7 Quick Tips for a New Vegan
Deciding to become a vegan is a big choice. These quick tips will help ease your transition into the Vegan Lifestyle.
1. Take your time.
Despite the hype, going vegan is not an easy task for most people. To the majority, it is a major life changing decision. And with any major decision, it requires patience, research, and a well thought-out plan. Often people try to go cold turkey and before they know it, they are back on the meat train. Give yourself some wiggle room. Instead of completely cutting out all meat and dairy, try to incorporate meatless meals a few days a week.
2. Do not use soy meat replacements.
I myself have fallen victim to this mistake. When I first decided to go vegan, I loaded my fridge with meat “like” soy-based products. This was a huge mistake. I was trying to replace meat with soy as though my well-trained meat-loving palate could be fooled. It was not. It left my body craving real meat and my mind completely defeated and set me back a few weeks. Instead of meat replacements, try suitable vegetable replacements. For instance, try sweet and sour cauliflower instead of chicken. Focus on meals with sauces and different textures. This will add enough flavor and surprise to your palate so it does not miss the meat.
3. Find help!
Follow vegan pages on Instagram. Join a vegan support group on Facebook. Join a chatroom. Be amongst like-minded individuals. In my immediate circle, I am the only vegan aspiring person but I follow tons of vegan pages on Instagram and follow support groups that have some amazing recipes and tips and tricks as to not fall off the wagon.
4. Don’t believe the protein lies.
You will get enough protein. Do not let the protein worries deter you. Like I said in the first tip, DO YOUR RESEARCH. Find out what vegetables provide protein and find interesting ways to incorporate them into your everyday life. Tofu, beans, chia seeds, shakes, and smoothie bowls are a great way to incorporate protein-packed vegetables into your everyday diet.
5. Learn to shop.
Perhaps one of the most trying aspects of becoming a vegan is the dreaded trip to the grocery store. The grocery store for a new convert can seem overwhelming and even scary. The tip that will ensure a successful trip to the grocery store is a complete a grocery list. Know what you want and where it’s located. If you find the grocery store is too big of a task, you can always check out your local farmer’s market that is sure to carry the freshest produce. I also find it helpful to look up the most vegan friendly grocery stores in my area.
6. Be adventurous.
This transition can be one of the most exciting in your life. While you find yourself changing your eating habits, your body will began to thank you. Use this time as a time to branch out and be adventurous. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Spice it up. Try new recipes you may have frowned upon before. Go to different restaurants. Try Organic juices and different fruit waters. Don’t even be afraid to start making your own nut butters and milk. This is a moment in your life where you get to reinvent yourself, develop new habits, and go for it.
7. When in doubt, make it up.
Last but not least, when it doubt… make it up. This last tip pairs perfectly with its predecessor. If you are uncertain about a recipe or an idea, make it up. Try different flavor combinations. Don’t be afraid to overload your senses. A large part of your success as a vegan is based on your ability to re-discover and re-train your palate. On this journey, let your creativity run wild and don’t be disturbed if you fall off the wagon. Dust yourself off and keep it moving. Think of it more as an evolution. Don’t get so caught up in the rules that you put yourself on a ball and chain. Be free and savor the journey as much as the flavors.