Helpful Tips to Switch to Veganism
Eight Simple Tips for Embracing a New Vegan Lifestyle
By: Kylie, Editor of Green & Growing
When you want to become a vegan, it can seem like a challenge to give up animal-based foods. In addition, vegans also avoid using any products that are made using an animal’s hide or feathers, and they also don’t buy any products that are tested on animals. To make becoming a vegan easier, you might want to begin with your daily diet while switching slowly to veganism in other areas of your life. Here are some tips to make the process simpler.
Tip 1: Talk to Your Physician about Your Diet
Most physicians recommend a plant-based diet, but it is important to talk to your own physician about becoming a vegan, especially when you have a particular health problem such as diabetes mellitus or chronic anemia. Any change in your dietary plan can alter your blood sugar levels, and if you don’t have enough red blood cells, then giving up meat can make your anemia worse. However, there are ways to enjoy a vegan lifestyle while you have a medical problem because there are ways to get enough nutrients from plant-based foods. Tip #2 will give you guidance to find these options.
Tip 2: Schedule an Appointment with a Dietitian
If you want to plan healthy vegan menus, then schedule an appointment with a dietitian who understands the concepts of giving up meat and other animal-sourced products. With more people embracing a lifestyle that doesn’t harm animals, it is easier to find a dietitian who can create the appropriate meal plans for your age, gender, height and health. Prepare to give the dietitian a lot of information about your medical requirements so that she can plan the best menus for your needs.
Tip 3: Join a Support Group
There are likely other people in your city who are vegans, and they are happy to explain the lifestyle to you. If you can’t find a local group, then consider an online group so you can learn more about the foods you can eat and the products you can buy. Bring along a notebook to the meetings so you can write down the information concerning where to shop for fresh vegetables and fruits along with whole grains. A support group is a great place to meet new friends who can help you shop for vegan foods at the supermarket or who can teach you new recipes that don’t contain animal products.
Tip 4: Create a Shopping List
When you have spent your entire life eating animal products, a trip to the supermarket can seem frightening when you switch to a vegan diet. Creating a shopping list is imperative so that you will remain on track in grocery stores that cater to customers who want to buy meat, eggs and dairy foods. Shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables is an excellent choice, but when you look for foods in the other sections of the store, it can become confusing. Make sure to read labels to learn if a canned, boxed or frozen food contains animal-based substances.
Tip 5: Start with Simple Recipes
When you are becoming a vegan, it is wise to begin with simple recipes such as making a tasty spinach salad that has walnuts and orange slices with a homemade vinegar and herb dressing. After your taste buds and digestive system have adjusted to a vegan dietary plan, you can learn how to bake your own whole-wheat bread that doesn’t require milk or animal fat. You also don’t need to spend several hours making your own tofu because you can find this food in most supermarkets.
Tip 6: Prepare for Food Cravings
While you are choosing a vegan lifestyle for good reasons, you will likely experience intense food cravings, so you should prepare in advance for this problem. If you are accustomed to eating hamburgers, then make sure to buy soybean vegan patties at the supermarket. You can also find cheese substitute products that are made from soybeans and other plant-based substances. When you have a craving for an animal-based food, it is a good idea to have fruit or vegetables that you can eat right away to avoid eating a snack food that contains a meat or dairy product.
Tip 7: Visit Your Local Public Library
Your local public library likely has an assortment of books and DVDs about veganism. You can find books written by celebrities who embraced a vegan lifestyle, or you can find cookbooks that have recipes that only use plant-based foods. By finding a few new recipes for using plant-based foods, you can avoid the monotony of only eating salads or vegetable soup.
Tip 8: Learn How to Eat in a Restaurant
More restaurants are offering vegan dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so before you go out with friends or relatives, search online for the establishments that provide plant-based menus. When you visit a restaurant, look through the menu to find the dishes that are labeled as vegan recipes. Remember that most restaurants offer items such as fruit plates or vegetable salads, so these meals are a good option while dining out. Also, don’t be shy…ask the waiter questions and order “off the menu.”
About the Author
Kylie is the editor at Green & Growing. She enjoys the outdoors, especially when she can go on a fun hike or adventure. She likes to focus on the perks green living offers. She feels it is of utmost importance to take care of our earth and hopes to spread more awareness as she edits and writes.