Starting a vegan diet can be very overwhelming. You are bombarded with a bunch of information about how cruel the animal agriculture industry. You see how destructive animal based foods can be to your health or you’ve learned about the environmental impacts of eating animals.
Either way, the transition to eating a vegan diet can seem almost like you’re learning a new language. It’s very confusing at first but over time you become very comfortable with it. Let’s go over a step by step plan for getting started on a vegan diet.
The first thing that you want to do, to get started on a vegan diet, is to educate yourself as much as possible about why you’re eating a vegan diet. This will build your WHY. With a strong enough WHY, you can do anything.
There are a number of documentaries that you can watch for free on Netflix. Many are available to rent for a small fee on Amazon and other websites.
If you’re more of a book worm, check out the books: The Starch Solution, How Not To Die, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, Dr. Barnard’s Program For Reversing Diabetes, Proteinaholic, Mad Cowboy, plus many others.
There are an incredible number of books that can educate you on the benefits of eating a whole foods vegan diet.
Again, education is important to understand why you are stepping beyond the status quo and venturing down the vegan path. When temptations arise, you’ll be able to remember why you are making the choice for a more compassionate life.
I would highly suggest finding 5-7 starch meals that are quick and easy to make that can become staples in your life. You want these simple satiating meals that you can always fall back on. That way if you’re every struggling with temptations, you know how to make some healthy vegan food that will fill you up and curb past tendencies.
Keep your pantry stocked full of the ingredients that you’ll need to make these meals. Lots of rice, potatoes, beans, corn, veggies, sauces, etc.
Find vegan alternatives to your favourite junk food. Many people will have a crutch food that they always fall back on during times of hunger, emotional distress, etc. It could be pizza, ice cream, a certain packaged processed food.
What you want to do is find the vegan alternative for that crutch food. For myself, getting off of regular pizza was difficult. It was something I had an addiction too. I curbed that by making vegan pizzas using daiya cheese. It doesn’t taste exactly like it but it is very similar. I could still have that crutch food but I wasn’t hurting any animals with my choices.
Source out vegan or vegan friendly restaurants (happycow.net). Happy Cow also has a new app that is great for finding local restaurants and is so useful when you’re traveling.
If you like to go out to restaurants with friends or family, use happycow.net to find vegan and vegan friendly restaurants. That way you have a vegan friendly option that you can eat at and your omnivorous friends can eat there too.
Also check out certain fast food places that offer vegan options. Chipotle and Mexican burrito places will almost always offer vegan options. You can go out to sushi restaurants and get vegan sushi as well.
There are lots of places that you can go to in 2016 that offer excellent options for cruelty free dining.
Make friends with local vegans. Look for local meetup groups on Facebook and meetup.com and surround yourself with other people who share the same values as you do. You may have to put yourself out there but it really makes the whole thing a lot less frightening when you can talk to other people about the struggles and frustration of eating a vegan diet.
Those are my 5 tips to get started eating a plant-based vegan diet.
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