My Vegan Beginner Tips
Benjamin Franklin wasn't lying when he supposedly once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Like with all new diet and lifestyle changes you need all the tips, advice and planning to be successful. So today I'm giving you a few tips that have been extremely useful for me in my journey to eating a vegan diet.
1. Join the community
You may feel like you are the only vegan in your family and group of friends, which you probably are, but you're not the only vegan out there. There is a huge community on the internet - there are Facebook groups, Instagram accounts, community apps (like Vegan Amino), YouTube accounts and more. Tap into these resources for inspiration and support. They were extremely helpful for me and I'm sure they will be for you!
2. Find a weeks worth of recipes
Find four or five easy dinner recipes and use these recipes as your staple dinners. Come back to these when you are lost and don't know what to cook. Along with this buy yourself a vegan cook book or subscribe to a plant-based blog. Turn to these resources for your source of inspiration! I'm going to share a tonne more dinner recipes on my blog - so make sure you are subscribed to it here.
3. Focus on nutrition, not restriction
Ok, so you're probably thinking "I can't eat eggs, dairy, meat, what can I eat?" The best thing to do is look past what you can't eat and look at all the nutritious foods you can eat. Say to yourself: "Lentils are a good source of energy, protein, iron and will help me feel fuller for longer. Fruit is anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and will feed my cells, giving me clear skin." If you need help with the nutrition side of veganism please go to www.veganhealth.org for all the daily intakes and nutritional guidelines!
4. Don't aim to be perfect
No one is perfect. You will screw up! But, it's not the end of the world. Remember you are on a new journey and journey's are all about hitting speed bums every once in a while. Balance is key. Eat healthy whole plant foods 90 per cent of the time and the last 10 per cent, go out for dinner and eat something out of a packet.
5. Eat until you are satisfied.
You need to make sure you eat enough calories as whole plant-foods are lower in overall calories than refined foods and animal products.
Add protein rich foods like nuts, seeds, beans and legumes, which will help make you feel fuller for longer.
6. Your taste buds will change
Believe it or not our taste bud receptors do change with time.
Here is an excerpt from Dr. Michael Gregor on taste buds:
"We now have evidence showing that if we go a few weeks cutting down on junk food and animal products, our tastes start to change. We may actually be able to taste fat—just like we taste sweet, sour, and salty—and people on low fat diets start liking low fat foods more and high fat foods less.
Our tongues appear to become more sensitive to fat if we eat less of it. And the more sensitive our tongues become, the less butter, meat, dairy, and eggs study subjects ate. We also get a blunted taste for fat if we eat too much. This diminished fat sensitivity has been linked to eating more calories; more fat; more dairy, meat, and eggs; and becoming fatter ourselves. And this change in sensation, this numbing of our ability to taste fat, can happen within just a few weeks."
He goes on to explain that within just three weeks you can change your taste buds and start to be a healthier you. There is hope!
You can watch my YouTube version of my top tips for vegans below: