Although the total number of vegans in the world is still quite low (here stats by country), there is definitely an increase in people adopting this sort of diet due to its health, environmental and wildlife benefits.
Here are our top 7 tips to help you with the transition:
- Gather initial info
Research existing impacts on the environment and meat production practices, watch documentaries, read blogs, and articles to better understand the reasons people have for choosing this way of life. Learn about the benefits of vegan lifestyle not only for yourself but also for the environment and the wildlife.
2. Understand where you can get your nutrients from on a plant-based diet
Find out from what products you can get the necessary nutrients on a vegan diet such as protein that you can find in tofu, spinach, nuts & seeds, and many more. Start understanding more what ingredients go into your most purchased existing products. You might be surprised that some of your favourite products are already vegan (looking at you Oreos) and for the ones that you will have to ditch such as milk, cheese, start researching vegan alternatives.
Make sure you do proper research on how to ensure you have a healthy plant based diet and if you have any medical conditions that you are concern about have a chat with a doctor and a nutritionist.
3. Identify local vegan groceries stores and brands
Vegan brands are now often stocked in traditional supermarkets which makes it much more convenient to buy everything at once with your weekly shop. There are also a lot of vegan/ vegetarian specific stores that provide a wide-range of vegan products. These stores might come in handy especially in the beginning when you’re still getting familiar with different vegan brands as you can get to see which ones you enjoy the most.
4. Find local restaurants that offer great vegan options
If this is the first time trying to adopt a vegan diet, especially if you’re switching from a omnivore diet, in the first few days you might struggle coming up with ideas for meals, so trying out dishes from different cuisines can provide some good meal inspiration as well as comfort that vegan food actually tastes good!
5. Start collecting vegan recipes from cookbooks, blogs, social media
Certain cuisines like Indian, Israeli, Thai, Chinese, Ethiopian, Italian have a wide range of meat and diary free options, although you will find that pretty much all cuisines worldwide have some vegan options. Start collecting recipes from blogs, Instagram, cookbooks and start incorporating them into your existing diet. It can be useful to have a range of recipes, from quick meals that you can put together when you don’t feel like cooking, to big pots that you can then split into individual portions for freezing.
6. Take it gradually
Sometimes going first on vegetarian before vegan might be easier if you’re shifting straight from a omnivore diet. It is usually recommended to first add more plant-based options to your diet before starting to gradually remove meat & diary.
7. Keep the motivation up
Don’t beat yourself up if it’s taking you a while to fully switch to veganism, everyone has their different speed and don’t let yourself become overwhelmed by feeling that you need to label your diet. Some people choose to do a mix of vegetarian with vegan, or pescatarian with vegan to start with and then moving from there.
Finding a partner that is also looking to switch to vegan can also make the whole journey much easier and fun as you can encourage and support each other.