Going vegan? Six tips for adopting a plant-based diet
Veganism is a diet that in recent years has received a lot of coverage, but it’s not a new concept. A vegan diet is one that includes plant-based ingredients while avoiding all products from animals. There are plenty of reasons people want to go vegan – ethical motivations, health benefits and environmental issues are three of the most common explanations for a change to a plant-based diet. Losing weight is also often a factor, and many health-conscious vegans choose to complement the move with pills and supplements (be sure to check out the studies first and read reviews from trusted sources – try Genius Burn review by Vegan Liftz for a start).
The move to a plant-based diet can be a tough one, no matter the justification. Here are some tips for adopting a vegan lifestyle to help you make the transition.
Establishing an intention
With any mission or resolution, having a clear purpose and a solid plan will help achieve success. The same goes for changing a diet. Good vegan inspiration can help with willpower, even in the face of tempting circumstances. There are a few primary reasons for going vegan, but each person has different motives – perhaps the move is for a more personal reason. The logic for the decision will already exist, but stating it ahead of time helps build a straightforward direction to follow. It might be encouraging to write down the goal and its purpose on a sticky note and put it on the fridge as a reminder.
It’s important to start slowly when making a change, particularly one that is dietary as the body needs time to adapt to new eating habits. The shift to a plant-based diet will be aided by adding whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and vegetables to meals and snacks, making the elimination of animal products less noticeable. Another approach is to make adjustments that are gradual yet consistent, for example starting by cutting out meat one day a week, or pursuing vegetarianism before moving on to veganism entirely.
A vegan diet, since it leaves out so many foods, is considered an extreme one. With a habitual diet consisting mainly of meats and cheeses, it can take a toll to remove so much at once without replacing these foods with healthier alternatives. Fortunately, there are replacements that provide a perfectly healthy meal, and it’s easy to find substitutes for old favourites with a bit of study. It’s a good idea to get more information on a nutritionally full vegan diet to help make a smooth transition. Since 2014, Peter Dinklage, also known as Tyrion Lannister in the Game of Thrones series, has been vegan – he simply ate tofu or fake meat in all the scenes that required him to eat meat!
Doing it with a friend
Becoming a vegan solo, particularly if friends or family are meat eaters, can be daunting. Going plant-based with a friend is a great way to make the trip smoother, making each new vegan accountable for their food choices and keeping both motivated. Being surrounded by like-minded people provides strong inspiration and makes it easier to stick with the diet. Vegan forums or 30-day vegan challenges online can also provide virtual connection for those struggling to find support in real life. In any case, there is a huge plant-based community that is tremendously supportive.
Having a game plan for eating out
Although the safest option is cooking at home, it’s not always realistic. There are times when travel is necessary and there’s only time for a quick bite, or when friends plan to meet at a restaurant for a meal. Having a game plan will keep things on track and negate the worry of breaking any resolutions. Almost all eateries provide a menu online or at least a phone number to call, so it’s possible to explore options in advance. It’s a useful skill to learn what to look for on a menu: start by looking at vegetable dishes and then work through the others to see what can be made vegan. To avoid the difficulty of searching for a vegan entree on the menu entirely, it can be practical have a smaller meal out (almost all eateries have workable side dishes at least!) and then make up for it at home later on.
Sometimes the vegan lifestyle faces misguided negativity. Some people make fun of the commitment or try to tempt plant-eaters with foods containing animal products. It’s important to remember the reasons for becoming vegan when others are being discouraging. Strong personal, ethical and health motivations will help discount any negative opinions.
Going vegan is a decision that can positively affect both one’s health and the world. These tips will facilitate an easy move into making choices to be proud of.
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