Are you looking for tips for going vegan that are easy or for the vegan lifestyle benefits that you will get to enjoy?
In this article I will be sharing a few things that I wished I had known before going vegan so many years ago.
You can ask anyone who follows a vegan diet and they would easily be able to tell you what they wished they had done differently. We all have regrets and we all wish we had gone about a few things in a different way. That is just part of life and sharing those tips is what helps others to avoid those same regrets!
That is why I wanted to share this article with all of you soon to be vegans! Or even my fellow vegan veterans that might have a laugh over some relatable situations.
So, if you are interested in becoming vegan and want the down low on what to do and what to avoid doing. Then keep reading to find out!
My Best Tips for Going Vegan
I’m going to be honest, going vegan is hard. I said it! Going vegan is hard work, it is a huge lifestyle change from your diet to your wardrobe to your skincare!
Starting a vegan diet is no joke and I honestly struggled my first year learning the ins and outs of a vegan lifestyle.
The first year is often the hardest but I hope that articles like this one can make it a little less hard. Because it does get so much easier with time. I promise!
I have been vegan for almost a decade now and eating vegan has never felt more right or easier. I know exactly what I like and what I don’t like, and I never run out of meal ideas.
Going vegan is just one of those things that take time, patience, and trial and error.
Walk Before You Try to Run
This is a tip that I really wish I had taken when I first became vegan.
Unfortunately, I am the kind of person that jumps straight in without thinking much about my decision.
When you are deciding on starting a vegan diet try to take things as slow as possible. Try to go vegetarian before going vegan. Believe me, this will make all of the difference!
Take baby steps by slowly cutting out one animal product at a time. This will give you time to adjust to the empty spaces in your diet that now need to be filled with plant-based foods.
The slower you go and the more research that you do along the way will help to guarantee your success!
So many people give up on becoming vegan in less than a month purely because they jump in too fast. And end up feeling overwhelmed, hungry, and confused.
Take the Easy Route
I honestly am not a huge fan of most vegan products. Many are highly processed with all kinds of strange ingredients, binders, and preservatives. Not to mention palm oil.
But I do think that many vegan products can be very helpful in helping you to transition into a vegan diet.
Vegan snacks can help you to ween yourself off of dairy filled munchies. As well as vegan meats and dairy substitutes to help you adjust to making vegan meals for yourself.
One of my biggest tips for going vegan is to not try too hard when they are first starting. don’t try to climb the mountain before you’ve even finished the trail.
I jumped into veganism very intensely and tried to not only cut out all animal products but to start eating a clean diet as well. Which made the transition ten times harder for myself!
Don’t do what I did! Make going vegan as easy for yourself as you possibly can. Try to make it an enjoyable experience with as little stress as possible.
Your Taste Buds Will Adapt
Listen closely young vegans! I know that it might feel as though you will never stop craving pepperoni pizza and gooey mac and cheese. But believe me, your taste buds will change over time.
That first year might feel as though you are only ever craving what you can’t have. And to a certain extent that is the reality. But eventually you will find new flavors, new dishes, and new favorites.
If you are creative in the kitchen you will soon discover new ways of creating your favorite dishes so that they are vegan friendly.
With time your taste buds will learn to love your new vegan food and that is what you will start to crave.
One of my best tips for going vegan is to just try to experiment with vegan cooking. Get creative in the kitchen and find how to veganism your old favorites.
By doing this, you are encouraging your taste buds to adapt to these new flavors that much sooner.
Expect to Make Mistakes
When you are just starting out on your vegan diet remember that mistakes are bound to happen no matter how hard you try to prevent them.
There is going to be animal products in food that you never would have imagined, and you are going to accidentally eat that food. Maybe even a few times before realizing!
Mistakes are bound to happen so prepare to be shocked and just a little disappointed at times. Try to avoid perfectionism like the plague and give yourself some slack. Veganism is a huge learning curve and one that will probably surprise you!
Even people who have been vegan for years make similar mistakes, including myself!
Learn to Cook
One of the biggest things that is going to help you transition to an animal product free diet is to learn the basics of cooking.
If you are like me you might be starting at level 0, a.k.a. the most beginner level of cooking.
When I went vegan I had no idea how to cook and had to simply learn by doing and eventually I got better and better at it. I didn’t even know how to make a simple serving of pasta or how long to cook the pasta! I was completely clueless when I went fully vegan.
Now I can cook just about anything with ease and I love cooking! I probably would have never realized just how nice cooking was if I had never gone vegan.
If you can learn how to cook well, going vegan will be so much easier and more enjoyable! Plus, it is necessary as you will now be making most of your own food.
Vegan foods and restaurants are all well and good within reason but eventually you will want to be able to create satisfying vegan food for yourself. Since home cooked vegan food is really the only realistic, long term option.
This is one of the tips for going vegan that I truly wish I had been prepared for. Because at the time I had no reason to expect backlash.
I quickly learned that my family and friends were not nearly as excited about my dietary change as I was. And it was a big surprise.
What I expected was support, what I got was criticism and irritation. Which is surprisingly the most common response for most vegans.
There is something about a vegan diet that gets under people’s skin and makes them less than friendly about the topic. It isn’t something that I understand, now or then. I still struggle to understand why people care so much about how others choose to eat or live their lives.
Despite how unfair and ridiculous it is you will still need to expect some amount of backlash. Because you will get it from someone at some point. Even if you never talk about being vegan, there will one at least one person who just can’t let it go.
For the most part I kept my vegan lifestyle a secret just because it was easier. But soon realized that people loved to tel other people about it. It is just one of those things that you will have to deal with at some point. So, don’t let it get under your skin, just do your own thing!
Just prepare yourself for some snarky remarks or dietary advice and kindly brush it off. The people who really care will not make you feel bad about it even if they don’t understand it.
Find Vegan Resources
One of the best vegan lifestyle benefits to going vegan now is that there are so many resources available.
20 years ago, people were on their own when it came to going vegan and had a much harder time of it.
Now you can find all kinds of information online about what a vegan diet is and tips on going vegan for yourself! There are lists of vegan foods that you can buy, articles on what foods aren’t vegan, etc. You have plenty of information to tap into now.
Take full advantage of these valuable resources! Don’t let them go to waste because they might be able to help you become vegan. Making the process of transitioning in diet and lifestyle so much easier and less stressful.
Pinterest is a wonderful place to find vegan recipes, articles, and tips. All to help you smoothly transition into a vegan lifestyle and diet in a way that is much more enjoyable than many would suspect.
You could also invest in some well-researched books on veganism such as this The Vegan Starter Kit by Neal D Barnard!
Many Vegan Meats Will Taste Like Dog Food
This is a moment for true honest so brace yourselves. Most vegan meats are going to taste like dog food. There, I said it.
Some might disagree with me but when I first went vegan any vegan meat substitute that I tried tasted startlingly similar to how dog food smells. You know what I mean!
I quickly learned which brands to avoid and which were actually pretty decent. I think that brans have started to make better tasting meat substitutes as I usually have better luck.
But I also think I had to just get used to the taste of vegan meat and find what flavors I found to taste good.
Veggie patties are a great option as they are not usually made to replicate meat in flavor.
Just be prepared when you try your first vegan meat because there is a 50/50 chance that it might taste like dog food. To avoid this unpleasant first experience, try to buy a good brand of vegan meat. One that has raving reviews and will stand the best chance at actually tasting good.
Try Nutritional Yeast
This might seem like a strange thing to have on a list of tips for going vegan but here it is. Try nutritional yeast, just do it!
Don’t wait for a few years like I did to try out this amazing vegan cheese substitute. Try it out right away once you begin to eat a vegan diet.
This stuff is like gold flakes in the work of vegan food. Not only because it is actually very nutritious but because it tastes so similarly to cheese.
This is a great food to help ease those cheesy cravings that you might have. It makes a perfect addition to vegan mac and cheese or sprinkled over everything like parmesan cheese.
I never even ate much cheese before I went vegan, but once I made the switch I started to miss it because I had so few options. But once I had nutritional yeast I never looked back! It was the perfect substitute in so many different ways and was so versatile.
Trust me, grab some nutritional yeast as soon as you can! These nutritional yeast flakes are he only ones that I buy, and I cant recommend them enough!
Don’t Try to Guilt Trip Others
This is a bit of an embarrassing tip to share because I still feel a bit guilty over it even after all of this time.
When I first went vegan I had one encounter with someone where I turned the conversation towards making her feel guilty over her food choices.
It was generally out of character for me to do and I immediately felt guilty once I saw her expression of irritation and resentment.
But it was a good lesson in how honey will attract more bees then vinegar ever will.
When you become vegan it can be tempting to try to convert your friends and family members to a vegan diet as well. It is a natural desire because you care about their health and about the animals that are suffering.
Your heart is most likely in the right place, but no one likes to be made to feel ashamed of anything, let alone their diet.
Instead of trying to guilt trip others into veganism, simply lead by example and avoid any judgmental behavior.
Judgmental vegans are the reason why most people resent a vegan diet, so don’t enable that label any further by behaving obnoxiously.
Respect the decisions of others and they will respect your decisions as well.
Conclusion of Tips for Going Vegan
I hope that this article on the vegan lifestyle benefits and tips on going vegan has helped you out in some way.
And I hope that by sharing my mistakes with you it can help you to avoid them in your own vegan journey. Because mistakes are bound to happen, they cant be avoided. So, we might as well all embrace those little hiccups and use them to help others on their journey.
There are plenty more things that I wish I had known before going vegan because veganism is a big change and many of us jump in completely unprepared. Which is exactly what I did.
But once you get the hang of it and have a year or two under your belt, you will feel much more confident! Because being vegan really isn’t all that hard once you get used to it. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it can be pretty easy if done right!
Let me know in the comments what your biggest regret is as a vegan. Or if any of these surprised you as a newbie!