How to Become a Vegan
Vegetarianism has been part of human society for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
What steps can you do to make it a positive experience?
What steps can you do to make it a positive experience?
Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.
10 Steps to a Successful Vegan Diet
1. Read and Research
A good first step is to become informed. Learn as much as you can about vegetarian foods and the vegan diet. Research will help you become clear about your goals and about why you want to be vegan.
Use the following resources to learn more about veganism:
2. Change the “Diet” Mentality
Many people are familiar with some kind of diet to lose weight. It’s time to change your ideas of “diet.” Diets to lose weight don’t work because your body is denied the proper nutrients that it needs for health. A vegan “diet” is about eating the right foods in the right balance for optimal health. Vegans find that once they are following a vegan routine, they seem to lose weight, anyway.
Vegan foods typically are:
3. Keep Track of How You Feel
The best way to keep up motivation when changing a dietary lifestyle is to be aware of the changes your body makes—positive and negative.
4. Plan Ahead When Shopping
Think it through and make a list to bring with you to the market. Without a list we tend to buy the same foods over and over, by habit. With a list, you will be more successful at collecting the nutritious ingredients you need for a varied dietary menu.
Tips for successful shopping:
Choose foods in this order:
5. Change Your Diet—Gradually
It can be tough to totally change your foods all at once. And it’s more likely to lead to backtracking or cheating. Make your hardest changes gradually. In fact, you could start by having just one meatless day a week. Your goal is to make eating healthy vegan foods your habit. Gradual changes help make it a sustained, life-long habit. Eventually as your comfort level grows you can become totally meatless. Also, you can phase out junk foods one at a time by replacing each with a healthy vegan choice.
Make changes one at a time—examples:
6. Chicken-Out on Eggs
Vegans don’t eat animals or the products from animals. Eggs are a common every-day food—for breakfast, yes, but especially for cooking and baking. Luckily, vegans can find substitutes for eggs.
7. Stop Using Dairy Products
It’s so tempting there in the dairy case—milk, cream, butter, yogurt, and cheeses. Vegans can enjoy substitutes for all these things:
8. Stop Eating Meat
Most vegan-virgins think it is all about giving up meat. Going meat-free IS important, and it can be a difficult transition. To start, you might stick with some of your favorite recipes but just make them meatless. As you try to substitute for meat, be sure to replace meat with healthy vegan foods. Use your favorite seasonings to keep foods tasty. Meat substitutes might be soy proteins, chewy whole grains, or soy-based products. Look in the refrigerated cases of the natural food stores for ideas. Most important—get a vegetarian cookbook to find delicious and nutritious main course dishes.
9. The Joy of Soy
Add Tofu to Your Diet
Tofu is a soy-based product that actually comes in many forms. It can be firm and solid or it can be soft and creamy. Be sure to get the right quality for the recipe you are using. Tofu is NEVER served plain, by itself. It is marinated, seasoned, cooked into, and coated with yummy flavorings. Chunks can be baked, broiled, or dropped into pasta sauces like meatballs. The soft tofu can be whipped into creamy sauces or dressings.
Use Tempeh Instead of Meat
Tempeh is a fermented soy bean item. It is solid, firm, and sliceable. It tastes nothing like meat, but it does have a stiff chewy texture like some meats.
Ground Soy Protein
Think veggie burgers. Soy protein can be shaped to burgers and meatballs. Mix it up with seasonings for the best flavor.
10. Push Your Comfort Zone
Variety is the spice of life and the key to getting complete nutrition as a vegan. Explore the various vegetarian cookbooks and resources. You may be surprised at how many new foods you can find that are yummy. So change your mindset—don’t think of what you cannot eat (meat, fish, dairy) —think only of the hundreds of things you CAN eat. Try new things and if you don’t like them, try them one more time. As your horizons expand, your tastes evolve as well.
Many vegans feel that eating a solid plants-based diet changes their lives. They find a new energy with health and vitality. Also, they may choose veganism as a lifestyle that promotes a more humane and caring world. There’s no right or wrong way to go about it, but any plan works best when its goal is a balanced approach to life. Learn about vegetarianism, talk to other vegans, find out more about veganism.
Note: If you have particular health issues or feel concerned in any way, it’s advisable to see a health professional before beginning a vegan diet.
If you liked this Simple10s article, you might also enjoy reading 10 Simple Steps to Juice Cleanse and Fasting.
Read more articles about food and healthy eating at the Simple10s category Food for Life.
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