Veganism is a philosophy or a way of life that rules out all kinds of animal cruelty or related products. That can be extended to food, daily use products to clothing, or accessories, etc. They promote the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of every living being and the environment. Veganism makes use of plant-based items for survival or basic needs.
What is a Vegan Diet?
A vegan diet doesn’t consist of any animal products or food created from animals. Thus, a vegan diet excludes all animal products like meat, fish, dairy, insects, eggs, and even honey.
Since a person who is vegan does not eat any kind of animal product, they only consume plant-based items. However, being vegan doesn’t mean you have to stop indulging in your favorite foods, it just means you need to find a way to make them in a different plant-based method.
You might be wondering where to get your protein for vegan diet if you can’t have any animal protein, but you will find that a vegan diet has several alternative sources of protein. This includes fruits and vegetables but also other items like seeds, grains, beans, chickpeas, legumes, nuts, oils, etc.
How to Get Started on a Vegan Diet?
Here are some tips to help you get started on a vegan diet.
1. Start slow - You might not be able to become vegan immediately but taking the first step is the key. Start by making small changes in your meal and increase the amount of greens on your plate. Try to reduce your intake of meat and dairy; switching your cow’s milk to almond or soy milk as an alternative can also help. After you get used to having more greens in your diet, you can switch out the animal protein with vegetarian protein for vegan diet like beans, peas, tofu, legumes, pulses, etc.
2. Experiment with different types of vegan diets - Most people try the whole-food vegan diet which consists of a wide variety of whole plant foods such as whole grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables. However, you may also try other types of vegan diet such as the raw-food vegan diet that consists of raw fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, or plant foods cooked below 118°F (48°C). Other popular vegan diets include the thrive diet, 80/10/10, junk-food vegan diet, the starch solution, and raw till 4.
3. Try something new - Since you are changing your entire lifestyle, you should try tasting different kinds of food items and animal alternatives. It will open a new world full of new possibilities, creations, and exotic items. You can try new things which you probably wouldn’t have before and take your taste buds on a new journey. And for people who are trying to lose weight, trying a vegan diet weight loss plan might just do the trick since vegan food doesn’t have much fat content. You will also be surprised at how many things you can easily make in your kitchen without much fuss.
4. Consider consuming supplements - It’s difficult for some vegans to eat enough food to meet the daily recommended nutrient requirements. In such cases, it is necessary to consume supplements such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, zinc, EPA, DHA, calcium, iron, iodine, and more.
Starting a Plant Based Diet
Here are some tips to help you get started on a plant-based diet.
1. Consume a lot of vegetables - You can try to start by filling most of your plate with vegetables for lunch and dinner. Make sure to add many different textures and colors when choosing your combination of vegetables. You should also start indulging in vegetables as a snack, adding different seasonings and sauces to your veggies can also help. Some varieties of greens you can add to your meal are kale, swiss chard, spinach, and collard.
2. Reduce your meat intake - You should change how you think about meat. You should try having it in smaller amounts and slowly try excluding it completely. Leaving meat is very difficult for nonvegans so try to do it in small amounts, try using meat as only a garnish, and eventually, you might be able to leave it.
3. Good fats - There are fats in everything and oil can be created out of several vegetarian items such as avocado, olive, nut butter, seeds, flowers, and coconuts, etc. They are all very healthy choices and have lower fat content. These oils are especially useful for people who wish to lose weight since they are made from plants.
4. Cook a vegan meal once a week - Transitioning into a vegan diet can be quite difficult but small steps can bring in big change. Add a completely vegan meal day to your week and make food with high protein vegetarian items.
5. Add whole grains for breakfast - Your breakfast should have a variety of whole grains such as oatmeal, buckwheat, barley, and quinoa. You can even try to add nuts and seeds to your breakfast bowl for added flavor and an extra punch of flavor.
6. Make salad bowls - You can try to create different kinds of salad bowls with an assortment of veggies, herbs and nuts; remember to add a nice dressing to your salad to make it more flavorful. You can even make fruit salads for dessert with seasonal fruits.
There are several easy vegan recipes for you to try one search away on the internet. And, you can also add the flavour of coconut to your food or can cook with extra virgin coconut oil or desiccated coconut powder for an extra coconutty taste.