The vegan storm has reached the shores with more and more people looking up to the vegan style of eating. The idea is surely compelling – an environmentally friendly diet that is free of all animal products which include the likes of fish, egg, and dairy. If you are a lifelong meat eater, then the evidence points to the risk to your health, while chowing down on industrially farmed animals that are pumped with powerful growth hormones to increase the size and what-not. However, the change can be arduous and seemingly overwhelming on where exactly should one even start.
Going Vegan: Skinny Dip Or Just A Toe In The Water?
Should you go all in, or should you ease into it slowly? There is no one single answer that will tailor fit everyone. Your transition to a vegan meal depends on your level of fitness and your dietary habits. If you are a vegetarian that has omitted dairy foods sources, then jumping into making vegan recipes will be far easier than someone who eats meat – your lifestyle and eating habits contribute to how easily you fit in place.
The easiest way would be to take out the animal products one by one. First, start with the meats and then progress to dairy – milk, yogurt, mayo, and cheese. Taking Baby steps – this is the key to going vegan with the least amount of hassles.
Making Sure That You’re Meeting Your Protein Quota
Protein deficiency is a cause for concern, especially in the west. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is deficient in its share of proteins and it is estimated that 1 in 3 or 33% of the American adult population is missing their mark. One good source of protein is meat and fish, which goes out the minute you decide on going vegan.
This is why going vegan can reduce the protein intake if you are not consciously adding in protein-rich plant food sources. Add in a handful of beans, nuts, seeds, and pulses to your vegan recipes and salads. It may not feel like much, but trust us, it is. Some great sources of protein include pumpkin seeds, peanut butter, soy products, and chunks, lentils, beans, chickpeas, and cashew nuts.
How Do I Get My Fair Share Of Vitamins And Minerals
One of the vitamins that you’ll have to search to come across is vitamin-B12; commonly found in animal products such as fish, milk, and eggs. Without this essential vitamin, cell working won’t be optimum and you will feel exhausted and tired when you are falling low on it.
You can try to include certain dairy alternatives such as breakfast cereal, yeast extracts, and dairy-free spreads. If not this, you can also get supplements in the form of capsules to meet the demands. You can head to just about any pharmacy or health food store and find some. Making sure that you meet the calcium intake is also a necessity – eating fortified plant milk has the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as cow milk. You can include calcium, say tofu or soy and linseed bread that is fortified with additional calcium.
Maintaining Healthy Weight On A Vegan Diet
People often switch to eating salads and plant-based foods when they are packing on a few pounds. For getting themselves ready for summer, they may pick up a salad bowl and let their dairy ice cream stay in the freezer. What if you are on a vegan diet indefinitely? Will you find it difficult to hold weight or, does it all fall flat?
You need to understand that being a vegan doesn’t mean that you are on a diet. You will stuff yourself – but just on plant-based food sources. This means that when you are having cravings, you can have cut fruits that are drizzled with date syrup (honey is an animal product and is not considered vegan). There are several ways in which you can pack on the calories and put on healthy weight. Keeping one on the scale will be the way of life if you stop looking at the whole process like a dieting plan – This is a way of life.
If You Make A Mistake And Give Into Your Cravings, That’s Fine
Even if you stumble and find yourself with no one comforting you but the tub of ice creams chilling in the freezer, then don’t take it to your heart. Humans are humans for a reason – because we aren’t perfect. If that had been the case, then the term robot would have suited us better. Even if you do make a mistake, pick it up the next meal. You can excuse yourself a stumble here and there, and that is just the part and parcel of the growth of your vegan journey.
You should go into veganism with the sole idea of knowing that it is worth it!