1) Keep it Simple
In the beginning, it can be hard to figure out what to eat. Start with meals you usually eat.
For example, spaghetti and meatballs do not require a lot of alterations.
Rice noodles are the closest texture and taste to regular spaghetti noodles (in my opinion). Follow the cooking directions, and your family can't tell the difference.Spaghetti sauce choose a sauce with no meat if you don't want to make your own.Meatballs swap with meatless meatballs. You can buy meatless ground and make your own or buy them already made up in the frozen section.There is nondairy parmesan cheese that you can grate yourself, or you can buy already grated.Use whatever seasonings you usually use on your food. You don't need to buy special seasonings because you changed your diet to Vegan.
2) DIY vs. Processed Products
Listen...transitioning to Vegan is a journey, not a marathon. You need to be realistic about what you want to make your self and what you would rather buy. I do not have the time nor the desire to make my dairy products, so I don't.
I was able to transition cold turkey because of the vast selection of processed items. I still ate a lot of fruits and veggies, but being able to create meals close to what I regularly ate made a massive difference for me.
I feel it is crucial not to feel deprived. If you feel deprived, the chances of you sticking with it are slim. Over time, you will probably cut down your process intake, but in the beginning, don't feel like you are not a vegan if you do.
The definition of a vegan diet is not consuming animal products.
3) Seasoning your Food is Key
Girl...season your food! Get out of your comfort zone and try different seasonings. If you use salt-free seasonings, you can season up your food as much as you want. If you're going to add salt, wait until you finish cooking to add a pinch. I'm using salt less and less in my cooking because my food usually tastes yummy without it.
4)Expand your Fruits and Veggie selection
Believe it or not, your taste buds will start to change. You will begin to love fruits and veggies that you hated as a kid. I wouldn't eat sweet potatoes unless smothered in sugar and maple syrup! Now my favorite way to eat them is roasted with some olive oil and a little salt and pepper.
5) Talk to your Doctor
Let your doctor know you are transitioning to a vegan diet. I was referred to a dietician, and she educated me on what foods to eat and supplements to take to make sure I was getting all my essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins I needed for my body to function correctly.
6) Find your Tribe
Nine times out of ten, you are probably on this journey alone. Find some FB groups to join to help you stay on track.
A word of caution do not believe everything you read in the feed. Do your research. Remember, most people in these groups do not have a medical degree. They are sharing their opinion and sharing articles that confirm their beliefs about being Vegan.
7) Remember it is a Journey
Do not beat yourself up if you give in to temptation. Show yourself grace and keep it movin'.
8)Know your Why
Why did you choose to go Vegan?
I chose Vegan solely for dietary reasons. I only planned on being vegan for 30 days to see if I could do it. My body quickly let me know it preferred a vegan diet. It will be a year in June.
When I get tempted, I remember how I use to feel before I decided to consume animal products no longer. The temptation quickly subsides. This is why knowing your why is so important.
There you have it 8 tips to help with your transition to Vegan.
If you are new and need ideas for meals, follow me on my FB page @yummyvegangrub. I cook live Wednesdays at 7:30 pm EST, and I bake live on Sundays at 6:00 pm EST.