Considering Going Vegan or Vegetarian? Read This.
At first, going completely vegan or vegetarian can seem like a huge undertaking. While it’s true that changing your diet will require you to make some lifestyle changes, there’s no reason to let that scare you away from trying something new. You can achieve a healthier, happier lifestyle by making small, incremental diet changes without uprooting your entire life. At the very least, it’s a good idea to become a more informed consumer, even if you’ve never considered living a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. If you’re curious about what it’s really like to live on a plant-based diet, then keep reading to see if it could be for you!
If you’re under the impression that cutting out meat from your diet will be unmanageably difficult, then you’ll be relieved to know that’s not the case. Thanks to the internet, going vegan is easier today than ever before. There are literally hundreds of thousands of recipes out there that can help you to easily convert your meals to be vegan-friendly. Snacks, entrees, drinks, sides, and anything in between can be made to be environmentally-friendly. Tons of restaurants have gotten on board with the idea of offering vegan or vegetarian options as well, making it easier to go out without fear of having nothing to eat on the menu.
Be prepared to let go of some foods that you may have come to know and love as favorites, or even diet staples. (Read: cheese). That’s right, many people who decide to abruptly switch to veganism are surprised and upset to find that they’ll have to do without their lifelong comfort food. Our best advice is to come to terms with that early on, but realize that you can trick your brain into accepting vegan alternatives in their place over time as you transition. As mentioned before, there are vegan options for just about any food product out there, including cheese, burgers, hotdogs, and more. While the taste may differ slightly, it’s usually nothing to be too upset about.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you may face some backlash from friends or family who don’t live a plant-based lifestyle. It sounds silly, but many vegans report feeling singled out or being the brunt of the joke at the dinner table at family gatherings or when out to eat. If you don’t have particularly thick skin, you should try not to let any comments or remarks get to you, as this is common and expected when living an alternative lifestyle. The good thing is that because veganism and vegetarian are becoming more accepted and even mainstream, you should be dealing with this less and less. Plus, who cares, anyway? If you’re living the life you desire, whether for health, environmental, or animal rights reasons, then that’s all that matters.
Going vegan or vegetarian will have your body seeing some serious health benefits, both immediately and over time. As your body adjusts to its new diet, it will go through some changes, especially if you are making a more drastic lifestyle change and were consistently eating unhealthy. If that’s the case, don’t put your body through too much at once—while it’s great to want to get healthy, you need to allow some time for your body to adjust. Never make any dramatic reductions in the amount of calories or other nutrients your body is taking in, unless directed to do so by a doctor. Going fully vegan may take time, and isn’t for everyone, due to various health reasons.
While going vegan can seem like a huge undertaking, it doesn’t have to be a huge deal. As long as you listen to your body, make an effort to branch out, and explore your options, you should have no problem making the switch if you so desire. There are a ton of vegan recipes online, as well as vegan bloggers who can offer great support and tips along the way during your plant-based journey.