Going vegan can be a scary lifestyle change, especially when you are going to take the step in one day. If you are thinking about changing up your diet I suggest you take your time! It took me a year to go from vegetarian to 100% vegan. I changed my diet step by step, this helps you to discover new sorts of foods and flavors and your body gets enough time to get used to your new way of eating. I wrote down my 6 best tips to get you started. This post may also be helpful if you are a vegetarian or if you are just curious about this topic!
- You will need a Vitamine B12 supplement.
- Vitamin B12 occurs naturally only in animal foods, it helps our body with keeping the blood cells and nerve’s healthy and it supports your body in making DNA. A low percentage of B12 in your blood can lead to hair loss, concentration problems, tiredness, headaches and so on. Don’t worry: you can get B12 in every local drug store. If you are going vegan, I recommend you to visit your doctor to ask for the best vitamins B12 supplements. Every once in a while I get my blood tested, to see if I am not missing out of any important vitamins.
2. Large portions
- Keep in mind that your body uses the animal form of some nutrients better than the plant form. You might need a higher dose or cofactors to help you absorb nutrients. For example, I eat lots of everything. Instead of 200 grams of greens per day, I will eat 300 – 400 grams. This sounds crazy, but you have to get enough iron out of your greens. The percentage of iron in meat is way higher than in beans or carrots.
3. Know your motivation
- Why do you want to go vegan? Write down your thoughts and expectations. I went vegan because I wanted to live a healthier lifestyle, supporting the environment and I realized how much new energy I got. As soon as you know why you want to do this, it gets much easier to stick to this vegan diet. If you are having a hard time during your vegan diet, you can read this back.
- When you are changing your diet it can occur that you are going to lose some weight. Keep this in mind and track your calories in the beginning. When I just went fully vegan I recognized that I didn’t have any energy at all. I became feeling dizzy all the time. It turned out that I was eating not enough calories per day, so watch out for this!
5. Do not expect from others that they will understand
- Sometimes it will feel a bit lonely, your friends may be asking lots of questions and no matter how much you try to explain, not everyone will understand your decision. On the other hand, you may also inspire everyone around you!
6. Remember: keep learning
- Going vegan is a learning curve. Living as a vegan in a non-vegan world takes both courage and curiosity. Take a look every once in a while at the process you made. During your period of going/being a vegan, you will learn lots about foods and supplements. In the first few months, your diet will keep changing. Find your favorite foods this period and keep playing around with them.