A traditional American diet consists of big portions of dairy products and meat. These foods are very high in calories, fat and cholesterol qualifying many of them to be in the category of unhealthy foods. But like any other change in life, moving from a diet which includes animal products to the one which consists of only plant-based foods asks for a clear sense of WHY you are doing this.
You may start a vegan diet because you want to improve your health, to lose weight, to reduce your environmental impact or because you love animals. Being in touch with your motivating factors will help give you the drive to continue and reach your goal. Some people that want to start a new diet, just really do not know where to start. So we are going to help you learn how to start a Vegan diet with these useful tips.
10 Simple tips on how to start a Vegan diet
- Decide whether you want the transition to be gradual or fast. A lot of people find the gradual transition much better as they do not feel “punished” all of a sudden and it also helps the feeling to sink-in.
- Plan your meals in advance. Don’t wait till the last moment to decide what you will have for lunch/dinner because chances are you will either get frustrated or never really start the vegan journey.
- Eat a diet full of vitamins and minerals. Also, you must eat a lot of greens since you will not be eating animal products. Beans, seeds, soy-based foods, whole grain bread, peas, lentils, dried fruits and nuts will all provide you with enough iron and zinc.
- Drink lots of water. Your body may feel deprived of animal and dairy products and may start showing withdrawal symptoms. Hence, Water will help take care of the uneasiness in your stomach and also flush out the toxins that might have piled up during the years of eating meat and processed foods.
- Make some big vegan meals. Being a vegan definitely does not mean that you cannot enjoy your mealtime. Making a couple of vegan meals on weekends will help you continue with the vegan diet throughout the week. Try making curry lentils or vegan chili over mashed potato or rice.
- Stock up easy mealtime options. The best thing about cooking a vegan meal is that it does not take much time to cook. Always keep your favorite ingredients well stocked up and handy, such as salsa, tortillas and refried beans.
- Buy supplements of iron, Vitamin-D, and B-12 if you may be missing in your diet since you decided to become a vegan. Plus, vitamin supplements are a great way to keep energized and ready to go.
- It is true that a LOT of mainstream junk food is actually vegan but please do not be a junk food vegan! Those cookies, French fries, potato chips and wedges contain no animal product but they are obviously not for a true vegan, so, just be happy eating natural foods. There are a lot of reallydelicious healthy vegan dishes that you can enjoy!
- Be good to yourself. Do not be harsh and do not punish yourself. If you are craving a pizza, make yourself some delicious vegan food and grab a book to read or watch your favorite movie. Exercise regularly; join a Yoga class for making your body fitter naturally.
- Find a support group that will keep you going. It is not necessary that your family or friends understand your decision, so find those who are also on the same journey. Facebook and Twitter are great for finding like-minded people.
Consult a health care expert before starting your new diet to ensure that you are aware of the health risks associated with nutritional deficiencies. As you can see, leaning how to start a Vegan diet is fairly simple. You will soon learn that there are many delicious recipes that you can incorporate into your daily diet that conform to your new Vegan beliefs, and will help you fulfill your dietary needs.