I’m thinking of starting a vegan diet, but don’t know where to start? A vegan-based diet means not eating meat, dairy, fish, or even animal foods such as eggs.
But for many, the idea of cutting out all dairy and meat can definitely be overwhelming-especially if you like eating out and aren’t a genius in the kitchen.
One of the options that work for many is to start slowly. The next eight tips will make your transition easier and smoother, so you are more likely to stick to the changes.
1. Start by cutting out the red meat
The first step should be fairly easy. And for many people who start by cutting red meat (we are not as attached as we are to our cheese).
The first cut, beef, lamb, and other lean meats from your diet. Forgive yourself for white meats such as fish, chicken, and seafood.
You can also try the meatless versions of bacon and other meats found at your local grocery store or health food store to see which version you like. If you start comfortably by not eating red meat, you can move on to the next stage.
2. Chopped chicken
Cut out chicken-but include seafood such as tuna and salmon.
You can also start preparing some vegan meal recipes (you can find a lot of online-often they are reviewed by other vegans so you can find something really tasty).
3. Cut seafood and fish
This is the vegetarian stage. Congratulations! Now it’s time to cut seafood and fish, but keep trying other meat alternatives, such as soy-based patties.
Protein can also be obtained from legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and black beans. There are other non-meat products such as wholemeal, vegetarian mince, vegetarian pate, and vegan bacon.
4. Say goodbye to cheese
OK, this may be the more painful part for many of us. We love cheese. However, there are alternative cheeses such as rice and soy cheese. You need to experiment here to find out what kind of cheese is right for you.
For example, I can’t stand soy cheese, but rice-based cheeses that you can buy at grocery stores are great and even melt like real cheeses.
5. Remove the egg
This can be a bit difficult-mainly because eggs are used in many baked goods and recipes.
However, there are many egg substitutes that can be used when baking sweets. Some people use a mixture of gelatin and water (this is fine for recipes with less than 3 eggs).
Other options include apple sauce and egg replacer powder, which are often found in many specialty health food stores.
6. Cut out the cream and butter
Again, this can be difficult because the cream is often used in coffee, and butter is often used in baked goods recipes.
But the good news is that you have the perfect vegan option. Coconut oil is a good substitute for butter in the recipe (basically a 1:1 alternative ratio). Olive oil can also be used to make dinner such as stir-fries.
Creams include soy milk, coconut milk (very thick and creamy), and even good non-dairy creamer alternatives like coconut butter.
Look around the grocery store for specially formulated non-dairy creamer options in the health foods section. (Normal coconut milk or almond milk may separate in coffee; these creamers do not separate in coffee).
7. Let go of milk
This may seem difficult, but it’s not too bad as there are so many options here (I actually thought cheese was much harder!).
Vegan milk alternatives include rice milk, soy milk, coconut milk, and nut milk such as almonds and cashew milk.
You can use this milk to bake and cook, eat with cereals, and even drink from glasses.
8. The best vegan recipes-and find restaurants
The good news-you’re completely vegan, but you still have to live your life without suffering from your kitchen.
And you need to maintain a social life-it means eating out!
So let’s start looking for more of your favorite recipes (you can craft them up at hand throughout the week). I usually pick one day, like Sunday, to make all the meals for the week and freeze the meals used on weekends.
Also, find out what you can eat at the restaurant. Depending on where you live, you may actually find vegan restaurants and cafes.
Not sure what to eat at a particular restaurant? You can find out what the menu is because it is online most of the time. You can also call ahead and ask them what they may eat. Many restaurants are more than accommodating if they raise their heads (they ultimately want your business).
So, those are eight steps on how to start a vegan diet without losing your mind. Some people want to go gradually.
However, if you want to jump on both legs, you can also use vegan food delivery.