Getting Started Vegan

By on September 11, 2014
Getting Started Vegan

Veganism has become popular with celebrities, which means that it is drawing a lot interest from everyone else as well. Veganism can provide you with a much healthier way to eat while also offering a broader array of food choices than you might expect. You will find that there are vegan substitutes for all of your favorite foods so that you will not feel deprived when you leave your old diet behind. It is important to keep in mind that everyone’s journey is different; some people may be able to switch to veganism immediately while others will require a more gradual change. It is not easy to change a lifetime’s worth of eating habits overnight.

Getting Started with Veganism

For many people, making small changes to their daily diet is what works best. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, such as by:

• Eating vegan for one meal of the day for a couple of weeks, then increasing to two meals per day.

• Eating vegan on one day of the week then adding another day and so on.

• Replacing individual ingredients with vegan alternatives; for example, substitute almond or coconut milk for cow’s milk. Over time, you can experiment with other vegan alternatives and use them to replace foods in your diet. These days, there are lots of alternatives for those interested in veganism.

Get the Nutrients You Need

One of the things to watch out for is the nutritional value you are getting from your food. Just because a diet is vegan, this does not mean that it is necessarily healthy. You will want to make sure that your body gets everything it needs so that your transition to veganism can be problem-free. For example, you will need B12 supplements since B12 is only found in foods from animals. Your body needs B12 to maintain healthy nerve and blood cells. Being deficient in B12 can result in symptoms like lethargy, depression and nerve issues.

Using Substitutes

The vast majority of traditional recipes may seem to be set in stone but they are not. They can be altered with a little imagination on the part of the cook. In many cases, ingredients can be ignored; in others, it is possible to find vegan substitutes that work just as well. For example, substitutes for cow’s milk are readily available; consider almond, soy or rice milk in recipes that call for cow’s milk. Tofu scramble can be used in place of eggs and vegetable broth in place of chicken or beef stock. If you are looking for the mouth-feel and taste of meat, you have options there as well. Textured vegetable protein is available in numerous forms. There are meat substitutes that taste like everything from chicken nuggets to beef jerky.

Keeping the Cost Down

One common complaint from non-vegans is that the diet is expensive. Does it have to be? Not necessarily. Any diet can become expensive if poor choices are made. Certainly, veganism will be beyond most budgets if a vegan decides to eat only fruits and vegetables that are out of season or if they decide to eat out a lot; however, they can definitely make choices that keep the costs down. For example, they can choose to prepare vegan meals from scratch instead of prepared foods or dining in a restaurant. They can also invest in some equipment to make cooking easier and faster. A good slow cooker and a food processor can go a long way towards making vegan cooking simple and less time-consuming. Opting for meals that do not require a lot of constant attention and cooking foods in greater quantities can help to keep down the cost and time involved.

Going vegan is still a bizarre concept to many people. While they may have heard of veganism and have a vague idea of what it is, they may still find it odd. In some cases, they will even find it offensive and respond by criticizing or ridiculing your choices. They may do this because they feel that veganism challenges their eating habits or because they have known preachy vegans. The key to overcoming any prejudice you face is simply to be prepared. If you are ridiculed or criticized for your choices, be ready to answer the most common arguments and to explain that you chose to go vegan because it benefits you.

Changing to a vegan lifestyle is a wonderful experience. If you have tried and are struggling, please let us know maybe we can get you the support you need.

About Dean Iodice

One Comment

  1. Madeline Ellis-Coutney

    October 10, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    I’m having trouble going vegan. I went Lacto-ovo Vegetarian from 01/01/97. It was a New Years resolution that I have kept! I eat eggs once in a while-rare occurrence! I’m having trouble getting of milk and cheese! I need a substitute that actually taste like milk-all I have tried don’t! I feel bad that I’m having trouble getting off milk! Please help me with any suggestions that you may have.