A complete vegan guide for beginners
Updated: Jun 14, 2021
Going vegan can be a daring task at first as there is so much unexplored about the topic itself and so many alterations that you need to perform. This guide will help any you go vegan the right way.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY VEGAN?
First thing's first, let’s understand what do you mean by "vegan". People usually misunderstand veganism as only related to food, but in reality, it's much more than that.
Going vegan prohibits, as much as possible, animal brutality and exploitation. This involves that you can't consume anything that contains ingredients from animals, not buying any other items that contain animal products or that were experimented on animals. This comprises only buying vegan clothes, beauty products, personal care products, etc.
WHY SHOULD YOU GO VEGAN?
Going vegan means, you are cutting down on the number of animals that are being slaughtered and exploited. As Mahatma Gandhi said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world."
Care for the Earth
Animal agriculture uses more water and produces more greenhouse gases than the production of plant foods.
A common misunderstanding is that all vegans are healthy. While excluding meat and dairy can improve your well-being considerably, there are a plethora of toxic vegan processed foods out there. These are good for people who are transitioning and for treats every once in a while, but they aren’t health-promoting. Some people will even put on weight when they are vegan because they are eating too much of the packaged vegan meat and cheese alternatives.
TIPS TO GO VEGAN
As stated, going vegan for beginners is a bit challenging. Here are some points to keep in mind while you transition to veganism:
Don’t think about what other people will say
Veganism is slowly gaining popularity. However, some people still think it's extreme and unhealthy. No matter what you do in your life, people will always make fun of your decision, while others may be bothered by the fact that you aren't going to be getting all the nutrients you need. Forget people, all that matters at hand is you and your health.
Stock your cupboard
Once you understand what foods you can eat as a vegan, it's a great idea to stock up on plenty of vegan foods so that you always have food available when you're starving. If you are fully committed, you may even want to get rid of the non-vegan foods you have.
Organize your meals
Some people go well without having to plan their meals, but in the beginning, this could help you stay on track. Even just writing down a rough idea of what you're going to eat would be helpful. For example, tofu scramble for breakfast, collard wraps for lunch, veggies and hummus for a snack, and chickpea curry for dinner. Then you can buy everything you need at the beginning of each week and batch cook some meals.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you do happen to get off road and eat some non-vegan food, relax. Many people who are vegan now, tried going vegan and failed at some point.
Study on plant-based nutrition.
A lot of people dive into being vegan without knowing what nutrients they need and what supplements they should take. If you aren't eating well-rounded meals, you could end up with deficiencies no matter what kind of diet you eat.
Get blood work done so you know what to supplement
A lot of people think about what supplements they should take when they are vegan. You will likely need a B12 supplement, but you won't know if you need anything else unless you get blood work done. If you have any deficiencies, start taking supplements and get your blood checked again in 3 months or so, to ensure that the supplements are working.
What do vegans eat?
Fruits. No limits on nature’s candy.
Grains. Mix up with varieties beyond plain old bread, pasta, and rice
Legumes. Say hello to your new essential sources of protein
Nuts and seeds. As much as you wish! Almond. Butter. And don’t forget cashews — they’ll become a staple to provide a creamy consistency in dairy-free dishes.
Difference between a vegan and a vegetarian?
While vegetarians still eat dairy and eggs, vegans avoid any and all animal by products at all costs. They also don’t eat foods that involve animals in their processing methods, like beer.
Many vegans also do not consume items that are made from animal products, like fur coats and leather shoes. Vegans may also choose beauty products and cosmetics stamped with “cruelty-free” and “vegan.”
Love to be an #Vegan!