5 Must-Read Tips for First Time Vegans

We might be living in an age of rampant consumerism and technology but more and more people are becoming conscious of the effect we have on the planet. Sustainable living is on the rise and one of the most buzz-worthy lifestyle changes is veganism. According to recent studies, there has been a staggering 600% increase in people identifying as vegans in the U.S in the last three years. It might sound like an intimidating change, but veganism is more attainable than you think. Here are our best tips to making the change and easier endeavor.

Go at your own pace
Veganism is not simply a diet change, it’s an evolution that can help you live more mindfully and make healthier choices in other areas of your life. It’s a big and bold move! Be kind to yourself. Don’t put immediate pressure on yourself to make it work. Perhaps starting gradually is the best way to make the change. Begin with going-meat free on weekdays, perhaps swap out the regular milk in your morning coffee. There’s no rulebook! Do what feels right and think outside the box when it comes to adapting your food choices.

Veggie Power
Many vegan-virgins make the mistake of turning to starch to make their diets more enticing. Be conscious of your starch consumption. Eating a hearty bowl of pasta might be filling and delicious, but starch-based foods should be an occasional treat, not an everyday occurrence. In an era of fast food and snack aisles, we’ve forgotten the power of veggies! Vegetables are nutritious, delicious and easy on your budget. Research interesting ways to include more veggies in your daily meals. We love zucchini pasta – try it!

Play with substitutes
Having a vegan diet does not mean depriving yourself of the foods you love. As the demand for plant-based food increases, mainstream supermarkets are stocking some interesting and yummy alternatives to meat and dairy products. Swap out normal milk for soy, oat, rice or rice milk. Opt for almond butter on toast for a scrumptious breakfast. Look up a black bean burger recipe! Get creative, be adventurous and find what works for you.

Get your protein
One of the first concerns you might have when going vegan is how you get your protein. Contrary to popular belief, there are so many vegetarian foods that are rich in protein. Non-dairy milks, tofu, tempeh, nut butter, beans and lentils are all wonderful substitutes for protein-packed meat foods. If you’re looking for that extra protein kick, look into protein powders. A heaped tablespoon added to your morning smoothie can make all the difference.

Don’t get preachy
We all have that one vegan friend that simply can’t stop talking about the great moral venture that is veganism. Be quiet about your choice and avoid judging others for going a different dietary route. To each their own! If you’re constantly thinking and talking about it, you might just be missing the point. Be mindful and remember to be compassionate to yourself and others.