Transitioning to a vegan diet can be overwhelming in the beginning. Five years ago, if you would have told me I would be vegan this long I would’ve laugh in your face. When I decided to change to a vegan lifestyle, I chose to transition over the course of 4 months. I also know some people that were able to change their diet immediately. It’s all about what works for you. No matter what path you choose, here’s how to transition to a vegan diet in 5 easy steps.
What’s Your Why
They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. But without having a reason why you’re making a change; 9 times out of 10 you will fall off. Why are you changing to a vegan diet? It can’t only because Beyoncé did it and she’s snatched – even after having twins. Do you have a love for animals and hate how they are being treated on farms? Are you trying to lose weight? Once you find your reason, get a journal and write it on the first page. I say to do this so you have something to reference back to.
Be Open Minded
I cannot say this enough! Keep an open mind when it comes to veganism. There are so many misconceptions about being vegan. Do you get enough protein? Are you calcium deficient? Isn’t it expensive being vegan? Do you only eat salad? Yes I get plenty of protein from veggies. Almond milk has more calcium than dairy milk. My family actually saves money being vegan. Also we eat a lot more than salad LOL. Thank God I did a lot of research prior to my journey because I was questioned a lot. Had I not been educated, I could have easily gotten discouraged. In addition to doing research, I also suggest getting blood work done at the beginning of your journey and 6 months after to make sure you’re getting all the
nutrients you need.
Plan Your Meals
Starting out you can get frustrated because you may not know what to cook. I suggest getting on YouTube or Pinterest and finding substitutes to some of your favorite meals. For example, if your family loves spaghetti you can do noodles, sauce and substitute your ground turkey for mushrooms or Boca crumbles if you don’t mind soy. This way you get to eat your favorite meal but without the meat. I always suggest starting off substituting your favorite meals because it’s something that’s familiar to you. As you get more comfortable cooking vegan meals start venturing out to new things and adding on to your pantry.
[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]If you fail to plan, you plan to fail[/pullquote]
If you want to go out for dinner, I would highly suggest viewing the restaurants menu online prior to going out. That way you already have in mind what you can eat. Surprisingly a lot of restaurants will accommodate you if you tell them your vegan. I would also suggest downloading Happy Cow (Apple can download here and Android here). This is an app that will list vegan friendly restaurants and stores in your area.
Although eating a vegan diet is amazing, some essential vitamins we do not get. I would suggest taking B12 and Vitamin D supplements. With B12 you can choose to take this in pill form or you can add nutritional yeast to your food (most commonly used in vegan cheese). If you are already taking a multivitamin, make sure they have these two in them. I’m not a nutritionist, so I also suggest speaking to your doctor about your lifestyle change for additional tips.
Messed up? No Biggie. Start Over
We all fall off sometimes and that’s okay. If you have a day where you revert back to eating meat, don’t be hard on yourself. There is always tomorrow to start again. Re-evaluate your why, strategize and plan out meals. My favorite thing is sharing dishes with my non-vegan friends. Have fun on your new journey!