Are you thinking about adopting a lifestyle that causes the least suffering to the animals and our planet? If the answer is yes, we can help you make this transition as easy and sustainable as possible.
It is also essential to remember that going vegan is not a “battle” against yourself or with people around you. On the contrary, becoming vegan is primarily an act of awareness and respect for self and others. It is living from a commitment to not intentionally cause hare to other sentient beings.
With the vast amount of information available on the Internet, it is very common for aspiring vegans to feel lost and start questioning their decision. This is why this short guide provides ten simple and easily actionable steps to approach this new lifestyle.
1. KNOW YOUR REASON
Why do you want to go vegan? Everyone has their reasons. It could be for health, love for the animals, the environment, or for all these reasons combined. When you are sure of why you made the decision, it is a lot easier to find the motivation to make the right choices.
2. IGNORE THE JUDGMENTS, STAY CALM AND RESPECTFUL
Vegans often stand out because of the everyday choices they make. Their decisions often attract unwelcomed questions, confrontations, and judgments in social situations. If your “whys” are clear and firm, nobody can make you question your decision.
While it’s okay to talk about your choices, you don’t have to convince others to validate your decision. However, if conversations are respectful and constructive, they can benefit everyone involved. Stay relaxed, calm, and true to yourself. For more guidance, there are entire blogs and channels on YouTube dedicated to answering tough questions and teaching you how to gracefully handle social disapproval like a champ.
3. INFORM YOURSELF
Information about vegan nutrition and lifestyle will be very helpful in the early stages of your journey. It can also help you respond adequately to the questions people may ask about your decision. To be informed is to have power over your choice.
Given that what we put into our mouths is central to the fate of animals and the planet, there is a lot of focus on what is the “ideal” diet for humanity, and the “right” way to eat as a vegan. There are so many vegan and “plant based” leaders and spokespeople who have something to say about this.
While diet obviously has a lot to do with our daily health and experience of life, the important thing to remember is that the only criteria for being a vegan is not harming animals. Eating one form of plant-based diet or another doesn’t make you a better or worse vegan.
You are a unique human being with individual needs. What works for you may not work for someone else, and vice versa. Make sure to tailor your vegan lifestyle to your own unique preferences and necessities.
4. START FROM THE BASICS OF NUTRITION
We have been conditioned by the food industry to fear not eating animals. Often, a journey to veganism includes diving into the field of nutrition, where again, there are many different schools of thought.
For example, the Mediterranean diet is considered one the healthiest diets in the world. This diet is built on an abundance of veggies, fruits, and grains, rather than meat, dairy, and cheese. In general, almost all traditional diets are healthier than what is often called the “Standard American Diet” (SAD) built primarily on junk food and animal products.
These days there are plant-based options for most any animal products that might be conventionally considered part of the Mediterranean or any other heritage diet, and the selection of alternatives is growing month by month. But packaged plant-based products are purely optional. Perfectly healthy plant-based diets can be constructed entirely from whole foods without the inclusion of highly-processed vegan substitutes for animal products. The important thing is to have fun.
With regard to nutrition and health, most people in western cultures, vegan or otherwise, can be deficient in vital nutrients. Checking your blood levels for essential nutrients such as vitamin B12 and vitamin D can help identify low blood levels which, while totally unrelated to veganism, can affect your mood and performance, and cause you to question your food choices. Seeking out the freshest possible foods help assure you consume a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
5. EXPERIMENT IN THE KITCHEN
Vegan kitchen experiments are a great idea! New vegan recipes are a great way to try new ingredients and flavors. Experimenting with foods like quinoa, millet, barley, nutritional yeast, tofu, seitan, different types of beans, etc. can make healthy and fun recipes.
You don’t need fancy and expensive ingredients to create tasty vegan dishes. Pasta with tomato sauce, lentils bolognese or Mexican bean burritos are all amazing vegan options made with easily available vegetal ingredients.
Hope you found these tips useful. Stay tuned for the next 5 tips in our upcoming blog!