How to Transition to a Vegan Diet + 3 Beginner Vegan Recipes
Looking for ways to cut your carbon footprint? Believe it or not, the largest impact may be where you least expect it!
While many of our minds drift to carpooling and shopping locally to reduce our impact, one of the largest culprits for greenhouse gases is actually hidden in your diet! Here in Australia, a whopping70% of greenhouse gases from agriculture are direct livestock emissions.
Of course, the transition to a vegan diet isn’t as simple as clearing out your fridge. If you’re ready to make a lifestyle change and ditch animal products there are a few key steps you’ll want to keep in mind for a smooth transition.
Let’s dive in!
Establish Your ‘Why’
The first step to going vegan is understanding why you’re doing it in the first place. While there are many benefits of a vegan diet, each of us will have our own specific reasons for making the change.
Perhaps you’re going vegan for the environment to cut your carbon emissions as we mentioned above! You may also be ditching meat for the many health benefits or your ethics and morals could be your driving force.
Whatever your reason may be, keeping your ‘why’ in the back of your mind will be a game-changer when things get tough.
Just like reducing your waste, going vegan is a low and slow process.
Rather than cleaning out your fridge and going strictly vegan overnight, the best approach is often a ‘weaning’ process. Perhaps you cut out red meat first or go vegetarian before transitioning to full vegan.
Slowing down your swap can make sticking to your new diet much more sustainable. In addition to not overwhelming your mind, dropping all animal products at once can actually have some strange side effects on the body.
Give yourself time to adjust and don’t beat yourself up if it takes a few weeks, months, or even years to reach your vegan goals.
Crowd Don’t Cut
Rather than going in with an ‘I can’t eat that’ attitude, try to crowd out animal products with vegan substitutes.
Rather than taking the meat off of your plate and being left with the sides, work in a fun and filling meat substitute. Fill your plate with delicious and nutritious foods you love and you won’t even notice the items that are ‘missing’!
Focus on Whole Foods
One of the biggest mistakes new vegans make is buying anything and everything with that green V logo. While having some fun snacks and treats on hand is a great idea to make your new diet sustainable, you’ll want to focus most of your calorie intake on nutritionally dense foods.
Fortunately, eating healthy as a vegan isn’t as hard as you may think! Whole foods such as fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and nutrients you need to keep your body healthy and well.
With this in mind, sticking to whole foods for the majority of your diet can ensure you are getting enough of the nutrients you need to support your body.
While there are sneaky proteins in many veggies, you’ll likely need to put a little more emphasis on protein consumption to ensure your body is sufficiently supported.
Believe it or not, not all proteins are created equally. To support your body, you’ll need to include ‘complete proteins’. This means they have a range of essential amino acids. A few of our favourites include:
You’ll also find proteins in snacks like a peanut butter sandwich or mushroom caps! In fact, mushrooms have a particularly meaty texture that can keep meat-missers satisfied.
While a vegan diet is a perfectly healthy way to eat, there are a few essential vitamins and minerals that non-meat diets don’t include naturally.
The most common nutrients you’ll need to keep your eye on are your iron and vitamin B12. Fortunately, there are many supplements for vegans that make keeping your iron and vitamin B levels up easy as pie.
Take your supplements daily and don’t be afraid to request a blood test from your doctor if you think your iron or B12 have taken a dip!
When it comes to how to go vegan, diet is only part of the lifestyle change. The purpose of a vegan lifestyle is to eliminate animal products - especially when it comes to those environmental and ethical reasons!
Luckily, sourcing vegan products is much easier than it used to be. In fact, we even have avegan filter built into our website to help you shop according to your values!
From your cleaning routine to your beauty products, crowding out those animal-derived products is an amazing step to take for you and the planet.
Keep it Fun!
Perhaps the most important tip on our list - don’t forget to go easy on yourself!
Making the switch to a vegan lifestyle is a big step and we are incredibly proud of you! As you embrace your new products and diet, reward yourself here and there for staying accountable!
Maybe this means treating yourself to a fun new vegan cosmetic product or indulging in avegan chocolate bar! Whatever it may be, allow yourself some of those guilty pleasures and don’t forget that you’re making a difference no matter where you are in your journey!
Stay Inspired with a Vegan Recipe!
Need some delicious inspo for your new vegan diet? Here are a few easy but tasty recipes you can try today!
Just because you’re not putting meat on the grill doesn’t mean you have to miss out on those summer bbq vibes! Here’s a fun and easyvegan burger recipe to enjoy with friends!
What You’ll Need:
1 tin of chickpeas (400g)
1 tin of sweetcorn (340g)
¼ bunch of fresh coriander
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cumin
3 heaped tablespoons of plain flour (+ extra for dusting)
Wholemeal burger buns
Any desired burger toppings (lettuce, pickle, tomato, sauces, beetroot, etc!)
Drain chickpeas and sweetcorn and add to a food processor along with the coriander leaves (leave stems aside for topping!)
Add in spices, flour, and a pinch of salt. Grate in lemon zest and pulse until combined. Do not over process, your mixture should have a bit of texture (not smooth).
On a flour-dusted surface, divide and shape your mixture into 4 equal patties (about 2 cms thick!) Allow to firm up in the fridge for approx 30 mins.
Heat a splash of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook your patties until golden (about 10 minutes), flipping halfway through.
Dress your burger as desired and dig in!
No-Tuna Salad Sandwich
It can be tough to stay on track if you don’t have delicious vegan lunches to take with you to the office, park, or family gathering. Here’s a tasty and quickno-tuna salad sandwich that is sure to up your lunchbox game!
What you’ll need:
1 tin of chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
3 tbsp tahini
1 tsp dijon or spicy brown mustard
1 tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar
¼ cup diced red onion
¼ cup diced celery
¼ cup diced pickle
1 teaspoon capers
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp roasted sunflower seeds (optional)
Suggested for Serving:
Whole grain bread
Place chickpeas in a mixing bowl and mash with a fork leaving a few beans whole for texture.
Add tahini, mustard, maple serum (or agave), red onion, celery, pickle, capers, salt and pepper, and sunflower seeds (if using) and mix well.
Toast bread and prepare any desired sandwich toppings. Spoon a generous amount of chickpea mixture onto your sandwich and enjoy! For lunches, pop your sandwich into areusable sandwich bag and enjoy on the go!
Need some more inspiration to keep your vegan eats fun and tasty? Check outthese easy recipes for beginners to make mealtime sustainable!
Your Transition to Vegan!
Now that you know why and how to go vegan, it’s time to take the leap and embrace a new lifestyle change! From discovering your why to trying out tasty recipes, we hope this post helps you on your transition to vegan!
Want more tips and tricks for living a sustainable lifestyle?Check out our blog for realistic ideas and tips for going zero-waste, ditching chemicals, and reducing your carbon footprint!
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