How can you create a healthy and environmental friendly plant-based lifestyle?
Where does one start when he wants to become a vegan and to have a sustainable vegan nutrition? If you are one of those who want to shift to the plant-based or vegan lifestyle then starting now is not that frightening. You don’t have to make drastic changes.
You just have to focus on making one small change at a time and your progression towards becoming a true vegan will go smoothly. Go at your own pace, try as many different methods as you can, and go with the ones that work for you.
To help you get started on the right track towards following a plant-based lifestyle, here are some tips that you might want to consider:
Learn as much about veganism as you can
You need to be familiar with veganism before you transition into it. Knowing what to expect and preparing yourself for the said inevitability will greatly help when you start switching over to veganism.
As you learn about the benefits of becoming a vegan, you will also understand the inhumane practices behind the production of animal products. This might make you even more motivated to go vegan. It can help you understand that there are more reasons why you should make the switch.
Study how you can get optimum nutrition from a plant-based diet
This is the perfect time for you to start learning to read the ingredients list of your groceries. Learn how to tell if a particular product is vegan or not. Familiarize yourself with the ingredients that are not as obvious as animal-derived.
Keep an eye out for the vegan products that you can find in your local grocery and search social media for any vegan-friendly shops and eating establishments in your area. Also, check your preferred online streaming platform or just search YouTube for any documentaries about the vegan lifestyle.
You can also buy vegan magazines, books, or blogs for insights. Moreover, you can join a vegan group on Facebook, discussion forums, and other online groups for additional tips and support.
Start planning your transition to veganism
There are many ways that you can begin your transition from omnivore to veganism. You just need to seek out what’s best for you. Here are a couple of methods that you might want to try.
From Vegetarian to Vegan
It is easier to become a vegetarian first before going full-blown vegan. You can do this by slowly cutting out meat, dairy, and eggs from your daily diet. You may also want to do it in one fell swoop.
Making the switch
Take out all meat (including poultry and fish) from your everyday diet. However, you should not increase the amount of eggs and dairy to compensate for this move. Focus more of your effort into eating more plant-based proteins instead. Also, start eating more whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and tofu.
Once you feel like you can do it, begin slowly phasing out eggs, dairy, and honey from your meals. You can also take them all out at once. However, if you want to make the transition as painless as possible then go about it gradually.
Gradual Transition Omnivore to Vegan
This method will have you gradually cutting out animal products from your diet – starting with the easiest to quit and leaving the barrier food items for the end. You don’t need to cut out a type of food all at once. You can start by lessening the amounts that you consume while also increasing the amount of plant-based foods in your meals. Continue doing this until all of the animal products in your diet is gone.
Making the switch
Take out all the animal products that you know you will not miss immediately. Eat more plant-based products while also cutting back on animal products that you will not miss. You can either gradually cut down the consumption of animal products or remove entire food groups at once. Once you arrive at the point where there are only barrier foods left, you can cut them out all at once when you are comfortable about it.
Switching to Vegan Immediately
Some say that you should rip out the Band-Aid to make the pain last for only a moment, and you can do that with going vegan. Immediately cut out all animal-based ingredients with vegan alternatives.
Cut out all animal-derived ingredients and incorporate lots of whole grains, beans, legumes, tofu, nuts, and seeds for a healthy vegan diet. Many people find that switching to vegan alternatives of burgers, hotdogs, cheeses, and others can help with the transition.
Maintaining a Positive Attitude
Rather than thinking about all the foods that you will be missing, think about all the new and wonderful foods that you will get to try. You might be surprised at just how many vegan food options there are, and not all of them are tasteless or overly expensive. Think about it. Some of your favorite dishes might already be vegan, to begin with.
Don’t worry about all the changes that you will be making. Be excited about them, instead.
Cooking Vegan is easy
If you have always been curious about vegan nutrition, but you cannot bring yourself to pull the trigger on it is because you don’t think you can cook proper meals without using at least one kind of animal product, then you are wrong. It is actually quite easy to learn how to cook tasty vegan dishes that you can enjoy.
Here are some of the reasons why it is easy for anyone to cook vegan dishes
Ingredients are easier to source
Because veganism has become more mainstream the past couple of years, it is now easier to find and buy vegan cooking ingredients than before. Almost all cities and towns nowadays have farmer’s markets during the weekends. There are even farmer’s markets that you can access every day.
You can also go online shopping for your cooking needs. Plenty of companies sell ingredients and spices that are completely 100% vegan so you do not even need to leave your home to shop for your food.
You do not need any special cooking tools
You do not need a fancy grill or smoker to prepare vegan recipes. If you have a couple of pots and pans, and maybe a basic wok, then you are good to go. You do not even need an oven since you can cook many delicious vegan dishes on the stovetop.
In fact, many vegan recipes are one-pot dishes. What it means is that you can cook everything in just one pot or pan. For instance, you can cook a lot of Asian vegetarian dishes in just one wok.
Cooking times are quite short
Since you will only be cooking vegetables, you can get them done within just a couple of minutes at a time. Unless you will be cooking beans and lentils that require simmering for a couple of hours, the average amount of time that you will be spending in the kitchen, including prep work, will be around thirty minutes.
You can find hundreds of thousands of recipes online
You do not need to spend money on expensive cookbooks anymore. It is possible for you to find certified vegan recipes on dozens of different websites online. Moreover, you can access websites that tell you where you can find all of the ingredients. To make things even easier, many different YouTube videos are now available that show step-by-step instructions on how to cook the said dishes.
There really is no reason to not go vegan nowadays. You should least give it a try and see if it is a good fit for you.
Vegan Nutrition FAQ
Where do vegans get their protein?
One of the biggest concerns for people who want to eat a vegan diet is where to get their protein. There are many vegan sources of protein. Many don’t realize that there is a bit of protein in many foods.
Recommended by the German Nutrition Society is about 0.8 g/kg body weight of protein per day for adults. This amount can be covered without problems with vegan foods. Some of the best vegan sources of protein are nuts, seeds, seitan, chickpeas, beans, lentils, tempeh and of course tofu.
Where do vegans get calcium if they don’t consume dairy?
Dairy products are not the only sources of calcium. So you can get enough calcium even on a vegan diet. Some of the best vegan sources of calcium are green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale. Beans, legumes, tahini and almonds also provide plenty of calcium.
Where do vegans get their vitamin B12?
One of the biggest problems with the vegan lifestyle is that there aren’t many viable sources of vitamin B12. Most vegans make sure they get enough vitamin B12 by taking high-dose vitamin supplements every 2 to 3 days.
Can athletes live vegan?
It is somewhat more difficult to meet an athlete’s total nutrient needs on a vegan diet. However, it is not impossible. To make sure you avoid a nutrient deficit, you should consult a nutritionist. A professional nutritionist can create a good vegan diet plan for you so that you get all the nutrients and vitamins you need for your active lifestyle.
Some of the best ultra distance runners are vegan. The same lifestyle is followed by many professional athletes. It takes a lot of discipline, but becoming a successful vegan athlete is not unattainable.
Why should you eat a low-fat and plant-based diet?
A low-fat and plant-based diet is the best way to achieve good health. A vegan diet consisting entirely of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains and vegetable oils contains almost no saturated fat. This means you have a much lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses.
Is it safe for pregnant women to eat a vegan diet?
People at any stage of life can benefit from a plant-based vegan diet, including pregnant and breastfeeding women. A well-designed vegan diet will provide you and your developing baby with all the nutrients you need. Coordinate the diet with your primary care physician to be sure your diet is consistent.
Is it safe for children to go vegan?
As mentioned earlier, everyone can benefit from a vegan diet, including children. When you eat a vegan diet, your child learns about a whole new world full of nutritious, delicious, and natural foods. Children who grow up vegan have a significantly lower risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and even cancer.
Teens raised vegan have a healthier weight, fewer problems with acne, fewer allergies, and better gastrointestinal health than their meat-eating peers.