As a vegan, I often find myself struggling with not only the food and diet aspect of being vegan but also how to answer questions about it. I’ll be honest: I’m not an expert on what’s healthy for you or what’s best for your lifestyle as a vegan.
But I am an expert at making mistakes and figuring out how to make things work (or trying new foods!), so here are some tips that have helped me!
What are the main challenges of being vegan? What is the best way to go about it? How can you be successful in your new lifestyle? All these questions and more will be answered within this blog post.
What are the main challenges of being vegan?
The main challenges most people face when going vegan is the diet and lifestyle aspect. They worry about what they can and cannot eat, how to stay healthy, and if this is even sustainable for them.
Another common worry is the fear of becoming malnourished or protein deficient due to not eating meat.
How can you be successful in your new lifestyle?
To be successful in your new lifestyle, you have to take it into your own hands. There is no one answer that will work for everyone.
You have to do a bit of research and find out what works best for you personally.
What might work for someone else may not work for you! It takes time to figure this out and can be very frustrating, but once you find something that works for you it makes all the hard work worth it!
Here are some tips to help you succeed:
Do your research. Read books, look at vegan documentaries online, and talk to people about their experiences. There is no such thing as too much research!
- Take advice from others with a grain of salt. Just because it worked for them doesn’t mean it will work for you, and vice versa. Everyone is an individual with their own needs, preferences, and lifestyle.
- Be open minded about what foods are vegan or not. You may be surprised by how many foods are vegan! Take some time to research what is offered at your favorite restaurants and grocery stores.
- Embrace failure. Getting frustrated when you mess up is just going to get in the way of your new lifestyle journey. Try not to let it discourage you or stop you from trying again. You’re better than that!
- Be patient. Like I said before, it takes time to figure out what works best for you. Your lifestyle may change over time so be flexible with your choices and try new things when you can.
- Don’t be scared of being malnourished or protein deficient. If you are eating a balanced diet then you don’t have to worry about this. Making sure you are getting enough calories and protein should be your main concern.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up or eat something that’s not vegan. We all do it, just try to pick right back up where you left off!
What are some common mistakes people make when going vegan?
This is a pretty broad question since there are so many different areas you can mess up in, so I’ll focus on the main ones that most vegans struggle with:
- Not taking into account if their favorite foods or snacks are vegan or not. This one is huge! I know it’s easy to see a food and assume that if it has milk, eggs, or meat in the name then its obviously not vegan. This is just false information! A lot of people tell vegans that their favorite foods aren’t vegan when in reality they are: ice cream, oreos, beer (yes, beer!), nutella, sour cream, etc.
- Being afraid or intimidated to ask for something that’s vegan at a restaurant. I know this is an awkward situation but if you are unsure of whether the food you want is vegan or not, talk to your waiter! They usually know exactly what has dairy, eggs, meat, etc in it so they can help you decide what to order.
- Not adding enough calories or protein in their diet. This is a common problem when people first start to go vegan since they’re used to eating meat and dairy which has much more protein in it. In turn, this can cause some serious health problems if its not fixed quickly. Make sure you are eating enough calories, protein, and carbs to stay healthy!
- Being too hard on themselves or beating themselves up if they mess up or slip up. If you find yourself doing this then stop right now! You’re just going to start hating your lifestyle and tell yourself that it’s not worth it. When you slip up, don’t fret about it. Picking up right where you left off should be your number one priority!
What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
This is also a pretty broad question since there are so many but I think the biggest one would have to be that vegans can’t eat anything or get enough protein in their diet. This is just not true!
There are so many foods that vegans can eat and they’re getting more and more options as time goes on such as vegan protein powders, vegan meat substitutes, and non-dairy milks (which is something I talk about a lot).
Another misconception would probably be that people who don’t know about veganism or look down on it are uneducated, ignorant, or “close minded”. I would definitely disagree with this.
People shouldn’t be criticized for their opinions and beliefs because everyone has the right to them! Just like there shouldn’t be any groups who praise us for going vegan either since we all know that we’re doing something good for ourselves and the environment.
What is your favorite vegan food/snack?
This is a tough one, since there are so many delicious meals that I enjoy! If I had to pick, though, vegan ice cream would be my choice. There are several excellent brands available, but my favorite is Halo Top.
Is there a food you used to love but can’t stand anymore?
This is without a doubt the most difficult question, since I don’t want to despise meals that I liked before becoming vegan! My response would probably be certain types of meat, such as ham and bacon, but because I don’t consume them very often, you can’t tell!
How do vegans gain muscle?
Gaining muscle, just like with anything else, requires eating at a caloric surplus.
Some people think that you need to eat meat to get big muscles. But my uncle is vegan and he has big muscles!
There are so many athletes these days who are vegan and succeeding so you don’t have an excuse for not trying.
Being vegan doesn’t mean that you won’t eat as much as a meat eater so it’s definitely possible to do if you have the right mindset and workout routine.
What should a vegan eat for beginners?
Typically a vegan eats a plant-based diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. As for snacks they eat snack foods such as pretzels or chips but this is definitely something you want to change because it’s not good for your health.
Instead try eating grapes or fruit salad to quench your thirst. For lunch try eating a tofu-vegetable stir fry or black bean tacos with avocado, tomato, onions and cilantro. Finally for dinner try making vegan fettuccini alfredo using nutritional yeast in place of the Parmesan cheese.
What are some good vegan substitutes for ice cream?
Tofutti is probably the best non-dairy ice cream that there is. You can get it at any grocery store or buy it online.
Another would be Halo Top which is vegan and low in calorie, fat, carbs, etc.
There are also plenty of vegan ice cream recipes out there if you want to make your own!
Why do vegans look old?
A lot of vegans have a stereotypical “aging” appearance just like meat eaters.
They either choose to age prematurely or neglect skin care.
Another possibility is that they don’t get enough protein or iron in their diets which can lead to them looking older than they actually are.
Vegans also tend to be more stress-free than meat eaters because they don’t have to worry about their livestock dying. They also exercise more because they want to stay fit, which is why they tend to look younger!
What are the side effects of going vegan?
There are no side effects of going vegan!
If you’re wondering about the health benefits of going vegan they include weight loss, lower cholesterol, etc. but I’ve already gone over those in my previous question so check that out if you want to know more!
The only negative thing is that maybe some people feel hungry more often because they’re still getting used to the lifestyle change, but again that is usually not a problem for most people!
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