1) Know your reasons for going vegan
First and foremost, you need to have the right mindset to become a vegan. Ask yourself why you want to go vegan and if you’re prepared to make the fundamental changes to your lifestyle to maintain it. Committing to veganism is more than changing your diet – it’s about extending these values to all aspects of your life, from the clothes you wear to the choices you make. That’s why it can seem so daunting to go vegan, but if you know exactly why you want to do it, you’ll be able to stick to your convictions.
"If you know exactly why you want to do it, you’ll be able to stick to your convictions."
2) Do your research
It’s crucial to learn as much as you can about veganism before you consider transitioning to a vegan lifestyle. Not only will this help you establish why you want to go vegan, but it will also help you prepare for your new lifestyle. Start by learning the benefits of going vegan and the impact it can have on your health, as well as the environment and culture. It’s also important to learn how to properly nourish your body with a plant-based diet and where you’ll be able to source your produce for vegan meals.
3) Manage your expectations
It’s a common misconception that going vegan will automatically make you healthier. From losing weight to better skin, veganism comes with a range of promises that aren’t guaranteed for everyone. Just because certain food types are suitable for vegans, doesn’t make them more nutritious – it’s up to you to ensure you eat a variety of plant-based ingredients that provide the vitamins and nutrients your body needs. Managing your expectations will help to remove any pressure from results you hope to achieve by going vegan.
4) Take it slow
Some people can transition to veganism overnight, but this method won’t work for everyone. Taking a more gradual approach can help you make sustainable changes, such as adding more plant-based meals to your diet each week. Many people find it helpful to go vegetarian first, before cutting out dairy and eggs completely. Another misconception of veganism is the idea of deprivation; that you will need to sacrifice foods you love. But, the best part of going vegan now is there’s a plant-based alternative for almost everything, so you don’t need to miss out.
"The best part of going vegan now is there’s a plant-based alternative for almost everything."
5) Try new things
In fact, going vegan opens up a whole new realm of foods to try. There are thousands of vegan recipes packed full of flavour to help you step out of your comfort zone, as well as vegan variations of your favourite dishes. The rising popularity of veganism means it’s easier than ever to find recipes with the likes of BBC Good Food and Jamie Oliver offering a variety of vegan meals to try. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new flavour combinations to make the most of vegan ingredients – you’ll find your favourites in no time!
6) Read the labels
An essential part of becoming a vegan is getting used to reading food labels. Knowing what you need to look out for will get easier in time but as a general rule, you should avoid anything derived from animals, including milk and honey. When it comes to processed foods, it can be harder to know which additives are safe to eat but you can use online resources to help. Processed foods can also be packed with added salt or sugar, so it’s important to read the label even if it is suitable for vegans. LÄRABAR™ snack bars are free from gluten and added flavours made from whole foods as close to their natural state as possible such as nuts and apples to make choosing a vegan-friendly snack simple.
7) Ask for help
If you’re struggling with the transition to a vegan lifestyle or have any burning questions, reach out to others. The vegan community has grown massively in recent years and there are a wealth of societies, like the Vegan Society, and information online to help. You can’t be expected to know everything and even the most experienced vegan had to start somewhere! Getting support from your family and friends will help to make the transition easier too, especially if you live in the same household. Go on the journey together if you can and share tips with one another along the way.
"You can’t be expected to know everything and even the most experienced vegan had to start somewhere!"
8) Don’t be afraid to eat out
The prospect of eating out can be intimidating when you are following a vegan diet, but don’t let your lifestyle affect your social life. Most restaurants now offer vegan dishes on their menu, while others are exclusively vegan thanks to growing demand. Happy Cow is a fantastic resource you can use to find vegan-friendly restaurants all over the world and is also available as an app. It’s worthwhile scoping out your new favourite places and suggesting them for meals out with loved ones.
9) Keep learning
Going vegan is a constant learning curve and you can never stop expanding your knowledge. From discovering new foods and recipes to finding creative substitutes, you can keep your diet exciting and avoid the temptation to fall back into old habits. But, veganism goes beyond food. It’s just as important to learn how to support the vegan movement in other aspects of life and discover new ways you can help to make a difference. Educating yourself, not others, is the most helpful thing you can do.
10) Don’t give up
Finally, and most importantly, don’t give up! Becoming a vegan is a huge lifestyle change that comes with many challenges. But, remember why you chose to make the change in the first place. If you’re having a bad day, reaching out to others in the community can boost your spirit – social media is an invaluable tool for finding likeminded people who can inspire you to keep going. You can also visit your local animal sanctuary to remind yourself why you’re becoming a vegan and support a good cause in the process.
We hope these tips on going vegan help you on your journey. While it may seem daunting to change your lifestyle, take it a step at a time and don’t be too hard on yourself if you make a mistake – learn from it and remember it’s about progress, not perfection.
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