how to go vegan with all y'alls vegan foods

How to go vegan: 5 helpful strategies

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Are you thinking about adopting a plant-based or vegan lifestyle but don’t know where to start? If you’re used to having meat, dairy, and eggs as primary components of your diet, it can be daunting to think about removing these staples. But it’s not as hard as you might think. In fact, there are so many vegan options available and simple substitutions that you won’t need to give up any of your favorite foods; you just need to have an open mind and be willing to experiment.

If you’re ready to start your journey to a more ethical, environmentally friendly, and healthy vegan lifestyle, then here are five helpful strategies to get you started.

why you should go vegan for the animals

1. Know your “why”

Before you can start your transition into veganism, you need to get clear on your “why.” Why is it that you want to go vegan in the first place? Getting clear on the reasons that you want to adopt a vegan lifestyle will help keep you motivated and accountable when you continually face the decision of what to eat for each meal. You could be going vegan for health reasons, or maybe you’re concerned about the environmental impact of animal agriculture. Alternatively, you may not want to contribute to the suffering of animals, or perhaps it’s a combination of all three. Whatever that reason is for you, always keep reminding yourself of that before you go to the grocery store or out to eat.

woman going vegan with vegan snacks

2. Educate yourself

Don’t go into this transition blind. We should all be aware of what foods we are consuming to ensure that we get the nutrition our bodies need. This is true for omnivores and vegans alike. If you typically consume most of your protein and iron from meat, then make sure to incorporate a variety of dark leafy greens, legumes, seeds, tofu, and spirulina into your diet. This may be the first time you truly thought about the nutrients in the foods we eat, so take the time to learn so that you always consume exactly what your body needs.

If you have favorite foods, look up vegan versions of those recipes, such as this recipe for vegan chicken-fried “steak” and waffles. And skim through vegan recipe books for inspiration, and you’ll be surprised at how many options there are.

Beyond just educating yourself on vegan foods and recipes themselves, it’s important to learn about veganism as a lifestyle. Watch documentaries like What the Health, Gamechangers, Food Inc., and Cowspiracy to learn about the true impact of the animal agriculture industry and what goes on behind closed doors, and how it affects our health. This will also help to inspire your “why” and give you the tools to spread the message to others.

how to go vegan with all y'alls foods

3. Go at your own pace

Going vegan doesn’t mean you have to go cold turkey (no pun intended). Be patient with yourself and take things at a pace you’re comfortable with. Trying to cut out everything at once can be overwhelming and may deter you from even wanting to start in the first place. If this sounds like you, then start small. Try switching out the milk in your coffee and cereal for plant-based milk like oat milk or soy milk. Or, instead of ordering a chicken pad thai, order one with veggies or tofu.

Some people may want to stop eating meat and dairy entirely in one day. And that’s fine too. There is no right or wrong way to transition to a vegan lifestyle. Every time you decide to forgo meat, dairy, or eggs, it makes an impact. Anne-Marie Bonneau made a statement about going zero waste that also applies to veganism, “we don’t need a handful of people doing it perfectly; we need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”

vegan resource to help you go vegan

4. Utilize vegan resources

Your biggest asset when going vegan will be all the fantastic online resources that are at our disposal. Apps and websites like HappyCow are game-changing when you’re trying to find vegan restaurants, vegan stores, and travel destinations. Happy Cow allows you to choose your location and lists all the vegan food options in the area. You can see their menus, photos of the food, and tons of reviews left by vegans who have already gone there. On top of that, you can find vegan-friendly hotels and resorts and use the forum to ask questions and chat with the vegan community.

Additionally, you can join vegan groups on Facebook, go to vegan meetups in your local area or engage in vegan forums on Reddit. Use these resources to find the information you need and take advantage of the highly engaged vegan community online. There are always people ready and willing to offer advice and tips on any questions you might have.

woman eating vegan meat alternative which helped her to go vegan

5. Take advantage of vegan meat alternatives

Going vegan doesn’t mean you have to become a master chef overnight. While you may end up experimenting and creating your own vegan burgers and cheese down the road, you can ease your transition by taking advantage of all the excellent meat and dairy alternatives already on the market. From vegan jerky to vegan bacon, you can find a direct swap for pretty much any animal-based ingredient that you can name.

Meat alternatives are often made with ingredients like soy beans, mung bean, vital wheat gluten, or oat, which are high in protein and easy to season, meaning they will take on the flavor of whatever spices or sauces they are combined with. That means it’s easy to get that meaty flavor you might still be craving as you start your vegan lifestyle.

How to go vegan

Going vegan is incredibly beneficial for your health, the environment, and for the animals involved in the animal agriculture industry. Just by reading this article, you are already setting the wheels in motion! But ultimately, your vegan journey is your own, and there is no one-size-fits-all path. But using these strategies can help make the transition more accessible, fulfilling and ensures that you can truly thrive on a vegan diet.