It can certainly take a few weeks to adjust to any new lifestyle choice, but there are many ways to make the transition to veganism as seamless and simple as possible. First, let us help you! You can sign up for one of our 7-day challenges to dip your toe in and start to get a feel for it. Choose between animals, environment, health, and humanity as your key motivation and you’ll receive daily emails, with tips, information, recipes, and inspiration.
What Do Vegans Eat?
The main barrier to people becoming vegan is the concern over what they will eat, and that they may miss some of their favorite foods. The truth is, most vegans eat what they ate before—just vegan versions. In this way, they get the meals and flavors they love and are familiar with, but without the many downsides associated with animal farming and consumption. So, vegans may have cereal, yogurt, toast, and coffee for breakfast. They may have sandwiches, soup or sushi for lunch, and they may choose fajitas, chili, burgers, or curry for their dinner.
But what is also wonderful, is that alongside these everyday foods, vegans tend to explore other cuisines more. Many people find that a wealth of options opens up, and new vegans commonly report that they are eating better and more interesting foods than ever before.
Take It At Your Own Pace
The biggest misconception is that you have to be a perfect vegan right away. You don’t, and there is no such thing as a “perfect vegan” anyway. Just take it at your own pace. You might start by having a vegan breakfast, and when you get used to that, add in a plant-based lunch. You might start by replacing dairy, and then switching out red meat, then white meat, then fish. You might eat vegan two days a week, and then increase it gradually. Or you might try a fully vegan week and see how you feel. Whatever works best for you is the right way to go. A slow and steady transition makes a sustainable transition, and allows you to adapt at a pace that makes the process exciting and enjoyable.
After eating meat, eggs, and dairy all your life, there are bound to be a few challenges along the plant-based way. It can take time to locate the vegan versions of the foods you love, and not everything may be available in your own neighborhood. Label-reading adds time to the first few shopping trips, and it can be frustrating to find that a product you love contains milk powder or some other non-vegan ingredient that you didn’t know was in there. You will make mistakes. We all did. You may give in to temptation, and that’s understandable. Be kind to yourself, and remember that being almost vegan is better than not being vegan at all.
Eating out can be testing for new vegans, depending on where they live and the availability of good plant-based options. Restaurants are increasingly catering for those who don’t eat animal products, and in cities and larger towns, you will find a large number of restaurants available to you—everything from high-end to fast food to whole food. Outside of the cities, you may be surprised to find plenty of vegan options, too!
A great place to start is the HappyCow website and app. Type in your location, and it will show you all the nearby restaurants that serve vegan meals. Some places may be fully vegetarian or vegan, others will have dishes that are vegan by default, and there are also independent eateries and chain restaurants with vegan options on the menu. Restaurants like Chipotle, Carl’s Jr, Blake Pizza, Ruby Tuesday, and Subway all cater to vegans, so eating out should not be a problem. And, as the number of people requesting vegan dishes grows, so too does the number of dishes available, so keep asking!
Two Final Tips
It’s much easier to become vegan if you know why you want to do it! Whether you care about animals, the environment, humanity, your own health, or all of those, there are some fantastic movies and books which will motivate and inspire you. When you know your why you will find becoming vegan is much simpler.
And finally, it is easier to go vegan if you are not the only one, so if you are an early adopter in your community, it will help to get to know other vegans, either online or in person. You’ll find many vegan groups on social media where you can ask questions, pick up tips, and get to be around other like-minded people. Locally, there are meet-up groups where you can enjoy a meal with other vegans, take part in an activity, or join a campaign.
Millions of people have already made the change to a vegan diet, and one of the most common phrases we hear is: “It really isn’t as difficult as I feared. I wish I had done it sooner.”