If you're one of many who has recently decided on going vegan or is currently considering going vegan, you may be feeling overwhelmed at exactly how you can and should begin to switch to this lifestyle. The first step is to set a very clear goal on exactly what it will mean for you personally to become a vegan. This can mean different things and expand to different extremes, based on your end goals and ideals surrounding veganism.
For lack of a better word, veganism is similar to becoming a vegetarian, but on steroids. The vegan lifestyle is much more stringent than it's vegetarian counterpart. Unlike simply refraining from eating meat, becoming vegan typically means that you are also refraining from eating or even wearing any items made from or produced by an animal. This prospect may seem daunting to those that are newcomers, but it doesn't have to be if you breakdown the process into manageable steps that you can master one by one.
Set Manageable Goals Becoming vegan can be an adjustment for some folks, as things that many people consume regularly, like milk, eggs, butter, cheese, and even honey are not permitted on a vegan diet. Some choose to work up to it, by removing certain foods in groups. For example, you can start by removing meats from your diet for the first several weeks and then move on to dairy products and so on. You may even decided to handle the process meal by meal, by having vegan breakfasts for the first week or two and then moving on to lunch when you've conquered that. This makes the overall process seem less daunting and more manageable for most. It will also allow you to find replacement meal and snack options without going "all in" and being more likely to fail if you suffer a setback.
If you decide to begin your vegan lifestyle transition by slowly replacing products you use or eat every day with vegan friendly alternatives, you may be surprised by the number of vegan products that are available on the market. You can even find vegan ice cream, yogurt, and cottage cheese, thickened with a special food additive, so they retain their smooth, creamy texture without the added dairy. Carrageenan, a food additive extracted from a red seaweed called Irish Moss, is actually found in many vegan foods, due to its thickening properties. So, you won't lose out on your favorite food cravings, you'll just replace them with different options.
Keep It Healthy As you begin your vegan journey, one thing you'll want to pay special attention to is ensuring you get all of your daily essential nutrients. Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables will go a long way towards that goal, but you'll want to do some research to make sure you're getting what your body needs to function optimally. Luckily, there are plenty of online resources devoted to this, so it will be pretty easy to find what you're looking for.
Expand Your Goals If you've started down the road to becoming vegan and are enjoying the process, you can even look to replace some of your personal and consumer based products with vegan friendly alternatives. There is quite a large selection of vegan based clothing and shoes available. As well as vegan shampoo, body wash, toothpaste and even vegan friendly makeup for all of those glamour loving vegans out there. You can certainly expand the reach of your vegan lifestyle, if you so choose. The options are already vast, but are also growing at a very rapid pace.
No matter how you choose to begin your vegan lifestyle, just remember there is no right or wrong way to start. Only you can decide which path is best for you. Living a healthy, nutritious lifestyle will surely be worth all of the effort!
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