A noble cause or health issues may inspire you to go vegan. But oftentimes, stepping on new territories could look scary. Your self-doubt escalates and issues that weren’t there seem to come out one by one. You might ask: What if it won’t work? What if my body won’t cooperate? What will my friends and family tell me? And so on and so forth.
When embarking on a new journey, a lot of unexpected things could happen. The best action to take might be to stop over analyzing and simply jump in. Going vegan overnight does work for others. But if you want to have a smooth flowing transition, careful planning is a great help. Before going vegan, consider the following tips from experts:
Look at the possibilities
Once you decide to go vegan, give yourself seven days before jumping in. Spend these seven days planning for the possibilities. Make a list of the meals you would like to eat that have no meat and animal products in it.
Think about the meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Think of the best alternatives for your cereals, eggs, and milk. Check out if almond milk or soy milk looks enticing. Ask yourself if you’re able to replace your cereal with oatmeal. Or if scrambled tofu may be a good replacement to your eggs.
Think about restaurant meals
By now you should be scouting for restaurants that serve a variety of veggie recipes, like Italian and Chinese restaurants.
Think about fast food meals
Most foods in fast food chains are loaded with meat. Luckily, some of them offer veggie burgers. Just make sure you’re able to say no to meat-based recipes while starting out.
Your choices should not only be limited by the meals that are familiar to you. You can try out your own recipe and cook your own meals. That would be more fun.
Give yourself a short term goal
Just like any other transitions, going vegan might be a bit challenging. To keep it easy on yourself, give yourself a short time frame.
Let’s say, you’re only going vegan for three weeks and take it from there. For twenty-one days, strive to eliminate meat and other animal products completely from your meals.
Find out the transition foods that made other vegans survive. They can be veggie burgers, veggie hotdogs, and non-dairy yogurt. Try out veggie recipes that seem alien to you. Make exploring for veggie meals an adventure.
Check your progress
After the three-week challenge, check your progress. Find out how your body feels, whether you feel lighter and more energetic or have shed those extra pounds.
A plant-based diet is also good when you have blood sugar or cholesterol problems. It’s also possible to find some changes in your tastes. And you might also be surprised when it comes naturally to you to no longer want greasy and oily foods.
Have an accountability partner
Just like any other challenges, having a companion in the journey gives you more chance of succeeding. You can share with a friend or a family member your positive results for the previous three weeks. If you think they can benefit from it too, try to convince them to join you. They will be more than grateful for joining you should they get better results too.
Stay focused on the present
Even if you’ve gone vegan for weeks, don’t think too far ahead yet. Continue to focus on short term goals and let the future take care of itself. Just keep going until being vegan comes naturally to you.
Give up meat one at a time
Some experts recommend eliminating meat from your meals one at a time to ensure a slow and steady transition. You can start by eliminating the meat or animal products you consume most often and substitute it with the best vegan alternative. Others have their green smoothie before breakfast to leave a small amount of space for the morning meal.
Develop a conscious eating mindset
In going vegan, the rules on what to eat and what not to eat may overwhelm you. Instead of viewing it as a good diet versus the bad, see it as conscious eating. Your goal should not be to have a vegan lifestyle but to evolve more consciously.
Keep it quiet
When starting out, you don’t need to tell people what you’re up to. This way you eliminate the anxiety that comes with the varied opinion of others regarding your vegan journey. Keeping quiet keeps you more focused on the things that you know can do good for you. It also makes you more in control of your life.
Find a support group
If starting alone seems daunting, find support from groups or organizations of people who go vegan. There’s strength in number as what they say. Since the group is composed of many people, you can get plenty of ideas when a question relating to your going vegan lifestyle arises. These groups could be in the community where you live or on social media like Facebook and others.
Keep your focus on fruits and veggies
Sure, going vegan includes a diet that is free of meat. However, it’s not also a starchy one. Replacing meat with bread and pasta isn’t just right. Going vegan should be about feeding your body with nutrient-rich foods that can only be found through whole foods and natural antioxidants.
Don’t deprive yourself of food
Fats and salts enrich the taste of food while providing the body with energy. When you eliminate fats from animal sources be sure to substitute it with the same amount from healthy fats, like avocado, nuts, seeds, sun dried tomatoes, and olives. Sea salt is the best alternative to table salt.
Shop the right food
Going vegan means shopping for the right foods that fit your desired lifestyle. Buying in bulk is much cheaper, especially when you get it from a farmer’s market.
Going vegan isn’t as difficult as you might think it is. The moment you jump in makes it a lot easier. There’s no harm in trying. Trying it for a day or two won’t hurt. So, go do it and see where it takes you.