Adopting a vegan lifestyle
Like choosing a vegetarian lifestyle, the decision to adopt a vegan lifestyle can be for a number of different reasons. For many, going vegan is about animal welfare and concern over modern farming practices and their impact on the environment. For others, the decision to go vegan is about consciously making the effort to live a healthier lifestyle and choosing natural foods that will nourish the body.
Whatever your reasons for adopting a vegan lifestyle, with so much variety and choice available in Britain, changing your eating habits has never been easier. Like vegetarians, vegans do not eat meat, but also go another step further and abstain from any animal-based products like eggs and dairy.
Even by eliminating these familiar foods, it’s still possible to get all the vitamins and nutrients you need, so if you’re thinking about making the change, there’s no reason not to try it.
Planning for success
Most people who choose to go vegan are amazed how easy the transition can be – with a little forward planning and education, you can substitute animal products for other nutrient-rich foods that provide just as much benefit. You can see a brief overview of how to get the nutrients you need online from the NHS, which will give you an idea of how to get started.
As you begin, allow yourself time to adjust and don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip up now and then. Going vegan is a personal choice and there is no right or wrong way to make the switch – for example, you might find it helpful to start by eating vegan one meal a day, or one day a week.
As you start out, the web is a great place to look for support. Animal activists PETA have put together a comprehensive guide called the vegan starter kit, which has lots of information about how to go vegan.
The Vegan Society is another excellent resource you can make use of. On the website you can find practical approaches to going vegan, along with information about how to stock a vegan kitchen. There is also a section on the website devoted to veganism for the over 60s, with helpful information about how to make sure you’re getting the right nutrients to stay fighting fit.
A major objection many have to going vegan is giving up on guilty pleasures like hamburgers, freshly baked cakes and going out for dinner. Choosing to go vegan doesn’t have to mean going without – you might be surprised how easy it is to enjoy fast food or other meals on the go once you know what you’re looking for, and there are excellent meat alternatives out there that make it easy to enjoy your home-cooked favourites with a few simple substitutions.
Websites like Vegan Baking are filled with recipes that are delicious and easy to follow. If you’re looking for some exciting things to cook, culinary personalities like Chef Chloe are experts in vegan cooking. On her website you can find some of her most popular recipes to help inspire and motivate you to give up meat and other animal products.
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