A vegan lifestyle is shown to decrease inflammation, improve cardiovascular health, level blood sugar, lower blood pressure, and a host of other benefits. Still, even with the overwhelming evidence, adopting a plant-based diet is tough for many. It can be hard to imagine saying goodbye to bacon – FOREVER. The good news is you don’t have to. Receiving the health benefits of going veg. is not a zero sum game. Even being vegan 50 percent of the time, or eating one vegan meal a day, is enough to boost energy, shed pounds and generally feel better. Here are some tips to ease in whether or not your goal is eventually to go whole hog.
Stock up. Rather than focusing on what you’re trying not to eat, get excited about the foods you can enjoy with impunity. Consider indulging in a flavored nut milk, try a new non-dairy cheese and stock the pantry with delicious vegan staples such as maple syrup, nutritional yeast, and satisfying sun-dried mangos.
Put vegan on the menu. Plan vegan meals you’ll look forward to eating like this Dried Cranberry and Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad, or this Vegan Sushi Rice Bowl, or this Cashew Cardamom Chia Pudding. Yum!
Make the swap. Consider cutting meat out or replacing it in a recipe you already know and love. Meat can be replaced with more vegetables like mushrooms and cauliflower, or you can try alternatives like tofu, seitan, and tempeh.
Snacks! We love a good snack, and in our humble opinion, vegan snacks are truly some of the most delicious. From dessert-like dates to crunchy kale chips, when organic fruits and vegetables are the star, it’s easy to deliver. For the lowdown on what makes a healthy snack, check out our interview with Made In Nature’s own resident nutrition guru and product developer, Mitch Thisius, RD.
Find your tribe.
The best way to attain any goal is to not feel like you’re doing it alone. Find your tribe and share challenges, wins and good recipes. You’ll find support with our Facebook family and/or as a member of many online groups specifically dedicated to vegetarianism and veganism.