There are a lot of great reasons to become a vegan. Maybe you love all animals and don’t want to see them suffer. Or, you want to live a healthier lifestyle and cut out meat and dairy as a result. It could even be to do your part for the environment since meat raising and production is a major greenhouse gas offender. It doesn’t matter what your reasons for being a vegan are as long as you understand what you are getting into. Transitioning to being a vegan is something that requires some research and taking things step by step. In this article, we will go over some of the things you need to do to become a vegan.
1. Be Mindful About What You Buy
If you have been thinking about being a vegan for a while, then you likely have already been seeking out organic products. It’s a great start to begin by eating local and organic foods when possible and seeking out the best places to buy them.
The next step is to seek out other plant-based products like cleaning products which are also biodegradable. The point is to start paying attention to the labels. Being a vegan also means being mindful and when you start out by buying products like makeup sets that are not tested on animals then it becomes a habit.
Being a vegan is all about discipline which then becomes our new normal. At a certain point, you will be consuming products that do no harm to animals when they are produced and don’t continue to harm them when they are reintroduced into the environment.
2. Take It Slow
You don’t have to be a vegan overnight. In fact, you shouldn’t do that as you may have some unexpected health issues arise. It takes some preparation to make sure that you are not doing things wrong and you are eating a balanced diet.
You should start by doing a vegan day once a week. Cutting out meat from your diet likely already happened, but if not try starting with a “meatless Monday”. Then, try to do two days, then three, and so on.
Add in a couple of days of no dairy or eggs. Look for recipes that don’t call for any dairy or eggs with recommendations for replacement ingredients. It’s important that you do this only a couple of days a week at first so you are getting what you need from other days. If you start cold turkey then you may end up not getting some of the nutrients you need.
Take some time doing things this way before you go all out. When you are looking for vegan recipes, make sure to choose the ones that have all the nutritional elements that you need.
3. Learn About Nutrition
Many people make the mistake of substituting meat with plant-based “faux meats”. For instance, they make carbonara with fake bacon and nutritional yeast. Yes, you are eating food with no meat, but that is not a balanced meal.
Do some research about the building blocks that you need to live a healthy life and get all the nutrients that you need. Then, choose recipes that have a balance of those elements. For instance, make sure to have a combination of things like sweet potato, beans, and loads of green leafy vegetables in every meal.
This way you get plenty of protein that would normally go missing when you give up meat and dairy. Talk to a nutritionist if possible so that you get first-hand knowledge and can ask specific questions related to your own physiology and possible health problems. You don’t want to take advice from strangers on the internet who have different needs than you do.
4. Don’t Strive for Perfection
It is very common for vegans to fall victim to pressure from other vegans. It seems everybody thinks that their way is the only true way and others that deviate from this way are no true vegans. Well, it doesn’t matter to others how vegan or not you are. You need to do the things that work well for you, your health conditions, and your lifestyle.
There may be times when you eat something that has honey in it, for instance. That’s ok. Nobody is going to call the vegan police on you. You won’t get in trouble for it even if it wasn’t an accident that you ate it.
The point is that you should do the best you can and don’t beat yourself up if you feel like you didn’t do things to perfection. You’re not part of the problem if once in a while you eat something that has meat in it.