To commemorate my 4th year vegan, I thought I’d share some of my tips for transitioning to a vegan diet!
I certainly didn’t go vegan overnight. Actually my journey into healthy eating happened over the course of many years. I first had to teach myself how to enjoy eating vegetables. Growing up I wouldn’t touch most veggies, so when I went to college and realized I could avoid “food-guilt” if I only ate healthier, I was determined to become a veggie lover. It was pretty easy, I already loved to cook, and discovering new veggies and spices became a fun adventure and hobby.
Then, I decided to become vegetarian. That was cool, but then I went back to eating fish (pescetarian). Then I became vegetarian again, and I stuck to it for a while (this blog was started during that time) before committing to a vegan diet. I had become vegetarian for the health benefits, but I became vegan for the ethical concerns of animal products. Giving up New York pizza seemed impossible, but I did it, and have never looked back.
Being vegan has not only improved my health (reversing my life-long stomach problems, and giving me glowing clear skin), it’s also given my life purpose and passion. I love sharing my nutrition knowledge with you guys whether it be here on this blog, through my health coaching practice, when teaching classes, or social media.
I believe that anyone can benefit from a healthy vegan diet full of whole foods, lots of color, and plenty of soul 😉
Here are my tips for making your vegan transition easy…
1. Crowd out the non-vegan foods by adding more fruits, veggies, beans, grains, and vegan recipes. This will give your body time to get used to eating more fiber. It’ll also help you to figure out which vegan foods and recipes you prefer.
2. Go vegan a couple days a week. Try going vegan on Monday, then a week later go vegan Monday AND Tuesday, and work your way up to 100% vegan over the course of about 7 weeks. Again, this will help your body get used to the additional fiber, and it’ll allow you to find the foods and that work best for you.
3. Get a friend or family member to go vegan with you. Having the support of someone else who is transitioning is helpful for keeping you on track, and motivated.
4. Make new vegan friends. Comment and ask questions in the comment section below my Youtube videos, join an in-person meetup group, hang out in online forums, and go to vegan workshops or cooking classes.
5. Get professional guidance. Since going vegan myself, I’ve been intensely passionate about this way of living and eating, and I’ve had the honor of helping hundreds make the transition as well.
Do you have any tips for going vegan? Share them in the comment section below, or on the Youtube video. If you have any questions about making the transition, I’m happy to answer those too.
- 5-6 handfuls of baby kale and/or other greens (spinach, romaine, mixed greens, arugula)
- simple vinaigrette (recipe below)
- 1-2 cups lentils or beans
- 1 cup other veggies or fruit: shredded carrots or beets, roasted sweet potatoes or squash, cubed avocado, sliced apples, grapefruit, oranges, strawberries, blueberries or pear
- 2 cups croutons (in the top photo I’m having the kale salad with roasted sweet potato and croutons)
- simple vinaigrette (makes about 1 cup)
- 3 tbsp mustard
- 1 tbsp lemon
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Toss the salad ingredients of your choice in a large mixing bowl, and serve immediately.
- place the ingredients in a glass jar, tighten the lid, and shake vigorously until emulsified.