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Klára Hýsek
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HOW TO START YOUR VEGAN DIET

More and more people go vegan these days, and they have very good reasons why.  Becoming a vegan means saying NO to meat and animal-derived ingredients such as eggs or dairy products. By going vegan you are doing something great for your health and the planet. So, how do we make a transition to vegan lifestyle and what is the best and the healthiest way to do it? Here are some useful tips to help you get started and ride along this life-bettering road.

  1. Get well informed and find what works for you

The first step on your journey is learning how a vegan diet might work for you. Not everything works for everyone the same way, and veganism in no different. This means you will have to find the best option for you based on simple facts, such as your food preferences, daily calorie needs and current health condition. Vegan diet offers a wide spectrum of delicious meals and you should start with what works for you in particular. This means getting well informed about benefits of each kind of fruits and vegetables and learning how to balance out your diet properly.  In order to eliminate meat and animal-derived products, you will have to be introduced to a whole new spectrum of dishes you probably never heard of before. So, get ready to learn and expand your knowledge and this also includes learning to discern what is and what is not GMO food, as fruit and vegetables are going to be your best friends from now on.

  1. Start simple and go vegetarian first

While vegan and vegetarian diets have one very important thing in common – both fully exclude meat, there is a difference between these and this very difference might help you reach your final goal, which is becoming a vegan. Unlike vegans, vegetarians do tent to consume animal-derived products. While some might make an easy transition from non-vegan to fully-vegan diet, for some this might not be so easy, and that is totally fine. In this case, you might opt for vegetarian road to veganism, and some of the paths you can take are semi-vegetarianism, lacto-ovo vegetarianism or pescetarianism. The trick is to start simple and at your own pace.

  1. Go healthy from day one

While this rule can be applied to any healthy diet, it is particularly important when making a transition to vegan lifestyle, since your main source of protein, as a non-vegan was meat, and protein is necessary for our health. It is a component of every cell in our body, crucial for muscles, skin, bones and blood.  While most other diets do include variety of animal origin products and meat, vegan lifestyle will make you look for protein in other places. Fortunately for you, there are plenty of other protein rich foods out there, and some with surprisingly high protein levels, so make sure to exclude processed vegan products, mostly those soy-based. Although soy might be one of the first choices you make as vegan, try to go healthy from day one. Be careful, soy is one of the mostly genetic modified foods, you should always look for NON-GMO soy. Anyway some of the healthiest solutions out there, which are not only soy-free, but also gluten-free, are: whole grains, other legumes, nuts, seeds and of course different sorts of vegetables.

In the end, never forget why you started and find ways to stay motivated. Remind yourself everyday of all the benefits veganism brings and applaud yourself for every single step you take on this journey.  

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