If you’re planning to go vegan, congratulations! Deciding to go vegan is a big choice to make. And as a vegan of almost 10 years now, I love offering advice to new vegans to help make that transition a whole lot smoother.
So here are 10 things I think you should know before going vegan..
1. Find your “why”
I believe in order to be vegan, you must know your “why”. There are people who go vegan for a multitude of reasons. This could be for their personal health, environmental reasons, or animal rights.
So do some introspection and ask yourself why you want to go vegan, what’s calling you to veganism, and ultimately, what goals and expectations that you have for yourself as a vegan.
Read more about the importance of having a “why” in this post here.
2. Prepare for people not to get it
We’ve all been conditioned into accepting the horrors of modern day agriculture, so many people won’t understand why you’ve gone vegan.
There are also people that don’t even know the extent of which animals are used in everyday products like cleaning supplies, makeup, etc.
So be prepared to answer questions. And even be offered food that isn’t vegan, or given products with animal ingredients in it.
Like other forms of activism, vegans go against the way things have always been done. So you have to be able to hold your own and follow your own morale.
3. Reframe your shopping habits
Veganism extends outside of grocery shopping and into other areas of life such as clothing purchases and everyday products. So when going vegan, you’ll have to reexamine old shopping habits, which in-turn will make you a more conscious consumer.
4. You can still eat at the same restaurants and shop in the same stores
Thanks to the ever-growing interest in being vegan, veganism has propelled into the mainstream, making it easier than ever to shop and eat out at restaurants.
Ten years ago, if you went to a restaurant and asked about their vegan options, they would have looked at you like you had two heads.
Now, there are plenty of vegan options, from popular fast food chains, to products at your local grocery store.
5. Start slowly
When transitioning into veganism, start slowly incorporating new vegan foods and products into your routine. You don’t have to make the switch overnight. In fact, this will help you in the long run, making it an easier and more sustainable switch.
6. Vegan does necessarily mean healthy
It’s easy to fall into the trap of vegan = healthy. But us vegans have junk food just like everyone else. (And also a lot of accidental vegan junk food too.) So keep that in mind, and don’t accidentally conflate these two terms.
7. Embrace plant-based protein
Unfortunately, a lot of vegans peddle an anti-protein message. But protein is a key component to our diets. So don’t skimp out on protein just because you went vegan.
Whether it be from legumes, nuts and seeds, or soy, these are all great sources of healthy (and ethical) protein. So don’t leave them behind!
8. Soy isn’t scary
A lot of people believe that soy increases your breast cancer risk due to high amounts of isoflavones (aka estrogen) found in plants.
But luckily, scientists have concluded that plants do not have enough isoflavones to increase this risk.
Now that the rumors are put to rest, make use of this protein-rich plant food and incorporate some into your diet for a quick and easy protein source.
9. Take your vitamins
Vitamins and supplements are a must-have for vegans. I actually did a whole post on vegan vitamins and supplements here. But to summarize, here are the ones I think every vegan should take:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12
10. Use free resources
Thanks to the growing interest in veganism, there’s been an influx of media dedicated to helping people live a vegan lifestyle.
These resources could be websites or blogs (like me!), YouTube channels, books, podcasts, and more. So don’t be afraid to do some online digging, and use these free resources to your advantage.
Check out my post on my favorite vegan websites and blogs.
Continue Reading: 10 Best Vegan Hacks From a Vegan of Almost 10 Years