Transitioning to a vegan diet – eliminating meat, fish, dairy, and eggs – has many benefits to both yourself and the planet. But even if it’s been something you’ve considered, most people don’t become vegan overnight.
If you’re wondering how much time it takes to start a vegan diet, and want some tips for transitioning, you’re in the right place. Here’s some must-have info and advice for new vegans.
How Long Does It Take To Go Vegan?
The amount of time it takes to completely eliminate animal products from your diet varies completely on you, your surroundings, your diet initially, and your motivation to go vegan.
For example, somebody who eats a lot of vegan food already, has vegan friends, and who already does a lot of environmental activism may be able to become vegan quickly. In fact, they may be able to wake up one day and cut all animal products out of their diet completely!
However, somebody who eats meat three times per day, has never cooked with tofu or beans, has meat-loving people around them, and hasn’t researched the benefits of being vegan may struggle more initially, resulting in a longer transition to full veganism.
Tips For Going Vegan
Don’t Do Too Much Too Soon
If you’re set on switching to a vegan diet, you might find it easy to give up everything overnight. However, most people react better if they gradually eliminate foods out of their diet.
You’ll likely find it easier to stick to a vegan diet if you first try to eliminate meat and eat a pescatarian diet. Then, try to give up fish and seafood.
Gradually stop eating eggs and dairy products, leaving the food that you know you’ll find hardest to give up (for most people, this is cheese!) last.
Know Your Substitutes
Nowadays, there are substitutes for everything. Whether you’re looking for a realistic meatless beef burger or a creamy cheesecake, you will be able to find a vegan alternative. And they are only getting cheaper by the day.
Here are some substitutes to consider:
- Meat: you can now buy vegan bacon, chicken, steaks, and any other type of meat. You can also use tofu or tempeh in the place of meat.
- Fish: there are varieties of vegan fish and seafood made with other protein sources now available, or you can try using tofu that has been seasoned in a particular way.
- Eggs: you can scramble tofu to replicate scrambled eggs, or use sliced tofu or a vegan egg alternative.
- Dairy: try plant-based milk like almond or coconut milk, and vegan dairy products made with these milks. For example, vegan cheese, vegan yogurt, and vegan cream are all available at most big superstores.
- Chocolate: most dark chocolate is naturally vegan, or you can get special dairy-free chocolate if preferred.
And the list goes on! If you think you’ll struggle with missing any dish when you go vegan, just type in “name of dish + vegan” into Google – you’re sure to find a good recipe…like these super easy Vegan Cupcakes!
Learn Some New Cooking Methods
Some vegan cooking is as simple as replacing the animal product with a vegan substitute. However, there are special cooking techniques that you may want to incorporate when using some vegan products.
Tofu is easy to cook once you know how – but it does take some getting used to. If you add tofu to a meal as a meat or fish replacement, you will very likely want to press it before using it.
Use a press like the ones sold on https://tofubud.com to get rid of any extra moisture. Then, cut it up into pieces and follow the recipe!
Vegan cheese isn’t the best at melting. If you are cooking with vegan cheese, you will need to give it extra time to melt before serving the food.
Vegan cheese is actually one of the products people have the hardest time switching to. It tastes a bit different from standard cheese, and many people actually experience a kind of addiction to dairy cheese that is hard to shake.
The best course of action may be to try to go without dairy cheese for a while before eating vegan cheese – your taste buds will have changed by then, so you won’t be comparing it to dairy cheese.
Tempeh can have a slightly bitter aftertaste. To avoid this, place it in a pan of boiling water for 5-10 minutes before adding it to a dish.
Canned beans are healthy and ready to use, but if you cook dried beans from scratch, be very careful to boil them for long enough. Some beans, like kidney beans, are toxic before they are thoroughly cooked.
No timespan or method will suit everyone who’s learning how to start a vegan diet. However, if you have a solid motivation to quit meat, dairy, and eggs, just follow these simple tips and you should be enjoying a plant-based lifestyle in no time.