5 tips how to start a vegan diet
In the last articles of this series you gained knowledge about some relevant basic information. I talked about the concept of veganism, my personal story, 5 reasons why living vegan makes totally sense and I shared 5 true facts about veganism you might never heard about. Today, I want to help you finding the beginning of your vegan journey. With 5 tips how to start a vegan journey you are prepared and ready to go!
1. Define your motivation
First things first – define your motivation! WHY do you want to change your diet and your lifestyle? Finding your “why” can help to keep track and encourage to explore your journey step by step. Without having a motivation the change from an animal based diet to a plant based diet could be difficult and might will not be successful in longterm. Give yourself some time to think about the reason. Are you are doing it because it’s an upcoming trend, maybe because you want to improve your health, our environment or for ethical reasons? What’s your motivation? Let me know in the comments below!
2. Start at your own speed
If you are clear about the “why” just start slowly. Make ONE change at a time won’t overwhelm you and is much more effective than forcing yourself to become vegan overnight. Always remember where you are coming from. You are here reading this article is already a fantastic step to the right direction! Our educational system and parenting doesn’t leave too much space for alternative ways of living or thinking. Our habits are firmly established since we are a child. It might be possible for a few people to make the switch overnight. But being realistic this method wouldn’t keep you motivated for too long. There are simply too many things to learn, to adjust and adapt. Don’t be too strict with yourself! Even if you have to step back! It is a journey at your own speed!
I want to give you an example how a way with a realistic attempt probably could look like. Leave out ONE animal product per week. Skip the eggs in week 1, milk in week 2, yogurt in week 3, red meat in week 4 etc. Experience how you are feeling with the changes. Start listening to your body. What is it telling you? Don’t be irritated if you have cravings or might experience some side effects like headaches. If you are cutting out animal products and replace them by a whole food plant-based healthy and balanced diet your body needs a ventil for detoxifying.
3. Get familiar with the essential
By accepting the fact that the vegan transition is a journey your are allowing yourself to be open towards new options. Get to know some vegan essentials, check the vegan section in your grocery store, educate yourself, connect with others, explore the menu of your local restaurants. You might be surprised finding vegan options there. Getting familiar with some pantry essential will totally help you to make your way. Once you have established a stable base you can continue to build the pillars and the roof of your vegan temple.
4. Start with meal prepping
A good way to start your vegan journey is doing meal prep. This means that you chose one day of the week (mostly done on Sundays) where you bulk cook, steam, chop, slice and dice the food you want to eat and take with you the next 5 days. Meal prep can save a lot of time, especially if you are full-time employed. During the week you have ready-to-go meals without thinking about what to cook the next day. Popular food items for meal preparations are all kind of grains like rice & quinoa, buckwheat or pasta, potatoes, carrots, broccoli, tofu, tempeh, hummus and all other food items which can be stored in the fridge for a few days. It’s time to get creative!
Go with classics
If you don’t want to meal prep I recommend to go with classic dishes you already know. Simply exchange the animal product, with beans or tofu. My spaghetti bolognese or my chili sin carne recipe are great options to start for example. Make yourself a lunch box or freeze the leftovers if there are some.
5. Snacking allowed
Make sure you are prepared for snacking. If I go out I always take a small box filled with nuts, seeds, dates, cranberries and little tiny dark chocolate pieces just in case my sweet tooth is calling. Try one of my easy peasy snack recipes. If you like coconut you should check out these delicious no bake coconut snowballs. They are super quick and easy to prepare and satisfy your cravings in a healthy way. If you prefer a savory snack some veggie sticks and hummus accompanied by little oven baked falafel bites would be an option. The dishes are great while traveling or for the office. I bet you will make your colleagues hungry!
It is important that you listen to your body and not suppressing the feeling of being hungry. Also, if you are craving a snack. Probably, you’ll recognize that you are in need of more food intake than before. Leaving out animal products from your diet naturally increase the density of food intake – and that’s totally okay!
BONUS: Build a small pantry stock
Building a small pantry stock of vegan essentials can be very helpful in your daily routine. Moreover, it’s time saving and you can start cooking whenever you like. I enjoy to take my jars out of my pantry and do a recipe without going for grocery shopping. If you have some basics in your house you probably are willing to make yourself a nutritious meal anytime you are hungry.
If you want more information about how to fill your pantry you can download my FREE SHOPPING GUIDE for 9+3 must-have vegan essentials in your pantry. These vegan essentials are basic food items which I use for my daily cooking routine. The eBook contains a visual overview of the 9+3 vegan essentials and comes along with short descriptions and examples how to use them.
Click the pic below & download my FREE eBook!
To be continued…
Do you want to know, how this series continue? You can read about 5 secrets how to manage eating outside as a vegan in the next article.
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