Coming to the end of my diet, I decided to post a few tips and tricks on going vegan.
If you're going vegan for good or just for a short cleanse, these are some tips you'll definitely want to read.
- Set a date – This allows you to mentally prepare for your new diet, as well as clear out your fridge without having to throw anything away.
- Purge your kitchen of non-vegan items – Eliminate the temptation to snack on ‘forbidden foods’ during those moments of weakness.
- Do your nutrition research – Make sure you understand what your body needs and how to get it on a vegan diet.
- Check with a health professional – As with starting any new diet, make sure that there are no special nutritional concerns you need to be aware of.
- Make a meal plan – Collect recipes from cookbooks, the internet, and friends, and make a meal plan for your first week. The more thoroughly you plan your meals, the less you’ll be struggling to find something to eat. Don’t forget about snacks!
- Buy quality ingredients – Fresh, organic produce, good quality beans and legumes, and rich spices. Good ingredients make a huge difference in your recipes.
- Buy a few pre-prepared vegan items – Have some quick-fix snack on hand such as granola bars, breakfast patties, and other things you can prepare quickly or eat on the go. Just remember not to rely on these pre-prepared foods too heavily.
- Buy in bulk – not only is buying bulk cheaper, but it allows you to buy a small amount so you don’t waste money on something you don’t like if you’re trying something new.
- Don’t expect vegan items to taste like their non-vegan counterparts! I learned this with my quiche. You may want your vegan mac and cheese to taste like Kraft, but chances are, it won’t.
- Find local vegan/vegetarian restaurants – Eating vegan at a regular restaurant can be kind of boring (salad, anyone?) and a serious test of your resolve. Vegan restaurants are popping up everywhere and offer delicious meals even a carnivore will love.
- Choose cuisines that naturally have vegan options – Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Nepali, and Mexican (minus the cheese) are all cuisines that are largely vegan-friendly.
- Visit your local restaurants' websites – This allows you to see their menu (if it is posted online) and determine in advance what you can eat. It may also be helpful to email the restaurant to get an ingredient list, which may be more reliable than asking your server.
- Transition time – Going vegan is a huge change, and its not always a breeze to do overnight. You must change not only your eating habits, but shopping and cooking habits as well. If you need it, try a transition period in which you test out vegan recipes a night or two a week. This can also help to avoid “vegan burnout,” something I began to experience around 2 ½ weeks of my vegan diet.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself – There’s no doubt about it – it’s hard to go vegan. If you slip up and have a french fry fried in animal fat, don’t beat yourself up.
A few of the things on the list are from a great post over at veganbits.com on Strategies for New Vegans and a few of them are my own. I hope they help!
This is an AWESOME vegan cookbook - I highly recommend checking it out!