Going Vegan: How to Switch to a Vegan Diet and Stay on It

A vegan diet has gained popularity in recent years. A vegan diet consists of food that has no animal products. People may want to be vegans because of personal and religious reasons. Others may adopt the diet because of ethical issues like animal rights. This study estimates that 18% of the world population is vegans.

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Vegan diets come with several benefits such as the following:

  1. Managing weight loss. If you have a problem with your weight, you might consider switching to a vegan diet.
  2. Reduce cancer risks. Some researchers suggest that vegans have a lower chance of getting breast, stomach, rectum, and colon cancer.
  3. Promotes heart health. A vegan diet is known to reduce the risk of getting heart diseases by lowering the level of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. Also, people who were on an exclusively vegan diet experienced low blood pressure levels.
  4. Stabilize blood sugar. Some studies show that a vegan diet helps in maintaining healthy blood sugar level.

If you are now confident that you want to move to a vegan diet, here are some helpful tips that will help you switch to a vegan lifestyle and stay in it for the rest of your life.

Have Vegan Days

Many people enjoy taking meat, and some may have it daily as a part of their main meal. If you are a beginner, you might consider having vegan days. In this program, you can consider getting your proteins from other sources such as beans, chickpeas, sprouts etc.

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Spirulina, for example, is blue-green algae that are found in the sea and freshwater. You can substitute your meat with it because it is absorbed 14 times more than beef, making your body to utilize the protein readily.

There are many benefits associated with having a vegan day each week. First, you reduce your blood pressure. You also lower your cholesterol levels, thus reducing the chances of getting heart diseases.

If you are wondering what you should take on your vegan days, you can try eating porridge combined with blueberries or grated apples for breakfast. For your lunch, you can take salads with hummus to add on your flavor. You can make pumpkin seeds as an afternoon snack. For your dinner, you can try taking lentils soup with your favorite veggies.

Start Incorporating New Foods

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When moving to a vegan diet, you should try incorporating more meat alternative like beans, legumes, whole grains, nuts, tofu and seeds in your diet. You should first familiarize yourself how they are prepared.

Here are some of the steps that you should follow when incorporating new food.

  1. Research vegan products that are available at your local grocery store. You should also research vegan-friendly restaurants that are near your area.
  2. Once you have identified the vegan products near you, you should start incorporating them in your daily meal.
  3. Try making new vegan recipes that will appeal you. Make sure that the meals chosen are enjoyable, and you can comfortably make them.
  4. Instead of taking milk, you might try taking other non-dairy alternatives such as soy and almonds.

You should always read, watch and learn as much information as you can about the vegan diet. Vegan books, documentaries and magazines offer you valuable information that will make you feel more confident when translating.

Start Slow

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You should start slow when moving from being an omnivore to a vegan. First, you should cut down animal products that you don’t like. You should continuously lessen the number of animal products in your diet and instead increase plant-based foods.

Once you feel comfortable, you should completely get rid of barrier foods.

To efficiently translate into a vegan, you should make a list of foods that you find more natural to get rid of. You should remove one ingredient at a time until you feel ready only to take plant-based food.

Alternatively, you can consider picking up plant-based meals that you will rotate throughout your week. Start with plant-based products that you enjoy eating.

You can consider switching oatmeal, jacket potatoes, pasta, veggies stir-fry, lentil stew, bean chili etc. throughout your week. Once you have adopted the plant-based diet, you can consider becoming a full-on vegan.

Educate Yourself

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Before you start a vegan diet, it is wise first to educate yourself. You can be tempted to read online blogs and magazines that have no scientific background.

Regardless of the reasons for going vegan, you should stay smart by educating yourself about how it is done. No matter the trend being tried, you should educate yourself by following these rules.

  1. Rely on Facts. Many sites and blogs don’t give direct facts regarding nutrition. You should turn to the information written by a registered dietician, holistic health practitioners, and certified nutritionists. If you are listening to the news, you should try to find out who funded that study. You should not be easily deceived.
  2. Never Over-Supplement a Bad Diet. Recently, the health food industry has emerged with different vitamins and supplements. Although vegan multivitamins are right for you, you should not eat a poor diet in the name of over- supplementing it. You can’t compare a food supplement with a real diet. Spend your money on buying fresh produce in your local grocery store.
  3. Always Read More Than One Source. To be sure, you should not make a decision based on the information given in one source. Many sources have different facts, and you have to be sure aware of different styles of preparing vegan diets. You should always be willing to learn so that you can go with the best option.

Eat Whole Food Most of the Time

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Nowadays, there is much processed vegan food in restaurants, and you might be tempted to be eating them always. Instead of buying processed food, you should choose to eat whole food.

By regularly consuming a variety of vegan food, you ensure that your body is getting more nutrients and you are more satisfied. You should not restrict yourself from enjoying your favorite chocolate bars you can have them but not all the time.

You should remember that by avoiding animal products, it doesn’t mean that you should eat tofu and veggies alone.

You should try taking whole food such as bean burritos, tomato pizzas, veggie burgers, smoothies, sandwiches and pasta dishes. In addition to those products, you can eat a variety of whole-grain and different types of fruits and vegetables.

To make sure that you are feeling full and satisfied, you should consider following these essential tips.

  1. Don’t fall prey of processed plant-based food.
  2. Always vary your intake.
  3. Know foods that exactly meets your nutritional needs
  4. Eat food that is high in fat like avocado.
  5. Eat plenty of fiber-rich food
  6. Consume a lot of fruits and vegetables.

Always Keep a Positive Attitude

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When adopting a new vegan lifestyle, you might be tempted to stray out of your diet plan. That is why you should exactly know the reasons why you want to be a vegan. Once you are aware of the benefits and the challenges of being a vegan, you must keep a positive attitude toward it.

Instead of dwelling on what you have been eating, you should take your time to try new delicious vegan food. In the long run, you might be surprised at how many delicious dishes you have been missing.

Remember that not everyone will be happy with your new diet plan. To prevent being affected by those negative comments, you should stand by your beliefs. Know that it is okay to be different from the rest and the reasons why you are switching your diet plan.

As long as you know that you are saving animals and your health, you should keep up the positive attitude.

If you believe in your decisions, don’t give up. Remember, there are many online vegan groups that you can join. Always make sure that you do things that remind you of the joy of being a vegan.

Get Some Support

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It is easier to transition from being a vegan by associating with people who are on a similar journey. Since it is reasonable to eat animal meat in our world, vegans get confronted because they are the inferior group.

Once you join the vegan diet, you should go through the social media platforms that will inspire you. Moreover, people will share their experiences, and you will get a lot of useful information from them.

By joining a community support group, you will have an opportunity to express how you feel, and the conversation from people who have been there will tremendously help you.

You will also find new friends, some who even live near your area, and you could get a chance to meet them in person. When you meet with people who are interested in becoming vegans, you will get the opportunity to swap your recipes, and prepare meals together.

Eat Variety of Healthy Food

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To make sure that your body is getting all nutrients, you should eat balanced vegan meals. For example, your body will get protein and fiber if you consume beans; leafy green vegetables are a good source of vitamins C, A and K.

To make sure that you get all the benefits, you should choose food from all colors. For example, red tomatoes are rich in lycopene which helps you have a healthy heart. Blue blueberries, on the other hand, are rich in anthocyanins that boost your brain function ability.

Plan Your Menu in Advance

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If you want to stick to your vegan diet, you should consider getting having a meal timetable. You can even prepare things ahead like cutting vegetables and freeze them so that you always have something to eat. Always make sure that there are plenty of fruits and vegetables for your vegan diet.

You don’t have to ditch away from your favorite foods, and instead, you can try to make a vegan version of it. Eventually, you will realize that you can enjoy your meals without adding animal products.

When you choose to go the vegan way, there are many tips that you can follow to make your journey as a vegan easy. You should be prepared both mentally and physically. Do a lot of research on healthy food that you will be taking.

Vegan lifestyleSource: Shutterstock

You can’t be a vegan overnight, and that is why you should take it slow. To make your transition journey easy, you should not over complicate meals and only take what you can quickly get. When you make mistakes, you should always accept and move on.

To keep yourself motivated, you should consider joining plant-based communities that will support you.

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