You’ve chosen to become vegan. You are eliminating animal products from your diet. That means no more eggs, honey, cheese, yogurt, or milk either. It may not be the easiest decision. It will pose challenges when you go out to restaurants, visit friends and family, and go shopping.
Your biggest challenge will be to make this transition smoothly. You want to feel satisfied with what you eat. It should be enjoyable and filling. You also want to avoid urges to eat meat and other foods you have been eating for years. Try the following five steps to make the transition to veganism easily without having cravings.
1. Take a Good Inventory of the Foods in Your Kitchen
If you are going completely vegan, you’ll need to do an overhaul in your kitchen. Check the labels on all of your canned goods, frozen foods, anything that is packaged, and your refrigerator. If anything contains any type of animal products, it will need to go. Send it on to a friend or family member if you don’t want the food to waste. Anything that isn’t opened can be donated to a food pantry.
Once your pantry has been purified, you will be ready to go shopping. Make a list of foods that are acceptable on a vegan diet. You’ll want to stock up on fruits, vegetables, almond or soy milk, pasta made from plants that are high in proteins, chickpeas, beans, tofu, and chia seeds.
2. Buy Products that Re-Create Your Favorite Flavors or Textures
You need to fill your cabinets and your refrigerator with foods that are appealing to you. Going vegan should be an exciting time in your life. You want to have a sense of adventure as you embark on a much healthier lifestyle for you. If you don’t look forward to eating, it’s going to make it much more challenging to stick with your decision to eat only plant-based foods. Begin by buying your favorite fruits and vegetables. Branch out and try new vegetables that catch your eye.
Look at the selection of beans, seeds, nuts, and grains that can give your pantry a boost. If you have certain meat products that have always been your go-to foods, try plant-based substitutes. As vegetarian and vegan diets become more mainstream, the choices have become plentiful. You can find plant-based chicken, sausage, burgers, ribs, and steaks. You’ll also find plant-based pasta, yogurt, milk, and condiments. If you have always enjoyed meat, you can stay committed to a vegan diet by eating substitutes that mimic your favorite dishes. Restaurants and fast-food chains have jumped on the bandwagon to offer you selections when you go out.
3. Buy a Vegan Cookbook to Spice Things Up
This is your chance to get creative in your kitchen. Recipes abound online to help you improve your repertoire of dishes. Check out Youtube videos when you want a demonstration to lead the way. Purchase a vegan cookbook for an excellent resource. Sit down and make a list of recipes that make your stomach start to rumble. Figure out what you need and head out to the grocery store. Once you are prepared with all of your ingredients, you can start dabbling in your kitchen. You might find your new favorite.
4. Be Methodical
Embracing the vegan lifestyle should not be an impulsive decision. You need to plan. Begin by making a menu for the first week of your transition. Include three meals a day, snacks, desserts, and beverages. Variety is important. You don’t want to become bored. Boredom could make you stray from the vegan path. Try something different for seven days, including discoveries. After your first week, you may choose some favorites you want to have more often.
5. Make Sure Your Body Gets What it Needs
Make sure you have enough protein in your vegan diet. Protein is essential if you are going to take on vegan strength training. Your recommendations for daily intake of protein are usually for a less active lifestyle. Intense exercise, especially any type of physical activity that involves building up your strength, requires you to maximize your protein intake. Eating more protein will also help you to feel more satisfied. Nuts, soy, seeds, and plant-based pasta are good options.
Vegan eating can make your life more exciting as it opens the door to new recipes. You’re also helping to make less of an impact on the environment. Most importantly, you will be taking steps to be healthier by making simple changes in what you put in your body.