Going vegan is a major life change. Some people pace themselves and edge into it, while others dive in head-first. If you’re new to the lifestyle, it can be hard to keep up with everything. From plant-based foods to vegan supplements and cruelty-free clothing, there’s a lot to learn about!
Today, I’ll give you a quick overview of some of the key components of a healthy vegan lifestyle to help ensure your success on the diet. Are you ready to change the way that you think about food?
Fuel Your Body With Plant-Based Foods
Going vegan means eliminating all forms of meat and animal-derived foods from your diet.
This means no more:
● Red meat
● Chicken or poultry
● Milk (and other dairy products)
You’ll be replacing these primary protein and fat sources with healthy, plant-based foods, such as:
● Beans and legumes
● Soy products like tofu and tempeh
● Nuts and nut butter
● Plant-based protein powder
● Plant-based vegan milk
● Whole grains
Build Your Gut Biome With Plant-Based Probiotics
Adapting to a brand-new diet can put your body into a state of temporary shock, while your digestive system gets used to the new foods you’re putting in your body. One of the best ways to reduce the side effects of a dietary switch is by consuming healthy, plant-based probiotics.
Probiotics are good bacteria that live in your stomach and intestines. They help you process and digest food, fight bad bacteria, and help your body absorb more nutrients from your food.
Unlike traditional probiotics (which are often made from dairy cultures), plant-based probiotics are typically sourced from fermented plant cultures, which are naturally high in probiotics.
Read our review of how we tried Symprove.
Beyond Meat & Other Plant-Based Meat Alternatives
Thanks to modern food technology, you don’t have to completely give up meat. In my experience, plant-based burgers and vegan “meat” alternatives often taste just as good (if not better) than real meat!
Plant-based meats like those offered by Beyond Meat, Impossible, and Boca are typically made using:
● Plant-based protein (pea protein, soy, chickpea protein, hemp protein)
● Starch (corn, potato, or rice starch)
● Vegetable oils
● Salt and seasonings
● Dried veggies and veggie powder
These can be a great source of plant-based protein, and natural plant fats, and are quite filling.
Tips For Eating Out While Vegan
Eating out with friends and family on a vegan diet can be a bit tricky. While you can always try to find vegan speciality restaurants, not every city offers a wide range of vegan eateries.
Thankfully, though, most restaurants offer at least one vegan-friendly meal or allow customers to modify a non-vegan meal to make it vegan-friendly.
My go-to options when I’m eating out are soup or salad. Just make sure you swap any meat toppings for extra veggies and ask for an oil-based vinaigrette instead of dairy-based dressings. Pasta is another great choice offered by a lot of restaurants. Just be sure to get it without meat or added cheese.
Vegan Collagen Boosters
Collagen is an important protein found within our body. It’s responsible for:
● Strengthening our hair follicles
● Keeping our skin tight and firm
● Lubricating our joints
In fact, two-thirds of the protective cartilage between our joints is made up of collagen. Traditional collagen supplements contain real collagen obtained from animal bones and remains, which means they’re off-limits for vegans.
Instead, vegans take collagen boosters, which are supplements that encourage your body to produce more of its own all-natural collagen. Some of the key ingredients you’ll find in a vegan collagen booster are:
● Plant-based protein
● Zinc and other minerals
Vegan Fashion: Planet-Friendly Threads & Shoes
Changing your diet is arguably the most important part of going vegan. Once you take care of your diet, though, it’s time to turn to your wardrobe. When shopping for new clothes, make sure to avoid animal-derived materials like:
● Leather (including suede)
Leather is made from animal skins and both wool and silk are by-products of animal exploitation. Instead, look for clothing and shoes made from vegan-friendly materials such as:
● Cotton or canvas
● Polyester and synthetic materials
● Recycled fabrics
● Plant-based leather (made from fruit and vegetable skins)
Switching to a vegan diet for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. I promise that it gets a lot easier with a bit of practice and consistency, though!
As long as you’re fueling your body with healthy, plant-based foods, taking the right vegan supplements, and avoiding animal-derived clothing materials, you’ll be on your way to living a successful vegan lifestyle!
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