Beginners Guide to Going Vegan Healthily

Posted on 20 Mar 2021 by Emily Atkinson-Dalton
Veganism has been on the rise over the last decade, with numbers of vegans in the UK quadrupling within just 5 years and a huge 560,000 people signing up for Veganuary in 2021! There are a variety of reasons to go vegan including environmental, health and ethical reasons, and now more than ever people are realising the many benefits of a vegan diet. With the availability of vegan food by using My Vegan discount codes, it’s easier than ever to explore veganism. One concern when adopting a new way of life, however, is to ensure you are doing it healthily so you can enjoy your new lifestyle without any setbacks. 

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To Transition or to Go Cold ‘Tofurky’?

Changing your diet and lifestyle is a big task, and there are many ways that people choose to go about it. You might not know yet which is right for you, but it is worth considering potential benefits of the two main ways of going vegan:

Transitioning: This method means that you cut out non-vegan items over a period of time. This can give you more time to get used to the new diet, potentially lead to less negative side effects on your body, it allows you to use up what you already have, and it also means that you can set a schedule for yourself. Transitioning can take place over days or months but be sure to track your progress, so you do not end up falling back into your old diet.

Cold Turkey: Going cold turkey (or cold tofurky!) means that you cut out all non-vegan products at the same time. This can be easier for some people as they can cut out foods straight away and explore vegan alternatives without cravings. It can also ensure that you can easily track your progress and not be tempted to go back.

Whichever way works for you is great, and you might already know which works best based on when you have tried to change things in your life previously. Whichever one you choose, bear in mind that 1. Slip ups happen and that is okay, no matter which method you use and 2. It can take time for your body to adjust. However, for many it is a much easier process than they originally think as healthy vegan foods are much more accessible nowadays.

Note Down your Current Diet

Whether you transition or go vegan overnight, one of the best ways to ensure you go vegan healthily is by noting down what your diet currently consists of. You might find that you already eat a lot of accidentally vegan food such as vegetables, pasta, curries, salads or stews which can easily be made vegan without much adaptation. Once you have noted down what you usually eat in a week (including snacks and drinks) you can research which items are vegan and which are not (be careful – its not always obvious so be sure to keep an eye out for hidden ingredients such as honey and lactose!). Once you know which items are not vegan, you can start finding appropriate replacements for them such as seitan or tofu in place of meat, non-dairy milks or dairy free cheeses.

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Research What You Need

In our previous blog 5 Steps to Being a Healthy Vegan On a Budget, we noted down some of the essential nutrients and where you can get them on a vegan diet. When you follow the links on our blog to vegan websites, you can find even more detailed nutrition advice. Find out what essential nutrients you need daily, and whether it is advisable to take vitamin supplements, and add these into your diet. It is often the nutrient deficiencies which are the cause of people struggling with negative side effects on a new vegan diet, so make sure you give your body what it needs to avoid these. Once you have your research and meal plans, you are ready to embark on your healthy vegan adventure!

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