Ready to Go Vegan? Do this Quick 4-Step Check to Find Out!
Going vegan is a big and important life decision. You should not take it hastily and on a whim. It requires thought, research, and dedication. While it may be cool and trendy to be vegan, you need to know what going vegan entails and be sure that you are not just doing it as a fad. Becoming a vegan is not as simple as only eating veggies; it is a complete lifestyle change, as you will soon find out.
If you have made up your mind or are leaning towards adopting a vegan diet, the following are some of the biggest changes you will have to make. Read them to see whether you are ready to commit to these changes in your life.
1. Giving up Meat
Veganism is about following a plant-based diet and avoiding all animal-based foods. So be it eggs, chicken, beef, mutton, or bacon, they all have to go. However, for most people, giving up on meat is the easy part. It is perfectly possible to have delicious food with no meat in it and not feel a big change in your life. For replacing the protein from meat, a vegan diet emphasizes on having high-protein foods such as soy, quinoa, nuts, and beans.
When to implement – Do this in week 1 of your vegan diet. Make incremental changes so you allow yourself to adapt to the new lifestyle both physically and mentally. In week 2, give up pork. In week 3, give up chicken and eggs. In week 4, give up fish. And so on. You get the idea.
Remember, as you stop having each type of meat, add one or two veggies to your diet for a smooth transition.
2. Giving up Dairy
Yes, you read that right. It is not just about giving up all meats; you also have to give up all milk and milk-based products. This includes cheese and butter and mayonnaise. Say goodbye to burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches! But what about milk replacements, you ask? How do vegans have coffee or tea? Don’t worry. There are several milk alternatives available, such as coconut milk, rice milk, and soy milk. Going vegan does not mean you no longer have options.
When to implement – So, from say Week 5 or 6, stop having dairy products, starting with milk. Try out the different alternatives in your supermarket to see what suits your needs best. By week 7, get rid of cheese and butter and seek plant-based alternatives, for example, peanut butter! Yes, peanut butter is usually 100% vegan!
3. Taking Supplements
An only plant-based diet means that you will no longer have access to certain nutrients that come from non-vegan foods. For example, vitamin B12 is only found in animal foods and thus vegans may have insufficient or deficient levels of it unless they take supplements. Similarly, you may need to take supplements for calcium, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. It is recommended that you speak with a dietitian to get the correct diet plan for your needs.
4. Committing to the Vegan Lifestyle
Like we’ve said, going vegan involves a complete lifestyle change and it can be difficult to implement. While more and more companies are offering vegan-friendly food items, you may still find it difficult to be completely vegan depending on the options available in your city or country. Moreover, make sure you have a compelling reason to go vegan; not just because your friends are doing it or you favourite celebrity is doing it.
For many people, making the choice to go vegan is driven by their concern for the environment, concern for their health, or even concern for animals. Processing dairy and meat-based foods requires a lot of water and leads to emissions, apart from poor treatment of animals. By switching to a plant-based diet, vegans are not participating in this water waste and environmental pollution, and doing their bit in helping reduce it.
These are strong reasons to make such a drastic change in your life, and having a strong reason means you have more motivation to stay committed. If you think you can handle them all, then we wish you the best on this journey.
Make the transition easy for yourself by doing it incrementally and having a week-by-week plan. Remember to take it slow and not give up. It will be difficult in the beginning, but once you’ve overcome the initial barriers, you will be at peace with your choice to go vegan.
AyurMir - Medical Tourism
Office in India:
Periwinkle, No. 40/1/1,
Baner, Pune - 411045