With people growing more conscious of their health and that of the environment around them, more people are exploring options for healthier and greener lifestyles. The options for a well-balanced diet are expanding. Vegan diet is growing in popularity as a report by GlobalData places the percentage of those declaring to be vegan at 6%. This percentage is increasing every day, although the reasons for adopting this lifestyle might differ among vegans.
“The easiest way to adopt a vegan diet is to find vegan alternatives to your current favorites and have an open mind. These can include different meat substitutes, vegan bacon, vegan cheese, and vegan food cream. Nowadays, there are alternatives to nearly or if not everything!”
Omar Abdalla, Founder of JustRestaurantSupplies.com
“1) Start by trying out a couple of vegan meals every week and gradually increasing the number of vegan meals you make over time.
2) Not all vegan foods are equal. Some taste awesome, some sort of suck. You've got to try a variety and look for the ones that you really like. This takes time, so allow yourself a few weeks or even months of trial and error.
3) Do your research on nutritional deficiencies and be prepared to make up what you will lack. Specifically, things like omega-3s, iron and Vitamin B-12. I've seen so many people give up on a vegan diet because they don't look after their health and end up feeling terrible. A few simple supplements and a bit of diet research can make your transition into full-time vegan eating so much smoother.”
Alex Parry, Vegan Athlete & Professional Strength & Conditioning Coach Character Strength & Conditioning
“2 tips to ease into a vegan diet: Do not go overboard with fancy recipes in the beginning. Start with substituting ingredients in meals you like and know how to prepare. Swapping milk and butter is easy, and vegan alternatives can be found in most supermarkets. Know your ‘why’. What is your motivation to eat more plants? Educate yourself and you will notice how much sense it makes to step up your plant game. Then it is not a question of if but how to adopt a vegan diet.”
Julia Grässer, Certified Yoga Teacher & Founder of Warrior Princess Yoga
“The most important tip I can give is to treat it as a journey, rather than an instant destination. By doing this I never felt as though I was giving anything up, rather I was discovering a world of food I actually preferred. I had to experiment with a lot of vegetarian meals I didn't like to find the ones I did. It took me the better part of a year to develop a two-week collection of meals that I would rather eat over anything else. Taking this approach also helped me resist the temptation to simply replace my meat intake with highly processed vegetarian alternatives. It's tempting to jump straight to the finishing line, but I think you'll be more likely to sustain your goals by taking a longer-term view.”
John Bedford, Founder Viva Flavor
“I think the biggest obstacle when it comes to switching to veganism is not being aware of the food choice you have at your disposal. Beginners usually make this mistake and end up eating the same foods, which, naturally leads to saturation and makes them give up. That’s why the first thing to do before going vegan is to research, make meal plans, follow people who live the lifestyle for some time and take their advice. In the end, everything comes down to willingness and good preparation, but as well as being open-minded about things and foods, and not being afraid to try new things.”
Anastasija Dojcinovska Co-Founder of Reviewlution
“Try reducing one product at a time, and start with the most harmful products first: *Some animal products cause more animal suffering than others; when easing into veganism, try cutting out one product at a time and start with the most harmful products first (e.g. start with scrambled eggs and omelets since they cause more animal suffering to feed the U.S. than any other product) and work your way down the list.”
Casey Riordan, Communications & Development Manager Faunalytics
“I think that the best way for adopting a vegan diet is by starting with a plant-based breakfast. It's not only a great start to the day but also a motivation to keep going and to pursue the vegan diet for the rest of the day.”
Diana Bazic, Founder of Bubble Green
“My main recommendation to clients who come to me wanting help with a vegan diet is to first be very clear on their reasons for wanting this diet change. Is it a practical reason (like mine was)? Is it a religious choice? Is it for ethical reasons? Is it for health reasons? Is there a specific outcome you are looking for? How do you define a vegan diet? Some people are concerned only with the food choices, some are concerned with how foods are sourced (such as ethical farming practices and practices that may affect animals -- such as palm oil production. Palm oil is from a plant but the production of it may harm animals.) Will you exclude foods and substances derived from animals such as gelatin capsules? All of these considerations will help guide the lifestyle changes that come with a vegan diet. Next, I recommend thinking about what kinds of meals and snacks you normally eat, what you want to eat, and how you will do this with a vegan diet. Some people need convenience foods, some prefer to cook from scratch. Will these meals meet your nutrition needs? Will these meals be generally balanced, filling and satisfying? Then, it is easier to start trying new foods and meals without meat and animal products.”
Lisa Hugh MSHS RD LDN CLT, Founder & CEO, Single Ingredient Groceries
Transitioning to a vegan diet doesn’t need to be a tough journey. Following these professionals’ tips, you will find the journey much easier and enjoyable. A slow and steady transition will help you into your new vegan lifestyle.