Becoming vegan is a lot easier than most people think. You just have to know the foods that vegans can and can’t eat and how to incorporate veganism into your lifestyle. In this step by step guide to become vegan, I’ll show you what foods to eat and avoid, and how to transition into being a vegan as well as how to make it a healthy lifestyle where you can lose weight (if you want to) and how to save money on your grocery bill with a plant based diet.
What does it mean to be vegan?
Being vegan is actually a simple concept. Vegans don’t eat or use anything that is made from animal products.
The definition is simple, but animal products can be hidden in things you never would imagine. You have to check the labels on everything to be sure it doesn’t contain anything you want to avoid.
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Step By Step Guide To Become Vegan
Get your mindset right.
If this is a choice you’re making to start eating a plant based 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.
What can vegans eat?
Foods that are vegan:
Rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, vegetables, fruits, nuts, quinoa, beans, lentils, coconut milk, tofu, pasta (check to be sure it doesn’t contain eggs),vegan cheese (my favorite is Violife), meat replacements (Beyond Meat burgers are so similar to the real thing you won’t know the difference), vegan butter (my favorite is Miyokos).
What can vegans not eat?
Foods that are not vegan:
meat, milk, butter, honey, white sugar (unless it’s organic), some food coloring, eggs, gelatin, some beer and wine, whey
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.
Can you become vegan overnight?
You absolutely can. 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.
How to transition into 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 it. 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. 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.
How can vegans lose weight?
If you’re wanting to lose weight on a vegan diet, I highly recommend this book that takes a starch based approach to plant based weight loss. It’s really simple to follow and how I lost 16 pounds in the first few weeks. Basically avoiding junk food and extra fat are the keys to how vegans can lose weight.
Find delicious vegan recipes to make.
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 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 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.
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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