The Simple Way to Transition to a Vegan Diet
We all love good food. There’s nothing better than enjoying a tasty meal or treating yourself to your favorite snack. Changing your diet can be very difficult. I have a hard time controlling myself when it comes to food I love. How can it be easy then to transition to a vegan diet?
I’m here to guide you step by step on how to transition to a vegan diet, while still enjoying your favorite foods. I will provide proven tips which can make the transition easier so that it can last.
Choosing your motivation
The first step to becoming vegan is understanding what your motivation is.
Are you changing your diet because you love animals? Maybe because you care about the planet? Are you doing it to live a healthier lifestyle? Or you heard it’s becoming more popular and want to try it out?
Whatever the reason is for your decision to change your eating patterns, it’s important to have it clear in your mind. This will help keep you focused when it gets tough, which it likely will. Aren’t all diets hard?
My motivation for becoming vegan was my love for animals. I didn’t want to contribute to their suffering so I cut out all animal products and by-products from my diet.
I didn’t do it overnight, don’t worry, that’s not what I’m guiding you towards.
Whenever it was hard for me and I really wanted to eat something which had eggs or milk, I simply reminded myself why I chose this diet and that helped me stay on track.
First step – becoming vegetarian
Now that you’ve found your motivation, you can begin implementing it. No one expects you to go from 7 days a week eating meat, to becoming a full-on vegan the next day.
Transitioning slowly is key to making it last!
My first step was becoming vegetarian while still eating fish. This wasn’t too hard for me since I never loved meat. However, if you enjoy eating meat and you think this may be too hard for you to become vegetarian immediately, you can start at a different point.
How about one day a week you eat a vegetarian meal? Or maybe it’s easier for you to have one meal a day that’s vegetarian? Perhaps you can find a vegetarian substitute for a meat product that you eat?
Choose a first step that works for you and that isn’t too difficult to keep to. Many people say they tried becoming vegan but it was too hard. I want it to work for you so you aren’t lumped into these “many people”.
I want it to last for you since you want it to last. That’s why you’re here, reading this. You want to find a simple guide on how to transition to a vegan diet.
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These days, there are many vegetarian meat substitutes that taste almost like the real thing. You can find meat replacements such as Beyond Beef or other Beyond Meat products, or Gardein Crispy Chick’n, or other Gardein products. I’ve tasted both of them and I fully recommend them!
You can also opt for less processed protein substitutes. I like to use chickpeas, lentils, beans, and tofu. There are so many recipes that are packed with protein and completely vegetarian.
Chickpea or bean burgers are great dinner options that are family-friendly. Here is a recipe that is easy and can even be made vegan, with egg substitutes.
Lentil soup is another vegetarian option. There are also many salads that you can add lentils to for an extra boost of protein.
Tofu is a very versatile food. You can make so much with it, from burgers to creamy pasta sauce, stir fry, and even cheesecake. Here is a recipe for a quick stir fry with tofu. It’s perfect for those evenings when you’re too tired to cook up a storm.
Below is a photo of tofu “fish” fillets that my husband made for a holiday dinner and it was a total hit! And completely vegan.
Next steps in your transition to a vegan diet
Once you’ve become vegetarian for a while and you feel like it has become your new norm, it’s time to step it up to the next level. My next step was becoming completely vegetarian and removing fish from my diet.
If you’re already completely vegetarian, congratulations! You’re off to a great start in protecting your health, the animals, and the planet.
This transition is your own and it’s important for you to do what feels comfortable for you, not what others tell you to do.
I will tell you my transition but it won’t be the same as yours. It can give you ideas, as well as motivation to see that it’s possible.
Ideas of your next steps
Here is a list of ideas that you can choose from for your next few steps. You can choose whatever order you want.
- Stop buying eggs but still eat it in foods
- Stop buying milk but still eat other dairy products
- Stop eating eggs completely
- Stop eating dairy completely
- Stop using honey
My journey to veganism
Now that I gave you an overall guide on how to transition to veganism, I will share my journey so that you can gain inspiration and hope, seeing that it’s totally doable!
After I became completely vegetarian, my next step was stopping to buy eggs. I still ate it in foods but I stopped buying it in the supermarket.
Next, I switched from dairy milk to soy milk. I chose soy since it is high in protein and the taste is pretty neutral. If you have a soy allergy, there are alternatives such as almond, oat, rice, and many more kinds of vegan milk.
Eventually, I stopped completely with dairy and eggs and officially became vegan.
Just to give you a timeframe of all this, I was vegetarian for about 2 years before fully transitioning to vegan. Throughout those 2 years is when I took these baby steps.
Now, I’ve been vegan for almost 3 years and I was pregnant during that time too. It’s a very healthy diet that is completely safe even while pregnant or breastfeeding.
One pointer to keep in mind is that regardless of what foods you choose to eat, you should supplement with a multivitamin to ensure you get all the necessary vitamins. You can find a roundup of the best vegan multivitamins here.
To wrap up
Just because you’re becoming vegan, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy food. It also doesn’t mean that you have to eat salads all day.
I eat a variety of different foods. My menus never get boring.
I will follow up with more vegan meal plans, so stay tuned! Subscribe below to receive updates when new content is released and be the first to know of special promotions.
Are you excited about your new journey to veganism? Nervous? Hesitant? Comment below with your thoughts and I will get back to you!
I agree, we can still enjoy foods like others its just a matter of creativity on how to veganize them.
Jean, you’re absolutely right! Creativity is key here.
This is very helpful.thank you.
Joice, you’re most welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed reading it.
Thank you for this information it is so helpful!
Whitney, I’m so happy you found it helpful! Enjoy.
Great tips! I’ve been vegan/vegetarian for almost 30 years, and these are the same things I tell people when they ask how they can become one too. Start small and don’t be so hard on yourself! Thanks for sharing!
Ashley, that’s amazing that you’ve been on this journey for so long! Hearing that these tips are your recommendations too means a lot since you have way more experience in this.
Thank you for sharing how you can begin with simple alternatives to go toward becoming more vegan. These tips are helpful. I do some of these already as I cannot tolerate dairy products.
That’s great that you’re already implementing some of these tips!
I enjoyed reading this article. I’ve been a vegetarian/pescatarian for 20 years. I’ve kind of been stuck there. I think about moving forward to my next step of being vegetarian all the time. Your tips are very helpful!
Dana, thank you! I hope this can give you a little push to finally make that step you’ve been wanting to take.
Marici, thank you!
Thanks for the great tips! I’m a vegetarian, but hoping to make the switch to vegan in the future.
Miriam, good luck! I hope these tips can help you transition to veganism slowly but steadily.
So important! Love the step by step guide. 🌱
Thank you Brooke!
Thank you so much for a very clear and understanding post. I love all your suggestions on transitioning. That is the hardest part of the journey. I have friends that have struggle with that and now are enjoying a full vegan lifestyle.
Giangi, it can be difficult to transition to a vegan lifestyle but with time, it can be done. The key is time and patience, not to rush into it. I’m so happy to hear that your friends are enjoying a vegan lifestyle now!