Starting on a new diet has its own set of challenges, and this also includes the vegan diet. Thankfully, you’re not alone. With so many resources available, you’ll find many different ways to approach this transition. Then again, you might get lost in the abundance of information available online – it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Increasingly, the vegan diet has become very popular. When done right, this lifestyle can bring about various health benefits. Although there are many variations of the diet, we aim to address it as a whole. So, if you’re planning to change up your eating habits, here are some essential tips to help!
1. Mentally prepare yourself
The vegan food pyramid is definitely different from the conventional one you tend to see in school. Before committing to a plant-based diet, conduct some research so you’d know what to expect and what to avoid. Even after starting this diet, continue to stay curious by slowly expanding on your knowledge!
2. Start with a pace suitable for you
Some people go vegan overnight, but others find a gradual transition much simpler to deal with. Remember, it’s a journey and not a competition! You can start by eliminating your red meat intake in the first week, followed by poultry, fish, eggs, and so on – it’s entirely up to you. And if you find yourself slipping, then don’t be so hard on yourself! It’s not an easy transition but what matters most is that you’re trying!
3. Stick with simple but diverse meals
Vegan food isn’t all complicated and time-consuming! Rather than focusing on visually-pleasing poke bowls, focus on eating whole foods instead. This means consuming plenty of vegetables, grains, starches, fruits, nuts and seeds. To feed your body a plethora of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, eat different foods at the same time.
Vegan food might not be as accessible outside, so if you’re going back to work, we suggest doing a meal prep the evening before work. The next day, store your meal in take out lunch boxes for a delightful lunchtime meal in the office!
4. Find out more about vegan food substitutes
While transitioning to a vegan diet, you might probably think that you’d never be able to taste cheese or eggs. Growing up with these staple ingredients, it’s only natural for you to crave for them! And what about desserts? How are you going to bake your favourite sweet treats without dairy or eggs?
Fortunately, there are many vegan-friendly alternatives that you can use to replace ingredients or attain the flavours that you want in your meals! In fact, you can even make your own vegan cheese.
5. Stock up on healthy snacks
Plant-based meals are of much lesser calories than animal products, so make sure you’re feeding your body what it needs! It’ll take time to adapt to the new diet, meal sizes and eating frequencies.
Prepare healthy snacks like fruits, dried fruits, nuts in several plastic containers with lids for maximum freshness. They’ll come in handy whenever your cravings kick in!
6. Always read food labels
Some food packages come with a little note indicating its suitability for vegans. However, most food labels don’t, so you’ll have to read the ingredient list carefully. Some animal ingredients aren’t as straightforward as others. If anything, always check online first.
At the start of this transition, you’re bound to buzz with enthusiasm and endless inspiration! As long as you don’t strive for perfection, then it’ll be fine. Embrace all the mistakes you make, but don’t dwell on it! Promise yourself that you’ll be better as you move forward.