incredibly abundant in the fruit and vegetable kingdom, when eaten abundantly!).
One thing you should be safe with is protein. Your body will continue to need it, but it can be found in plenty non-animal foods. Remember that all protein is made up of amino acids, and amino acids are found abundantly in all fruit and vegetables. Good choices are dark leafy greens, sea vegetables, quinoa, beans, berries, and more!
Investigate New Curb Cravers
Before you make the transition, research your food alternatives. It’ll be much easier to choose tofu over chicken if you’re prepared. Rather than last minute when you’re starving and your stomach is making all the decisions.
There are lots of sites serving up vegan recipes all over the web, or you can pick up a cookbook to have right there in your kitchen. Regardless, you should know exactly what you’re getting into before you take the plunge.
Learn to Read Food Labels
Animal byproducts can appear in unexpected places. Be prepared to check food labels. Obviously, you will want to avoid anything with eggs and milk, but these appear in more places than you may have anticipated. Look at all food labels before purchasing, or stick to the produce section to be totally safe.
Mix Up Your Intake
People often think of vegans as people that munch on lettuce and nothing else. In reality, veganism offers tons of delicious options and combinations. If you start off on a salad-only vegan track, you’re going to become bored and frustrated. Instead, vary your diet in order to remain satisfied and keep your cravings at bay.
If you’re worried that your cravings won’t be appeased, don’t fret. There are even vegan snack food options available. If you have a weakness for chips or cookies every once and a while, all of these still exist in the vegan realm.
Take It Easy Physically
Going vegan may, at first, take a physical toll on your body. Because you’ll be taking away certain vitamins and minerals, you should not go overboard with exercise. Take it easy and let your body get accustomed to your new diet. Walking, light jogging or moving in an aquatic pool are mild ways to get your exercise during your body’s adjustment period.
Get Ready for Q & A
Friends and family are going to be curious about your decision. Many might not even know what veganism is. Be prepared to do a lot of explaining. It’s important to emphasize the fact that this decision was made for you, and shouldn’t be stressed upon anyone else. People will feel inclined to defend their own choices, so repeatedly explain how this is your decision, made for you and your own reasons.
You may encounter your own specific turmoil when making the transition, or you might find the switch totally easy. Keeping these hints and warnings in mind should help you, leaving you to enjoy all the wonderful benefits of a versatile vegan diet.