How To Go Vegan The Right Way:
Things You Need To Know To Transition To A Vegan Lifestyle

There are more reasons than ever to consider transitioning to a vegan lifestyle.

When the vegan lifestyle is done right, it’s great for our health, great for the planet and great for animal well-being. (Triple win!)

In fact, going vegan is the single most effective step you can take to reduce your impact on the planet. 

I doubt you need much convincing of the merits of a vegan lifestyle – but once you’ve decided to make a change, you’re probably wondering how to go vegan the right way.

Well, it’s good news!

Going vegan is easier than ever before!

There are a tonne of vegan restaurants, recipes and meals out there that can help you make the transition to a vegan diet more tasty and enjoyable.

If you’re a newbie to the vegan lifestyle, why not check out these 16 Expert Tips for Veganuary Success? (don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be January for you to try out these expert tips)

Whether you want to be a part-time vegan or go the whole (vegan) hog, there are a few basic things that you need to know about the vegan lifestyle. 

Which sources of essential nutrients are vegan?

How do I maintain a varied vegan diet?

Can I go vegan on a budget?

In this handy guide on how to go vegan the right way, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about going vegan and answer the questions that are probably buzzing around your mind.

We’ll even give you a bunch of valuable vegan insider tips that will allow you to skip some of the growing pains that the rest of us went through!

We’ll also bust some negative myths about veganism along the way! 

Here’s the bottom line when it comes to going vegan: 

Going vegan doesn’t mean eating bland food or going without protein and calcium!

You can live a totally fulfilling life as a vegan.

restaurant

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How To Go Vegan For The First Time

Going vegan is pretty straightforward, as long as you know your stuff. 

It’s all about starting small, keeping your diet varied and building up at a pace that you’re comfortable with.

You should stay happy and healthy in a way that is right for you.

Here are our top three tips on how to go vegan for the first time:

1. Going Vegan Takes Time

Myth number one: ‘You need to go vegan overnight.’ 

Some people make the transition to veganism overnight, but it’s completely valid to take your time, (Rome wasn’t built in a day!)

While anyone can enjoy a fulfilling diet and lifestyle by going vegan, if you’ve eaten meat and animal products all of your life, going full-on vegan straight away can be a bit of a shock to the system.

If you transition to a vegan lifestyle slowly, you’re more likely to keep it up!

Here are some great ways to build-up your vegan lifestyle step by step!

  • Start With Vegetarianism – Why not start your journey to a vegan lifestyle with vegetarianism? You can even keep eating your favourite meals by replacing ordinary meat with Quorn or other meat replacements.
  • One Meal At A Time – An alternative way to go vegan is to eat just one vegan meal a day or week! A straightforward way of doing this is to switch to a vegan breakfast. For example, replace your usual cow’s milk with almond milk!
  • Adapt Your ‘Go-To’ Meals – We all have recipes that we reach for every day. One way to keep your favourite meals in your life is to adapt them to be vegan. If you don’t have any ‘go-to’ meals, why not check out this spicy vegan wrap that is so yummy, it will become your lunchtime routine!

 

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2. Do Your Research

You’re already scoring points on this one by reading this article!

While you’ll find everything that you need to know about how to go vegan the right way in this guide, it’s great to check out which vegan options are going to work for you:

  • What vegan options are available in your local supermarket?
  • Where are your local vegan restaurants?
  • Where is your local vegan takeaway? (KFC has vegan options!)

If you’re a London local, why not take a look at The Best Vegan Cake Deliveries in London?

Do your research

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3. Embrace The Vegan Lifestyle By Replacing, Not Restricting

Myth number two – ‘veganism is restrictive and takes a huge amount of self-discipline.’

Years ago, going vegan was a little more challenging than it is now. There just weren’t that many vegan restaurants, alternative ingredients or vegan snacks around.

Now, however, there are so many different vegan options in your local supermarket, restaurants and even non-vegan restaurants. 

So, instead of cutting meat, dairy and any other animal products out of your life – replace them with vegan foods that you love!

When it comes to replacing meat – it’s super simple. For almost all meats, you can find a vegan alternative at the supermarket! (Including bacon!)

For other aspects of your diet, like bread, eggs and cheese, try all of the vegan alternatives that you can get your hands on and find out what you like best.

This way you’ll discover the vast world of vegan foods and you may even find some foods that you didn’t even realise you love yet!

balance your diet

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The Best Kept Secrets Of The Vegan Lifestyle

When discovering how to go vegan, loads of us have been through a painful trial and error process to find the kind of vegan lifestyle that works well for us.

But why should you go through the same growing pains?

Here are some top insider secrets on how to go vegan that will massively help your journey to the vegan lifestyle!

  • Eat Nutritional Yeast – This long-held vegan secret has a weird sounding name, but it’s actually a fantastic cheesy flavoured yeast product that can be sprinkled on just about anything to add a salty and cheesy twist. It’s great with pasta, roasted veggies or salad. It’s also full of vitamin B and protein.
  • Eat Aquafaba – Did you think that going vegan meant giving up meringues, mousse and mayonnaise? Think again! Aquafaba, (the liquid that your canned chickpeas come in) can be whipped into a foamy state that resembles egg whites and is used in lots of vegan recipes.
  • Eat Seitan – (Pronounced say-tan) Seitan is an awesome and totally versatile meat substitute. It’s made from wheat and can be deep-fried, baked or barbecued like any other kind of meat. That’s right – vegan Quorn isn’t your only option!
  • Check Food Products For Sneaky Ingredients – Did you know that honey isn’t considered vegan? Other ingredients to look out for are whey and sodium caseinate which are products of cow’s milk. 

When learning how to go vegan, these super yet little-known vegan foods can jumpstart your journey to a satisfying vegan lifestyle.

vegan burger

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Sources of Essential Nutrients In Vegan Food

Myth number three – ‘you can’t access sources of essential nutrients if you go vegan.’

This is so not true! You can easily enjoy a healthy and balanced diet that makes your body feel nourished and energetic.

Did you know that Venus Williams is vegan?

In fact, both vegans and omnivores need to consider what they eat to ensure that they get all of the nutrients, proteins, carbohydrates and fats that they need to remain healthy.

The only exception is that non-fortified vegan foods do not contain vitamin B-12.

However, this is so easy to get around, it’s basically a non-issue. You can either enjoy a vegan food fortified with B12 such as nutritional yeast, or you can take a B12 supplement!

Despite what some say, there is no one kind of vegan diet

In fact, there can be endless variations of how you choose to eat as part of a vegan lifestyle. 

Some enjoy a raw vegan diet, others only eat natural wholefoods, and some eat mostly vegan ‘junk food’ like Oreos and processed meat replacements. (Oreos are a vegan miracle!)

Now, I know that I don’t need to tell you that going vegan means avoiding all animal products, but what should you eat to maintain a varied diet and consume the essential nutrients your body needs?

Sources Of Essential Nutrients In Vegan Food

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What To Eat When Going Vegan

  • Fruits And Vegetables – Okay, so this one is pretty obvious. But all fruits and veg get the green light if you decide to go vegan. Fruits and vegetables are fantastic sources of essential nutrients. They contain a huge variety of different types of vitamins and minerals that are important for our health including calcium, iron, potassium and manganese! 
  • Quorn, Tofu, Seitan and Tempeh – Each of these is loaded with protein and can be prepared just like any meat or fish! You can find all of these at any major UK supermarket in the form of vegan mince, vegan sausages, vegan burgers and more! (Time to host a vegan BBQ!)
  • Nuts and Seeds – Nuts and seeds are sources of nutrients like iron, fibre, magnesium, vitamin E and protein. They can add some fun texture on top of your breakfast, make a great snack or can even be enjoyed as a sumptuous nut butter!
  • Legumes and Carbohydrates Carbohydrates get a bad name, but they are supposed to be your body’s main source of energy and are an essential part of a balanced diet. Potato, rice and vegan pasta are all great options. Legumes – like lentils, beans and peas are another fantastic source of carbohydrates that are balanced with protein and other essential nutrients.
  • Vegan Junk Food – It’s the one you’ve all been waiting for! Much like anyone else, you’re allowed to indulge in some junk food once in a while and it’s important to treat yourself! Luckily enough, there are more plant-based junk foods than ever for those going vegan, so you have a lot to choose from! Oreos – yup! Vegan Ice Cream – for sure! Doritos? – Gimme!
Oreo

Source: Pixabay

Non-Dairy Sources Of Calcium

It’s time for myth number four! 

‘Vegans don’t get enough calcium.’

Well, it’s kind of true…

Many vegans don’t get enough calcium, but many omnivore’s don’t either.

Calcium is super important for bone health, muscle tissue and blood clotting – so everyone needs to make sure that they’re hitting their daily calcium intake on the reg. 

Calcium isn’t just important for kids!

There a lot of non-dairy sources of calcium that vegans can happily feast on:

  • Non-dairy Milks – Most non-dairy milks like almond milk are fortified with calcium specifically so that vegans can hit their daily calcium requirements. Just make sure that you don’t buy organic plant milk if you’re looking for non-dairy sources of calcium, because organic milks aren’t fortified with anything.
  • Fruits and Vegetables – Fruits and vegetables don’t get enough credit when it comes to being an incredible non-dairy source of calcium. Kale and tangerines are two of the easiest to find, cheapest and best non-dairy sources of calcium to be found in fruit and vegetables.
  • Nuts and Seeds – Almonds contain the most calcium out of any kind of nuts, but there are loads of calcium loaded seeds too. Poppy seeds are 12 times richer in calcium than dairy milk. Time to forget cow’s milk for good!

Check out our blog post on the Best Vegan And Non-Dairy Sources Of Calcium for an in-depth look at calcium on a vegan diet.

Non-Dairy Sources Of Calcium

Source: Pixabay

Vegan Sources Of Iron

Iron is a mineral that can be found in lots of plant-based foods.

Why do we need it?

Well, iron is needed to produce healthy red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body, so it’s pretty essential to maintaining good bodily functions.

As I keep mentioning, you can definitely get enough vitamins and minerals when going vegan – and iron is no exception!

Here are some awesome iron filled fruits, vegetables and plant-based foods to get your paws on:

  • Dried Apricots
  • Dried Figs 
  • Dried Dates
  • Spinach (Cooked)
  • Almonds
vegan source of iron

Source: Unsplash

Now you know how to go vegan, and there is no one single way to do it. 

There are loads of amazing vegan food options, and with the right information and some handy vegan myth-busting, you’ll settle into your new vegan lifestyle at a pace that is right for you. 

You can totally overhaul your diet and eat organic vegan food or simply keep your existing diet and just replace animal products with vegan alternatives like Quorn and almond milk. 

It’s totally up to you!

How To Go Vegan On A Budget

Here’s myth number five – ‘A vegan lifestyle is expensive, only some people can afford to go vegan.’

There are some pricey vegan products out there, but as demand rises, supermarkets are offering more vegan options than ever before – at reasonable prices

On top of that, fruits, vegetables, beans and grains are no more expensive for those following a vegan lifestyle than anyone else. There are lots of recipes out there based around these inexpensive vegan ingredients.

Not to mention, meat can be some of the most expensive food going! Replacing chicken with tofu will save you money. (Cha-ching!)

The point is, you can definitely go vegan, while keeping to a budget. 

Here are our tips on how to go vegan for less.

  • Avoid Vegan Ready Meals – Ready meals typically cost more than making a meal from scratch. They tend to be unhealthier too. Making your own vegan meals is good for your pocket and your body! Cooking is also a great mindful way to decompress at the end of the day!
  • Use Frozen Fruits and Vegetables – Frozen fruits and vegetables are cheaper than the fresh stuff and are usually frozen as soon as they’re picked to lock in essential nutrients. Frozen fruit is also amazing in smoothies because it makes them thick, cold and refreshing!
  • Bulk Buy – If there is any vegan food that you just can’t get enough of, it’s probably cheaper to buy it in bulk. This works especially well for ingredients that keep, like canned beans, almonds or rice. Buy Wholefoods Online is a great option because it is super cheap and can be ordered on Amazon!
  • Embrace Meal Prep – We all know that one person who seems like they have it all together – and they always meal prep. Meal prep will help you stay on track because your dinners are ready and waiting. You’ll be less likely to pop out to buy a vegan ready meal, or pick up your phone and order a vegan domino’s! (But no one will blame you if you do!)
  • Find Your Favourite Vegan Recipes – There are a whole bunch of completely free vegan recipes online, so anyone can do a quick search for a vegan recipe that they will adore. If you prefer, you can even invest in a vegan cookbook! It will help your meal prep process. Why not get in the kitchen with these fantastic healthy vegan flapjack recipes?

 

How To Go Vegan On A Budget

Source: Unsplash

Going vegan the right way isn’t the struggle you thought it would be right? 

Basically, going vegan doesn’t mean sacrificing your health, happiness or Oreos. 

You can still enjoy many of your favourite meals and food products when following a vegan lifestyle, and even use your newfound vegan diet to try something new and discover your soon-to-be favourite foods!

A great way to discover your new favourite plant-based foods is to go vegan with Plant Sumo! 

Our London-based vegan meal delivery service is accessible, affordable and exceptional.

Whether you decide to opt for the one-off meal delivery service or a subscription, you are guaranteed to enjoy these restaurant-quality, 100% plant-based meals. Take a look here.

A Quick Recap of How To Go Vegan The Right Way

  1. Take your time.
  2. Do your research.
  3. Replace, don’t cut.
  4. Take advantage of insider tips.
  5. Find the right sources of essential nutrients for you.
  6. Be aware of going vegan on a budget.

Now that you know exactly how to go vegan for the first time, I wish you all the luck in the world with your new vegan lifestyle!

eat-what-makes-you-happy

Source: Unsplash

About the Author

Amy

Amy Swain is a content writer for Plant Sumo, foodie and ex-chef. If she’s not baking then she’s got a paintbrush in hand, working on her next masterpiece.