Before we start with these 10 tips for new vegans post, let me stress that I am not fully vegan, yet. I don’t claim to be or know it all but I have been inspired to embrace it as best as I can. Since my first post on veganism where I talked about how and why I went vegan for one week, I have been inspired by it. Be sure to check out that post as it contains some beginner info to answer any questions you may have.
Anyways, after my one-week vegan challenge, I actually stuck to the vegan lifestyle for two months. It was literally one of the best things I could’ve done for myself. I started seeing some huge changes in how my body worked. These changes were amazing to me and I truly considered fully transitioning to a 100% vegan diet forever. However, I fell off the wagon.
It’s been about a month since I stopped the vegan meal plan and I can feel my body reverting to its old soggy self. So I am putting myself back on the “vegan diet prescription”. I’m challenging myself to do it again, this time, long-term. To do this, I have thought about what worked in my 2 months of going vegan and what didn’t work. Together I came up with a list that happened to be 10 tips for new vegans so I thought I’d share it!
Many people found my one week challenge to be helpful (it’s actually my second most read post ever) and I get lots of questions when I post vegan recipes on my insta stories. I will be sharing the benefits of being vegan and the changes I noticed in myself in another post so be on the lookout for that in case you are looking for a reason to consider trying out being vegan.
These tips are the same tips I will be holding on to as I make my way back to eating a wholesome, clean, vegan meals. So grab your tea here we go….
Understand and believe in your “Why”
If you don’t know and trust in why you are deciding to go vegan, it’s very easy to fall off the wagon. For me, I’m going vegan for my health and overall well-being. On the days that I crave meat and animal products, I remind myself of my health and why this is a healing process for me. It keeps me grounded and prevents me from wavering or missing meat products.
It’s so important to understand that you are not a pro from the beginning. You don’t have to overhaul your entire lifestyle; throwing away your products that aren’t cruelty-free because you are trying to be vegan. For many people, it’s a transition. So take your time and take it one day at a time.
Also, make easier meals. This is so important especially if you’re not very skilled in the kitchen. Don’t try to be the pro-vegan chef on Instagram if you barely cook conventional meals. You will get there one day, but for now, take it easy.
Do your research & Have an open mind
This was very helpful for me. Like many people, I had a lot of hesitations and many of them were as a result of misinformation. I believed living vegan was too expensive or that I would never be able to get my proteins and that vegan foods would be bland because they don’t have the seasonings from the meat etc. All these proved to be untrue. I have cooked some very tasty meals as a vegan.
One thing I noticed was many people telling me I was depriving myself. That is also a major misconception. I had to realize that I wasn’t depriving myself but instead I was nourishing my body with wholesome, healthy meals that healed my body and made me feel very good. Everything I get from meat, I could get from plants other than just specific texture.
Stock up On essentials and favorites
I fell off the vegan wagon when I didn’t have groceries at home. I was in a tight week with school and work and didn’t have time to cook a good meal so I gave in to eating whatever I saw and those had meats in them. From then on everything changed.
You need pantry essentials and staples to get you started. These staples have to be things you love to eat. stock up on rice, beans, soups, and your favorite fruits. If you love the texture of meat then stock up on tofu and meat alternatives to include in your meals. When you have these things at home, you eliminate the burden of not knowing what to eat which often leads you to eat things you didn’t want to eat.
Find your favorites
When you have your favorite vegan meals and ingredients, they’ll be your default meals on the days when you just don’t know what to eat or can’t figure out your craving. Your default meal/ingredient should be simple and quick to make. For me, it’s chickpeas. I now always have to have cooked chickpeas frozen at all times. This allows me to quickly warm it up and either eat it alone or with a small bowl of rice.
Surround yourself with people who are living the same lifestyle. Join vegan communities in person or online. I follow lots of vegan accounts on Instagram for inspiration. I also pin lots of vegan recipes on Pinterest. Seeing so many delicious recipes on Instagram daily is a reminder that vegan foods are awesome and there are lots of alternatives. It makes me look forward to my next meal and the next recipe I put together.
Eat when you’re hungry and listen to your body
You have more nutrients but fewer calories with most plant-based foods. They’re lower in calories which means you’ll be hungry sooner and more often. When you’re hungry, eat! As long as you’re eating balanced healthy meals, there’s no restriction. Don’t starve yourself. I love the freedom to eat whenever I wanted without fear of overeating.
Also, listen to your body and cravings. Your cravings might be telling you something about a deficiency.
Plan weekly meals
This was so important for me. When you plan weekly meals in advance, you eliminate stress and also save lots of money. It also makes grocery shopping a lot easier. Having a weekly meal calendar was super helpful. While I advice planning weekly meals, I also noticed that taking it one day at a time is important. If you don’t feel like cooking what you scheduled for Monday’s lunch, switch it up with what you have at home. It’s okay!
Give yourself some credit!
Seriously, nobody is perfect. If you end up eating meat or grabbing cheese while you’re transitioning, you are not a bad person and you have not betrayed the vegan community. Don’t beat yourself over it. Credit yourself for the days you’ve been successful but don’t hold yourself so high that you think you should never fail. Not everyone is able to switch to a vegan lifestyle and never turn back. Some of us will have to redo it many times before we stick to it and get it right.
You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone
People seemed to be so “concerned” about why in the heck I am vegan. Explaining myself has been quite frustrating. Telling people I really don’t need meat to survive is quite annoying. Now, I don’t have to explain myself to anyone. Don’t feel the need to explain yourself. It’ll only leave you frustrated.
I hope you guys found these tips helpful! I am super excited to be back. Let’s hold each other accountable. Join my mailing list for more inspirations and be sure to follow me on Instagram where I’ll be sharing more wholesome recipes on insta stories.
Thanks for stopping by! Check out my 6 Life Changing Tips for Decluttering while you’re here!