Being plant-based comes with several obstacles, today I am going to bullet five things that every vegan should be doing. It does not have to be exactly all five but at the very bare minimum expect to do at least two to three of these if you want to be successful. This article is for seasoned and newcomers who are attempting to be vegan. So, take each bullet as you wish and any that speak to you, I would consider writing down.
1. Be Prepared to Diversify Your Palate:
This in my opinion is most important thing! Once you decide to be vegan you do leave out several things that you were accustomed to. Before I was vegan, I ate like the average American which left me eating a lot of frozen and processed foods. One thing that all of those have in common is that 95% of them are not vegan. No more frozen chicken tenders, eating fast food, getting chicken wings and eating hamburgers. However, I am beyond grateful that I stopped eating that type of food and went to preparing my own and eating things that I have never even heard of. There are endless amounts of food in the world to try, but when you become vegan and limit yourself to what you can eat you then truly start to understand how much different types of food are out there! Do not be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and eat new things! I am glad that I no longer eat the four same things every week.
2. Know Your Plant-Based Proteins:
Something I heard a lot from friends and family when I first became vegan was “where do you get your protein from?”. At first, I felt discouraged and did not know either! However, after calming down and doing some research it was clear and evident that I had to no reason to worry! There are several foods out there that can give you the protein you need! Such as: lentil, quinoa, nuts, chickpeas, and my personal favorite tofu. This is a very bland list with not much detail. However, you can read our article “here” about tofu, tempeh & seitan. I suggest following these as I like to call them my “meat substitutes” which was my main concern for not getting enough protein. Vegan or not I say that a lot of people eat the other things listed above for protein already!
3. Add Some Spice to Your Life:
I cannot stress enough how important it is to learn how to season and marinate your food! Even if you are not vegan this is so important, you do not want your food to be bland unless you want to be a bland person. Adding flavor and learning how to bring flavor to life is crucial to eating delicious food. One thing I hear a lot is “I’ve tried tofu before, but it tasted like nothing” well obviously. I answer back “most things that you add no flavor to taste like nothing”. You can click “here” to learn how to marinate and add flavor to your tofu, I believe it is a great starting point. For everything else you cook and make it is important to add flavor and more important to add flavor YOU like! Do not be discouraged if something does not taste exactly how you wanted it to taste the first time. Flavor is made through trial and error.
4. Read the Back of Everything:
I will keep this one short and sweet: do not assume. I have found myself reading the front of something thinking 100% that it was vegan to find out that it was not. Always read the back of the bag and look at the ingredients. I usual quick way to spot is under the long list of ingredients it will say “CONTAINS:” that is where you can see if it is good for you or not! Also, just because it says “veggie” or “meatless” does not mean it is vegan. A lot of those types of food are still made with milk or egg. So, do not assume just flip the package over and read the ingredients! Trust me, a few seconds of reading is well more worth it than tummy ache to come.
5. Being Vegan is More Than What You Eat:
I will keep this short as well. Being vegan is beyond what you eat it is also everything in your everyday life. Honestly, if you are starting out, I would start with food but as you progress it comes down to everyday products you use. Do they use animal testing on it? Not vegan. I do not want to go too much into it as I am just starting to use less animal products more and more as time goes on. I do want to say that this journey is your journey and go at whatever pace you want! It ultimately comes down to if you are happy with what you do. If you are, great! If you want to change still, I suggest taking micro steps. Do not do a complete 180 right away. You will just end up changing yourself, not your lifestyle.
6. BONUS: Be Proud of Who You Are:
Strangely, I found it weird at first telling people I was vegan. I do not know why, but it clicked to me that I should never feel weird for who I am. Especially, when I am eating and feeling the healthiest, I have ever been. If you are feeling amazing, do not be afraid to show it! Always be proud of yourself and the choices you make! On your journey find people like you and never be afraid of meeting others. There is a community in the vegan world, well several communities. Find which one you want to be a part of by being who you are! Find like-minded people and connect. Pu Peace :)