Are you thinking about changing what you eat? Here are a few resources and info to help ease your transition. Diet is primarily addressed here. Once you learn the plant-based substitutions for the foods and products you’re used to enjoying and get the hang of ordering in restaurants and reading labels, you can decide if veganism is really the lifestyle change for you.
First Decide Why Veganism?
Being strongly connected to your “why” or reason for veganism will make your transition infinitely easier. Many people who choose veganism are what’s known as an ethical vegan, meaning they oppose the exploitation of animals and use of animal products for any purpose. Some people are vegan for the environment, others for personal health, and some for social justice. Whatever your reason is, be strongly connected to it and to the difference you make with your choice. If you are unsure of a reason, PeTA has a top ten reasons list you can check out.
If you decide you are going to become a vegan for environmental reasons, a “vegan calculator” that calculates the positive impact you’ve made on the planet by being vegan can be found at Vegan Calculator and Recommended Movies with documentaries for your viewing. A word of caution, Earthlings, the Ghosts in Our Machines, and the Cove are extremely graphic. Cowspiracy illustrates the environmental impact of the meat and dairy industries while Forks Over Knives explores the effects of a vegan diet on the body.
Secondly Think About Cooking and Nutritional Needs
You have decided to not only change what you eat but what you cook. You must consider how cooking is going to impact your choice. VeganKit.com is a comprehensive guide to making the switch. The “food” section offers many helpful guidelines and tips. As a vegan, you can no longer cook with eggs, dairy products, or any animal based products. The following additional resources address substitutions, vegan recipes, and blogs to follow
You must realize that eliminating animal products is only step one, step two os replacing the nutrients. Protein, iron, and calcium need to be replaced with plant-based sources. Fortunately, nature made it easy to get everything we need from plants.
Third, Consider How Eating Out Will Change for You
Surprisingly most places you go will have vegan options available. If there isn’t an option listed on the menu, simply ask. You can also “veganize” menu items by leaving off cheese, sour cream, etc. State you are vegan and confirm you do not eat eggs, milk, cheese, etc. It seems redundant, however, not everyone is familiar with the terms “vegan” or “plant-based”, be super specific when ordering. A few helpful resources available are Complete Vegan Menus at Fast Food Restaurants, 20 Vegan Fast Food Options and Yelp, also available as mobile app filled with businesses in the area you live or are visiting.
Last but Not Least, Get Connected
Social media has been instrumental in the expansion of the vegan diet and lifestyle. There’s a community of people out there who want nothing more than to celebrate the joys of being vegan and invite more people to join to our plant-eating posse.
Facebook, Instagram, and Pintrest are the hot spots. Set aside an hour, search #veganfoodshare, and dive in!
Remember, veganism is a choice. Stay dedicated, do your homework, and make sure you are ready for this lifestyle change. Research before making any decisions and make sure veganism is right for you. Be sure to consult with a physician before making any dietary changes which many affect your health.