When deciding to go vegan, people have to face a harsh reality. Going from an omnivorous diet to an utterly free-from-animal-products one does not happen from one day to the other, such as changing clothes. Of course, saying goodbye to all the food items we have been eating during our entire lives will demand us some perseverance and strength.
As you can imagine, you will have to fight against resistance, which comes from your habits themselves. Moreover, it is because these practices set up over the years, and they carry traditions, flavors, and even emotional meanings, that it will be so harsh for you. Will you have to say ‘no’ to your mum’s favorite lasagna now?
In short, there are two ways to go vegan: the quick one and the slow one. Which one fits you best is something you will have to evaluate depending on many factors. So, take a close look at these two paths.
Veganism: its quick and slow ways
For instance, you may have watched some documentaries, informative videos, and read some blogs, as well as pieces of news. Then you decide to stop eating meat, honey, and milk all at once. As a fact, this is an abrupt change, but not necessarily a negative one, because it can bring you some great satisfaction. We are talking about going the quick way.
If you had been having some health issues as a result of your diet, removing these edibles can contribute to making you feel way better. Therefore, you will lose some extra weight and feel lighter; some gastrointestinal upsets and respiratory discomforts due to dairies consumption will disappear, and you will not carry with the guilt of consuming products derived from animal cruelty.
But going the quick way implies some cons as well. You may feel weak at first, and this can happen for two reasons: a lack of nutrients due to an unbalanced diet, or maybe a psychological effect that originates from insecurity. On the other hand, substituting proteins and fats can produce symptoms such as headaches, acne, and fatigue, or irritability. There is a chance that our gastrointestinal system could suffer from such overload of fibers, and this includes swelling, gases, and excessive intestinal movement.
Going vegan the slow way
Going vegan bit by bit is entirely possible. You can perform some research on every little change you make in your life; a moderate transition can result in less stress, which can eventually lead to avoid making wrong decisions.
Some advantages of this method include less trouble in finding alternative edibles. For example, you can start by substituting meat with tofu, seitan, new preparations using legumes, and more. Besides, taking some time allows you to ask questions and look for information.
Besides, you will feel more secure and will not blame the lack of meat for your physical alterations. Lastly, you will not have to spend lots of money when replacing things of animal origin at home. You can do that gradually, as they start to break or deteriorate.
Most common mistakes for new vegans
There are lots of common mistakes we can make when going vegan. One is accidentally selecting some products that, at first sight, seem free from animal content. Still, once we are used to consuming them, we realize they contain plenty of unhealthy additives, or these come from animals. Moreover, it is no strange that vegetables do not provide as much vitamin B12 as our organism needs.
Another big mistake is not eating enough legumes. These provide us with the necessary amount of proteins and iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, vitamins, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. Besides chickpeas and all kinds of beans, soy products such as tempeh, tofu, soy milk or yogurt, and peanuts are legumes as well. All these varieties allow us to add them to our preparations in many different ways.
Furthermore, avoid substituting cheese for products of low nutritional value, another prevalent mistake as well, since quitting the pleasure of cheese is tough for many new vegans. In case you did not know, cheese contains many ingredients that make it more addictive, such as salt, saturated fats, and casomorphin.
For such reason, there is an increasing number of brands that sell products made of coconut fat, which contain colorings and flavorings that attempt to imitate cheese of animal origin. However, the nutritional value of these cheeses is too low, since they only provide with saturated fats. Eating these elaborations will only affect our diet’s balance and raise our cholesterol levels in the blood. Try cheeses made of nuts! Even though they can be more expensive, they are way more nutritious and healthy. And the best part, you can prepare them at home.
Include more vegetables in your diet
Whether we are vegans or not, fruits and vegetables must make up for 50% of our nutrition, but many people eat less of these items than they should. If you just turned into veganism, there is a high chance that your previous diet may have been very deficient regarding the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Well, it is time to correct that now! Turn these food items into the protagonist they should be and have fruit as breakfast, dessert, or eat it at any other moment in the day.
Time to say goodbye to refined grains
Refined grains have lost the major part of fiber and antioxidants, as well as their vitamins and minerals. Like in the case of vegetables, there are significant numbers of people out there who eat lots of refined grains and not as many whole grains as they should. Therefore, when turning into a vegan, please take the opportunity to replace traditional bread, rice, and pasta for its varieties made of whole grains. You can also include some other less known grains such as oat, corn, buckwheat, and quinoa —a pseudocereal—.
If you still want to know more about common mistakes you should avoid when becoming a vegan, have a look here: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vegetarian-and-vegan-mistakes