By Nikhil Bendre
Lifestyle changes seem scarier until you try them. Turning vegan is one lifestyle choice you may want to transition to. Eliminating animal products, including eggs and dairy, from your diet and consuming more vegetables sounds inspiring. You will be surprised by the number of options available for Vegans. Some things that you already like are vegan, and there are various international dishes that you can try.
Build an Informed Pantry
The key to adopting veganism successfully can be embracing one change at a time and at your own pace. Here are some tips and suggestions that can help you go vegan.
Your pantry will play a crucial role when you choose a plant-based lifestyle. Before you eliminate it from your diet, adding things you can consume is a good idea. Stocking up on the ingredients and nutrients from all the macronutrient categories is essential. Incorporate whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and tofu into your meals. Get your daily dose of healthy fats by opting for nuts like almonds and walnuts, olive oil, avocados, etc. Try beans and legumes, tempeh, seitan, etc., for your fill of proteins.
Read about preparing, storing, and using plant-based alternatives. Experiment with recipes and make a menu plan by collecting the ones that look appealing. Familiarize yourself with a few varieties of quick and easy vegan meals and enjoy them while preparing them. Switch to almond or soy milk to substitute cow's milk. Find the alternatives that suit you best and build your pantry accordingly.
Don't Listen to the Noise
While information is available freely, there are a lot of unsolicited opinions that you may come across in today's world of social media. People may preach about the advantages and drawbacks of a vegan lifestyle. However, once you decide, your mind should not waver. Be sure about your "why" and understand your rationale behind turning vegan. It can be for your health, ethics, or any other reason. Your perspective should be the only thing that drives your decision.
Research and Learn
There is a lot of information available about adopting a vegan lifestyle. You must invest time and resources to research and learn about your options. Gather information about optimal nourishment through a plant-based lifestyle. The transition will not be easy if you fancy dairy, cheese, chocolate, and meat. Rely on finding and making alternatives for your favourite foods, so you do not crave them. Your taste buds will be challenged when you adopt a plant-based lifestyle. Welcome the changes and learn at every opportunity. Train your mind to accept the alternatives and relish the choices.
Understanding the benefits of a vegan lifestyle will be helpful. Educate yourself about the costs and practices involved in the processing of animal products. Determine your reasons for turning vegan. Make it a habit to scrutinize the list of ingredients. This will help you figure out if the product is vegan. Acquaint yourself with the lesser-known ingredients that may be animal-derived in unsuspecting products. Scan for vegan products at your grocery store and explore vegan-friendly restaurants around you.
There is a multitude of options available to gain knowledge. These sources can offer valuable insights and lend support during your transition. You will likely feel more confident about your choices when reinforced. You can watch YouTube videos, read blogs, and connect with the community to learn how to make your vegan cheese, plant milk benefits, and even mock meat's drawbacks!
Take Small Steps
Once you know your goal, you can go at your own pace. Everyone has a different methodology when it comes to adapting to change. For some, it is easier to make the transition overnight, and others may take more time to accommodate. If drastic lifestyle changes are generally challenging for you, approaching veganism by taking small steps and setting achievable smaller goals will help you propel towards your main goal.
For example, if you eat meat twice or thrice a week, switch to eating it once a week. You can also change one meal at a time. A vegan breakfast in the first week, a vegan lunch the next week, and so on. Before you eliminate dairy from your beverages like tea and coffee, experiment with plant milk. Stock your fridge with the right alternatives. Plant-based alternatives can be found for most food items. You do not have to sacrifice your favourite things. Adapt yourself to the limited menu options available while eating out at restaurants.
Be an Active Part of the Vegan Community
The Vegan movement is quickly multiplying across the globe. Remember, several communities around you can support and help you during your transition. Connect with the community if you have questions, difficulties, or problems. Communication can solve doubts and help in identifying solutions. Talking to others who have successfully transitioned to the vegan lifestyle can be extremely supportive. Gather your daily dose of inspiration by browsing websites with information that can help you navigate.
Don't Give Up
A change can be overwhelming but believe in yourself as you leap. Stick to your decision to turn vegan and remind yourself of your reasons. When in doubt, reach out to the Vegan community. Take one day at a time and be satisfied with your choice. Be sure to enjoy the new lifestyle and have fun experimenting with alternatives. Every change has a learning curve, and every little victory counts! (SJ/IANS)