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The Beginners Guide to Turning Vegan

The Beginners Guide to Turning Vegan


We hope you’re having a fantastic start to 2023! Not to mention, all those new year resolutions are on track! We know that one of the MOST common resolutions every year is choosing a healthier lifestyle. For instance, Veganuary 2023, anyone?

You’ve probably heard of the health benefits and ethical reasons to turn vegan. But like anything new, it’s hard to take the first steps.

In this beginner’s guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about starting out as a vegan. What does it truly mean? What are its benefits and its purpose? We’ve also noted the most common barriers people face when adopting this lifestyle and how you can beat them. And if you’ve got kids turning vegan (though they may not know it yet!), our quick tips can help to make the transition easier.

Let’s start together!

What Does Veganism Mean?

Veganism is more than just a dietary preference. It means adopting a lifestyle that avoids all forms of animal abuse or exploitation. For instance, veganism does not support zoos, circuses, rodeos, horse-drawn carriages, or similar activities that may harm the well-being of animals.

In dietary terms, it avoids consuming animals or animal products for food. No meat, eggs, dairy products, honey or any other animal-derived ingredients. Beginner vegans may also be unaware that ingredients like whey, gelatin or lactose are animal products. Read ingredients on labels and when in doubt, research them online. As for lifestyle choices, vegans avoid items made with leather, wool, silk or fur, animal-tested products and cosmetics.

An important aspect of turning vegan is your contribution towards protecting our environment. Consider the fact that animal agriculture is responsible for 57% of agriculture-related greenhouse gas emissions. (Nature Food, 2021; (14). Plant-based living is a sustainable form of living. As a diet, it requires only one-third of the land needed to sustain a meat and dairy diet. Consuming a plant-based diet, along with other conscious choices towards nature, can greatly lower our negative impact on the earth.

Is The Vegan Diet Right For You?

  • Do you love carrots and kale?
  • Does mushy tofu make you happy?
  • Can you live without cheese and eggs?

If yes, the vegan diet may be right for you!

Ribbing aside (pun not intended!) a vegan diet is not for everyone. It’s important to do your research before deciding if this lifestyle change is right for YOU. Be clear on WHY you’re choosing this for you and your family.

Barriers to Turning Vegan

Going vegan has become increasingly easier, thanks to the awareness and availability of vegan alternatives in the market. However, you may relate with some of the below concerns. With a little planning and practice, you can beat them. With veganism, do you have:

  • Health Concerns?
  • Taste Concerns?
  • Cost Concerns?
  • Concerns about eating out at Restaurants (and other food-related situations you may find yourself in?):

The best way to overcome these hurdles is by becoming an expert on your new diet. Be prepared – read books or articles, watch documentaries and identify how your pantry essentials will change. For example, the Netflix documentary, ‘Cowspiracy’ is an informative watch on the environmental impacts of the beef industry.

Make a game plan with realistic timelines for an effective transition to this new food habit, giving your body and mind enough time to adjust. Find out the nearest stores and restaurants that can help you sustain this diet. Once you’ve made the switch in a healthy manner, there is no going back!

Vegan Diet Nutrition Benefits

When switching to a new diet, primary concerns for health are inevitable. To learn more on the basics of vegan nutrition, we recommend this article by Virginia Messina, co-author of a number of vegan-oriented books like Vegan For Life, Vegan For Her, Never Too Late to Go Vegan, and Even Vegans Die.

Also, take a minute to consider the below health benefits of this diet:

Vegans have lower blood glucose levels compared to meat-eaters.
Vegan diets are low in saturated fat, which is beneficial to gut health.
It is lower in cholesterol, which lowers the risks for heart disease.
They are high in fiber and magnesium.
Vegan diets are also high in vitamins C, E, B12 and potassium.

Tips To Make The Vegan S(and)witch

You tend to consume fewer calories as a vegan, which can thus result in improved health owing to better eating habits. However, factors like regular exercise and overall habits also matter.

Here are some tips on how to make a stickier switch to a vegan diet:

  • Cut out processed foods and refined sugars as much as possible. Avoid snacks packed with empty calories—which means fewer chances for overeating! Refined sugars sometimes use bone char in the refining process- unappetizing, isn’t it?
  • Eating whole foods will keep hunger satiated for longer intervals. This means more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Get your fill of nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber in your diet without the addiction of processed, unhealthy alternatives.
  • Eat at the same time every day and avoid eating within two hours of bedtime. Remember, breakfast like a king, dinner like a pauper.
  • Forget counting calories or point systems when trying out new recipes: just use nutritious ingredients that can ensure good taste. Remember, they come without negative side effects like getting sick from eating too much junk food.

4-Step Starter Pack to Turning Vegan

Convinced? Welcome to Veganism! You’re doing something good for yourself, for the animals and for the planet. Here’s our 4-step starter pack:

  • Stock up on good foods- fruits, vegetables, natural foods and even vegan alternatives like tofu or soy milk to keep your tastebuds engaged.
  • Start with the easy stuff – The internet is full of simple recipes, or these Vegan cookbooks can help!
  • Get prepared for some challenges (like “where do I find my protein?”)
  • Try to make it fun!

Going Vegan with Kids

It may be tough to switch your children from a meat diet, but it’s not impossible.

Show them pictures of cute animals and explain why veganism is a good practice. Make mealtimes fun and let them help with the prep. Once they see how delicious a veggie burger or soy nuggets can be, they may adapt better. The Green Loot has some superb ideas on ways to trick or treat your kids into turning vegan.

It is important that parents remain calm through this process; no one likes an angry parent when they are experimenting!


Enjoy your beginner’s journey into turning vegan! Don’t get overwhelmed with a drastic shift in food or lifestyle. Make a gradual transition over a few months and watch how your body responds to the change.

You may even lose a step owing to cravings or low-energy days- chin up and get back the next day. This is Your choice, and you are the best judge of what works for you.