Whether you’re making the change to eating a plant-based diet for the health benefits, because you believe in animal rights, as a result of climate change, or for any other reason, here are 7 tips that will make it a smoother, easier, and more fun process for you.
GO AT YOUR OWN PACE
Some people can go vegan overnight while others do it gradually. The important thing is to do what you think is right for you.
Try out some vegan recipes or go to a vegan restaurant. Or you can do a "vegan at home" type of diet and gradually phase-in vegan dishes when you go out to eat.
The variety and choices available now are amazing and can provide you with even more motivation and options.
No matter how you decide to do it just remember that you're making progress!
I was lucky to grow up in a family that cooked a wide variety of foods but since becoming fully vegan my experience with different foods has expanded tremendously! Using new spices and combinations is so much fun and can lead to a lot of new discoveries.
There is a well known saying that 99% of non-vegan recipes can be "veganized." Search for new ways to create your old favorites and you'll be pleasantly surprised.
JOIN A COMMUNITY
There is a large and vibrant vegan community out there. You might find some groups on Meetup.com or find a vegan potluck in your area.
Social media can also introduce you to others who have adopted a plant-based diet. There are quite a few vegan pages and groups on Facebook that you might be interested in. You can also join the community over at The Purple Dog Vegan Facebook page.
Food is often about sharing with others so it can help to get involved with other people. You know you'll have at very least one thing in common and you have a chance at making great friends along the way.
THINK OF IT AS AN INVESTMENT IN YOURSELF
You don't have to set all of these different rules for yourself and get too serious. Relax and know that you're making a long term investment in yourself and your health.
Don't view becoming vegan as a finish line but as part of your journey instead. We all evolve and change over time and this can be thought of as just a part of the process and not a "make or break" type of thing that would put too much pressure on yourself.
RETHINK HOW YOU SHOP FOR FOOD
Farmer's markets are a wonderful source for fresh fruits and vegetables and you also get the benefit of helping local community members. The negative impact on the environment is lessened because goods aren't typically transported as far as those in most major supermarkets.
Many of the staple foods in a vegan diet are less expensive in bulk so you can stock up on things like beans, lentils, and grains while saving money.
REMEMBER THAT GOING VEGAN DOESN'T MEAN YOU HAVE TO DEPRIVE YOURSELF
A diet of animal products can contain a lot of fat and salt that normally makes people think it "tastes good." You can definitely get rich, fulfilling, satiating, and complex foods by eating a vegan diet.
Avocados, walnuts, olives, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, flax seed oil, nuts, fruits, and fresh herbs are just a start to the possibilities. You'll never have to sacrifice flavor and taste!