Going vegan doesn't have to be hard. In fact, it can be incredibly easy - especially with these essential tips!
Tip #1 is perhaps an obvious, but necessary, one. When you first decide to go vegan, do some research to prepare yourself to the lifestyle change you're about to embark on.
To get to this stage, you've probably already done a fair amount of research, but consider that the vegan food pyramid is very different from the conventional one. Not to mention, you have to be wary of amino acids to ensure you get all 14 essential aminos that your body can't make itself. If you've relied on meat as your main protein source, don't forget to consider how much protein is in vegan alternatives.
Likewise, research vitamins and micro-nutrients so that you don't develop a deficit in things like calcium, iron etc!
Nonetheless, there isn't a rush to learn everything under the sun about going vegan. Learning never stops, your style of veganism will evolve and new discoveries and trends will be made!
Start at your own pace
While some people jump right into a plant-based diet, others like to take it slow. Taking it slow could involve gradually swapping out animal products for plant-based ones. Try becoming vegetarian first, then gradually start eliminating eggs, milk, honey etc.
You might find it useful to set yourself a time-orientated goal. For example, you could aim to go vegan for 30 days to begin with, then once you've reached that, you can decide if you want to carry on or if it doesn't suit you.
Have Simple but Diverse Meals
It's fun to be creative with your meals, but when first going vegan, it can become overwhelming. Try sticking to simple but yummy meals like curries, vegan spag bol or vegan mushroom alfredo.
Focus on eating whole foods and lots of different foods for a full range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Get to know Vegan Food Substitutes
It's important to know that you don't necessarily have to give up your favourite food when moving to a plant-based diet. However, there are many alternatives you can use in your go-to recipes and sweet treats.
For example, chocolate mousse made from avocado, vegan Parmesan made with nutritional yeast flakes, vegan raw chocolate made, vegan brownies and so on.
Get over the first hurdle by realising that a vegan lifestyle doesn't have to be one of deprivation!
Keep Calm and Embrace the changes in your Body
It's only natural when you change your diet that you'll notice changes in your body. This could be changes in energy levels, more flatulence than usual or perhaps more blemishes. Don't panic and be put off, though. This phase is likely to pass and you'll probably experience benefits in the long run.
It's not just the change in diet which will have an impact, but if you're used to a diet which is heavy in animal products, when you go plant-based, your body will be going through a detox phase. Like with any detox, you won't feel at your best the first week or two of it.
If anything is concerning though, consult with a specialist!
Accept your mistakes
We all make mistakes and it's ok. A little cliche but true nonetheless: learn from your mistakes. It's inevitable that you'll accidentally buy something which contains animal products. But don't beat yourself up if you slip up, just remember for next time!
If you have any other top tips for going vegan, don't forget to get in touch and comment below!