Going Vegan for Beginners

going vegan Jul 25, 2020

Are you interested in moving to a plant-based lifestyle? 

Many people are really interested in the concept, but in practice, it can seem not very easy to do. It is essential to make some significant changes designed to help you transition to a whole food plant-based lifestyle. This means it is vital to start from the beginning and establish small changes that you can sustain for a long time.

To get started with a whole food plant-based lifestyle, you want to assess your current eating habits. It truly matters whether you are vegetarian, a meat-lover, or something in between. The first type has it much easier than the latter. 

Food addictions

Unfortunately, most people suffer from food addictions and don’t really know about it until they want to let go of these foods. Food addictions are not as simple as one might think. I suffered all my life from food addictions and still fight to this day to get rid of some. 

Here are some foods that belong in that category:

Salt, fats, sugars, processed foods, animal foods, and, last but not least, alcohol. 

You might say that salt alone is not something one could get addicted to. And you are right. It is always a combination of two.

 

As a chef, we learn this very early in our profession that without salt and fat, you have no taste. Add a little bit of acidity and natural sweetness through caramelization, and you are truly hooked for life. Pair this with the perfect wine, and you have customers for life. That’s how the best restaurants fill their seats. It’s not a secret at all. Unfortunately, McDonald's has perfected this model of eating addiction for decades, without the wine, of course.

 

To get started successfully, you should typically look for ways that you can start slowly. This would mean limiting your meat intake to every other day and incorporating more vegetables and fruits into your diet. Thus will allow you to slowly break away from your dependency on animal foods, without giving up on your journey to a whole food plant-based lifestyle.

If you usually eat meat for most meals, you are likely to experience severe problems switching to a Vegan lifestyle immediately. Whether you start your day with bread, pastries, or fried foods, then you most likely crave similar foods all day. 

Of course, some people do feel that it is better to start a Vegan diet by simply cutting out all of the animal foods immediately. If you are determined to make the change to a Vegan lifestyle, this might be possible for you. 

That said, Dr. McDougall is one of these doctors who prefer a cold turkey style. And indeed, his patients feel much better after two weeks of eating a whole food plant-based diet. That is especially important if you suffer from chronic diseases. That said, cutting out salt and sugar overnight could fire back. 

Some people find great success in this method; however, most people ultimately fail in keeping up a plant-based lifestyle. 

 

Here is my approach to a whole food plant-based transition

 

  • Discuss your decision to go vegan with your friends and family members first.            That lifestyle requires a lot of adjustments, and it’s not fair for them to adjust suddenly. 

  • The more support you have, the better the outcome of you being successful.
  •  Have a menu outlined for the entire week.

  • Create a shopping list of all the items you need during your first week based on the menu you have chosen. 

  • Don’t go full fletched vegan the first week. Have a plan to systematically transition to a plant-based lifestyle.

  • Prep Before You Go - prepare your foods the day before or in the morning for that day. Cook food in batches and freeze them.

  • Rome Wasn’t Built in A Day - Take your time.

 

You can download my entire cheat sheet for free here.

Ten steps to a thriving plant-based lifestyle 

 

These straightforward but practical guidelines will help you in succeeding to live a healthier lifestyle.

 

 

 

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