Whether you’re trying to go vegan for ethical reasons, health reasons, or both, making the switch from a meat-eating diet to a vegan one can be tough. This is especially true if you’re a big meat eater and rely on animal products as your main source of protein.
Going cold turkey is never a good idea, even if you feel like this is something you have to do right now. If you start too abruptly, there’s a strong chance that you will give up. Starting slowly and gradually adding more plant-based products to your diet is the best way to go. Let’s take a look at how you can make a smooth transition from meat-eater to vegan.
Start as a Part-Time Vegan
One of the things you could do at the beginning is to have a vegan diet only some days of the week. You could choose to be vegan during the week and eat whatever you want on the weekend or do the opposite and be a vegan on the weekend only. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t go fully vegan immediately. The most important part is that you’re taking steps in the right direction.
Learn How to Substitute
You have to get familiar with some of the substitutes for common animal-based products and know how to swap out ingredients in recipes. You should also know that you can’t use all plant-based substitutes interchangeably.
For instance, almond milk might be a great substitute for milk if you want to make smoothies or eat cereal, but it may not always work if you want to do some cooking. The same goes with things like tofu.
Tofu can sometimes work as a substitute for meat, but you might get better results if you use things like lentils in certain instances. So, learn as much as you can about the different substitutes and know what would work the best in different instances.
Be Smart when Eating Out
While there are more vegan restaurants now than ever and most chains have vegan options, it’s still hard to eat out when you’re a vegan. This is why you need to do your research before you go out and always look at reviews to see if a vegan restaurant is worth it.
If you happen to live in a big city like Chicago, New York, or LA, know that finding a vegan restaurant will be much easier than in most parts of the country. Vegan restaurants in these areas have been around the years and have perfected the formula, so you should have no trouble finding a restaurant that will serve food that will not only be indistinguishable from non-vegan food, but much better.
If you live in Chicago, Native Foods is recognized as the best plant based restaurant by many critics. Most restaurants in the city also have lots of vegan options, but you have to know how the foods are prepared and have access to a full list of the ingredients they use before you can trust them.
If you follow these few tips, moving to a vegan diet shouldn’t be that difficult. Remember to start slow and learn how to make vegan food as enjoyable as possible if you want to succeed.