February 18, 2019 6 min read

With the increasing number of discussions that focuses on the importance and health benefits of eating a diet that includes more plant-based dishes, is it time for you to consider going vegan?

What Does It Mean To Be Vegan?

Going vegan means foregoing all food products that contain any traces of meat, dairy, or eggs in them. This means that everything you consume will be completely plant-based from your milk, to your cheese, to your source of proteins. While it may seem daunting at first because of the drastic change that your diet will go through which in turn affects your attitude towards grocery shopping and how you source the food that you will be filling your pantry with. Going vegan means that you have found a reason to go vegan with a determination and a commitment to not only follow a plant-based diet strictly, it also means a commitment to live healthily and a realization that sustainability is the key to creating this world into a much more habitable place to live in.

Things To Consider Before Going Vegan

Because going vegan means a commitment to go without food products that have been handled with or has any part of it coming from animals, it would be incredibly helpful to determine why you have decided to go vegan. Whether you’re going vegan because you have decided that it goes against your principle of not harming animals unnecessarily for your own primeval needs, or whether you’ve decided that it’s a matter of wanting to live a more sustainable eating lifestyle whereby you have the capacity to grow and nurture your food and are able to source them from people you know and trust, or whether you’re doing it for the health benefits of going on a purely plant-based diet, it is important to outline the reason why you have decided to go vegan. The reason for this is that knowing why you made this decision in the first place will keep you grounded and committed to the lifestyle change.

Deciding to go vegan is also a process that you need to take with sure and steady steps. As with anything that you do in life, jumping on to a decision or a lifestyle change that is completely different from what you are used to immediately and without much preparation, and going cold turkey on the things that you have known and grown to love over the years, is a surefire way of getting you satiated with the decision almost as quickly as you’ve decided to do it. Going vegan is a process that you undertake with a firm commitment to live by it more religiously as the days go by. Accepting the process and instilling within yourself the reality of your decision and why you have decided for it to be so is a very powerful way of remaining committed to any decision that you have decided to undertake.

Choosing to go vegan is a process and a commitment

Things To Do When You’ve Decided To Go Vegan

Obviously, the number one thing that you avoid when you’ve decided to shift to being vegan are all animal products. The importance of reading food labels and making your own food becomes more important. The reason for this is that since it is a commitment to change to a completely plant-based diet, knowing what’s in your food becomes very important.

Stocking your pantry with food that supports your new lifestyle will help you become more successful in your commitment to the change that you just made

You should also stock your pantry with the necessary items that will support your decision and will also make the transition to a more plant-based diet easier for you. Keep your pantry stocked with fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, and other food products that are vegan-friendly. Keeping products that fit your lifestyle change within arms length will help in keeping you motivated and in avoiding instances where you might feel tempted to go for the usual things that you eat.

But most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself. Know that this is a process that you have to undertake over a period of time. If by any chance you eat products that contain derivatives of meat or dairy, take note of that product and take it as a lesson learned. Going into a lifestyle change with the mindset that you’re going to get it perfect right from the get-go is a surefire way of making you feel restricted and forced. Enjoy the process of your transition because every moment you put into the change that you’re planning to do is one way of cementing your commitment and your decision.

Preparing For Your Vegan Shift

As you begin to embark on your transition towards a strictly plant-based diet, knowing that you have your options is a great way of boosting your confidence about being successful in doing your lifestyle shift.

Knowing your dairy alternatives -because you will no longer be able to make use of dairy products from animals, it’s good to know that there are options readily available for you to enjoy the food that you’ve always loved even though you’ve decided to go vegan. There’s a lot of plant-based products that are similar to milk that you can enjoy and use for your recipes that would typically require dairy milk.

You can opt for nut-based milk such as almond and cashew, or go for coconut milk, soy milk, or rice milk. These are plant-based products that can be used as a substitute for dairy milk and they also provide good nutritional benefits that may not be present in dairy milk. It’s also much easier to digest than regular cow’s milk. There are also cheese substitutes that you can find recipes for or buy online that will allow you to enjoy the taste and flavor of cheese in your dishes.

Almond milk is a popular dairy milk alternative that is packed with health benefits

Knowing your meat alternatives -people don’t think that they can get enough protein and calcium in their diet if they go into a strictly plant-based lifestyle but in reality, a lot of plants like broccoli and kale have a lot of calcium content, and quinoa, hemp, and tofu products are high in protein. The wide range of meat substitutes that offer high nutritional value have increased over the years as more and more people become more conscious about their diet and about the quality of food that they consume.

Love burgers? Tofu burgers are a healthier vegan-friendly alternative that tastes just as good

Because going on the vegan diet means that your diet is devoid of any meat-related products including eggs, the existence ofmeat substitutes is a wonderful thing for vegan diet followers because it allows them to enjoy the flavors of food without having to worry about whether they are getting enough nutrition in their diet or not. A lot of vegetables such as eggplants and jackfruit are a great meat substitute, while tofu-based products offer a wider variety of ways through which you can enjoy meat substitutes.

Staying Committed

Committing to any lifestyle is no easy task. It requires that you change not only the way you eat but how you view food in general. It helps you appreciate what you eat and why you eat certain food items. Staying committed to any lifestyle requires that you go into it for all the right reasons and with the proper attitude. Wanting to do something just because it’s trendy or because it sounds good is not exactly going to help you stay committed. On the other hand, wanting to do something because it feels like a perfect fit for you or because you know that it is good for you in the long run can help in maintaining your focus and keeping you driven to stay within the parameters of your new diet.

Enjoy the transition and enjoy the process that you take as you journey towards your new lifestyle. It’s not going to be easy but it will be worth it once you’ve realized your goals and have become accustomed to the lifestyle that you’ve shifted into.