How to Switch to a Vegan Diet
If your goal is to be healthier in 2017, going on a vegan diet may be a great solutions. Vegans eat only plant-based foods, which means there are no artificial or chemical ingredients. You'll find that a vegan diet is much cleaner and healthier than the diet followed by the average American. Of course, it's not easy to go vegan from one day to the next. Here is how to switch to a Vegan Diet the right way:
Step 1: Learn
The more you understand about veganism, the easier it will be to make the switch. Knowledge is power, so you need to learn about what you can and can't eat. You might be surprised to find all the wonderful vegan options available for you. Talk to other vegans for tips and tricks, and see what they do to fill their diet with healthy foods. The more you know, the better!
Step 2: Clean House
Your house is no doubt FILLED with junk food, meats, meat products, artificial ingredients, and processed food. These are all a no-no on the vegan diet, so it's time to get rid of them once and for all. It's never easy to make the change to a more restrictive diet (which is how you'll perceive veganism at first). However, it will be a bit easier once you eliminate all temptation in your life. Clear your house of anything that is not permitted on the vegan diet.
Step 3: Work With What You Know
You already have a lot of favorite foods, so why go changing what works? Instead of throwing out all your favorite recipes, simply veganize them! For example, make pizza using a soy- or nut-based cheese alternative, or make a veggie-only lasagna. Replace meat with legumes and whole grains, but make the recipes the same. You can turn a lot of your favorite meals into vegan-friendly fare with just a few minor tweaks to the recipe.
Step 4: Take Cooking Lessons
It's so easy to cook meat, bread, noodles, and other non-vegan food. Cooking delicious vegan food with the available ingredients can be a bit more challenging. It's time to brush up on your cooking skills and learn new and creative ways to prepare delicious meals. Take vegan cooking classes to learn about new spices, herbs, grains, nuts, seeds, and vegan ingredients that can add flavor and joy to your meals.
Step 5: Get Creative
Once you've tried all your favorite recipes, it's time to start looking for new and creative options. The cooking lessons will help you to approach your meal prep in a new way, so look for recipes you have never thought of trying. Look for vegan meal options outside your preferred cuisine, or go international. You'd be amazed by how delicious vegan food from Japan, China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico, and Chile can be. The more you try, the more you will find what you like and dislike!
Step 6: Be Ready
One thing you need to prepare for is hunger pangs. A veggie-based diet will usually go through your digestive system more quickly than a meat-based one. This is a good thing (you'll use nutrients more efficiently), but you're also more prone to getting hungry at random times throughout the day. Thankfully, there are lots of awesome vegan snacks: veggie chips, fruit chips, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and the list goes on. Have snacks handy to help you deal with those hunger pangs. A hungry you is far more likely to stray from your healthy vegan diet!