How to Start Eating Vegan

7 tips for starting a vegan diet

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In recent decades, there has been a lot of controversy over the health concerns of both vegan and non-vegan diets.  Many vegan advocates will argue that meat and dairy are leading to obesity and disease, whereas others will argue that vegan diets lack sufficient nutrients.  Ultimately, either diet can be healthy if you make informed decisions and ensure that you are getting the proper amount of nutrients.  Whether you choose to avoid animal products or not, you can still be healthy.  If you are interested in pursuing a vegan or vegetarian diet, then check out these useful tips to help you get started.  Are you  an avid animal lover or simply seeking a change of pace?  Here are several things to keep in mind when trying to implement a vegan or vegetarian diet.

1)  Mentality

Establish goals for your new diet.  Are you just trying to eat more fruits and vegetables?  Trying to lose weight?  Focus on where you want to be and how you want to feel, rather than what you can or cannot eat.  Many people are afraid to sacrifice their favorite dishes, but it is important to consider your goals.  If giving up a preferred dish or finding a substitute will improve your health or help you stick to your new diet, then it is worth the effort in the long run.

2)  Research

Look up new recipes, healthy practices, and success stories so that you can fully understand what your vegan or vegetarian diet will actually entail.  This will not only provide you with interesting ideas and options for meals, but it will also keep you motivated and help you stick to your diet plan.

3)  Try veggie-based alternatives

If the thought of giving up hotdogs and burgers is too much, consider trying vegetable-based alternatives like black bean burgers or veggie dogs.  There are countless recipes and substitutes available for people who are trying to follow a vegan or vegetarian diet.  Although there are tons of resources you can reference, here are a couple websites that can help you start your search:

https://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes/diets/vegan

http://allrecipes.com/recipes/1227/everyday-cooking/vegan/

4)  Budget

Purchasing fruits and vegetables is actually not that expensive, particularly when you buy them in bulk.  This will save you some trips to the store and keep your fridge stocked with some healthy vegan snack choices.  Many fruits and vegetables can spoil quickly, so just be sure to eat them before they spoil.  Pre-made vegan and vegetarian dishes can be pricy, on the other hand, so consider buying your own ingredients and preparing meals yourself.  While it may be more time-consuming, taking the extra effort will ensure that you know exactly what is going into your meal.

5)  Try new things

There are a litany of vegan and vegetarian recipes available online.  You do not always have to give up eating your favorite foods just because you are changing your diet.  Many vegan recipes feature dishes from around the world (plenty of Mexican, European, and Asian dishes for example).

Get a vegan cookbook on Amazon for less that $9.00

6)  Find a support group

First, consult your friends and family to see if they would be open to helping you eat vegan.  Perhaps, they would even join you in pursuing a vegan or vegetarian diet.  This is beneficial as you can work together to find recipes and stay committed.  Many online communities are available as well that can offer valuable help and suggestions.  Here are some online vegan support groups if you are interested:

https://vegan.supportgroups.com

https://www.vegansociety.com

7)  Don’t beat yourself up

It is okay if you accidentally consume meat or dairy on occasion.  Following a new diet is huge lifestyle change, so don’t punish yourself for making a mistake.  It can be difficult, especially at the beginning, to avoid animal-based food products.  The longer you reinforce your new dietary habits, however, the easier it will become to stick to them.

 

What are your dietary preferences? Are you considering or have you ever tried eating a vegan or vegetarian diet? Let us know about your experiences.

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