They say that the beginning of anything is always the most difficult part. There’s no doubt that this is true for would-be vegans – the moment you decide to adopt veganism, you’ll face opposition from multiple sources.
Your friends and family might not approve of your newfound dietary habits, the world around you will seem to promote a meat-based diet, you might have to let go of your favorite processed foods due to traces of eggs and dairy and so forth.
Still, knowing how to get started is what’s important – once you do, things will tend to take care of themselves, and before you know it, being a vegan will seem as natural to you as breathing air or drinking water.
The vegan basics of your transition
Unfortunately, going vegan isn’t as simple as merely consuming anything meat or dairy-free. Omnivores have it easy here – they have to try really hard to lack nutrients in their diet, even if they simply eat whatever they like.
As a vegan, you’ll have to familiarize yourself with the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) as well as all the vitamins that your body needs. This is why a vegan diet gets a lot of bad rep – those who don’t understand it believe it to be an incomplete way of eating, which is only partially true.
You can get everything you need from vegan food, but you’ll have to be meticulous about your diet plan. If you thought gorging on ‘vegan’ junk food like soy burgers or dairy-free chocolate was going to cut it, you’re in for a surprise. As a vegan, you’ll have to represent your fellow plant-eaters well – in the eyes of meat-lovers around you, any health issue you’re having will probably be the fault of „you not eating meat like you should“.
Since a vegan diet is notoriously low on protein, you’ll need to make an effort to include it. Many consider protein to be the most important nutrient in one’s diet, and with good reasons. Luckily for vegans, nutty products like walnuts, peanuts and almonds are tasty, abundant and protein-rich, so you’d do well to develop a taste for them during the earliest stages of your veganism.
Vegan supplementation and making sacrifices
Those who oppose this diet also highlight the ‘difficulty’ of getting enough vitamins without meat, imagining vegans as malnutritioned and oftentimes sickly. If you’re serious about your veganism, you’ll have no trouble adding a multivitamin to your diet in order to ensure your body has everything you need.
Vitamin B12 is perhaps the hardest to get while on a vegan diet while also being incredibly important to a person’s health, so you’ll need a bottle of B12 capsules in the kitchen cabinet.
There’s also something to be said about giving up some of your favorite foods because they’re not in line with your beliefs. Your favorite pepperoni pizza and chocolate ice cream will become a thing of the past, and here is where a lot of aspiring vegans choose to revert back to their regular diet – they find life too short to give up on such pleasures. Those who persist, however, enjoy a range of health benefits and rarely end up going back to their old ways.