No matter your reason for choosing veganism, these tips for going vegan will help you as you start on your journey.
There are so many reasons for one choosing veganism. There are dietary reasons, especially heart related diseases. Environmental reasons, like less carbon emissions, for example. And for many, it’s specifically for the animals.
It could also be a combination of all of these things together or may develop into more than one as time goes on in your vegan journey.
No matter the reason, these tips for going vegan will help you. While veganism is about more than food, we will be focusing here on the diet component of veganism.
Watch our vegan guide instead of reading below!
Tips for Going Vegan
1.You don’t have to go vegan all at once
Many people think they have to go from eating a full animal-laden diet to jumping all in to a plant centered diet and that’s simply not true. There can be a variety of ways one starts a vegan diet.
Maybe you decide to start by doing Meatless Mondays or you decide that you will start by eating plant based for breakfast and lunch first.
Here’s a few other ways that you could start:
- Remove a specific meat – many times people will start by removing pork or beef before moving to reducing chicken and fish
- Move to being vegetarian (still eats dairy and eggs) or pescatarian (only eats fish) and then slowly transition into less and less
- Be vegan at home – eating out can be tricky, especially at first. Choosing to eat vegan at home, but vegetarian when out, can be helpful
No matter if you choose one of these ways or you choose to jump in all at once, veganism is a journey and it’s not a once size fits all way of life.
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2. Don’t guilt yourself if you slip
Whether you make a conscious decision to eat something that isn’t vegan, or it’s accidental, you shouldn’t make yourself feel bad about it.
Sometimes you learn that grandma’s cake had regular butter in it because she didn’t understand or maybe you go out to a restaurant and realize halfway through eating that there’s real cheese in the dish.
These are things that you shouldn’t beat yourself up about. Veganism is more about making mindful decisions every day. That means tomorrow is a fresh start.
3. Brush off other peoples’ opinions
The second you tell someone you are vegan you will hear their opinion whether you asked for it or not. “Oh, I could never do that”, “But what do you eat” “How do you get enough (insert thing) [usually protein, calcium, vitamins]”?
Some people choose to smile and nod away the constant questions. Other people decide to have a simple answer to all of them, like “Ok.”, “Food.” and “Somehow I just do.” to the above questions. Leaving it simple and matter of fact is just an easy way.
Don’t feel like you need to have all the latest statistics or facts about why veganism is a healthy lifestyle. You don’t owe anyone anything they aren’t willing to research on their own.
However, as your vegan journey continues, you will likely get more passionate and be willing to explain things to the above question like, “I didn’t think I could either, but I’m shocked to find so many amazing foods.” or “I eat everything you do, pizza, burgers, ice cream, just without any animals involved.” or “I make sure I eat a varied diet and take a multi-vitamin.”
No matter which way you choose, never let other’s opinions get to you.
4. Make a list of all the meals/foods you love that are already vegan
Sometimes without realizing it, you already eat many foods that are vegan or can easily be vegan with a simple swap (Hello, smoothies and salads).
One of the easiest ways to transition is to make a list of everything you currently eat and love that fit into your new way of eating.
Some typical vegan meals that you likely may already like:
- Smoothies – Usually just swapping to a plant based milk like oat or almond makes an easy breakfast, especially on the go
- Salads – swap the cheese for nutritional yeast and pick a plant based dressing and you have a great lunch or dinner
- Spaghetti and Marinara sauce
- Vegetable Soup
- Veggie Burgers
- Bean Chili
- Veggie Stir-fry
- Bean Burritos or Tacos
There are so many options!
5. Replace all your favorite foods with vegan alternatives
This is the tip that helped us the most. We loved things like pizza, tacos, and burgers, so we worked to replace those things first.
Figuring out ways to still enjoy all your favorite is probably the best of the tips for going vegan.
Make a list of your go to dinners. The ones you like when you go out to eat, the ones you make when you only have 20 minutes to get on the table, the special ones for special occasions. In fact, the more meals that you can list the better you will be
Now, take that list and look up vegan alternatives for each of them, We’d recommend starting by searching our website and see if we already have alternatives for your favorites.
6. Realize it’s okay to not like some popular vegan alternatives
Mushrooms, tofu, eggplant, OH MY!
Listen, you don’t have to like everything. And that’s okay. In our house, only one person really likes mushrooms. Mushrooms are a huge meat placement.
Maybe you don’t like beans or avocado. It doesn’t matter.
There are estimated to be over 20,000 plant based edible fruits and vegetables worldwide. While you may not have access to every one, the point is that you have access to enough of them that you can adequately omit a few and still eat very well on a vegan lifestyle.
7. Be open to trying new foods (more than once)
Although we just said, it’s okay not to like foods, be open to trying new ones, even if you previously thought you didn’t.
As you continue on your vegan journey, your taste buds are going to evolve and flavor more plant foods. This mean that foods that you once thought you didn’t like, could now be your favorite.
Also your cooking abilities will likely improve, so learning new ways of cooking foods you didn’t previously think you liked will happen.
For example, we tried a tofu scramble when we first went vegan and thought it was disgusting. Turns out we had no idea about pressing tofu let alone seasoning it properly. Now, we regularly eat it for breakfast.
8. Find an in person or online group of vegans for support
Whether you need support to stay on track or you would love new meal ideas, a vegan group can be so beneficial.
Keep It Simple, Stupid.
Okay, first of all I hate the word stupid, but we learned this growing up and it applies to so many aspects of our lives and transitioning into a vegan diet is no different.
Don’t overcomplicate this, especially in the beginning.
Focus on using foods that you know how to make and cook with. Don’t worry about buying things like vital wheat gluten and tapioca starch if you’ve never used them before.
KEEP IT SIMPLE, SWEETIE 😉
10. Veganism is an evolution.
If you don’t take anything else from this post, we hope that you understand that veganism is a way of evolving yourself. Your thoughts, opinions, taste buds, and way of living are mature the longer you go through this lifestyle
You don’t have to jump feet first into everything and for the love of whatever religion you believe in please don’t throw out every household and personal care item you own that you realize isn’t vegan.
Look you aren’t doing any justice to the environment if you throw out your deodorant because it contains milk or your couch because it has downfeathers.
Most vegans agree that what is best for the environment is to work on replacing those things as they need replaced.
Empty a bottle of shampoo? Replace it with a vegan one. Rip your favorite leather jacket? Replace is with a vegan alternative.
Most of all remember this is a journey.
We hope these tips for going vegan were helpful!
Did we miss a tip? Leave a comment down below!