How to become vegan easily in 5 simple steps
Most folks seem to think that veganism is complicated, but I can show you in only 5 simple steps how to become vegan easily. Part of it is getting a better understanding of a vegan diet and vegan lifestyle.
Step 1 of how to become vegan easily: understand what it means to be vegan!
The word “vegan” is being thrown around a lot in the news lately with stars announcing their switch to a vegan diet. Well, sorry Beyonce fans, the beautiful singer is not a vegan. She’s adopted a (mostly) plant-based diet, but admits to consuming meat and can still be seen wearing fur!
Here is a definition of veganism from the Vegan Society, an organisation that has been around since 1944 and whose mission is to help more people adopt a vegan lifestyle to reduce animal and human suffering.
A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.
That last sentence says it all: “dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals”. So someone who is vegan does not eat meat, poultry, fish, seafood, dairy, eggs and even honey!
Step 2 of how to become vegan easily: understand some basic facts of vegan nutrition
Yeesh! I can see eyes rolling. Nutrition? Yes, nutrition, because you cannot become vegan easily if you are constantly hungry, eating an unhealthy vegan diet, or lacking a few key nutrients and developing health issues. Have you heard of those vegans that went back to eating meat after awhile (and started a blog to tell everyone their story)? If you dig a little bit, you realize that they were following very incomplete and unhealthy vegan diets, sometimes just fruit and nuts.
I’ve been vegan for almost three years now, and my blood work is impeccable. I lead a fairly active lifestyle and even did a trek in early 2016 to the base camp of Mount Everest. My boyfriend is also vegan and he used to work in construction. You think he could do heavy physical work on unbalanced vegan meals? Nope.
There are lots of options out there to educate yourself about vegan nutrition: I have reviewed the best vegan diet books in another post. If I had to pick just one out of the lot, I would recommend Becoming Vegan, Express Edition by Brenda Davis.
Step 3 of how to become vegan easily: discover recipes!
I initially started making myself vegan meals by adapting what I knew how to cook. I made vegan chili and vegan tomato sauce with mock ground. I replaced meat with legumes in a few other recipes, or added legumes to salads. But quickly, I ran out of ideas. And honestly, it became old really quickly.
The best way to become vegan easily is by experimenting, and there are lots of places to find tasty, easy vegan recipes. I’m a big fan of Pinterest for my recipe inspirations, but I also, over time, built a nice collection of vegan cookbooks for beginners. I would recommend Pinterest when you have an ingredient in mind and want to quickly find recipes you could make with it. But recipe books are great when you are completely uninspired.
Here are three easy recipes to get you started:
- Tofu in orange sauce, with an awesome marinade idea!
- Quinoa spinach salad, a fresh, light and complete meal
- An easy healthy pasta recipe you won’t feel guilty about splurging on
Step 4 of how to become vegan easily: learn where to buy vegan products
Now that you know what you should eat as a vegan, and are inspired by great vegan recipes you want to make at home, the next step is making a basic vegan shopping list and figuring out where to find these vegan products!
The good news is that you will not have to alter your shopping habits too much, most basic vegan items can be found at your brand-name grocery store!
Don’t go crazy buying everything on the list at once! It’s going to be very expensive and overwhelming. Start by buying what you need for a few recipes, as well as basics, and build your vegan pantry over time.
Step 5 of how to become vegan easily: make it enjoyable!
Food is one of life’s many pleasures. If you don’t enjoy what you are eating, you’ll quickly turn away from a vegan diet and feel bad about quitting. If you really love a recipe, why not make it every week, it’s allowed. Feel free to experiment, and don’t be disappointed if a meal does not turn out to be great. You are developing your taste buds with these new experiences and foods.
Happy vegan journey to all of you!