Many people in today’s world are turning to veganism as a way of life. Whether it be to show their protest at the treatment of animals in farming, or to show their support for the environment, one thing is for sure, it is not merely another diet fad. In fact, veganism impacts every aspect of life, from the food you eat, down to the skincare products you use, which is why many people are hesitant about making the jump. Whether you are trying to be a vegan for the first time, or you are looking for some helpful tips on how to improve your lifestyle even further, make sure you take note of some useful tips.
Don’t put pressure on yourself
When people make the move to being vegan for the first time, they can often feel as though there is a lot of pressure to get it right. This kind of pressure can lead to small slip ups, which can make sticking to the lifestyle harder than it should be. If you remind yourself that slip-ups are to be expected, and that they are all part of your journey towards a healthier lifestyle, then you can move on from each one knowing you’re trying your best to be a vegan.
Vary your diet
The biggest misconception people have about vegans is that all they can eat is vegetables, which can make it hard to have a varied diet if this is the impression you are working under. Not only is it not true, but there are many wholegrains and vegan-friendly snacks that are working their way onto the market, which enable you to live as close to a normal lifestyle as you can. In every meal, make sure you are getting a healthy dose of greens, protein, and seasoning to ensure you don’t get bored with your meals quickly.
Become your own chef
The key to varying your diet is not to rely on shop-bought vegan meals as a way of getting all your nutrients. In fact, you should stick to cooking your own food, which will help you on your own culinary journey to discovering a range of foods you didn’t expect to love. This is also a great way of introducing people around you to vegan foods, which they may consider converting to whenever they feel ready in the future.
Find helpful vegan recipes
The trickiest part of being your own chef is finding the right recipes to cook with. Although veganism is only just finding its feet, there are a whole host of vegan recipes online, and recipe books, which are dedicated to bringing you healthy and nutritious meals that happen to also taste amazing. Over time, you can tweak the recipes to suit you, and perhaps come up with your own recipes to sustain you for the years to come.
Use natural skincare products
When you make the leap into being a vegan, it is essential to note that there will be certain makeup brands and skincare products that you can no longer use. This is either because they will have high levels of animal products in them, but also because they may well still be testing on animals. If you are unsure about whether your existing products don’t follow vegan practices, you can find many reliable lists online that will help you not only clear out your wash bag, but find great products to substitute them with. Ultimately, your best bet is to start using natural or herbal remedies, many of which you can make at home. Using ingredients like hemp extract and rose water are great places to start, and you can find out more about some of their uses online.
Be aware of B12 deficiencies
Lots of people are aware of potential protein deficiencies when they become vegan, but if you are consuming a lot of beans and leafy green vegetables, then this won’t be an issue. However, one thing you may be missing out on is Vitamin B12, which is essential for keeping you alert, and for maintaining a positive mental health. Luckily, there are some fortified cereals in stores that you can get this from, but if you are still finding yourself short, then you should consider taking B12 supplements, which you can find in your local health store.
Take Vitamin D supplements
The other vitamin you need to be concerned about getting enough of it Vitamin D, which is usually found in fish such as salmon. If you live in a sunny location, then you can soak up all the Vitamin D you need by heading outside to spend a few minutes each day in the sun. However, if you are naturally sensitive to sunlight and don’t want to increase your risk of skin cancer, you can find Vitamin D supplements online or in most health stores as a way of ensuring you are getting enough to keep your bones strong. This is also a good idea for anyone living somewhere that sees little sunlight each year.
Speak to other vegans
Sometimes, it is easy to forget why you have become a vegan if you are struggling to maintain your lifestyle. Yet, to struggle alone is never wise, so you should always consider reaching out to other vegans online, who will be able to offer words of support. Although you should always be aware of online safety, you can find groups on Facebook, read vegan blogs, and follow Twitter accounts which are there to help vegans be the best vegans they can.
Don’t stop eating out
One of the biggest struggles of being a vegan can be eating out with friends. This is because many restaurants have not yet developed a varied vegan menu for people to enjoy whenever they go out. Luckily, as time goes on, more places are starting to cater to the large numbers of vegans that are spanning across the country, with some specialist food places opening that only serve vegan food. To make sure you don’t miss out on seeing your friends at meals out, you can always suggest trying a vegan place to see what delicious food they have on offer.
Be prepared to answer questions
Although you should never have to justify your lifestyle to people, there will be times where people become curious about why you have gone down your chosen path. The best thing to do here is to take the time to educate them on the ethical standpoint behind your decision, rather than becoming defensive, for example, as they are far more likely to be be open to the idea of veganism if they see the positives first.