How to #GoVegan in 2019

Fall in Love With Live Food.

To go vegan means to eat only plants and plant-based foods - pretty self-explanatory right? But with almost every other food in the store having animal products in some form or the other can get your head spinning and give it all up.

For a new vegan adopting to this type of eating can appear demanding especially if you’ve been used to meat and animal products your entire lives. However, you can make veganism a lifetime choice with some research, myth-busting, and preparedness.

If you don’t seek out the right information it can be a tricky situation and chances are you might throw in the towel within weeks of starting. It’s true to anything new that you want to incorporate. So how do you get there? Here are a few “vegan how to start” guidelines for you.

What it means to you: If you know your reason, you will stick to veganism for life. Inquiring why you want to make the switch - is it for your health or the environment or compassion towards animals. Getting clear about your decision can help you know if you want to stay committed.

Start slow: Transition into a plant-based diet in smaller steps. Don’t go all at once, it can be hard on you. It can get too overwhelming and stressful to eliminate the majority of foods consumed in the Standard American Diet  (SAD). Start with what works easy for you, keep at it and then work your way from there.

Prepare for it: If you assume veganism is merely getting rid of meat and dairy from your diet and eat the rest. It is not that simple as it reads. Preparedness is the most fundamental thing you should be doing before you embark on a vegan lifestyle. The internet is a treasure trove of both good and bad resources. Research and subscribe to vegan blogs, recipes for inspiration. Follow them on your favorite social media platform.  Getting notified on your smartphone about vegan tips or a new recipe or information is motivating and very helpful. Here is a reliable resources that are the right places to get started:

Get educated: It is common to field questions such as “where do you get your protein?’’, “what about vitamin B12?” and so on. Read books on plant-based diet, get information from experts that write or talk about this subject to stay in the know. It helps you stay committed, feel right about your decision. Dr. Michael Greger, Dr. Campbell, Dr. Fuhrman, Dr. Barnard and many other experts talk about everything that new vegans need to know from health benefits to dietary mistakes that one can make on a vegan lifestyle.

Make a list: Make a list of foods that you can include in your complete plant-based vegan lifestyle. Embark on a self-inquiry journey of your taste preference and make room for specific indulgences, so you don’t feel deprived. For instance, earlier you may have satisfied your sweet tooth reaching for a bar of chocolate. But now, you’ve to be mindful while choosing a chocolate bar since most of them have milk or other animal fat. A good alternative is to scout for raw, vegan dark chocolates (super healthy & yum!) or ripe dates that are rich in fiber and also satisfies your sugar cravings. Be sure to include favorites such as comfort foods. Make a shopping list with such ingredients so you can prepare your own meals.

Cook ahead: Identify at least 7-days worth of meals for morning, lunch and dinner. Prepare them ahead or cook them in bulk before your work week begins. With a ready meal waiting you’ll be less tempted to break your plant-based food choices. Plus, it also saves time and money, and you’ll stick to your grocery list when you set foot at the store.

Inform family & friends: Informing your family and friends about your new vegan living makes things easier for all. One advantage is that you’ll stay motivated and won’t fall off your vegan now that you’ve declared it. Secondly, it gives a wiggle room when choosing restaurants and preparing family meals. Above all, it saves you from getting frustrated or misunderstood.

Your transition to veganism does not have to be rocky if you seek out the right resources. In this day and age, it is a lot easier for you to be a successful vegan 2019. Try to keep it simple and stick primarily to whole foods, fresh fruits and vegetables.  Let the journey begin and take it one day at a time!