Looking to transition to a plant-based diet? Whether you are doing so to lose weight, for animal welfare or for the environment, consider switching to a vegan diet as a process, best done in steps. Take a look at these insightful tips on how to go vegan.
What do vegans eat?
Simply put, vegans do not eat any animal products or byproducts. Dairy, eggs, fish, poultry and meat are all omitted from a plant-based diet, as are less obvious edibles such as honey, Jell-O and marshmallows.
So, what’s left for vegans to eat? Whole fruits and vegetables, grains and psuedo-grains (i.e. quinoa), legumes and beans, tubers, select breads, nuts, seeds, soy and tempeh, to list a few. It’s quite a diverse diet, especially when considering the countless vegan alternatives to classic meat-lovers favorites, such as veggie and soy burgers.
Tips for becoming vegan
If you’re used to consuming animal products with every meal, the first steps to transitioning to a plant-based diet are patience and preparation.
By suddenly restricting the body from its main source of protein, calcium and B vitamins, newly-turned vegans run the risk of nutritional deficiencies. Pay attention to your body and take the process of becoming vegan step by step—or meal by meal, to be more exact.
Begin by veganizing your breakfast. After a few days of going vegan solely during breakfast meals, begin to alter your lunch to become vegan-friendly as well. After a week or so has passed you can start subbing in a few plant-based dinners until you feel you can completely commit.
Research recipe ideas before starting a plant-based journey and stock up on basics. That way, when the cravings and feelings of irritability hit (and they will), you can whip up some almond butter or grilled tofu faster than you can say “Meat please!”
Inspiration for vegan meals
Take a look at these plant-based recipes, and a few others that can easily be converted into a vegan-friendly option:
- Mango Quinoa Salad
- Chocolate Avocado Banana Bread (use vegan-substitute for egg)
- Butternut Squash, Quinoa and Roasted Grape Salad (omit goat cheese and use veggie broth instead of chicken broth)
- Autumn Crunch Pasta Salad
Get the Mango Quinoa Salad recipe here.