Many people have been transitioning to veganism as it has become popular in the last few years. Some would say that they started their vegan journey because they care about animal welfare or the environment, while others do it because of their religious beliefs. On the other hand, some people choose it simply because they want to improve their overall health and well-being. You may be one of those who wish to adopt a vegan diet but are hesitant to do so because it seems overwhelming. But if the others can do it, you definitely can, too!
According to the British Dietetic Association, a vegan diet can support healthy living in people of all ages. However, it must be well-planned to ensure that it won’t cause nutrient deficiencies, especially those with underlying health conditions. If you’ve been putting off veganism for quite some time, this year might be the right time to see if this diet will work for you.
To help you get started on this journey, here are some tips for going vegan this 2022:
- Take It Slow
Going vegan isn’t an easy process, and you don’t have to do it overnight. While it’s exciting to try out this kind of diet, it doesn’t have to be done all at once, as your body may find it hard to adapt to it instantly. The best way to do it is to take it slow. Start by cutting down on your meat consumption and other animal products first. Then, you can progress to eating vegan food for one meal per day or week.
If you begin by eating vegan meals gradually and occasionally, it’ll be easier for you to maintain it and progress to doing it regularly. Taking baby steps also makes it more achievable. You can shift to an entirely vegan diet once you feel comfortable with it. Just do what works for you and go at your own pace. It also helps to educate yourself, which builds the foundation of your new lifestyle. Read articles and join community groups to get yourself informed.
- Stop Thinking About What You Can’t Eat
A vegan diet can backfire if you think about what you shouldn’t eat instead of focusing on what alternatives you can enjoy. The process of transitioning to veganism can be more difficult and make you miserable when you constantly think about the food you miss eating.
When you go to your next vegan grocery store, look for ideal replacements for the foods you think you can’t easily give up. For instance, you can search for meat and dairy alternatives you can slowly incorporate into your diet. The good news is that many available options taste great; you wouldn’t even notice that they are made from plants.
If you enjoy preparing your meals, you can also opt for fresh vegetables and other plant-based ingredients to cook easy-to-make and delicious vegan dishes. You don’t have to stick to eating the same food every day. Try out new flavours by researching and experimenting with your go-to recipes.
- Don’t Forget Your Supplements
One of the significant concerns of those who adopted a vegan diet is nutrient deficiency. To avoid this, you should remember that just like any other dietary change, it’s best to consult with your doctor to get advice and know if you’ll need supplements to add to your diet.
A plant-based diet can also be harmful to your body if you don’t get enough nutrients. Vitamins D and B12 are some of the supplements recommended for vegans. To know more about what supplements you should take, it’s a good idea to talk to a professional.
- Learn How to Read Product Labels
You should be aware that not all vegan, plant-based, or organic products do not have any trace of animal by-products. They may have logos imprinted on the packaging, but not all of them can be that straightforward. Sometimes, food companies use alternative words, so you have to watch out.
Part of the transition to veganism is learning to read product labels to ensure that you buy the right items. You can make a list and look up the definitions of common vegan ingredients and animal by-products to make it easier for you to navigate grocery stores.
- Be Kind To Yourself
It’s normal to make mistakes and fall short when trying new things. When starting your vegan diet adventure, you can be tempted to eat animal products from time to time, and that’s okay. It tends to happen to almost everyone who’s still learning about veganism and changing their diets. If it happens to you, remember that there’s no shame in that and move on.
It helps to keep in mind that you can always do better next time and go back to why you decided to go vegan in the first place. It’s already a significant achievement that you got to start your diet, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t get disheartened, and get back up and start all over again!
Changing your diet can be a daunting task, especially when you have to give up eating your favorite foods. But going vegan can be a smart choice as it comes with many benefits and can significantly improve your health.
While it may be challenging to be consistent in this diet, don’t forget to enjoy the process. Go slowly and explore new food alternatives until you get the hang of it. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself because it’ll just make the process harder. After all, veganism shouldn’t be an agonizing journey but one you can find pleasure in. So, this year, try going vegan and see the benefits for yourself.