When I first became vegan I wasn’t sure what to eat and I was getting bored eating the same old things all the time so I decided to make up this beginner vegan guide with everything you need to know to transition to a vegan diet.
You can become vegan by completely cutting out all animal products at once or by transitioning to vegan slowly and starting to eliminate animal products one at a time.
I’ll tell you how to do both below so you can avoid all the frustration I went through in the beginning of my vegan lifestyle.
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Step By Step Guide To Become Vegan For Beginners
Get your mindset right.
If this is a choice you’re making to start eating a vegan diet, then mindset won’t be too difficult. Keep in mind the reasons why you want to be vegan. When I started a plant based diet it was because I wanted to see if it could help my health issues. Once I started eating vegan it became about so much more than that. My compassion for animals and our environment became a huge factor in why I continued on eating this way.
I recommend watching Forks Over Knives and What The Health on Netflix if you haven’t. Those will help you get your head in the game and FYI they don’t show a bunch of animal abuse in these two movies. I was nervous to watch because of that. I can’t handle seeing that kind of thing. They touch on the subject, but it’s super brief and they don’t try to scar you for life.
Fill your pantry and refrigerator with vegan foods.
You’re probably wondering exactly what can vegans eat. Here’s what a beginner vegan should eat.
Vegan Grocery List For Beginners:
- sweet potatoes
- coconut milk
- almond milk
- oat milk (my favorite!)
- pasta (check to be sure it doesn’t contain eggs)
- vegan cheese (my favorite is Daiya)
- meat replacements (Beyond Meat and Impossible burgers are so similar to the real thing you won’t know the difference)
- vegan butter (my favorite is Miyokos)
- most breads (check to make sure there are no dairy ingredients or eggs)
- organic white sugar (no bone char)
- vegetable broth
What can vegans not eat?
Foods that are not vegan:
- meat (beef, chicken, pork, etc.)
- white sugar (unless it’s organic)
- some food coloring
- some beer and wine
- egg noodles
- dairy cheese
- beef broth
- chicken broth
Be sure to check the ingredients on packaged items. A lot of these foods have sneaky items like milk or butter in them.
Is a vegan lifestyle healthy?
The thing to remember here is that vegan foods can also be junk food. Choosing whole, unprocessed foods is always best if you want to stay healthy.
Another thing to consider in the very beginning of becoming vegan is that eating a lot of fiber is going to cause you to be gassy and poop more. You may want to pay attention to how much fiber you’re eating in a day if you start to have these issues and ease into adding a little more at a time. It’s not a pretty topic but I wish someone had told me this when I was first starting.
Is being vegan expensive?
The cost of being vegan really depends on you and what you choose to eat. If you buy a lot of meat replacements, cheese replacements, etc. your cost will be a lot higher since these items tend to be pretty pricey. Stick to the whole foods and tofu if you want to keep your grocery bill lower.
I have a post with my favorite inexpensive vegan dinners that you’ll definitely want to check out!
Can you go vegan overnight?
You absolutely can go vegan overnight. It depends on whether you’re committed to becoming vegan and how your body reacts. I always try to listen to my body. If you’re craving meat in the beginning, it’s ok to listen to that and incorporate a little until your body adjusts. Take a good multivitamin to be sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need.
If you want a great program to get started on a vegan diet that will tell you exactly what to do, this A To Vegan Starter Kit is an excellent place to start.
Transitioning to a vegan diet
If you’re worried that you won’t be able to go without animal products every single day, you can transition into your vegan lifestyle. Try buying enough meat to make two dinner dishes for the week. This way if you feel you just can’t do it, you have a backup plan.
I was really skeptical when I started eating plant based. I didn’t think I was going to be able to go without meat. When I went grocery shopping for the week, I picked up a couple of packages of meat to make for dinner just in case I couldn’t hang with eating vegan all week and needed to transition into going vegan. I was so surprised when I didn’t have any desire to have meat at all that week and I’ve never eaten meat again since then.
It may not be that easy for everyone, so prepare by having some meat on hand. If you don’t end up eating it, you can give it to a family member or feed it to your dogs.
Vegan diet plan to lose belly fat
If you’re wanting to lose weight and belly fat on a vegan diet, I highly recommend this Live Lightly program by Nutriciously. It’s really simple to follow and how I started losing weight again after being stuck at a plateau after I fell into the vegan junk food trap. I’ve lost 32 pounds so far.
The biggest tip I can give you for losing weight on a vegan diet is to avoid eating a lot of processed foods and junk foods. It’s easy to fall into the trap of eating junk just because it’s vegan. Sticking to vegan whole foods is the best way to go.
How to successfully transition to a vegan diet
This is key to succeeding on a plant based diet! If you’re just eating bland food, it’s going to be so hard to stick to eating vegan. There are so many delicious recipes that are copies of your favorite foods, but without the animal products.
My sister gave us this Thug Life plant based recipe book for Christmas and the food is so delicious! I love their style too. It’s pretty hilarious if you aren’t easily offended.
Even if you aren’t experienced in cooking, try following some easy recipes. Honestly, if you can read, you can follow a recipe. There are some techniques that you may not understand at first, but a simple Google search will tell you what it means.
We all have to start somewhere with learning to cook.
What are the benefits of becoming vegan?
I think once you become vegan, you’re going to love it so much you’ll never want to go back to eating animal products. A few of the things I experienced within the first few weeks were more energy, I lost 16 pounds, and I felt more aligned with my values.
I love animals and always tried not to think about the fact that I was eating creatures that were so special to me. Becoming vegan has changed my life so much and I’m sure it’s going to do the same for you.
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