Try These Easy Steps Toward a Vegan Lifestyle

If you're anything like me, you've been hearing about the health and environmental benefits of a vegan lifestyle for years now. Although I've been intrigued by the thought of limiting my carbon footprint and improving my well-being by eating fewer animal products, it's also been difficult to picture a life without cheese. As more of us go vegan, though, the choices in my local grocery store have expanded exponentially, making it easier than ever to embrace this healthy lifestyle. If you're ready to get on board, try these eight baby steps toward eliminating meat, dairy and other animal products from your diet.

Save It for Dinner

If you usually eat meat throughout the day, consider limiting poultry, red meat and fish to dinner only. Doing so will immediately reduce your consumption of animal products, especially if you go completely vegan for breakfast, lunch and daytime snacks.

Holding Vegetables

Plan One Vegan Meal a Week

Have you heard of Meatless Mondays? After successfully removing meat and dairy from your daytime meals, try making one dinner each week that's completely free of animal products. It doesn't have to be Monday, of course, but swapping out one or two entrees a week for a plant-based alternative will boost your health and get you one step further to a completely vegan lifestyle. This step will also build your repertoire of delicious vegan recipes.

Take It One Product at a Time

Try switching just one of your normal dairy or meat staples for a vegan alternative. For example, buy margarine or a coconut oil spread instead of butter next time you go to the store or replace your typical 2% milk with a soy, almond or even rice variety. You'll get a chance to try an array of vegan products and even find some new favorites to add to your regular rotation. Next time you buy groceries, make a second swap and so on.

Vegetables in bags

Add Instead of Subtract

Don't think of a lifestyle change as taking things away from your diet. Instead, try new foods and vegan favorites to naturally expand your horizons without the feeling of deprivation. Look for recipes that take advantage of fruits, veggies, nuts, grains, seeds, tofu and beans. The more comfortable you become with these staples, the easier it will be to nourish your family without animal products.

2 Minute Ritual

Get Enough Nutrients

Whether you primarily eat fresh produce and other whole foods or you also incorporate packaged items, check your diet against the recommended nutritional information for a person of your age, gender and health status. If you find you don't get enough of a certain vitamin or mineral, ask your doctor about adding a supplement to your daily routine.

Keep a Journal

Tracking your diet as you transition to eating fewer animal products can help you see the benefits of this lifestyle change. Have you been losing weight? Noticing more stamina during your workouts? Sleeping better? Feeling more positive? Documenting these items will provide motivation to keep going in your quest for a healthier, happier you.


Reach for Resources

With so many books, blogs and recipes at our fingertips online, it's never been easier to get the knowledge you need to go vegan. You can even order food, supplements and ingredients online, which is especially helpful in communities with limited grocery options.

Eat at Home

If your favorite restaurant is the local steakhouse and your go-to lunch is a pepperoni pizza, break the meat and dairy habit by preparing most of your meals at home. You'll save a significant amount of money while eliminating the temptation to stray from your vegan journey.

Changing your diet for the better, whether that means going completely vegan, eliminating meat or being more aware of the animal products you consume, is a major lifestyle change. These smaller goals can get you on the right track for a nutritional overhaul that's good for the Earth, too.

2 Replies to “Try These Easy Steps Toward a Vegan Lifestyle”

  1. I also have been considering adopting new eating habits. I am continually researching and finding many creative options in my quest to eliminate sugar, processed foods and red meats from my diet. My greatest concern is making sure that I get enough proteins. Please help me find solutions. Thanks

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