We know that going vegan can be hard, especially for people who don’t really know where to start! We want to be there for you, and provide you with more information to make your vegan journey as smooth as possible, which is why we have a whole section of our blog dedicated to vegan beginners! For now, let us give you a couple of tips that we’ve learned along the way:
- Start with a good attitude and an open mind.
If you think of veganism as a punishment, you will never actually get into it! It’s important to start off with the right attitude: open to trying new things and ready to step back up if you ever slip.
- Get blood work done
so you know what to supplement. You will probably need a B12 supplement (it’s most commonly found in meat products), but you won’t know if you need anything else unless you get blood work done. You can check out this comprehensive guide by the International Vegan Association that will help you figure out what you need to supplement!
- Stock your pantry.
Something that helps a lot of vegan beginners is stocking up on plenty of vegan snacks so that you always have food available when you’re hungry. Most slip-ups happen as a result of cravings and impatience! Having some Annie’s Vegan Mac and Cheese might save you from eating something you’ll later regret. Here’s a list of some easy to access snacks that are vegan!
- Plan your meals.
Once you’re a seasoned vegan this won’t be necessary! The thing is, when you’re just getting started, this will give you some structure so you don’t freak out. Even just writing down a rough idea of what you’re going to eat is helpful. You can even buy everything you need at the beginning of each week and do some meal prep!
- Find a vegan support group
Going vegan is not always easy, and it helps to have someone who can answer your questions and motivate you when you’re losing steam. The thing is, not everyone has that person in their lives! It’s very important to actively seek new people who share your lifestyle and who can relate to your struggles. You can start off by going to vegan events, volunteering at animal sanctuaries, and connecting with people on social media. You can find an active community and resources on our Instagram!
- Veganize your recipes.
Nowadays, in most places, it’s extremely easy to find substitutes for products derived from animals! Be it meat, eggs, or cheese, you can definitely use your old recipes and just switch the animal products for vegan replacements.
- Use HappyCow or Google Maps to find vegan places to eat
HappyCow is an app dedicated to curating vegan-friendly places based on any location. It works similar to Google Maps, but it’s specifically made for vegan people. You can also use regular Google Maps! Just type “vegan restaurants near me” and Google will try to find vegan-friendly restaurants in your area.
- Give yourself extra time to cook.
At the beginning, you should be gentle with yourself! You are changing your entire lifestyle and you’re definitely going to take a little bit longer to cook. You should also make sure your pantry stays stocked with plenty of pasta, beans, whole grains, and vegan friendly-sauces. This way you can make a meal without that much hassle if you’re not feeling like cooking.
- Watch a documentary when you lose motivation.
Losing motivation doesn’t come from weakness or lack of ideals. We live in a world of consumerism, which means we are constantly surrounded by products that might make us slip up. Whether it is a pair of leather shoes or your favorite meal from when you were a kid, something might make you want to give up your goals. When this happens, it may help to watch some documentaries to remind yourself why you started this in the first place. Here are some recommendations: What The Health, Cowspiracy, and Earthlings.
- Rethink how you do your grocery shopping:
Veganism doesn’t have to be expensive, as many people say! Many typical vegan foods —like grains, beans, and nuts— are cheap, and they usually store well if you buy them in bulk. Going vegan is also a perfect excuse to start using all kinds of vegetables that you never regularly ate before. Many “beginner” vegans start trying out more vegetables and different ways to cook them. See this as an opportunity to give new vegetables a chance!
- Pack food with you!
It’s really important to take food with you when you leave your house. It’s not that you’ll get hungrier as a vegan, it’s just that on the off-chance that if you miss a meal, your options as a vegan are more limited.
- Don’t Assume Vegan Food Products Are Healthier
Vegan cookies aren’t necessarily any better than regular cookies! Processed vegan foods often contain saturated fats from palm oil and coconut oil. Even though cutting animal byproducts is better for overall health, vegan junk food can still make you gain weight!
- Make a list with your go-to vegan meals.
It’s not that hard to learn a few easy, affordable meals that you can cook quickly. Even though it’s great to experiment when you first go vegan, it’s also important to avoid getting overwhelmed. It doesn’t matter if it’s healthy or not; it could be fried rice, pasta, a quick sandwich, whatever you want!
- Have empathy towards our fellow humans.
Not everybody is at the same place in their life and, unfortunately, we live in an imperfect world in which it’s not possible for everyone to be a 100% purist vegan. Being a “vegan police” makes veganism seem hard and unpleasant when it’s not. This policing can make people turn away from a vegan lifestyle. Instead, win people over with action! Bring some vegan food over or tell them about your favorite vegan brands and events. Let’s also be compassionate towards our fellow humans when “perfection” isn’t achieved.
We hope these were helpful! Our website is dedicated to making veganism easier and giving you access to all the lifestyle products you might need to start your vegan journey. Check out our shop!