I know transitioning into a vegan diet isn’t easy for everyone and it can also take a little longer for others. I completely understand this and have experience through this process since I also went through it myself. I wasn’t born into a vegan family and I honestly didn’t know much about following a balanced vegan diet when I first started. I know what it’s like to struggle with and having to adapt to a new diet. I am a celiac, the first time I ever had to modify my diet was right after I was diagnosed with celiac disease. I worked with nutritionists and also put myself through an extensive nutritional education in order to learn my way through all the changes. When I worked my way towards a vegan diet I learnt a couple tricks along the way in order to make the process smoother. Everyone’s journey to becoming vegan is different and beautiful in it’s own way. We all have a story behind it, were driven by compassion and our hope for a brighter future is strong. The following are tips for transitioning to a vegan diet and what I personally learnt during my process.
WORK AT YOUR OWN PACE
I can’t emphasize how important this is. It’s so important that we work at our own pace when modifying our diet. Becoming vegan isn’t suppose to put us through stress. It’s not supposed to be frustrating either.Working through the transition at your own pace will actually increase your chances of reaching your goal. Trying to go full vegan from one day to another is a common mistake people make at times. I know a couple people who did become vegan from one day to another successfully but keep in mind we are all different. Just because Mary was able to go vegan in a day doesn’t mean Sarah has to do it in a day too. Our bodies are all different and we all function differently. There are many factors we have to consider when making changes to our nutrition. Taking things slow and setting goals as you work around new dietary changes in vital. Setting goals is important because it’s what will also keep you motivated in order to you keep you moving forward. You can start by letting go of eggs first, then work your way up to letting go of dairy and at the same time start letting go of meat slowly. The drive in us to make these changes is great but we may also go into episodes of frustration if we don’t work at a steady pace. I have seen people give up within a couple months because they think it’s impossible or too difficult. The truth is, it’s not impossible or difficult. The problem was they set unrealistic goals and tried to do it too quickly. There is no shame in working at your own steady pace while going vegan. Your moving towards your goal and that’s all that matters. Never compare your progress with other vegans. This isn’t about comparing and competing between each other. This is about compassion, love, healing and for the survival of our planet.We are all in this together for the same reasons and there is nothing we enjoy more than to help others around us transfer into a vegan lifestyle. We are united and push to continue growing in numbers. Our mission is to spread like wildfire, not to judge or hold anyone back. We empower and push one another to keep growing. We are a new species, the ones that are evolving and healing through love.
TAKE A MULTIVITAMIN
I personally would recommend taking a vegan/ plant based multivitamin while your going through this transition. We are after all adjusting to new foods and eliminating multiple thing out of our diet. You want to make sure your getting enough vitamin B12 and iron. Taking a multivitamin while making these changes will make sure you don’t suffer from feeling tired or start feeling nutrient deficient during the process. After making a full change and having everything figured out you don’t need to continue taking the multivitamin. I recommend doing this in the beginning just to give you that strong foundation to work from. It will take time to find your iron, protein and vitamin B12 replacements through wholefoods. We are learning a whole new way to care for our bodies and learning new ways to prepare our meals. It’s a big project and it takes time to adjust so giving your body an extra boost won’t do any harm.
DO ALL YOUR RESEARCH
We have to do all the research possible when transitioning to a vegan lifestyle. Watch as many documentaries, youtube, read health articles, engage with other vegans and work with a nutritionist if needed. The more research you do the better prepared you are to keep moving and accomplishing your goals. Research exactly how many gram of protein you need to replace depending on your gender and weight. Explore the many sources of vegan protein and learn how many cups of lentils or how many grams of tempeh you need for lunch in order to reach your protein intake for the day. I recommend doing this in the beginning as it becomes a natural process, later you will know exactly how much and where to get your protein from. Figure out calcium and iron along with vitamin B12 replacements. A vegan diet is full of rich and natural nutrients, we get all the proper nutritional intake and are not deficient in anything. The whole vegans are vitamin deficient is all a myth. With the proper research and making the right choices we can ensure a smooth and healthy transition to a vegan diet.
This is going to sound crazy but it’s true. A lot of people experience skin breakouts when going vegan. This is completely normal and will go away. This is actually your body detoxing itself. This actually happens very often and it even discourages people into thinking that a vegan diet it’s going to cause skin problems. The truth is a vegan diet is the best cure to skin issues and acne problems. Getting rid of hormones, antibiotics, preservatives and all the fat in animal products does miracles for our skin. In the beginning you may experience a little skin breakouts, but believe me you are on your way to healing your body and detoxing it from all the toxins that are trapped inside. Embrace your new life and just keep in mind that it takes our body time to detox naturally.
EXPLORE NEW FOODS AND BE OPEN MINDED
Have fun exploring new foods and be open minded to trying new veggies you might have never tried before. Remember this is suppose to be a fun process and you should be enjoying every bit of it. Try new veggies and fruits that you have never tried before, there are so many delicious foods to try. Research new ways to cook and new ways to enjoy your dishes. There are so many sources out there now for learning how to cook vegan meals and how to modify your kitchen to full vegan. Google, Pinterest, Youtube and buy vegan cookbooks that call your attention. Don’t stop exploring. Let everyday be filled with new food options. Try vegan alternatives to butter and cheese. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Try different cuisines and learn about new cultures along the way. I love Indian food and it so happens that the Indian cuisine has many vegan meal options. Middle eastern food had amazing vegan options as well. It’s all about being open minded and giving everything a try. Hey, there’s nothing to fear. It’s not like your going to be be asked to try anything gross. That’s the great thing about a vegan diet. Everything we eat is clean, beautiful and cruelty free. You will discover and see the beauty behind plants and veggies. You will come to appreciate them and it becomes a relationship with your new diet and connects you to nature as well.Through this exploration you will also evolve.
LETS GET STARTED
Don’t give up on becoming vegan. You’re on the right path. You already did that hardest part and that was deciding to go for it. The rest falls into place as you work through your journey. This is your path to enlightenment, nirvana and healing. Living a life full of compassion and love it transformative in so many ways. I can guarantee you will never be the same after you set off on your quest. Everything changes but in the most positive of ways. You will see life differently and the way you value life also changes. It’s learning how to walk, see again and using your senses to full capacity. A journey to awakening, taking us back to our roots and connecting us back to nature the way it was intended.