How to Manage A Transition to a Vegan Lifestyle by Jane Sandwood from Lifestyle Hitlist
Many people say, “I’d go vegan, except……” but nowadays, it’s easier than ever to transition to a plant-based diet, especially in Yorkshire with all the local organic products, and exciting vegan events. There are lots of misconceptions about what it means to be vegan, and every person has their own interpretation of what it means to not consume animal products. Even up North, in what many consider the land of the sausage roll, there’s a vegan version of every indulgence and staple food your heart could desire. From pastries and snacks to shoes and handbags, you can find a cruelty-free option for anything you could want to buy. With a little willpower and a lot of enthusiasm, making the switch to a vegan diet can be easy, cost-effective, and delicious. There are inspiring festivals, helpful support groups, diverse online resources, and many other aspects of the vegan community to support you through the transition.
Make Habits Stick
We’ve all started a diet and stuck to it for a few days before falling off the wagon. Making a gradual transition into a new eating pattern can help you adjust more thoroughly, and avoid feeling deprived while you make the switch. Start by having a meatless Monday, then try vegan weekends when you’ll have the time to cook and pay more attention to your food. Then, alternate days without animal products, before trying to pick the vegan option every time you’re out. Give yourself some leeway, as it’s better to make a smooth switch if you want to stick with a habit.
It’s particularly important that you don’t feel deprived, especially for your health in the first few months of a plant based diet. Make sure you pay close attention to the vitamins you might be missing out on when you cut out meat. Cravings are clues that your body is missing certain nutrients, so find a vegan supplement blend, or pick up some iron and vitamin B12 to keep you from becoming exhausted or anemic.
Vegan food is often healthier than food with animal products, but crisps, soda and Oreos are all free of animal products, and still high in fat, sugar, and saturates. While it’s important to enjoy yourself, make sure you’re not only picking foods based on being vegan. Lead with your health, then pick the vegan choice from the healthy options, and treat yourself just often enough to stay happy and healthy! It’s vital to maintain a balance between all the healthy elements of your lifestyle.
Go Out to Eat
Eating at restaurants and parties can be stressful when you’re adjusting to a vegan diet, and if you’re treating yourself to a meal out, you don’t want to get stuck eating a side salad and chips over and over again because there’s no other option. Most restaurants these days post their menus online, so make sure you check online to find an option you can have. Indian and Asian restaurants are notoriously easy to find meat-free options in, so if you’re ever worried about a lack of choice, lean on the types of food you can expect to be tasty and plant-based.
Talk to Family and Friends
It can be tricky to justify yourself without sounding snooty or superior at first. After a few times explaining that you’re trying not to eat animal products because you don’t want to contribute to animal cruelty, you’ll hit on the right combination of words that feels natural but still effective. People will joke, and if you can joke back, they’ll be much less likely to write you off as a nutter who just wants to hug trees and make others feel bad. You can always bring a friend or family member along to a vegan event to surprise them with the variety of fun and tasty products they can try.
There’s a whole world of vegan food and culture in the UK, and around the world, full of amazing food, people, and resources. Make sure you’re taking time to connect with others and enjoy the new lifestyle you’re adopting. Not only will it help keep you committed and supported throughout the transition, but you’ll make new friends, improve your health, and make the world a cleaner, kinder place.