Everyone knows that eating more vegetables is healthier than stocking up our diet with meat. Aside from personal reasons, a lot of people try to improve their health or lose weight by sticking to a plant-based diet. This means that each meal is composed of vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. However, developing a vegan mindset is easier than actually doing it. Many people struggle to start a vegan diet, especially if they are used to eating meat and dairy. In this article, we’ve listed down simple and easy tips on how to go vegan!
Tips on How to go Vegan: Easy Ways to Plant-based Diet
Even if you are just trying to up your intake of plant-based food, here are easy tips on how to go vegan and eat healthier and cleaner.
The vegan life is not a race and there’s no need to rush yourself and instantly dive into vegan diets. What’s important is your end goal and you can go as slow as you like. Some people can go vegan overnight, while others need more time to adjust to the lifestyle. Instead of hastily deciding, take your time to determine what works best for you. There are multiple approaches to going vegan and your experience will differ from others.
The easiest way is to slowly incorporate more plant-based food into your daily diet and gradually increase your vegetable intake. You can start by having a day in a week of only eating vegan food or having vegan breakfast in one day, and vegan lunch in the other. You can also slowly make the switch from cow’s milk to almond milk. Remember, there’s a plant-based alternative for your favorite food so don’t think it’s saddening that you won’t be able to eat them anymore.
Eat a variety of food
Going vegan doesn’t mean 100% optimal health so it is necessary that you make sure you are still taking the essential nutrients by eating a good variety of food. Widen your diet by eating different kinds of delicious plant-based food that contains vitamins and nutrients that your body needs.
Choose produce that forms the colors of the rainbow to guarantee that you are reaping all the necessary benefits. For example, beans are for protein and fiber and leafy greens are packed with vitamins A, C, and K. Red tomatoes have lycopene that is healthy for the heart, while blueberries have brain-boosting properties and orange sweet potatoes have vitamin A that ramps up eye health.
Explore new recipes
Some people are apprehensive about entering vegan life, mainly because they thought there are not many tasty meals around. After all, meat and dairy have an exquisite and savory taste that is so hard to forget. But it’s only a matter of exploring and discovering vegan dishes that taste out of this world.
If you are new to veganism and your body is still craving food that vegetarians frown upon, it’ll do you good if you try different vegan recipes to condition your body that veggies are not so bad! There are dozens of vegan blogs on the Internet that offers delicious recipes. The bonus to this is more often, you’ll be able to whip these meals with the things that are already in your kitchen or available in the nearest supermarket.
Discover Plant-based Proteins
If you are new to veganism, do know that just because you’ve given up on meat, doesn’t mean that there are no other alternatives to protein. Animal-based proteins, such as meat and cheese, are high in unhealthy saturated fat, and by going vegan, you are leaving all these harmful food behind and stepping into healthier protein sources. For vegans, their proteins come from tofu, tempeh, soybeans, lentils, chickpeas, and beans.
Other vegan-based protein sources are nuts, including almonds, walnuts, and seeds like sunflower and pumpkin seeds. If you eat a good range and variety of vegan-based food, you are ensured to receive a good amount of protein.
Target Fish-free Omega 3’s
As mentioned, as long as you eat a good range of plant-based food, you are assured of the essential vitamins and nutrients. However, not all of them can be found in healthy vegan food. DHA and EPA are two types of omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial for eye and brain development. Unfortunately, these two are hard to come by in plant-based food as they are mainly found in fatty fish like salmon.
ALA, a type of omega-3 that is found in plants like flaxseed, walnuts, canola oil, and soil might be able to provide the body with small amounts of DHA and EPA, but it’s not as substantial. The good thing is a variety of food, like soymilks and breakfast bars, made for vegans come to equip with DHA.
Ask for help
You are not alone in your vegan journey and for sure, vegans would love to help you as well! There are tons of blogs and forums online where you can ask your questions and clarifications, and a whole community of vegans is more than happy to answer you.
Even simple questions like how to bake vegan chocolate or maybe recommendations for the best vegan cookies are welcomed. Deeper issues like how to speak to your family about veganism are more serious but you’d be surprised to know that a lot of people are feeling and going through the same way.
Know why you are doing this
There are many reasons why someone decided to go vegan. It could be due to health reasons, doctor’s suggestions, environmental concerns, influence from other people, wanting to lose weight, and a lot more. But the thing is, fully committing to veganism is a challenge. At some point, you’ll question yourself why did you decide to do this? And in moments like this, slow down and reflect. There must be a reason why you decided to go vegan in the first place, remember that reason and review your goals. Reading books and watching informative videos about vegan life and its benefits are also a good ways to remind yourself why.
If you entered veganism because of animal welfare, take a day off and visit your local animal sanctuary. Being able to see barn animals happy and traditionally farmed is a good reminder of why you’ve invested in veganism.