For those transitioning to a vegan diet, everything can feel overwhelming—and, like any other diet, the first few steps are often the hardest ones to take. Sure, you know that you’re doing something wonderful for your body and for the planet. But what about those cravings for your old favorite meals? What if you slip up? What if you can’t find anything to eat when you go out with friends? Thankfully, there are many vegans who have paved the way to make transitioning into veganism that much easier for everyone else. We’ve collected some tips, tricks, and advice to make your transition a smooth one.
Know why you want to adopt a vegan lifestyle. Solid footing, above all else, will set you up for the most success. Is it because you have a health crisis and need to re-fortify your body? Are you passionate about ending animal cruelty? Do you just want to eat cleaner, healthier foods? Your reasons, regardless of what they are, will help you stay grounded throughout your transition.
Transitioning to a vegan diet in isolation can make things much more difficult. Other vegans (either online or within your own friend group) can give you support and advice that you won’t find anywhere else—so make sure to reach out.
As with any diet, it’s essential to learn about different foods and which health benefits they provide. You’ll be better equipped to maintain healthy Vitamin D, calcium, and B12 levels (which are often a struggle to maintain for vegans) and know the difference between which foods are vegan-friendly and which aren’t. You’ll also be able to tell whether or not your supplements have vegan-friendly casings, and which popular foods you can still eat—like Sour Patch Kids and Oreos.
The Happy Cow app is an excellent resource that points out vegan-friendly restaurants and stores in over 180 countries. Asking fellow vegans where to go is a great place to start, too.
Food isn’t the only thing you must consider as a vegan. There are other things you have to think about, too, such as where to buy eco-conscious clothing and vegan handbags, wallets, and other items. Fortunately, there are many stores that sell vegan products, from apparel to little gift ideas. If you know what to look for, you can easily find vegan products just about anywhere.
Go at your own pace (if you have the time), and be kind to yourself if you slip up—transitioning into veganism isn’t easy for everyone. You’re only human, after all! With your intentions in the right place, you can be sure that you’ll realign and continue in no time.
We hope these tips and tricks for transitioning to a vegan diet make your life easier and more rewarding. After all, like unhealthy diets, stress also wreaks havoc on your body. Learn about the benefits of veganism, find your reasons for transitioning, and start on a path toward better health—your body and your mind will thank you!