How To Go Vegan: Practical Tips
I can definitely understand that when you start to think about going vegan, you have no clue where to start. It was the same with me. Luckily I had a friend who introduced me to veganism, so I kind of got a clue. And luckily for you, I can be that person for you!
When people ask me how I started a vegan diet, I always say that I had great motivation to do so. If you want to change something about your life, it always starts with your motivation. Motivation will strengthen your dedication and therefore make it easier. So start with the right motivation. What is the reason you want to start a vegan diet or become a vegan? Get that straight for yourself so when times get hard, you can rethink your motivation and get back on track.
Try to find a place where you can get inspired. For example, there are a lot of YouTube channels, blogs, Facebook groups, and Instagram pages where vegan recipes and other vegan ideas are shared. They show you how they implemented a vegan lifestyle and how it becomes easy and even effortless.
Step by step
Especially in the beginning, it’s important to take things step by step. For most people changing to a vegan diet is a large step. If you make that drastic change too quick it will definitely feel like a diet. And when I think about diets, those things are hard! But if you change slowly, step by step, you’ll get used to eating differently and it won’t feel like a diet. And before you know it, you don’t know any better and the idea of going back to your old diet feels strange.
For example, you can start with 1 vegan day a week and then make that 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. You can also choose to first cut out meat and fish, then milk, cheese, etc. Do what feels good for you.
A huge tip is, to make it easy for yourself. Try to learn to cook with as many whole foods as possible. Whole Foods are foods that aren’t processed. So for example fruits, vegetables, rice, nuts, seeds, and beans. Using these types of foods will prevent you from always having to read labels and look for animal products. Saves you a lot of time!
Focus on the things you can eat
When thinking about a vegan diet, a lot of people think about all the things they can’t eat anymore. Instead, it’s much better to focus on the positive and look at all the things you can eat. This will make it a lot easier for you. Besides that, there are also a lot of vegan / plant-based substitutes that are amazing. For example, if you used to make something with milk, you can now use oat milk, nut milk, rice milk, or any other type of milk.
One that also helps is telling your environment that you changed your diet into a vegan diet. Talking about it doesn’t only convince yourself you made a real change, but it also saves you a lot of unsatisfied eating. If people know you eat vegan, they will hold that into account during, for example, dinners. This will make it a lot easier for you because you won’t have to say ‘no’ to a meal with animal products anymore.
Try things out and be patient
Try things out. Try to experiment. Try things out more than once. Let your body and taste buds get used to a new way of eating and new types of food. Maybe it takes a while, but be patient. Any huge change takes time to adjust to. Giving your body ( and yourself !! ) time will make things a lot easier. Give yourself a break! You are doing great!
Google is your best friend
I know we’re in a pandemic right now, but when things are getting back to normal and you want to go to a nice restaurant, use Google. Google is your best friend. There are so many lists of nice vegan restaurants or restaurants that have vegan options. That way, you won’t have any unwanted surprises.
Thinking about fully going vegan, so not only food-related? You can also find lists online of restaurants/hotels/ etc. that are conscious about the environment and go a step further.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
You’re doing a great job wanting to become more conscious about what you eat, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Even if you eat vegan one time a week, know that that already helps.
I actually made a video with tips for beginners as well. It’s in Dutch, but maybe some of you find it helpful 🙂