We asked Nicoletta to share her story about how she decided to become vegan. She also created for us a quick introduction guide with the three steps to transition to a (healthy) vegan lifestyle.
You’ve made it to this page. Now what steps do you take? Transitioning to a vegan lifestyle can seem like an extremely daunting change. In most cases though, getting stung by a bee is scarier than going vegan once you’re in a conscious path of consuming no animal products.
I’m a 19 year old American girl who is now living in the U.K for University. I moved less than a year ago, and I was already dreading that change. Moving halfway across the world away from your hometown IS much scarier than being stung by a bee.
But going through this, I felt as if change was needed in my life. I felt as if I was the same girl walking in, and then soon to be walking out. I didn’t like that. I wanted something to impact me. And then the world presented to me a helping hand to guide me to the lifestyle I live today.
I met Caroline, a young Norweigan girl who lives on the island of Tromøy, Norway. I befriended her extremely quickly, we did everything together before COVID-19 had to send her home. A natural born hippie, she appreciates life as a vegan in the most respectful way I have seen. Living a simple, minimalistic life full of color and natural ingredients.
I made the transition to veganism at the beginning of 2020 extremely abruptly. Now, you don’t have to go about it this way. I was a vegetarian for one short month prior, and then began to try going vegan. I personally decided to take an abrupt turn from cheeseburgers just because it DOES make you feel better about yourself. Many vegans don’t speak about how honorary they feel that their body could partake in this new way of life. You tend to feel more positive about your eating, healthy, and want to partake in more healthy habits if you make this change. But how do you start? Here are my top 3 tips on how you can slowly make your transition to having a new vegan lifestyle.
1. Cut out the animal intake!
This is the hardest part when going vegan. Slowly taking out beef, pork, chicken, and other meats can affect your everyday life if these usually sit comfortably in your diet. But, fear not! Things like jackfruit, edamame, tofu, and veggie meat can easily be substituted for these. I have recently taken up making “cauliflower nuggets” which taste very close to a bbq wing!
But, if you are going full vegan and not just vegetarian, you’ll have to cut out animal PRODUCTS as well. Things like butter, milk, eggs, cheese (the hardest one to give up!) are things you’ll have to find to live without. But if you really do love any of these things, there is a substitute for everything. Finding brands and products of this nature is something I could write another article on in itself, so just be sure to do your research before buying.
2. Add healthy fats to your diet
It’s very easy to eat unhealthy fats during the day. Some of the worst fats are butter, margarine, and beef/pork fat. But if you’ll be going vegan, obviously these won’t partake! It’s things like vegan cakes and sweets you have to look out for. JUST BECAUSE THEY’RE VEGAN, IT DOESN’T MAKE IT HEALTHY! Sugar is still sugar.
Adding healthy fats to your diet can help boost weight loss and help yourself benefit from the animal nutrients you are losing. Things like avocados, nuts, nut butters, chia seeds, coconut, olive oil, flax seeds, soybeans, and more. I try to incorporate at least two of these things into my day!
3. Don’t lack the protein
Protein is a huge thing that can be hard for vegans to keep up on. Since you are getting rid of the main sources like eggs and meat, you’ll need to think strategically to make sure you get enough grams in during the day. Here are some easy supplements and products you can use to boost your protein! Things like vegan protein powder for smoothies, lentils, edamame, seitan, pea protein, tempeh, tofu, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, nut butter, quinoa, chickpeas, nuts, and chia seeds are all very high in protein. These also are very easy to incorporate in your everyday life, even just with snacking!
Going vegan can be a hard struggle, especially starting out. But don’t ever worry because you are not alone. Every vegan or vegetarian has to go through the transition. If you ever have any questions and concerns, talk to someone already on the diet! Or better yet, talk to your doctor to see if this is the best option for you and your health needs. You may need just a slight change instead, like cutting all meats and eating just fish. Or even just cutting dairy from your diet. It sounds like a lot, but going through this transition smoothly will lead you to a better lifestyle and hopefully an all around healthy and more positive, you!