Pot roasted chicken, perfectly grilled steak, and jerked pork – all tasty, mouth-watering animal products you enjoy. But, the tides are changing.
For personal reasons, you’ve decided to give the vegan diet a try. Maybe you’re encouraged to change your diet because of your love for animals and the environment.
Or, perhaps you figured veganism was best for your health. Whatever the reason, veganism is a lifestyle and there’s much involved.
Congratulations on taking your first step to learning about the vegan way. Knowledge is power.
This guide is packed with information, including resources you can use to help in your transition to veganism. The aim is to make your vegan journey more fulfilling and less frustrating.
But, before jumping to the meat of the matter, what really is a vegan diet?
What Is A Vegan Diet?
A vegan diet is passionately called a ‘plant-based’ diet. Vegans only eat fruits, vegetables, and products processed from such.
All sources of animal protein, vitamins, and minerals are removed from a vegan diet. These include cheese and milk, meat and poultry, honey, eggs, butter, and gelatin.
Now that you’re familiar with what a vegan diet is, let’s explore what you can eat, and how to make the transition without losing your sanity.
What You Can Eat As A Vegan And How To Make The Transition
If you weren’t accustomed to eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, veganism will allow you to do just that. You’ll find that a vegan diet can be quite as tasty, and even more fulfilling than a meat-inclusive one. As a vegan you can eat:
- Spices and herbs
- Grains and nuts
- Beans, including soy
- Plant-based pasta
- Plant-based oils (avocado, coconut, olive etc.)
- Plant-based milk (soy, almond, coconut etc.)
Moving from a diet that included meat to a plant-based one won’t be easy. But, with the right guidance, you’ll be fine. Here’s how you can make the transition.
Take Things Slow When Starting On A Plant-Based Diet
‘Taking things slow’ does not mean you’ll move at a snail’s pace; it means you’ll transition at your own pace, not someone else’s. You probably had a friend or relative who became an overnight vegan. That might not be your story.
If giving up meat is hard, accept that, and work along with your flow. A rule of thumb is to reduce how often you eat meat, instead of going cold turkey.
If you were accustomed to eating meat five times each week, why not reduce that and add more fruits and vegetables to your diet?
At this stage, your objective is to see where and what you can reduce. Pace yourself; veganism is a journey you should enjoy.
Thankfully, there are many products you ate as a meat eater that you can also have as a vegan. For example, bourbon biscuits (I was surprised by this one),certain flavors of Pringles are vegan, vegetable stock and more. These will help with the transitioning process, just be sure to check any labels to ensure there’s no animal products in there.
Become A Research Junkie
A vegan never stops learning. Some things you’ll learn from experiments, but others require research.
Everything you need to know about veganism can be found online and in books; you must be willing to search for it. Books such as Living Vegan For Dummies and Plant-Based Diets For Dummies are great resources to have on hand.
These books break things down for you. They also provide information about nutrition that you’ll find useful, especially since you won’t be getting certain vitamins from animals.
You also have videos at your fingertips. ‘Sweet Potato Soul’ over on YouTube is a great resource channel to add to your treasure-trove.
The woman behind the channel not only provides practical tips to make your new found lifestyle beautiful, but she re-creates soul foods you love, the vegan way.
Join A Vegan Community
Surround yourself with people who share the same values and outlook on life. Join a vegan community.
When you’re feeling out of it, having a community on hand can help strengthen your resolve to continue the vegan way. These communities are theming with seasoned and budding vegans who are willing to share their experiences to help you grow.
Another advantage to joining a community is that you can share your struggles and concerns. If you’re looking for answers, a community just might rally around to offer support.
A useful vegan support group to explore, especially if you’re on a budget, is “What Broke Vegans Eat” on Facebook. This is a ‘no judgment’ group.
You’ll need people who aren’t in a rush to criticize how your fruits and vegetables look on a plate. If you’re looking to eat a ‘no junk food vegan diet’, there’s also a community on Facebook for that.
Feel free to check out “Whole Food Plant-Based Diets”. People who join this community do not eat processed foods, even if they are plant-based.
The goal is to find a community that works for you. If the suggested communities don’t offer the support you seek, keep searching.