Whatever your reason for starting a vegan diet, it can be a huge lifestyle change and it’s often difficult to know where to start. Here are some tried and tested tips to help this exciting process go smoothly.
Take your time
Keep your end goal in mind, but go at your own pace. Some people are able to go vegan overnight and if that’s the right approach for you, great. But don’t be disappointed if you feel you need more time. Making small changes such as trying veganism for only one day a week, going vegetarian first, or even swapping one animal product at a time such as cows milk for oat milk. There is no right or wrong way to transition, so do what works best for your lifestyle.
Cook what you know
A really good tip when starting to eat a vegan diet, is to start with foods that you already eat regularly. If you have some staple meals that you easily know how to cook, it’s often a good place to start by changing up the ingredients to make them vegan friendly. With things like curries or pasta dishes it can be as simple as removing the cheese or swapping meat with some of the readily available meat substitutes that you can pick up in the supermarket, this way you don’t feel too overwhelmed getting to grips with a new way of cooking.
Use available resources
From apps to help you find vegan restaurants, to documentaries and cookbooks, there are endless amounts of resources out there to help keep you on track with your journey. It’s always easier going vegan with someone else, but if you are going it alone, there are tonnes of vegan groups to join online to discuss and share ideas.
Take Vitamin B- 12
Vitamin B-12 is the only vitamin you can’t reliably obtain from a fully plant-based diet. Many vegan foods are fortified with B-12, but if you don’t want to keep track of that all the time, it’s recommended to take a daily supplement.
Swapping out processed grains like white pasta and white bread, for whole grains, such as brown rice and quinoa, adds iron and B vitamins to a vegan diet. The extra fiber from whole grains will help keep you fuller for longer too.
Choose vegan Protein
Even though many people think it’s difficult for vegans to eat enough protein without animal products, it typically isn’t an issue for someone eating a varied diet including sources of plant-based protein. Most people often centre their meals around meat as their source of protein, and going vegan you may be focussing on what you can’t eat anymore, but there are plenty of vegan options so you don’t miss out on this vital muscle-building nutrient. From soya, tofu, lentils, chickpeas and beans, nuts, and seeds, vegan sources of protein are really easily accessible and can be added to all meals.
If you have gone vegan and have any suggestions to help those who are just starting out, please let us know and we will add it to our blog.