I’m going to let you in on a little secret: going vegan is really very simple!
Now Hairy Vegan knows that a lot of visitors to this site are already vegan, some of you may be vegetarian thinking about going vegan or building up to it and then we have those of you who are just starting out, just taking the very first steps to your new life. This little guide will hopefully make that transition a little easier.
Take It At Your Own Pace
While you need to keep your end goal in mind, you should go at your own pace. Some people easily manage to go vegan in one step overnight and if that's the way you want to do it, well that is fantastic. But, don't be concerned if you feel you need a little more time to prepare yourself. Like any other lifestyle changes you may have made, going vegan takes a little getting used to and it takes time to determine what works best for you. There is no “one size fits all” experience here and there are several different approaches you can take. Making little changes to your everyday meals to start with is one of the easiest ways to increase the amount of plant-based foods in your diet. You could start by removing meat or dairy one day a week and go from there. Alternatively you could try changing one meal at a time, having vegan breakfasts during your first week, adding a vegan lunch during week two and so on. You could even try changing one product at a time by swapping animal milk for almond or soya milk or butter for coconut oil or margarine. There is a plant-based alternative for almost every type of food you can imagine and more and more are being developed all the time, so you really don't have to miss out on any of your favourite foods.
Do It Right
Making sure you are not missing out on essential nutrients is very important. Just because you are changing to a vegan life and vegan diet does not mean you are 100% healthy, as there are vegan versions of almost every type of junk food around these days and with so many fast food restaurants and takeaways offering vegan choices, it’s easy to slip into habits that mean you are eating all the wrong foods. The important thing is to ensure you eat a wide variety of tasty plant foods so you are getting the full range of needed nutrients. Planning a healthy diet that incorporates all the vitamins and nutrients you need will be a breeze and after all, you will find a regular dose of yummy recipes being posted to increase your selection.
Try New Foods
One of the first things you will notice when becoming vegan is that there will probably be a lot of new foods and ingredients that you’ve not come across before popping up repeatedly in recipes. It can take a little while to adjust to them all, but with the vegan community constantly getting bigger and bigger, you will find no end of recipes posted to try. You really should treat your newly invigorated taste buds to new foods and new flavours. Leaving your food comfort zone will take you on a voyage of discovery of new cuisines. There are thousands of vegan recipes out there from every corner of the globe. Whatever your culinary preference, you'll encounter amazing new dishes and interesting variations on your old favourites. But you don't have to be an award-winning chef to achieve this. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the number of meals you can easily prepare from things already in your kitchen or local supermarket ingredients.
Remember that going vegan is a learning curve. To live as a vegan in a non-vegan world takes both courage and curiosity. Veganism has been around since 1944 in the format we know, but it’s still a relatively new concept to many people. It is important that you allow yourself plenty of time to learn about the various strands of veganism and that you should continue to do so as new things come along all the time, oh and don’t forget to pat yourself on the back along the way for the progress your making.
Ask For Help
"Where can I buy vegan chocolate?" "How do I bake cakes without eggs?" "I don’t know how to speak to my family about veganism!” Don’t worry about this – you are most definitely not alone. The internet and especially Facebook has many people with a whole range of skills and experiences and there really are no stupid questions when it comes to learning. We are all in this together after all. There really is nothing like talking to other likeminded vegans to make your transition easier than ever.
Remember Why You Are Doing This
Every once in a while you should remind yourself of the reasons you have chosen a vegan lifestyle and also the benefits you have felt since going vegan. You'll probably find going vegan a lot easier than expected, but if you do have a bad day or feel this whole vegan thing is too much like hard work, stop, take a deep breath and briefly reflect on your choices. Reading books or regularly watching informative and uplifting videos about veganism can help, as does keeping motivating visual reminders like photos of your favourite animals. Or how about locating your nearest animal sanctuary? Spending time with animals who are traditionally farmed and getting to know their wonderful personalities is a great way to reaffirm your commitment to veganism. Not forgetting, one of the main reasons I become Hairy Vegan and have set up this website is to offer support, to share positivity, to give people a lift up if we feel down, to openly chat about things and to generally be there for each other.
Don’t Give Up!!!
No matter how bad you may feel in a particular moment. Please, DO NOT give up, speak to someone about it, if not in public, send me a message, either here or on Facebook and chat about your issues or concerns. If you believe in yourself, vegan living will soon become second nature and any doubts will vanish from your thoughts completely. There is always a better reason to stick with your decision than to go against it. If you're having issues with friends or family, don't give up. Remember, there are lots of fellow vegans all wanting everyone to succeed and enjoy a vegan life. Make sure that you do things along the way that remind you of the joy of vegan living, and take it one day at a time. You've chosen an amazing, exciting and profound way to live your life – be sure to enjoy it.
Now Some Links:
Vegan Starter Kits:
Healthy Eating Guides:
Vegan Recipes (If you know of any fantastic vegan recipes sites, let us know so we can add them)
Some Motivational Pages:
If you can think of anything that should be added to this guide, please letme know.