Going vegan is no walk in the park, especially when outside forces seem to pull you to eggs and dairy like a magnet. Eating out brings out a host of temptations, and it can get tricky when you’re sharing a meal with your family or roommates,
But veganism doesn’t need to be as overwhelming a process as it’s made out to be. Here are some tips to cope with your (healthy) vegan lifestyle without losing friends, or more importantly, losing your mind.
Start at Your Own Pace
Take the vegan lifestyle transition little by little. Start by replacing red meat with an alternative healthy source of protein. Tofu is a phenomenal example of a vegan substitute for meat that is accessible in any grocery store.
Victoria Moran, author of Main Street Vegan recommends removing an animal from your diet one week at a time, then replacing those animals with the vegan versions. Some of the soy meats that they’re creating are absolutely delicious. It’s well established that big red meat eaters often can’t even tell the difference.
Animal products are everywhere and looking for vegan products can be a struggle when you are grocery shopping. But if you know where to shop, it won’t be a struggle at all.
If you go to a store like Trader Joes, or Whole Foods, head over to the packaged meat section. They often have delicious vegan alternatives adjacent to the sausages and turkey slices. Safeway also has some very good alternatives. No worries if you don’t have a good grocery store near you. You can purchase vegan food online at Amazon and get groceries delivered to your door-step. Check out the plethora of vegan support groups on Facebook also. They have a wealth of information that could help you discover delicious vegan-friendly products. (See also: How Switching to a Vegan Diet Can Help Your Inflammation and Arthritis)
Have a Vegan Support Group
Having someone to talk to about your passion and lifestyle helps a lot in the transition period. Vegan support groups can help guide you throughout the change and also can provide essential additional information. Transitioning vegans often have trouble staying on course, and it helps to have someone hold your hand through the process.
Consider Starting With Vegan Instant Pot Meals
Once you give up meat and dairy, it’s easy to fall into a downward spiral of lacking nutrition. Vegan-friendly recipes are now quite accessible online, but a lot of those recipes take 1-2 hours to cook. We’d recommend purchasing an instant pot, which will save you hours of time in the kitchen.
Vegan instant pot meals have unbelievably quick cooking time. If you’re too tired to spend hours in the kitchen or your cooking skills are sub-par, it may be the device for you. Vegan bloggers are all over the web, and they have hosts of delicious vegan instant pot recipes you can try yourself. You can also head over to the local bookstore and purchase a guide to delicious vegan recipes.
Vegan Air Fryers Meals
Once you master the instant pot, mastering the air fryer is the next step in your vegan cooking repertoire. Some of my favorite recipes include avocado fries, buffalo cauliflower, and jackfruit taquitos. There are hundreds of other delicious recipes online, and they’re all easy to make with an air fryer. Air fryers can be fairly expensive so, I’d recommend checking out this air fryer guide before making the purchase.
The most challenging part of being a vegan is eating out at a restaurant with a bunch of your meat-eating friends. So how can you avoid temptations or foods that might stray you away from your vegan lifestyle?
Before eating out in a restaurant, try calling beforehand to ensure they can prepare something vegan for you. Be clear about what you want in your meal so that you and your friends can ensure a relaxing evening out. If you’re invited to a friend’s house, you can always recommend a potluck and bring your own meal. If you think that your options are really limited, then you might want to eat beforehand.
Transitioning your diet doesn’t have to be stressful for you, in fact, it should be enjoyable and fulfilling. Being a vegan shouldn’t deprive you of all the gourmet foods you are accustomed to, it just means that you’re choosing a healthy and fulfilling diet; one with a wealth of delicious choices. Ultimately, veganism isn’t a decision you should make on a whim. It takes planning and conviction. But the options are accessible, and it’s up to you to ensure that you’re utilizing them.
About The Author:
Stephanie Woods is a freelance writer who writes primarily about the kitchen and food-related appliances. Stephanie frequently works from home and has learned how to balance her writing schedule with her passion for cooking.