Choosing to go vegan is not merely the changes that you hope to make in your diet. You may start with it, like starting to eat a plant-based diet, but veganism is actually making a shift in most parts of your lifestyle.
Transitioning to vegan means choosing to be vegan by changing your entire diet with some changes in your lifestyle or going vegetarian to vegan. This may depend on how you, your body, and your mind accept it. In fact, some may find it challenging, while some find it not a big deal. So, let’s see what we have listed for you below. We have in-depth discussed the switching you hope to make, the pros and cons, things to consider, and many more.
Transition To Vegan
Choosing veganism is a shift you would basically make in your diet by eliminating animal-based food entirely. This is also something beyond dietary changes, which is a philosophy that someone chooses to follow. In short, an ethical vegan tends to believe that animals have equal rights just like humans do. They respect animal protection, stand against animal cruelty or animal exploitation. Moreover, they avoid using animal-based products like wool, silk, animal leather and eating meat, eggs, seafood, gelatin, dairy products, etc.
However, the transition to vegan happens when you primarily stop eating animal-based food and start a plant-based diet. This may seem like a massive leap to a person who has been eating and consuming animal products his entire life. One may have to deal with all the physical, mental changes after the transition while accepting and facing the social comments from non-vegans or non-vegetarians. In fact, someone who considers having a vegan life may have to be picky like never before in their lives. Everyone is legitimate in deciding how their life should be. Thus, veganism or vegetarianism can be embraced by anyone who needs it. Moreover, we can see that this is gaining popularity all over the world.
Getting Started- Vegan Transition Tips
You might be possibly thinking that transitioning to vegan must be on the tougher side. So, once you decide to make a move, it is essential to learn the most comfortable and safe ways that you can. We bring this section to share some tips that could help you with the transformation.
01 – Listen To Yourself
This tip actually doesn’t apply after or during the transition. This is before you could make it happen. In fact, remember that you are about to make a significant decision in your life. Apprehend your intention behind this step. You should not force yourself to be a vegan or a vegetarian just because someone else asked you or just because you need to go with the flow. Do it only if you really need to. This is nothing about discouragement, but ultimately nothing will work without self-satisfaction. Therefore, start whenever you are ready.
02 – Excavate About Being Vegan- Educate Yourself
Veganism is basically a notable change that will happen in your diet. In that case, learning and educating yourself about the new change is critical. Especially, find about the makeshifts that you could make. For example, examine how you could get your protein and vitamin B from shifting to a plant-based diet. Search if your area has enough places like restaurants, coffee shops, or hotels that could offer vegan options. If you are using social media, you could also join communities and see how they share their experiences. Also, there are plenty of articles and books online about veganism to obtain relevant information. If you need a genuine human experience, talk to your vegan friend and watch Youtube videos to learn all the benefits and potential downsides.
If you need to be aware of veganism, we have loads of information here about vegan protein options and also about vegan leather.
03 – Start Slow
Once you are educated enough, start your transition slowly by making the first move. Literally, there aren’t any rules, or no one will be judging you. Therefore, begin with little things. If you cannot exclude meat, fish, or whatever animal-based food you usually would have from all your three meals, start with one plant-based meal a day. No rush, and you don’t have to be hard on yourself. Here are a few steps to begin with:
- Reduce red meat.
- Eliminate chicken from your plate and continue eating fish for a while.
- Begin to include meatless meals into your diet and observe how you’d go with them.
- Try with new and different recipes.
- Ditch dairy and substitute it with non-dairy options.
- Discontinue eating fish.
Likewise, you can proceed by eliminating all the animal-based food products from your entire diet. The most effortless way to do this is first to go vegetarian if you are an omnivore. Then, as the next step, you could move on to excluding everything that involves an animal derivation. You really don’t have to overcompensate or be stressed about being a vegan. Eventually, make it happen until you can call yourself a true vegan!
04 – Make Sure To Have All The Required Nutrients
This is among the major reasons why most of the people who transitioned to vegan quit. Many would complain that they would undergo some significant nutritional issues after switching to vegan. This is why we said that you should be educated in the first place. Learn your plant-based protein sources. If not from animal-based food, find how you could have your dose of Omega 3, Vitamin B, Vitamin D, Iron, Calcium, and Zinc. These are the essential parts of your diet that you should pay attention to. Going back to point number two, educate yourself!
05 – Hunt For Substitutes
When talking in terms of vegan substitutes, we can actually say that they are abundantly available out in the market. You just need a little time to find what they are. In fact, according to research data, individuals who are on plant-based intakes tend to have lower BMI ranges than people who consume animal-based food.
So, going for substitutes will be an added advantage if you are someone who is struggling to lose weight. If you spend some time shopping, you could certainly find plenty of delicious milk, meat, cheese, or other dairy alternatives under many brands. This will motivate you to stick to a vegan diet and minimize the craving you have for your favorite animal-based food item. On the other hand, you could even lay your hands on plant-based substitutes like vegan leather, which are entirely animal-cruelty-free. Moreover, this will give you the perfect opportunity to try new food and things that do not involve animal exploitation.
06 – Lay Your Hands On Some Interesting Vegan Recipes
You might be shocked to hear this, but truthfully, some vegan recipes are way tastier than food made out of animal-based ingredients. So, during your transition period, try to find as many plant-based recipes that you think might taste great. In fact, they are way healthier, and you can incorporate a variety of food in one recipe. So, when you go shopping, buy yourself some food items like tofu, tempeh, whole grains, black beans, nutritional yeast, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy-free milk, etc. Believe, these ingredients could do wonders with your diet!
Most importantly, make sure that you monitor allergen alerts. You may get to taste some food items that you are utterly new to during your transition period. Therefore, avoid any plant food that you are allergic to. You could also seek help from really good vegan cookbooks that you’ll never regret purchasing.
If you are fascinated by trying new breakfast recipes, we have 11 super tasty vegan breakfasts in this article.
07 – Be Practical- Don’t Overreact With Mistakes
If overreacting is your nature, keep in mind at least not to apply it here. No offense but the reality is that since you are in a period of transition, the possibilities of making mistakes are high. Therefore, do not panic. You may forget that you are going on the vegan philosophy initially, which is absolutely normal. Or, you might unintentionally or unknowingly consume something that might contain animal-based ingredients. In such cases, learn from your mistakes and proceed. You are going on these ethics for good reasons, and you have pure intentions. Thus, no judgments for typical human errors.
Vegetarian To Vegan Transition
Vegetarians are people who abstain from eating the meat of any animal. And some even refrain from eating food items that are made with animal by-products. However, they drink milk and even use products that may contain animal sources. So, someone who needs to go vegan from being a vegetarian would obviously have pragmatic reasons more than complaining that their dairy milk tastes bad. These reasons could necessarily include the ethical means of veganism that they need to follow. For example, one would need to contribute to stopping animal exploitation and environmental pollution.
However, as someone who already provides their help in reducing animal slaughtering, a vegetarian is just a few steps away from a thoroughly plant-based life.
So, these few tips that we share with you will be helpful to you if you decide on your transition.
If you are interested in knowing about the difference between vegetarianism and veganism, we have an article including all the information here.
01 – Find The Best Non-Dairy Milk Option
This could be among one of the main issues that you might get during the transition period. Hence, experiment with some plant-based milk and pick the one that suits your taste. Ensure that the milk you choose will blend better with tea or coffee if you are a fan of any of those beverages.
02 – Find Recipes To Make With The Alternatives
Are you a vegetarian who obsesses over buttered toast and egg scramble? Or someone who can’t go at least once a week without mac and cheese? Then, you will probably have to find alternatives and new recipes immediately! Luckily, you will find an array of innovative recipes that you’ll make new vegan obsessions, depending on the strength of your research. For example, avocado buttered whole grain bread toast with tofu scramble will make a perfect breakfast for you. Plus, when macaroni is incorporated with creamed cashews and nutritional yeast, you will never miss the classic mac and cheese again.
03 – Make Slow Adjustments
As we stated at the very beginning, you do not have to rush with transitions. Just because you decided to go vegan, you don’t have to make harsh adjustments rapidly. Make your lifestyle and dietary changes gently. For instance, if you are not used to reading labels before, spend some time reading them about what you buy and ensure that they are vegan-friendly. But, do not overthink about the labels and try to find if they are strictly not animal-based. As long as they mention that the particular product does not contain ingredients like milk, honey, animal fat, etc, go ahead and buy them.
Moreover, if you already own anything from an animal source, like a leather jacket or a handbag, donate them to someone in need over time. Do not run to the store and buy new stuff and throw the old things away right at the moment you decide to turn into a vegan. Every move you make should be slow and consistent.
Vegan Transitioning Side Effects – What Happens When You Go From Vegetarian To Vegan?
Earlier in this article, we mentioned making a massive change in your diet and your lifestyle. Therefore, it is crucial that you be aware of the potential side effects of the transition to vegan.
01 – Lack Of Essential Nutrients.
Many vegans complain about their lack of getting vitamin B12, proteins, and minerals, which are critical components of a healthy diet. In fact, these diets may sometimes be low in calcium, vitamin B, Iodine, and zinc. Therefore, it is highly essential to have a well-balanced diet to stabilize all the vital nutrients. You can seek advice from your healthcare provider and get yourself supplements that could counterbalance the loss of nutrients from your diet.
02 – Fatigue and Digestive Problems
Due to the changes in the diet and lack of nutrients, some may undergo symptoms of fatigue and laziness. Plus, your gut could be excited and kind of confused due to the new dietary changes. Accordingly, many vegan transitioners would have digestive issues like gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea. This happens because of the incapability of the gut to adapt to the whole new set of new food at once. Thus, experts suggest consuming plenty of fluids and getting enough fibers to overcome this issue. Moreover, it would be best to get adequate amounts of calories to stay fit and healthy.
03 – Facing The Social Hurdles
Most people who successfully surpass dietary challenges get stuck at this point. We say this because, according to the social data we gathered, we see that people who transition to veganism or vegetarianism would have difficulty blending well with society. Reasons can be,
- Social gatherings like parties or get-togethers may not have vegan options.
- Non-vegans or non-vegetarians may sometimes tend to mock the ethical means of the vegans.
- Some places like restaurants and hotels may be out of vegan options.
However, it is not very challenging to overcome these hurdles. In fact, if you decide to choose veganism, you should understand that it is your sole preference but none of others’ business. People who care will definitely respect your standards too. So, try to avoid the judgments and find yourself a set of friends who would accept you. And, get the advantage of the Apps that will help you find the nearest veg-friendly food place. This way, you could help yourself not to starve when you are on the go.
Vegetarian To Vegan Transition Side Effects
Vegetarian to vegan transition side effects are comparatively low in contrast with non-veg to vegan transition. This is primarily because you become a vegetarian as the first step to being a complete plant-based consumer. However, one significant issue that this community faces is calcium deficiency as they give up on milk. Therefore, it is essential to find plant-based sources that you could have your dose of calcium. Furthermore, when you consider things ethically, you may have problems arising from replacing the things you’ve been consuming so far. Sometimes you may find the alternatives high in cost, complexity in purchasing, or other possible reasons. Thus, the best thing would be making little makeshifts, as discussed in the earlier section.
Transitioning to vegan may seem like a consequential process depending on how you look at it. What you need to remember mainly is that the transition period is when you are getting adapted to new changes. Therefore, you will have to have patience and let things go smoothly. Educate yourself well before the transition, and we utterly hope that this article will guide you on the right path on your journey.