How to transition to a vegan diet

So you’ve either decided to make a change or have thought about going vegan but don’t know where to start? The transition to veganism is one of the most advantageous things you’ll ever do for you, the environment and our animals, but is it as easy as it sounds? Yes! It can seem overwhelming but often the idea of change is a lot more daunting than truly making a change in itself. It’s important to go at your own pace and to decide on a method that works best for you. Soon enough, the progression to veganism will come with ease. We’ve put together some advice to hopefully help your transition to veganism!

LEARN AS MUCH AS YOU CAN

We recommend you acquaint yourself with veganism before you begin your transition. This will help you feel ready before you make the big change.

  • Learn the benefits of going vegan and educate yourself about what happens in the industries and why factory farming is so unethical. Find out the literal costs behind animal production. Discover your own reason to go vegan – there’s loads of them.
  • Learn how to nourish your body on a plant-based diet.
  • Become familiar with reading ingredients lists – Learn how to tell if a product is vegan and how to pick up on animal derived ingredients.
  • Keep an eye out for  vegan products and alternatives at supermarkets, research vegan friendly places, recipes, and restaurants for inspiration. These days products are becoming a lot more accessible.
  • Read, watch, learn. This is the most important tip! Find those vegan docos, books, websites, other blogs, and people. All of these sources offer their own your transition will be. Remember, it doesn’t have to be hard!

ADD TO YOUR DIET BEFORE YOU SUBTRACT FROM IT

  • Begin adding more legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and tofu into your diet. Become confident in knowing their uses, versatility and how to store and prepare what you use.
  • Start sourcing and experimenting with vegan recipes – learn what works best for you and what you like best.
  • Have a list of easy go-to vegan meals that you are comfortable to prepare and know you can rely on
  • Say goodbye to dairy-milk if it’s in your diet. Read up on our guide to alternative milks.

PLAN YOUR TRANSITION

I know it seems like a lot of work – but I assure you it’s not, just think of all the benefits yet to come! Once you get going it becomes part of your day-to-day life. This is, however, where you need to think about what is going to work best for you. Your transition will involve making comprises with your diet and some food groups will be harder give up. Some common options for making the change are:

VEGETARIAN FOLLOWED BY VEGANISM:

  • Progressively make the change to veganism by going vegetarian if you haven’t already. Take it at a step by cutting out meat, dairy and eggs one at a time.

SLOW TRANSITION FROM OMNIVORE TO VEGAN:

  • This approach is for the heavy meat eaters. Move away from animal products and meat by starting with what’s easiest for you to cut out first.
  • While learning to cut out your consumption of animal products, increase the number of plant-based foods. Try mock-meats and cheeses. See going until all animal products are eliminated from your diet.

GO ALL OUT VEGAN:

  • Say goodbye to all animal derived ingredients and add lots of plant-based foods such as beans, legumes, tofu and nuts.
  • Source alternatives, if you miss meat try deli slices, mocked meats – cheeses. Almost everything has a vegan alternative, you just have to find it.

TIPS

Adopting a vegan lifestyle is not the same as going on a diet. You can be easily tempted to give up on a diet, but veganism is not the same. Once you know why you want to be vegan and learn about ethics, develop strong values and have a reason to continue living as a vegan you won’t stray away.

If you’re struggling, keep positive. Just think of all the delicious meals and foods you’re yet to taste. Think about the phrase ‘whatever you eat, I can eat… vegan’. Not to mention, the animals and our environment. You may not realise it, but you’re making a global change – not just for yourself.

Don’t get yourself down or allow yourself to be overwhelmed. Going vegan isn’t necessarily difficult, people may say it is – but that’s because they’re not vegan themselves. Going vegan is a learning curve. Be patient with yourself, expect mistakes, learn from them, and move on! Most importantly, remember you’re not alone.

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