Making the transition from vegetarian to vegan can seem deceptively simple. In fact, most never even suspect how much their life will change. Becoming a vegan, even by way of the vegetarianism, is a major transition. People will judge you and call you an extremist. Food options will not be as plentiful. You’ll need to educate yourself on what is vegan and what is not. You’ll have to decide whether you’re committed to being a dietary vegan, an animal activist, an environmentalist, or all 3. Most importantly, you’ll need to be sure that this is right for you despite what anyone else thinks. That said, here are some tips to help you deal with this onslaught of issues.
1. Get some vegan cookbooks – This is probably the most important thing that you’ll need to do to fight the urge to fall off the wagon. Using cookbooks help you avoid boredom with your now limited food choices. They open your mind to a plethora of meal ideas and more than that they allow you to continue to enjoy good tasting food.
2. Read everything you can about veganism – Whether online or hard books and magazines, stay up on all the latest in vegan news. You’ll find that you’ll learn about health trends and pandemics well before the general public does. The vegan community is a strong network of very knowledgeable people who have a wealth of information about things that you should always be aware of.
3. Focus on making healthy vegan food choices – Believe it or not all vegans are not the most health-conscious eaters. In fact, you’ll learn that special attention must be paid to strategically planning out your meals so that you get an adequate supply and nutrients, vitamins and minerals. You don’t want to overdo it on all those processed vegan goodies that you come across in the health food store, nor do you want to take in too much starch by overdoing it on pasta. So take your time and plan out your meals.
4. Go to as many health food stores and co-ops as you can – The staff in most health food stores are the best. Not only are they quite knowledgeable, but they can be instrumental in guiding you to all the right resources, making the transition that much more seamless.
5. Make some vegan friends – Having a support system or network of vegan friends is crucial during this phase. They will help you overcome the adversity that you may face as a vegan, can be useful as a good resource to vegan food options or a good source of motivation during times of self-doubt. Alternatively, you may just want to socialize with other like-minded people.
6. Educate others – By educating others you will educate yourself on what it means to be vegan. This will increase your confidence and soon enough you’ll become the go-to person that everyone seeks out for motivation, dieting tips and insights about health and nutrition.