The concept of veganism is not a new one. The philosophy behind being a vegan is simple – it is just a way of becoming part of the natural world, developing a life-respecting compassion, and avoiding the use of animals for food or medicine.
Thus, unlike a vegetarian, a vegan will abstain from all animal products, including dairy products. Interested in joining the bandwagon? It’s not always easy yet there may be great benefits to it. Here are 11 fantastic tips to make your vegan diet more successful:
1. An open mind
Think positively about what you are about to do. If you consider going the vegan way as an imposition, an inconvenience and a restriction to your lifestyle, then your heart will not be in it from the very outset. However, if you think positively and believe in what you are about to get into, you will be able to get a lot of satisfaction in your decision.
2. Cooking time factor
If you want your vegan diet to be effective, the best way is to cook most of your food yourself. Unless you eat at a dedicated vegan restaurant, you will see that there are very few vegan options in regular menus and even then you can’t be sure how authentically vegan they are. For this reason, you need to allocate some extra time for cooking your food.
3. Stocking up
Ensure that you have sufficient stock of vegan ingredients. It is likely that there may be non-vegan family members, so you don’t want to fall short of stuff to use. The best way of maintaining a sufficient inventory is to plan your menu for say, a week and then make a list of required ingredients based on the recipes that you intend to use.
4. Choose supplement-based foods
While shopping for ingredients for your vegan diet, ensure that you get enough natural supplements for a balanced diet like protein-rich lentils, omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseeds, walnuts and canola oil, calcium from kale, broccoli and collard beans and so on.
5. The downside of convenience foods
Convenience foods are something to which you may have to bid adieu. You will have to face the facts – you just don’t get a suitable choice. Moreover, it is a proven fact that even regular convenience foods are low in nutritional value. So if you start avoiding this category of food, you will be adding more value to your diet.
6. Explore your options
Once you have decided to go the vegan way, you would do well to make a visit to your local supermarket and check out what is available, with your new diet in mind. You will be surprised to find the variety of ingredients which are vegan-friendly. Becoming more aware of what is available will assist you in experimenting, and you will be able to cook more creatively.
7. Don’t justify yourself
Stating your case to others is the last thing that you should be doing. Veganism is your personal choice. You will be surprised at the number of people who will respect that if you just state the fact that you are a vegan. It is fine to explain to others what you can and can’t eat but just steer clear of long and winded explanations of why you are doing it and the philosophy behind it all.
8. Travel menu
If you are going on a road trip, you will need to do a bit of planning and stock up with enough rations to last you the trip. It is not that you are likely to eat more or anything like that. It is just that you are going to pass through unfamiliar territory where you may not be able to source vegan food that readily available.
9. Be flexible
Being vegan but accidentally eating non-vegan food will not kill you. So don’t kill yourself over it. To follow veganism successfully, you need to do whatever you have to do within reasonable limits. Sometimes you may need to bend the rules, but that need not interfere with your belief of the concept of being a vegan.
10. Willpower will get you there
Initially, you are bound to find it difficult. During the first few days, you might even slip up and eat non-vegan food, especially if you eat with friends. In time, however, you will establish a routine, and it will become a way of life that you follow automatically.
11. Don’t be judgmental
“One man’s meat is another man’s poison,” so the saying goes. Above all, do not look down upon other people’s diet choices. Just consider your vegan diet as your personal choice of what to eat as in deciding whether to have a ham sandwich or a vegetarian pizza for lunch.
Veganism for ethical confidence
Follow these simple tips, and you will find that your vegan program, whether for a short while or permanently, will become an easy and fun way of life. Who knows? Maybe others might even get inspired enough to follow your footsteps and choose the vegan path in life!