Tips for Transitioning to a Vegan Diet
Some people can make the change to a vegan lifestyle overnight.
I’m not one of those people. I’ve been vegan for more than 15 years now, and I transitioned from an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet to a vegan diet, then a raw foods diet, then back to vegan eating a combination of raw and cooked foods.
There are ways to slowly transition to a vegan lifestyle. Meatless Mondays are a good start, although I found it better to start with one meal as 100% vegan. And breakfast is the easiest meal of the day to start transitioning to vegan. For one, it’s easy to get this meal out of the way since it’s the first one. And two, most people can easily eat vegan for breakfast, since you can get away with eating things like hash browns, vegan pancakes, oatmeal, and substitute almond or soy milk with cereal.
But here are 10 tips that have worked for me in transitioning to a vegan diet:
- 1. Start with one vegan meal per day. For me it was breakfast.
- 2. Try two vegan meals a day. Eat whatever you like for Dinner.
- 3. Read all you can about the vegan lifestyle. Knowledge is power, and reading all you can about being vegan can only help you understand the lifestyle more clearly.
- 4. Try Meatless Mondays. After having experimented with going vegan on certain meals, try a whole day being vegan. And Meatless Monday is the popular day of the week for doing this. #MeatlessMonday
- 5. Incorporate whole grains into your meals. In Asian cultures, rice is a popular staple, and brown rice or quinoa are good choices for getting more fiber and protein when going meatless.
- 6. Eat beans and legumes each day. This is good to get enough protein, and also dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale will surprisingly provide protein and calcium.
- 7. Try to eat whole foods and avoid processed foods. Lots of fresh organic fruits and vegetables will make you feel healthier. Fruits like apples and oranges are better snacks than potato chips and fast foods.
- 8. Use a food tracking app like Cron-o-meter. This is essential because you’ll want to be able to track your food intake to see that you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs, and to prove that you can survive on a vegan diet.
- 9. Join a Vegan Facebook group or Vegan Forum. You’ll be able to connect with like-minded individuals who are also transitioning, as well as get advice from longtime vegans.
- 10. Be compassionate and forgiving to yourself. The road to veganism might be tough for some, because we’re essentially changing our lifestyle and eating habits, years of eating patterns; transitioning from a meat-based diet to a plant-based one. So go easy on yourself, as you will make mistakes along the way. Just don’t give up and try again. Practice makes perfect, and its a process.
I hope these tips will help.
Our goal is to eat healthier, while saving the animals and respecting our planet’s resources.