How to Transition to a Vegan Diet
Changing from the standard American diet to a healthy vegan diet is not always easy. Here are some quick and easy tips on how to go vegan for beginners.
What should you eat?
Learn how to optimally nourish your body on a plant-based diet. It’s quite simple, once you start to remove the processed foods, meats and meat by-products. You will automatically feel fantastic by eating plant-based.
How to read food labels
Read labels and learn how to tell if a product contains animal products. In some cases, it is clear to see. But some others are not so easy to detect. Check out a list of non-vegan items you may see on food labels here.
Find vegan-friendly restaurants and grocery stores
To find vegan restaurants near you, check out Happy Cow. Most grocery stores have vegan items now. It is becoming more and more popular. But be careful not only to buy processed items. Always get fresh fruit and vegetables as well.
Vegan Grocery List
Download a free comprehensive vegan grocery list to help you get all your vegan staples!
Add to your diet before taking away from it
Begin incorporating more whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and tofu into your diet. Learn to cook new dishes with beans and legumes. Making a slow change may be the best way to transition to a vegan diet for you!
Switch from dairy milk to non-dairy alternatives
This one is easy. There are so many tasty non-dairy milks to try. The best alternatives are almond, soy, rice, oat, coconut, and hemp. You can even make them yourself in a blender.
Keep a positive attitude
Stay positive, even when you have people around you who are questioning and challenging you. Do not doubt yourself, and what you are doing.
What’s your transition plan for changing to a vegan diet?
Begin planning your transition. Will you start quickly, or slowly? Plan which day you will start. Get your menu ready for that day or for the week ahead. You can choose to slowly phase out the animal products while replacing them with plant-based products, one at a time, over a period of time. Or you can choose to remove all animal products at once.
Give Meatless Monday a try
Try doing Meatless Monday, or vegan lunches to make the transition easier. By choosing to not eat meat on a given day, or every day at lunch, you will get into a healthy habit. You may notice that it’s not that difficult, and you will truly enjoy the health benefits.
Do vegans have cravings?
Don’t quit because you have trouble giving up one thing like cheese for example. These cravings will go away, but in the meantime, try to satisfy your cheese cravings with this awesome cheese sauce.
Should I transition to a vegan diet with convenience foods?
It’s OK to eat vegan convenience foods in moderation. Remember they are highly processed – high in salt, oil, and sugar. They may make your transition easier, but not necessarily healthier.
Help me change to a vegan diet
Join a group for support through Facebook or other social media for optimal success. You will be surrounded by people at all stages of the vegan journey. They will encourage you to succeed and help you when you feel stuck. Join me on facebook!
Vegan Subscription Boxes
Try a vegan subscription box service to help you with your transition. You can have a regular delivery of snacks or delicious vegan meals right to your door!
Resources to help change to a vegan diet
Watch good documentaries, such as Forks over Knives or listen to podcasts about animal agriculture and plant-based diets.
Also, check out Patti’s great tips on Healthy Eating on a Budget, where she incorporates how to buy in-season produce and when to buy organic.
You can change to a vegan diet!
You can do it. It is safe and healthy. If you have any doubts, get involved with a vegan community or find a vegan doctor to talk about it. I’m so glad I changed my way of eating. My only regret is not doing it sooner.
Denise has been vegan since 2017 and in that time, has veganised her life. Her passion is helping others do the same. She has published a vegan guidebook entitled “Simply Happy Vegan” and writes about everything to do with a healthy plant-based lifestyle.