Are you considering switching to a vegan diet? Before you go “cold turkey” and cut off meat from your diet completely, there a few things you should consider.
Google search for the term ‘veganism’ has increased 580% over the last five years, five times higher than ‘vegetarian’ and ‘cruelty-free’. The Economist considered 2019 as ‘The Year of The Vegan’.
That said, there is a tremendous amount of information available for people interested in turning into a vegan diet and lifestyle. And veganism doesn’t have to be complicated. You should know a few things before going fully vegan, so stay with me and learn ten things you should know before you go vegan!
Know Your Why
People go vegan for different reasons. Some for ethical reasons, others to improve their health, and some to reduce their impact on the planet. Whatever reason made you consider a vegan diet, it’s even more important to know your why.
What do I mean by that? Figuring out your reasons when adapting to a new lifestyle is the key to help you to stick with it in the long run.
Take It Easy
First of all, bear in mind this is not a race. You don’t need to rush things — keep your goal of becoming vegan (and your why) in mind but do it at your pace.
If you don’t feel like going vegan overnight and need more time to adapt, that’s fine. Some people go “Cold turkey” like me; others take it to step by step.
Learn About Nutrients
You’re switching from one way of eating to a brand new one. Some nutrients you used to get from meat, dairy and eggs will need to be replaced for plant sources.
Learn about the essential nutrients every plant-based eater might need to supplement or food you might need to add to your “new” diet.
Learn Some More
Learn how to veganize your fave dishes (if they haven’t already had a vegan version), discover a new cuisine, befriend other plant-based eaters, explore vegan YouTube channels, buy vegan cookbooks, try new flavors and dishes.
Vitamin B12 occurs naturally only in animal foods, which means you’ll need to search for B12-fortified food as well as supplementing B12. Vitamin B12 deficiency might lead to brain fog, tiredness, weakness, constipation, and even depression.
Plan Your Groceries’ List
Now that you know what new recipes and foods you’d like to try, your next trip to the supermarket might need to be planned ahead. If you eat mostly at home, organize how your meals will look like from now on and list their ingredients.
Go Easy on Junk Food
Being vegan isn’t a synonym of health unless you make healthy choices. That’s right; it’s absolutely up to you. With the myriad amount of vegan food (as well as junk food) available on the market, try and skip the temptation of eating lots of them.
Learn How To Read Labels
Reading nutrition labels can be tiring and challenging, and in the beginning, you might spend extra time doing it. To save up some of your time (and patience!), educate yourself about the non-vegan ingredients and how to check if a food product is suitable for a vegan diet.
Get Ready For “New” Social Life
If you chose to become vegan overnight, people from your social circle will notice and might start to ask, so get ready for that as it can be daunting. If you wish to minimize possible conflicts, you can say that you decided to go vegan, and it’s something that’s working for you.
Explore New Places
You don’t need to ditch your favorite local restaurant. First, check if they have vegan options (or vegetarian that can turn into vegan), then you can explore vegan-friendly places around your area. Use Happy Cow to find the best veggie places near you.