Eating a vegan diet is becoming more popular, whether for health or philosophical reasons. Either way, people are choosing to eliminate animal products from their diet. Meat, fish, eggs, honey, and dairy are all items that must be avoided. While many wish to switch to a vegan diet, it can be challenging. Use the tips below to go vegan for a month to test the diet for yourself.
It can be easy to miss out on essential nutrients when switching to a vegan diet. This is due to a large amount of processed vegan convenience foods that are now available. In fact, almost every junk food option has a plant-based alternative. Unfortunately, eating too many of these processed foods will lead to a diet high in sodium, sugar, and fat while being low in vitamins and amino acids. To ensure you don’t miss out on any essential vitamins and nutrients, focus on eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Combine your fresh ingredients with legumes, beans, tofu, and grains to create balanced meals.
When going vegan for a month, push outside of your food comfort zone and consider vegan items beyond the starter salads you might be thinking of. Spend some time researching plant-based meals from a variety of cuisines to get lunch and dinner ideas. Almost every cuisine type has a variety of vegan alternative recipes, and most of them use vegan pantry staples as base ingredients. You can also make your favorite meals vegan. For example, switch your regular meat burger patty for a portobello mushroom patty. You can also use tofu or a plant-based Chicken (Google it!) to replace ground turkey, chicken or beef. Create a meal plan that offers familiar meals mixed with new recipes to try out.
Keep your goal in mind throughout the month. However, know that transitioning to a completely vegan diet is difficult. Changing your diet takes time, and as such aim to make small changes each day. After all, many packaged products are not vegan due to containing milk products or eggs. Thus, completely avoiding all animal products can be a struggle. Aim to make snacks like cookies or muffins from scratch, or go to a specialty vegan store. There are so many options now available, even in regular grocery stores. However, if you do slip up, just keep taking it one day at a time.
Talking with other vegans can make transitioning your diet much easier. After all, they know where to get plant-based chocolate, how to bake without eggs, and where the best vegan-friendly restaurants are. Consider joining a local vegan group on Facebook or downloading the VeGuide app. The VeGuide app offers daily advice and suggestions to help you through the month. You could also consider inviting friends or family to join you for the month.
Knowing why you are going vegan for a month can help you stay on track. Whether it’s for health, personal or philosophical reasons, take the time each day to reflect on your why. There are likely to be days where you’ll want to eat animal products, either due to convenience or due to cravings throughout the month. Consider your why to help you stay focused and use a meat alternative to help curb the craving.
When you make the choice to go vegan for a month, know that it may be difficult. However, meal planning and joining an online plant-based group can make it much easier to stay on track. Ensure you ask your community for support, and ideas for fun meals when you need it.