VEGANISM FOR BEGINNERS » How to go vegan // Complete guide
Hi, it’s Vera from Simple Happy Zen, and today’s video is going to be about veganism for beginners or how to go vegan
So if you’re thinking about going vegan
Or even about adopting some more plant-based foods into your diet, or you’re already vegan
But you’re still kind of unsure about a couple of things, then this is the video for you.
I’m gonna do my best to give you guys a complete beginners guide to veganism.
I just like to quickly mention that I am NOT here to try and force anyone to become vegan.
I think it is a very personal choice, and it is yours and yours alone to make.
So even if you just want to try and eat less animal products
Then you’re also going to get a lot of valuable information here.
And if you’re a little unsure and you just want to know that you’re getting enough nutrients in your diet
Then you can always talk to your physician or a dietitian.
Let’s start with taking your time towards going vegan. For most people, they don’t go vegan overnight.
It happens, but for most of us, it is a journey with a few ups and downs. And that’s okay.
So give yourself time to adjust, because it is a big change, and you will be learning a lot of new things.
So be patient and keep taking small steps.
I was a vegetarian for fifteen years before I went vegan. And
even that transition took me a couple months. First by cutting out things like leather and wool, then cutting out dairy
cutting out eggs, and ultimately cutting out things like honey, and other animal products like in beauty products.
So it’s okay to not do everything all at once.
This was the biggest question for me when I decided to go vegan, was what will I eat?
So if you cut out meat, fish, cheese, eggs, dairy and honey, then what are you left with?
It turns out you’re still left with an abundance of yummy healthy and versatile foods that are full of nutrients and protein.
The main things you will be eating are, of course fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, grains
mushrooms, nuts and seeds
tofu, tempeh and meat substitutes, and if you want, vegan alternatives.
Of these foods, your plant-based protein sources will mostly be soy products, like tofu, tempeh and edamame.
Basically all beans and legumes
Most veggie meat replacements, plant-based dairy, though
it does depend on the type you get. And
nuts and seeds, which are also a source of healthy fats.
If you have some time in your day, then go to your supermarket and go on an adventure.
See what foods are out there. When I first turned vegan
I thought that I couldn’t eat 90% of what was at the supermarket. And I found that not to be true.
There is so much goodness to find.
When in the supermarket, get used to reading labels.
A lot of animal products will be highlighted in bold print. And here is a list of more
ingredients that you can look out for, when reading labels.
You can pause the screen to copy them on a list if you want, and
don’t panic. You will get used to it and know by heart which foods are vegan and which are not. So it will get easier.
My biggest lifesaver was vegan youtubers, that make lots of yummy vegan recipes
and I will link a few of my favorites down below. And they really helped to make this transition very easy
and yummy for me. And of course, also, if you go on Pinterest, then you can find more vegan recipes that you can possibly eat.
Which brings me to my next point. And that is trying to do a little research and study up. Knowledge is power.
So you’re already doing good with watching this video.
Learn about recipes. learn about vegan nutrition. and how to make sure you’re getting enough nutrients in your diet.
Basically, you could be vegan and just eat vegan cookies all day, if you want.
I’m sure that’s not what you want. And so it helps to learn about vegan recipes and vegan nutrition.
Veganism is not rocket science, and the basics are not that complicated.
So you will find, if you spend a little time on your research, you will come to know a lot about vegan food. Again
I will link some of my favorite vegan resources in the description.
it can really help to watch some YouTube videos, about how to
respond to the basic questions that you will get a lot as a vegan. So how do you get your protein?
And why would animal products be bad for you? It helps to have a few answers ready
The next tip is don’t try to be a superhero. When you first go vegan
it might be tempting to also go fully raw, or gluten free, oil free, or eat 100 percent whole foods. And
this can make things unnecessarily
complicated, especially in the beginning. I would recommend using the resources that are available for you.
Especially in the beginning. For example, I still use mock meats in my diet. Simply because they are very tasty
they’re fortified and it’s so easy to veganize your favorite recipes with them.
I used to have them almost every day, and it’s down to maybe two three days a week. And that is perfectly fine.
You can incorporate more and more whole foods into your diet as you go along
Especially in the beginning, try to make it easier for yourself.
So when going online and researching, don’t feel pressured to put more restrictions on your diet than is necessary.
make sure you’re eating enough to feel full and satisfied.
Vegan foods, on average, have less calories than animal-based foods.
And so, if you do feel hungry in the beginning, know that that’s normal. And eat as much as you need to feel full and
satisfied. You can fill up on filling ingredients like whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds and avocado.
Sidenote. If you don’t normally eat a lot of fiber, then add it to your diet slowly and gradually.
And make sure you’re drinking plenty of water to avoid in digestion.
The next step is to have a few favorite meals. And these will be your go-to meals.
So if you feel overwhelmed or you don’t know what to cook, it helps to have one or two favorites ready.
For me, one of my first vegan go-to meals was a curry with
eggplant and chickpeas and I served it with rice. And it was really easy. It was delicious and I made it a lot.
Also, get creative in the kitchen and learn to veganize your favorite meals.
So for example
If you used to love to make lasagna
And you feel like you might miss it after you turn vegan, then try to see if you can substitute the ingredients for vegan
alternatives. And that way, you can still enjoy it your lasagna, and you won’t have to feel like you’re missing out.
I have never loved cooking the way I do now. And I’m using ingredients
I have never even heard of before. So for example, nutritional yeast
I didn’t know what it was. And now I just love putting it in risotto, and pasta even on tofu.
And if you’re concerned about your traditional or cultural foods, then a lot of them can be veganized as well.
Just keep an open mind, do some research and get creative in the kitchen.
You may have heard people say that vegan food costs more and that a vegan lifestyle is more expensive and more time consuming.
You may even think this yourself. And I wanted to say that it can, but it doesn’t have to be.
Some foods are more expensive, and some are less expensive. And as you get into it and learn more about it
You will see that a vegan lifestyle is not necessarily more expensive.
In fact for us our monthly food budget has decreased since going vegan.
In general, the vegan alternatives to normal foods are a bit more expensive. For example
Vegan Mayo in my supermarket is almost twice as expensive as regular Mayo.
But on the other hand, the essentials on a vegan diet, like fruits and vegetables, beans, legumes, grains
These are all pretty inexpensive. And as you go along, you will find more places to stock up on these things for a lower price.
About the time investment. Going vegan, especially in the beginning, can take some time. You might want to study up about it
Read resources, watch youtube videos, and so that takes a little bit of time.
Also, cooking in a new way, finding recipes can take time in the beginning.
But after a while, you will learn to manage your time well.
And vegan cooking will just be regular cooking. So it won’t take more time either
I would recommend having your kitchen stocked with the essentials, so you can always cook something nice for yourself.
And also to have some vegan comfort foods around. Because it can be tricky
if you don’t think you can have any treat foods, and then watching other people have a bowl of chocolate ice cream.
When actually, there are yummy vegan comfort foods available. Like vegan ice cream, and vegan chocolate.
You can also make your own cookies or if you like savory foods more
There are so many vegan comfort foods options for that as well.
So if you’re craving a treat, I would say just go for it and enjoy it.
Remember why you want to live a vegan lifestyle.
And this is so important, especially in the beginning when you’re still getting used to things, to stay motivated.
Whether you’ve made this decision because of your health, the environment, the animals or all of the above.
Remind yourself of your why. And you can even write it down for yourself and have it somewhere available to look at
whenever you need to get down to your motivation.
Now, this is something that I struggled with when I first turned vegan.
So let me give you a friendly warning. When I first went vegan and doing all kinds of research and studying up about it
I came across some things that literally haunted me for weeks.
Certain documentaries, pictures, or just information about the horrible things that are happening with the animals and the environment
I could not let them go.
I was walking around for a month, having imaginary arguments in my mind with the world and it’s tired me out completely.
So my advice is to make your own
things that you do want to see, and the things that you don’t want to see. And for me, I made the decision to stop
watching documentaries and sad articles. Because it’s not helping me at all.
So if you feel like this too, then please don’t feel guilty about skipping out on certain things. By going vegan
you’re already doing so much. And there is no need to
psychologically tire yourself out.
If you’re going to a party, a birthday, a gathering of people, then bring some vegan food with you and bring enough to share.
Most of the time, people won’t really know what vegan foods to get when you come over just after you turned vegan.
So if you bring a tasty vegan dip, or a snack or
vegan cookies, or even a meal if you’re going to be eating there
then people might get inspired and see that vegans can eat just as much yummy foods as they can.
And also, it can help you to not eat something that’s there and not vegan simply because you’re getting hungry.
Which brings me to my next point. And I just wanted to quickly mention that
if you make a mistake and you eat an animal product without knowing or even knowingly
please don’t beat yourself up too much. We are all human.
It’s ok if you mess up, you know, you’re already doing so great by trying your best to become vegan.
So just dust yourself off. Tomorrow is a new day.
Meal planning can really help you to save money and time. If you know what you’re going to be eating when, you can cook
efficiently, shop efficiently, and limit food waste. And if I know that I’m going to be busy on a Tuesday
Then I can just cook something extra on Monday
And then on Tuesday, I can just take it out of the fridge and eat a delicious nutritious meal.
I have a video about meal planning where I explain everything you need to know how to start meal planning yourself.
I will link it here and in the description.
Now when it comes to eating out, it was a bit of an adjustment for me. Here in the Netherlands
I had no problem eating out as a vegetarian because it’s pretty well known here. And most restaurants have at least a few
vegetarian options available.
But vegan, on the other hand, is way less well known. And now I just like to go to places that are
heavily focused, if not entirely vegan.
I personally love eating at a place that focuses on delicious plant-based foods. I like to support
establishments like that, and I also like to get a lot of new inspiration for cooking new recipes.
When I’m going to be eating out with non vegans
I usually ask them if they want to go to a place like that and they usually say yes.
And they get a really tasty vegan meal as well. Though
sometimes, you will not have that option.
And what I like to do then, is I do a little recon.
So I go online and I look at the menu of the place. And I can already see what it is that I can order.
I just find it easier that way. And you can also just ask the staff if they can veganize something on the menu for you.
Just try to be bold and ask for what you want.
They will try to be helpful and accommodate you. And you can even call ahead if that makes you feel better.
Now it is recommended to take a vitamin b12 supplement if you’re going vegan.
And I personally also take a multivitamin. That is a
personal choice that I made because it feels best for me. And I also took one when I wasn’t vegan.
I cannot tell you exactly what it is
you need to supplement aside from vitamin b12, because it’s very dependent on your personal situation.
It depends on if you are male or female, if you are
exercising a lot
if you live in a sunny place, if you just had a baby. So many different factors that determine your personal needs.
So take what feels good to you and do a little research. Just make sure that the vitamins or supplements that you do take are
vegan. Because there can be
animal products in there, like gelatin. And if you want to be thorough and you want to know how you’re doing, then I recommend getting
your blood work tested. You can do that at the start of your vegan diet and then again after six to twelve months.
If you go vegan
it can be tricky if the people in your family are still eating animal products.
And research has actually shown that
people who don’t know any other vegan people personally, are more likely to quit a vegan diet.
And for me, my boyfriend is also vegan. So that’s already really good.
And we have some vegan friends, but most of the people I know are not vegan.
And so what really helped me was going online, and finding vegan communities, vegan youtubers, vegan food bloggers
going to vegan festivals.
It reminds me that there are more people out there who think and feel this way and it gives me strength.
It also inspires me and it helped me to eat a nutritious
balanced diet, because I have learned so much from them.
When you talk with people about veganism, try to talk about it in a very loving and open way and set a positive example.
Answer their questions.
I totally get the frustration we sometimes feel, when people are not vegan or a plant-based.
But I’ve learned that talking with people in a very respectful way will get you a lot further than
directing your frustration at others. So try and share and spread the message with love.
I just like to say that going vegan is a big change. You’re changing a large part of your life and your lifestyle. And
after a while, it’ll be easy, because it’ll just be the way that you live.
But especially in the beginning, it might not always be that easy. And that’s okay. Give yourself time to adjust and learn.
Don’t give up, and I wish you all the best.
I hope this video helped you.
If it did, then it would mean the world to me
if you could give it a thumbs up.
And of course, subscribe to the channel. Leave your thoughts and questions down below. We can all help each other out
So definitely go down to the comments section write down your thoughts, your feelings, the things that you’re struggling with if you are.
The questions that you may have. And answer each other, help each other out.
And if you’ve been vegan for a while, then please share what you have learned with the rest of us.
I will see you all soon, and I hope you have an amazing rest of your day, bye-bye