Veganism is considered the strictest form of vegetarianism, in that vegans stay off all animal by-products –their meat, eggs, milk, honey…anything that is a byproduct of an animal. People choose the vegan route for so many reasons, which vary from person to person. Some people think animal slaughtering is unethically wrong so they don’t eat it. Some others stay off animal products because they think it unfair that dairy animals and bred animals in general live in inhumane conditions. For some, it’s as simple as the fact that they think vegetarian diets are generally healthier than others, so they go for it. And there are those flexitarians who just do it for a spell and revert back to their regular diets for whatever reasons they decided to get on it for.
So…you want to go vegan, but you are not certain where to start from and how to wean yourself off whatever diet you are currently on. Here are a few steps that might make transitioning easier for you.
- IS THERE A REASON YOU’RE GOING VEGAN? : Are you going vegan for the helluvit, or is there a reason why you’ve decided to ply this route. Knowing and being convicted of your reasons would make this journey easier for you. On your weak days, you want to remind yourself of this and stay strong till it becomes a lifestyle.
- FIND OUT ALL YOU CAN ABOUT THE VEGAN LIFESTYLE: As long as you can find the time for it, you can virtually learn about anything online. Books, blogs, magazines, articles…learn what you can about vegan lifestyles and practices and borrow a leaf or two from others’ experiences.
- FIND OUT THE NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF DIFFERENT VEGETABLES AND MAKE THE MOST OF THEM: Find out what the different seeds, nuts and vegetables are rich in what so you can be deliberate about having a balanced diet and optimal nutrition.
- DEVELOP YOUR VEGAN EYE: You also need to develop your vegan detective skills. Learn to read labels and identify ingredients. You want to be doubly sure that there are no unlisted animal by-products in what you’re having.
- GET FRIENDLY WITH THE VEGAN SECTION: Since that’s all you’re going to be having, be adventurous. Check out the vegan section in stores and try out new stuff to enrich your larder. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find new things you’ll like.
- EASY DOES IT: Work yourself into the diet gradually, don’t cut yourself off brutally. Gradually remove the non vegetarian foods from your diet and replace them with more vegetarian. You can of course, leave your old-favorites for last.
- VEGAN ALTERNATIVES: What is your favourite non-vegan thing to eat. You just might be surprised to find a vegan alternative exists. Cheese, ‘meat’, milk, yoghurt. ..there are several vegan alternatives to make you forget about that other life.
Good luck as you embark on your vegan journey. May the veggies be with you!