Time to Read: 9 minutes
Being vegan used to be a rarity. This couldn’t be farther from the truth now, seeing as 6% of Americans follow a vegan diet, which is a huge 500% increase from only 1% in 2014.
The vegan market is booming, with most companies and restaurants developing and coming out with vegan products. If you’ve been thinking of becoming vegan, now is definitely a good time to do so.
But where should you start? We are going to take you through 12 tips for becoming vegan to help you on your journey to a cruelty-free life.
1. Do Your Research
Veganism is booming worldwide, which means there are plenty of resources to help you as you transition to a vegan lifestyle. Before you go vegan, it’s important to have all of the information you can.
Start by checking out some books on veganism from the library. There are hundreds of titles that will teach you every aspect of veganism.
Researching the many benefits and different aspects of veganism along with tips for becoming vegan will do a couple of things for you. First of all, it will help you be informed on what you’re getting yourself into.
But, perhaps more importantly, it will also help you stay dedicated to the cause. Once you read about how going vegan will help reduce your carbon footprint, help save hundreds of animal lives, and help you be healthier, it will be a lot easier to stay dedicated to the lifestyle.
If you don’t want to read physical books, just do a quick Google search on veganism and you’ll get thousands of results. There’s also great documentaries out there, some of the best ones include Cowspiracy, Forks Over Knives, and Vegucated.
2. Transition Slowly
After you’ve done your research, you might feel like you have to cut everything out cold turkey (no pun intended). How can you keep eating meat, dairy, and eggs knowing how it hurts the environment and is hurting animals?
Some people are able to cut everything out right away, but many people find this too difficult. Our advice is to take a deep breath and allow yourself to transition to veganism slowly.
One week you can cut out all red meat. The next week, cut out other meat like pork, chicken, etc. Next, cut out fish. Then eggs. Then dairy products. Allowing yourself this type of transition will make it more likely for you to be able to stick with the new diet.
Many people also experience withdrawal-like cravings for animal products. By cutting them out one by one, you’ll reduce cravings that could cause you to abandon this new lifestyle.
3. Keep It To Yourself (At First)
This might be one of the most underrated tips for becoming vegan out there. Even with veganism becoming more popular, some people are just not accepting of the lifestyle.
The last thing you need while you make the change to veganism is for people around you to be making jokes at your expense or overly scrutinizing and questioning your every move.
By keeping it to yourself in these beginning stages, you’ll be able to focus on yourself instead of on the scrutiny you might face from others.
Another reason to keep it to yourself is just in case you have an animal product relapse or you make a mistake and eat something with animal products in it. Chances are you’ll already feel bad; there’s no need for others to point it out to you and make you feel worse.
4. Connect With Other Vegans
If you don’t know any other vegans, you might feel somewhat lonely or isolated. Finding vegans in your area or joining a vegan support group will give you a great community.
Befriending other vegans will give you people to ask questions to, to cook vegan meals with, to give you some tips for becoming vegan, and to give you support if you feel like you’re struggling.
5. Try Some Meat and Dairy Substitutes
Thanks to the huge increase in vegans and even more nonvegans who sometimes eat vegan meals, there’s a huge amount of vegan substitutes and products out there.
This is one of the best tips for becoming vegan as you transition from eating animal products to cutting them out. There’s every type of vegan meat you can think of along with non-dairy milk, vegan cheese, vegan yogurt, and even vegan eggs.
This also means you don’t have to give up your favorite foods. Love ice cream? There are so many delicious vegan ice creams out there for you! Mac and cheese? You got it with a number of different vegan cheeses. Love burgers? There are veggie burgers galore, even one that bleeds like real meat.
6. Veganize Your Favorite Meals
Some people mistakenly think becoming vegan means you have to give up everything that tastes good and only eat salad or bland lentils. This, as you could probably guess, is definitely not true.
With all of the vegan substitutes out there, it’s easy to make your favorite meals into vegan versions. Instead of ground beef, you could use a fake meat or even some beans. Scrambled eggs can be mimicked with a tofu scramble.
You can’t forget about dessert: there are so many vegan dessert recipes out there including classic cookie recipes, pies, and cakes. You don’t have to deprive yourself of your favorite foods; you just have to adjust them a little!
7. Learn Some New Recipes
Along with your newly veganized favorite meals, you should learn some new vegan recipes. This can be exciting: you can try out some different foods and flavors and find out what you really like.
Nailing down some vegan recipes you like will give you some easy, staple meals to turn to. A lot of people think that vegan food is super complicated to make, but that’s not true. There are plenty of quick and easy recipes for a busy weeknight just like there are some fancier recipes that you could make for a dinner party.
Experimenting with new recipes, foods, herbs, and spices will make this transition much more fun and exciting.
And if you don’t have the time to learn new recipes on your own, don’t fret! You can sign up for our vegan meal plan service that will directly outline shopping lists and recipes for you to try. This will make things super easy for you, especially as a new vegan.
8. Eat a Diverse Diet
This is one of the most important tips for becoming vegan because it affects your health. Many new vegans get stuck in this kind of rut, using bread, pasta, and rice as the bulk of their diet.
Not only is that not great for your taste buds, but it also isn’t very healthy. You want to focus on eating a large variety of vegan foods so you’ll be sure to get all of the vitamins and nutrients you need.
This includes protein sources (tofu, beans, nuts and seeds, etc), different vegetables (potatoes, broccoli, lettuce, cauliflower, carrots, kale, asparagus, etc), fruits (bananas, berries, apples, oranges, mangos, etc), healthy fats (avocados, nut butter, flax seed, etc) along with other carb sources (rice, pasta, bread, etc).
By keeping up a diverse diet of different types of vegan food, you’ll ensure that your taste buds and your body are happy and healthy.
9. Experiment With Different Cuisines
Experimenting with new foods is one of the most exciting things about becoming vegan. Different cuisines from around the world are very vegan-friendly including many types of Asian cuisine like Indian food and Chinese food.
Ethiopian food is also known for being vegan-friendly and delicious. You can also go for Mexican food like veggie fajitas or burritos.
10. Find New Things to Satisfy Your Cravings
Now that you’re vegan, you can’t get your late night chocolate craving from a Hershey bar, and you can’t satisfy that french fry craving with McDonald’s (yep, their fries are not vegan).
It’s a good thing then that there are other options for satisfying those cravings you get. Reach for a vegan-friendly chocolate bar or make yourself some oil-free fries.
Getting a craving for something sweet? Keep a stash of fruit handy. Something salty? Go for some kale chips or some popcorn. There’s always a healthy vegan option to satisfy your cravings.
11. Look Up Menus Before You Go Out to Eat
Nothing is worse than going out to eat and realizing the only thing you can get is a side salad and fries.
Before you go to a restaurant, be sure to look up the menu. This way you’ll know if you can get a decent meal there, or if you should go somewhere else.
With more and more restaurants offering vegan meals, it shouldn’t be too hard to find somewhere that can accommodate you. Many places are willing to work with you to make something you can have, so don’t be afraid to call them or talk to the wait staff.
12. Focus On Eating Enough Calories
Of all of these tips for becoming vegan, you might be surprised there isn’t one dedicated to how to get protein.
But while most people worry about getting enough protein on a vegan diet, that’s not what you should be worrying about. If you are eating your daily calorie requirement, then you are almost definitely getting enough protein.
But because many vegan foods are lower in calories, it can be hard for some people to eat enough during the day. Make sure you are eating enough per day along with some higher calorie foods.
13. Bonus Tip; Use Our Vegan Meal Planning App
If you’re busy and don’t want to worry about the above then sign up to our vegan meal plan app. We’ll send you a meal plan and shopping list every week, customized for your weight goal. This way you won’t need to worry about nutrition, total calories, or finding new recipes.
These Tips for Becoming Vegan Will Help You
Becoming vegan can seem overwhelming, but it is also exciting. You get to help the world, the animals, and your health all at once.
Hopefully, these tips for becoming vegan will help you as you transition to this amazing lifestyle. If you have any other questions or want more tips for becoming vegan, check out our blog.