3 Step Vegan Guide

IT'S AS EASY AS 1, 2, 3!

Making the transition to a whole food plant based diet can feel well outside your comfort zone, but try not to overthink it! Instead of looking at the BIG picture, or how much needs to change, try focusing on the smaller, intentional, more attainable steps that can be taken right now.

This 3-step guide to going plant based vegan is designed to help you along your journey by providing simple, easy-to-follow, actionable steps, aimed to increase your long term success!

1. Plan

Going in with a plan is going to significantly increase your chances of success! So, spend some time thinking about why this means something to you. Connect with that motivation and allow that to guide you through this journey. 

  • Determine how many meals/days a week you want to go plant based: Maybe you feel more comfortable choosing one meal per day. Others might be more comfortable going cold turkey. You might fall somewhere in the middle. Whatever it may be, do what makes you feel comfortable.

  • Find easy to make recipes based on the meals you already love: There are probably several meals you eat on a consistent basis. Yogurt and granola? Spaghetti? Tacos? Try exploring animal-based alternatives for the meals you MOST enjoy. Why? Because you are excited about these foods, which makes the process THAT much more enjoyable!

  • Find a few simple substitutes: Try swapping your cow’s milk for almond milk or trying the delicious Follow Your Heart cheese instead of dairy cheese. Figuring out your substitutes will make your transition much easier, because it won’t significantly affect your current habits or preferences. You can also begin swapping out your household and beauty products with items that do not contain animal products or test on animals. You can find a full list of leaping bunny certified items at www.leapingbunny.org

  • Do your research: Watch documentaries, read a few books, and listen to some podcasts on the topic of veganism. You might want to also browse your local grocery stores to see what’s available to you! This is a great time to start looking at labels and ingredients as well as checking out the menus at your local restaurants for vegan options. The more familiar you become, the more confident you will be over time.

  • Speak to other vegans and get advice or suggestions: This is your most powerful source of information & advice! Having a solid group of vegan allies makes your journey so much more meaningful especially during those times of difficulty. You can rest assure that they can relate to all the trials that come along with switching to a vegan diet and lifestyle.

2. Prepare

Preparation is just as vital to your success as planning! This is where you want to create an external environment that encourages your continued adherence to the vegan lifestyle!

  • Prepare a shopping list: You know those recipes you found based on the meals you already love? Use that to build your shopping list, in addition to the other whole-food items like fruits (frozen and fresh), veggies, oats, grains, beans, nuts, seeds, non-dairy milk, and other specialty items.

  • Make room in your kitchen: Clearing out old food and removing things that are not vegan will remove any temptation and set the tone for your new lifestyle! Plus, it’s always nice to just clean and organize your kitchen space!

  • Grocery shop: Now that you are familiar with your local grocery stores, go get all the items you need! Personally, I tend to shop at a few different places because each store carries something a little bit different, but in the beginning, you might feel more comfortable utilizing just one location.

3. Apply

This is your time to shine! Now that you have taken the time to plan and prepare, you can put all of that hard work in to action!

  • Get to cooking: Now that you have everything you need, get in to the kitchen! If you’re anything like me, this will take some effort, but over time, you will become more comfortable, which means making meals won’t take as long as they did in the beginning. 0verall, have FUN with this!

  • Eat out & try new foods: A great way to find some inspiration in the kitchen is to get OUT of the house and IN TO different cultural communities! The Thai, Indian, Mexican and Mediterranean diets all offer several vegan dishes, so try them out and see what you like!

  • Create variety: Often times we can fall into patterns, especially with our food. We find dishes that we like and continue to make them the same way over and over and over again. But, something to be mindful of is creating variety because that ensures we are getting the wide range of nutrients our body needs from several different sources.

  • Keep a food log: Keeping a log of the foods you eat will help you monitor your overall health. There is room for deficiency in ALL diets, but if you start to experience symptoms you’ve never had before like lethargy or soreness, it will be helpful to look back at your diet to see where there’s room for improvement. I don't particularly recommend keeping a food log FOREVER, but it can be very purposeful in the first few months of your new lifestyle.

  • Have fun & enjoy the process: This is your opportunity to explore food and try new things. Allow it to be fun and enjoyable!

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