The past decade has seen a massive shift in attitudes towards plant-based eating. Previously, people who identified as vegan or vegetarian were seen as extreme activists or hippies subscribing to a pretentious fad diet. Today, much of the world is opting for a vegan lifestyle. The benefits are undeniable: reduced environmental impact, improved health and better animal welfare. If you’ve been considering going vegan but aren’t sure where to begin, check out the five tips below for a successful transition:
Many people mistakenly believe that vegans eat nothing but rabbit food. This couldn’t be further from the truth: you’d be surprised at the variety of delicious meals you can enjoy that are free of animal products! One of the best ways to motivate yourself to go vegan is by visiting a local café or restaurant with an extensive plant-based menu and trying out their offerings. If you do some research on your city, you’ll most likely find a treasure trove of options for , specialty stores, eateries and even dessert bars to get you inspired.
If you’re a regular meat eater who’s considering switching over to a plant-based diet, make it easier on yourself by taking it slowly. Get familiar with your options by incorporating a vegan meal into your diet every few days, or even eating vegan two or three days a week. Alternatively, you can also make the switch to veganism by initially going pescatarian or vegetarian, then cutting out animal products once you’re comfortable with cooking meat-free meals.
Thanks to the internet, there’s an abundance of and lifestyle blogs with thousands of nutritious meal ideas at your fingertips. To set yourself up for a successful transition to veganism, get familiar with the common ingredients used in plant-based cooking and stock up your pantry with some essentials: grains, nuts, legumes, and beans are an excellent place to start. If you’re craving comfort food, many vegan cooks have even found crafty ways to replicate almost any meat- or dairy-based meal, including beef stroganoff, carbonara and butter ‘chicken’ curry. You will be amazed at how authentic and delicious many of these animal-free options can be.
A vegan lifestyle involves more than just changing your diet: it’s about eliminating all use of animal products in your day-to-day life. You’d be amazed at how many common household names and cosmetic brands test on animals or make use of animal-derived ingredients. Fortunately, there are plenty of available detailing which products at your local store are vegan and cruelty-free. This means you don’t have to spend minutes at a time poring over the labels of every item you buy. Keep an eye out for the Certified Vegan logo on products too.
Going vegan is simple for some, but can be a steep learning curve for others. Remember that it’s okay to make mistakes and adapt to your new lifestyle at your own pace. Instead of getting caught up in the rules of veganism, take the pressure off yourself and enjoy trying out new products, learning cooking techniques and visiting the vegan-friendly eateries in your area. Remember, ever baby-step is making a positive impact on the world around you. Eventually, living a vegan lifestyle will come second nature to you, and you can feel good about doing right by the , your body, and animals.
Switching to a vegan lifestyle isn’t something that happens overnight, but following the tips above will give you an excellent head start. Here’s to a healthier, happier life!