You may have heard about veganism and its numerous benefits and been curious enough to give it a try, but before you do, be sure that you’re prepared. Read our Top 10 vegan tips to get you started on the path of a healthy vegan lifestyle.
- Understand the basics of veganism
Do your homework before you go vegan. This will help you know the basics of plant-based nutrition better. Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina’s Becoming Vegan, or Ginny Messina and Jack Norris’ Vegan For Life are all useful vegan resources. Read them and stockpile all the priceless vegan tips found within.
2. Make the transition slow
It is advisable that you adopt a vegan lifestyle gradually. You should take it easy and not try to do it overnight as this will ensure that the transition is both sustainable and comfortable. You can start with a couple of small steps, such as the Meat-Free Monday challenge or switch one of your daily meals to a meatless and dairy-free option.
3. Start with dishes you know
You will find going vegan more interesting if you start preparing your favourite dinner meals and finding a way to make them meatless or dairy-free. You can remove cheese and replace it with cashew cheese. You can also replace the central protein with beans, soy foods, or a hearty vegetable like king oyster mushrooms.
4. Explore other recipes
Having started with the cuisines you know and love, you should get ready to be adventurous and start looking to other vegan dishes, like tempeh. Ask longstanding plant-based cooks for some vegan tips and then add some new things to your shopping trolley such as soba noodles, kimchi, kabocha squash, nutritional yeast, millet, mulberries and buckwheat. Don’t forget some alt-milk too. Whether you prefer oat milk or something more unusual, finding a got-to dairy alternative is vital.
5. Find alternatives
Learn to make your own substitutes for animal-based foods. Store-bought soy and almond cheeses, soy creams and yogurts may not whet your appetite for cheese and could leave you feeling equally flat. Making your own styles will give you an injection of motivation to stay strong.
6. Find community
Look for other vegans to share stories and experiences with, especially if your family and friends are not exploring veganism along with you. Vegan meets or online groups are a good place to start and try connecting with others by commenting regularly on vegan food blogs. If you have a vegan friend, communal recipe testing is a fantastic way to really throw yourself into the culture and an easy way to get plenty of vegan tips too.
7. Make vegetables part of your meals
A great meal can be meatless and veggie-packed meals are a winning choice all-around. We all know that vegetables are full of vitamins like A and K and minerals like potassium and it’s these nutrients that help keep your calories low, while making you feel more satisfied. It’s not all about junk food alternatives!
8. Eat whole grains
Choose whole grains, such as brown rice and quinoa, because they add iron and B vitamins to a vegan diet. The extra fibre from whole grains will help keep you full, mainatin blood sugar levels and help you lose weight, if that is a secondary goal.
9. Discover new vegan proteins
Eating more plant-based proteins can contribute to better health. Animal sources of protein — like meat and cheese — tend to be high in unhealthy saturated fat. Vegan alternatives include tofu, tempeh, edamame (soybeans), lentils, chickpeas, beans and many others. Nuts — including almonds and walnuts — and sunflower and pumpkin seeds are also rich in protein.
10. Do not assume vegan food products are healthier
Are vegan cookies better for your waistline than regular cookies? Not usually. Garlic bread made with vegan margarine is not any healthier for your heart than one made with butter. Processed vegan foods often contain palm oil and coconut oil, both of which are full of saturated fat. So, stick to whole, nutritious foods that just happen to be vegan, such as carrots and hummus, nuts and dried fruit and whole-grain tortilla chips with guacamole.
By: Damoy Robertson Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/damoyrobertson/