The Ultimate Guide To Vegan!
Chapter 6. Can I Be A Vegan?
You may be considering going vegan for a wide variety of reasons, being that animal welfare, environmental concerns or a desire to improve your health (and yes, vegan diet can do just that, according to a recent meta-analysis).
Regardless of the reasons, however, making such a serious change can be challenging, even for the most motivated of us. In fact, the transition may be tricky enough to start doubting you will ever be able to become a vegan.
Fear not – we are here to help!
Today, we’ll share some easy tips and tricks that will help you make a smooth transition to a cruelty-free lifestyle. No matter what your starting point is, remember: you can go vegan, and it’s actually not nearly as difficult as you may think!
So here are our tricks of trade:
Gradual transition is your friend. Evidence suggests that those who transition to vegan lifestyles more gradually compared to a “cold turkey” approach tend to stick to the changes better.
We all have different starting points, of course – for instance, if you’re already vegetarian, making a leap to veganism is going to be relatively easy. Our advice is more for hardcore steak lovers: take it easy, cutting one thing at a time. No perfectionism, please – even the smallest things count, and you will be able to contribute more when you’re ready.
Steady change is sustainable change.
Go on a rollercoaster of changes. In other words, alternate big changes (such as giving up red meat entirely) with smaller ones (such as swapping one glass of milk for a milk substitute weekly).
Any major change that you make is going to take some time to adjust to. Take it easy and don’t try to handle a few big tweaks at a time, as this increases your chances of cheating – or even giving up the whole idea of going vegan.
Don’t be afraid to adjust the plan. This goes hand in hand with the previous point.
If you’re finding, for instance, that giving up cheese takes out all the joy from your living, it may be a wise idea to put it aside for a while and work on something else for the time being. Otherwise, you’re risking to get hung up on a single detail instead of considering a bigger picture.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Spoiler alert: you will ‘slip’, at least at the very beginning. However, it’s not a good enough reason to start beating yourself up! Just acknowledge your mistake, evaluate why it happened and simply go back to your normal routine.
In other words, don’t let your mistakes stop you, for nobody is perfect.
One diet at a time, please.
Unless required for health reasons (e.g. during the transition you discover you have a disease and must avoid certain foods, or an uncontrollable peanut allergy flares up), don’t attempt making further eliminations from your diet, even if they seem super-healthy.
For instance, if you try going vegan and cutting out all processed foods and eating less fats, your venture will likely get out of control very quickly.
Find a supportive vegan community. Take a look on the internet – there will almost certainly be one in your local area. Personally, this approach is not for me but you are not me!
Food is embedded in our culture so deeply you may feel like something is missing if you can’t share meals with out people without worrying about self-explaining and so on.
Moreover, becoming vegan will change your relationships with other people. To battle those negative effects, there is no better way than meeting some friendly vegans, either online or in real life.
At the same time, don’t give up with socialising with your old friends just because they’re not vegan. By being realistic, non-judgemental and approachable, you’re actually setting a powerful positive example.
I’ve found this way works best for me personally.
Find vegan-friendly restaurants. Ha ha. Good luck with that!! but things ARE changing and in say, 3 years time, the restaurant landscape will be a whole lot different.
Why? Because of people like you and me and thousands more every day!
Speaking of yummy treats, vegan cooking, no matter how much fun it is, can easily get a bit overwhelming at the start. Your perfect plan B is eating out, of course! Remember: eating out is just as much fun for vegans as for the rest of the humans, you just need to locate some new favourite places. Get the Happy Cow app – its brilliant!
Not at a vegan venue? Don’t be shy and make a special request. More often than not, the chef will be happy to accomodate and come up with something quick and easy that’s not on the menu. And if not…why would you want to dine at such a hopeless place anyway? Worst coming to worst, just order a salad or some fries, and never come back again, ever.
Fall in love with Vegan cooking!
Going vegan pretty much requires you to have some basic cooking knowledge. And we really mean “basic” – nail at least a couple of dishes you love, and you will always have something to bring to the next family outing, where roast pork is about the only available dish.
Bonus points if non-vegans compliment your cooking – it’s a great way to show people that plant-based eating is yummy.
Don’t expect to loose a lot of weight, unless your vegan diet is specifically tailored for it. Yes, you heard that right: a vegan diet per se doesn’t guarantee weight loss (sorry to deliver the bed news).
Of course, if you’re making a transition from a Maccy Dee’s -only diet to a healthy variety of vegan foods, you will likely loose some weight just because your calorie intake will drop. But if you’re already eating healthy, don’t expect miracles. Energy in – energy out, that’s all.
Remember: yes, you can go vegan! Use the tips above, and your transition to a cruelty-free lifestyle will be painless, quick and even enjoyable!
We sincerely hope you found this material helpful, and please stay tuned for more updates.