Going vegan isn’t about just eating kale and it shouldn’t be complicated. However people view it as extreme and we get that. It is something very different from what you are taught growing up. I don’t know about you guys, but I always thought that you needed to have a glass of milk a day and that it wasn’t a meal unless meat was on the plate. Suddenly doing something completely different from what you were raised to know, is hard but also very rewarding.
When you do something different it is important to be prepared. More often than not you will hear stories of people who claim that veganism caused them to get sick or fatigue. However these people probably didn’t prepare themselves for the change, and most likely were not eating enough.
Veganism is great for your body and environment, when done right. That’s why we wanted to help you be as prepared as possible with our step by step guide on how we recommend you go vegan. This is post one of three (yes, there are three phases in our minds). The most important thing to remember is that this can take as long as you want it to; overnight or over years. While Kat went vegan overnight, Devin has been slowly going vegan over the course of a couple years. Neither are the right or wrong way, it just depends what is best and works for you.
THE RESEARCH PHASE
Step 1 – Watch Documentaries
I assume you have already thought about going vegan by this point. Now is the time to get some research done. Research helps you learn more about the lifestyle you are interested in and most often than not, will reaffirm your dedication. So it is time to pop that popcorn, put on your comfiest clothing and set aside your entire day because it is time to bust out Netflix. There are a number of amazing documentaries to watch on the subject and some of our favourites are:
- Forks Over Knives
- Food Matters
- Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead
- Hungry for Change
Step 2 – Read Books
This is similar to the first step, except that there are many different resources in books that aren’t also films. Books are perfect for keeping busy on public transit or during work breaks and get you used to thinking about veganism throughout your day. Some of our favourite books are:
Step 3 – Research Nutrition
This is probably one of the most important steps. When you transition to veganism there are a lot of nutrients that you are going to have to get from different sources, not to mention make sure that you are getting enough calories. As many plant-based foods are naturally lower in calories you are going to have to make sure you are eating enough to keep your energy up. Eat when you are hungry, don’t worry if you think it is too much. You’ll find a balance once your body gets used to it. When it comes to nutrients, we will be creating future blog posts all about of them. However in the meantime vitamins you should be researching are: protein, iron, calcium, vitamin B (especially B12), vitamin D and zinc.
Step 4 – Recipe Research
Now that you have got most of your research out of the way it is time to start using some of it. We always recommend looking up some recipes before you go vegan. This allows for you to see what kind of ingredients you are going to need, how much prep time is required and what kind of foods you can have as a vegan. We recommend looking up vegan versions of the things you love, perhaps a delicious vegan burger. We also recommend not worrying too much about being super healthy at the beginning because you may feel unsatisfied going from non-vegan comfort food to a vegan buddha bowl. Go ahead and have that delicious vegan mac n’ cheese. We also recommend that you do some research on ingredients in food products that may not be vegan. When grocery shopping reading the ingredients list is key.
For more research materials check out our additional resource page.