Did you find this article while searching for hints to help you go vegan? Then congratulations, you are on the right track.
If you’re considering a vegan lifestyle, then you know that you are on the path to a healthy and environmentally friendly way of life. Yes, vegan is a lifestyle, not a diet!
While you will nourish your body and soul, you will likely find other changes in your life. You will probably lose a little weight and feel better. Therefore, you will have more energy and zest for life. You will also begin to have increased mental clarity and awareness of the environment and reduce your carbon footprint.
But you’ve been a carnivore your whole life and now it’s time to make that transition. Here are 6 super easy hints to help you “go vegan” in a gradual process that allows your body time to adapt to this new and improved way of living.
1 - VISIT YOUR DOCTOR
A quick visit to your doctor is sometimes overlooked, and a great first step! Let your doctor know that you are planning to implement a vegan lifestyle.
She will give you a physical and document all your vitals before you begin. Therefore, you will have a baseline, a starting point to which you can compare your results in a few months.
If you do have health concerns, she will likely want to do a lipid panel, check your A1C, and other routine blood work.
This is fun when you return to the doctor and see the improvements! Your doctor will certainly agree that a vegan lifestyle will improve your health. She may also be able to refer you to local vegan groups or a dietician for further guidance.
2 - EAT VEGAN 3 DAYS A WEEK
Begin to eat a vegan diet 3 days a week. Include protein alternates to animal products such as legumes, tofu, and quinoa. Also, be sure to replace iron with sources like kale, spinach, and peas. Replace white bread with whole grain. Choose brown rice over white. Whole grains will help you feel satisfied when you leave the table.
After two or three weeks, add a fourth day of vegan dining, then a fifth, and so on. Over a period of 3 months, you can completely make this important life change. As you add additional "vegan days," you will begin to notice how well you feel. This will motivate you to keep going.
You will see that your meals are still tasty and satisfying. More importantly, you are beginning to make that transition to a conscientious way of life.
3 - PLAN YOUR MEALS AHEAD OF TIME
You will see that when you plan your meals ahead of time, your vegan lifestyle is easier to maintain.
For example, if you’re a mom or dad who works full-time then has to shuttle kids to games after work, you probably get at least some of your meals from a drive through window. While some chains do have salads, they probably are pre-made and contain cheese, egg products, and chemical preservatives.
Anticipate this need to eat on the go. Pack a small insulated bag with snacks such as pre-cut fruits, raw vegetables, vegan granola, or dried cranberries. Or, pop in at home and make a quick, satisfying smoothie to take with you.
Proper planning is essential to make sure that you’re not skipping meals. Proper nutrition is a key part of a vegan life, and planning is the key!
4 - TRY NEW RECIPES
If you love cooking, you won’t be deprived once you become vegan! You will always be able to try new recipes. Get creative with your favorite meat dishes, and experiment with vegan alternatives.
For example, if you love spaghetti and meat sauce, replace white spaghetti with a vegan whole-grain variety or zucchini spiraled into noodles. Replace the meat sauce with a healthy, zesty marinara sauce. Serve with a spinach salad.
Sounds satisfying, right?
There are more options for an animal-free diet now than ever before! So take out all those kitchen tools and get creative.
5 - INVOLVE YOUR FAMILY
Some people have mixed feelings about this. They want to have family support of their choice to go vegan, but they don’t want to force this choice onto them.
Be honest with your spouse and children about how you are transitioning into a vegan lifestyle and ask them to support you. Let them know that you want to improve your health and that you care about the environment and welfare of animals.
Invite them to join you on this journey. You have a greater chance of successfully transitioning to a vegan life with their support. Having an open conversation and gaining acceptance of your choices early on will be easier than trying to force it on them, or surprise them with it later!
6- EQUIP YOURSELF
As previously mentioned, a vegan lifestyle takes a bit of preparation. You may need to pack your own snacks, salads, or meals to take to work, carpooling, or even family celebrations!
While kitchen equipment isn’t absolutely necessary, it sure does make the job easier! Equip yourself with a few basics that will make your vegan life more convenient:
Smoothie Blender - This blender enables you to make delicious and nutritious smoothies for quick breakfast or on the go meal replacements. A smoothie blender is an essential piece of equipment in a vegan kitchen!
Set of Ceramic Knives - These knives are easy to cut all those veggies with, and won’t cause premature oxidation of the veggies like metal can do.
Vacuum Sealer - Use this tool to pack and seal pre-made snacks and meals so they will keep fresh. Choose a vacuum sealer with BPA-free bags!
Cooler Tote Bag - This will allow you to keep your snacks and meals fresh and cold until you are ready to eat them.
With these 6 super easy hints, you’ll soon be on your way transitioning to your new vegan lifestyle in no time at all!
AUTHOR BIO: Deborah Tayloe is a professional writer and contributor to My Kitchen Adviser. She’s an avid cook, gardener, and nature lover who loves to share her joy of cooking and food with others.