Quick Tips To Ease Your Transition From A Vegetarian To A Vegan Lifestyle
By Sofia Lockhart
The advantages of a vegan lifestyle are widely known. Many who opt for a diet free from animal products report feeling lighter and less bloated; they experience more restful sleep, higher energy levels and even better sex. With an entire industry geared towards vegan food — and several other industries focused on cruelty-free living — it is easier than ever to make the switch quickly and healthily. Even if you already follow a vegetarian diet, dropping the dairy — and honey, and many other things you may not even have considered — can still be a big challenge. Like other lifestyle changes, it is best to undertake it gradually and logically. If you’re committed to veganism and want to feel both the health and karmic benefits, here are some tips to ease your transition from a vegetarian diet to an entirely plant-based, cruelty-free lifestyle.
Ingredients And Recipes To Ease Into A Vegan Lifestyle
A great way to prepare yourself for the transition to a vegan diet is to plan some recipes. A positive mindset is crucial; rather than focusing on what you won’t be allowed to eat, ask yourself, what new flavors, textures and smells do I have to look forward to? Invest in some vegan literature — there are more vegan cookbooks and lifestyle than ever before, and many offer practical, healthy recipes for everyday use. Research some of the ingredients you’ll be using more often; once you have an idea of the kinds of foods you’ll be eating, go shopping and stock your cupboards with all of the vegan essentials — this will help you to be prepared for last minute meals and will reduce mid-week shopping trips. Being vegan opens up an entire world of culinary possibilities, so get excited!
Milk And Cheese
For many vegans, the most difficult thing to give up is dairy. Almost all new and transitioning vegans can agree that cheese, specifically, is the hardest thing to live without. Luckily, there are many dairy-free alternatives on the market, so before you make the big leap from vegetarianism to a vegan diet, be sure to figure out which options work for you. Milk is the easy part. With so many alternative plant-based options on the market, you’re sure to find one that fits. Almond milk is delicious, versatile and popular; soy, cashe, coconut, and hemp are a few of the other wonderful options. You won’t have to forgo cereal, smoothies or even pancakes. The vegan market now caters to cheese lovers more than ever; with vegan mozzarella, cheddar, American, and even cream cheese widely available. To prepare for your transition period, try swapping out cows milk and regular cheese with some of these alternatives.
Eggs And Butter
It might seem absurd to have eggless scrambled eggs or an eggless omelet, but it is possible, and it is delicious! Tofu is something you’re probably familiar with as a vegetarian, but you may be surprised to discover that it can be beaten and scrambled, with glorious results. It is also packed with protein, easily matching that of regular eggs. If tofu isn’t your thing, you can find flax eggs, or other vegan egg replacements in many grocery stores — some even come in an egg box for the full experience. Butter replacements have been around for a long time, vegetable shortening and margarines are nothing new, but the food industry has effectively mastered it now. The many options available taste exactly like dairy butter, just without the ethical dilemma. If you’re looking to avoid processed foods, try a light drizzle of olive oil over bread, and if you’re in the mood, try solidified coconut oil. Both are delicious and heart-healthy options.
Grow Your Own
If you have a garden, now is the ideal time to prepare it for growing fruit and vegetables. Nothing tastes better than produce you grow yourself, and spending time working in the yard is good for both the body and the mind. If you’ve never grown your own before it is worth doing some research, finding the best plants to sow by season, and for real beginners to find the crops that require the least work or expert attention, and still yield consistently. You’ll feel a real sense of accomplishment by putting food from your garden on the table, and vegetables will become the centerpiece rather than just a side.
Sometimes a shock to the system is what we need. We are all, to some extent, aware of the barbarity of the meat industry — but seeing it graphically, whilst pretty grim, can boost motivation. Many of my vegan friends turned away from animal products after watching the documentary ‘Earthlings’. It is an upsetting watch, but a powerful and important one. There are less heavy ways to motivate yourself of course, and The Vegan Society blog is full of videos that will inspire and uplift or simply give you a gooey feeling in your stomach. It is worth remembering why you are making this change, especially if you find the transition difficult.
When you choose a vegan lifestyle, you join an international community. Vegans generally love to share with one another, be it recipes or advice, or emotional support to those who may be struggling to adjust to the changes. Whatever your reasons for adopting a vegan lifestyle, follow these tips to make the transition easier and enjoy all the benefits it brings.
Sofia is a passionate writer from Sydney, Australia. She enjoys decorating houses and engaging in home renovation projects, which is why she loves sharing her experience and advice with other people through her writing. In addition, she loves technology and gadgets to help get through a busy workday.You can follow Sofia on Twitter