How To Be A Vegan – The First Step To A Healthier You

Chances are if you are reading this article, then you are somewhat familiar with the term vegan. Whether you have heard it in passing through your day to day life, on television, or maybe even know of a family member who became vegan, I want to take this opportunity to demystify veganism once and for all as well as break down how to be a vegan yourself.

Before getting into the nitty gritty I want to note that this is not something you will incorporate into your life overnight, it will take some time and dedication on your part. This is completely okay and it is completely normal. Everyones lifestyle is different and our bodies are all unique. Some people may be able to adapt to becoming a vegan in a matter of months while others may take years. It is a transitional process and I will provide you with helpful tips on making the transition as smoothly as possible.

I want to be clear moving ahead that you understand going vegan is a lifestyle change, not just another “diet”. That might sound scary, but I assure you it isn’t as intimidating as it might appear to be. There are certainly various components to a vegan lifestyle, which I will touch on briefly in this article, however, my purpose with OneFitVegan.com is to focus on one specific component of the vegan lifestyle: health & fitness. I know, shocking right?

 

So What Is Veganism?

To put it in the most easy to understand way, a vegan is someone who does not consume animal products. There are the more obvious products such as animal meat, fur, and skin that come to mind & the not so obvious products like laundry detergent, plastic bags, and sugar. Yes seriously, laundry detergent, plastic bags, and sugar. Look it up!

What I mean by consume isn’t only in the most literal sense of eating, but also in terms of buying (as a consumer). There are literally thousands, if not millions, of products that are made with or from animal products or animal by-products beyond just the foods we eat. Even things like cosmetics & perfume can contain animal derived ingredients.

It is important to know that veganism is not just a philosophy about living a cruelty-free life with regard to animals, it is also about the diet that goes along with it. It is a plant-based diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds, nuts, and whole grains.

The Health Benefits

Eating a plant-based vegan diet can have a tremendously positive impact in your overall health & wellness. These benefits alone are motivation enough for most to consider becoming a vegan. I will list some top health benefits, some of which I have personally experienced during my transition from an animal-based diet to the plant-based vegan diet.

Some things you can expect to experience:

  • weight loss
  • lowered blood pressure & cholesterol
  • higher energy levels
  • more restful sleep
  • lowered risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, & cancers
  • improved kidney function
  • prevention of osteoporosis & arthritis
  • higher vitamin & mineral intake
  • migraine & allergy relief
  • reduced toxins in the body
  • lower dependency on prescription drugs

*As a disclaimer I am not a health expert in any way. Please consult with your physician before making any changes to your diet.*

Start Small, One Animal At A Time

So what’s the best place to start? Where does someone interested in becoming a vegan take the first step? The answer is simple: start small with one animal at a time from home. I recommend you begin your vegan journey at home because your home is where you likely feel most comfortable and do not have to face ridicule or questioning as to what or why you are doing what you are doing. In fact this is the approach I took and it is what I found to work best.

The first thing I would do is take an inventory and just glance over what is in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. The goal here is to locate the most obvious sources of animal products in your diet. Once you have a general idea of what you eat and drink regularly, say chicken & milk, find a vegan alternative for replacement. For this example it could be soy based chicken strips & almond milk. Boom! You just knocked out two animal products in your diet and replaced them with plant based alternatives!

In the beginning, this is the route I would recommend as it has the least amount of what I call “diet shock” which is where someone panics by switching up their entire diet too fast and end up reverting back to their original diet due to comfort and familiarity. You do not want to go through “diet shock” and lose the progress made up to that point, so taking small steps to incorporate a plant-based diet is key to making the diet a lifestyle. In no time you will find yourself craving plant-based foods habitually.

Go At Your Own Pace

HOLD UP! One of the most important factors when becoming a vegan is to realize that this is not a race. Think of it as a marathon. You want to make sure you are becoming a vegan first and foremost for yourself, because it is what you want and believe in. Even if Gary and Sarah went vegan in two months, you don’t want to base your transition on their timeline. It was what worked for them, and that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the same for you. The sooner you become at peace with & acknowledge this the less stress and anxiety you will feel moving forward, getting you closer to becoming vegan. There is no way of knowing how long it will take, but the likelihood is that it will be between months and years. The key is to make small improvements over time, like I mentioned above, regarding diet to stay on track.

Say Hello to A Healthier You

I truly hope that you have found some value in what I have provided here in this article, in breaking down and demystifying what veganism is and how to be a vegan yourself if you so choose. If anything, now you are aware of the many health benefits you can expect when going to a plant-based diet. Through small dietary changes that you can make at your own pace, you too can do this! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them below.

Cheers to your journey, the path to a healthier you!

 

 

 

 

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10 Comments on “How To Be A Vegan – The First Step To A Healthier You”

  1. Hi Donovan, your advice for going vegan one animal at a time is reasonable. I am not planning to go 100% vegan but I do agree that with less dependence on animal products, there is an improvement in health. At least that’s what I personally experienced when I cut down on meat products since 5 years ago. I did it because I didn’t like to consume a lot of meat, it always feels like a burden inside of me when I eat too much meat. For a start, I am going to examine my refrigerator and see what further small steps I can take.

    1. Jude, I am happy to hear you are making those small changes to improve your health, well-done my friend! Going vegan 100% does take some effort for sure, so I totally understand.

      Good luck on your journey, please contact me if you have any other questions or simply need some support!

      Cheers,
      Donovan

    1. Thanks for stopping by Lace! I think with something as big as a dietary change it is important to start slowly and move into it gradually. I do know some people who went 100% vegan overnight, cold-turkey (pun intended), and have been vegan ever since. Of course, this is the exception, not the norm.

      Have a great day!

      Donovan

  2. Hi Donavan! I am currently trying myself as vegetarian and read a lot about veganism, too. My goal is – in the long run – to change to a vegan lifestyle. However, at the moment it is still quite hard and a process. Sometimes I just don’t know what to cook, or I cook often the same. Do you have maybe some cool ideas for vegan recipes?
    Mia.

    1. Mia, thanks for stopping by! It certainly can take some time before a vegan lifestyle becomes easy and comfortable. In the beginning, you are learning, and it takes some extra effort to stay on track. Just keep in mind you can go at your own pace, there is no rush to become vegan overnight.

      I will be posting some of my favorite, quick & easy, vegan recipes coming up in a future post. Be sure to keep in touch and stay tuned so you don’t miss out! They are packed full of flavor!

      Best,
      Donovan

  3. Hi Donavan, I was so happy to see a website devoted to veganism. This is a great article, and I understand what you say about this being a change in lifestyle, although do not necessarily agree. However I suppose it is easier for me to say this as I have been vegetarian since I was a teenager, so cutting out dairy and eggs wasn’t difficult for me in the end (I thought I would miss cheese, but I haven’t). I think you have to examine your principles in making a decision . For me for example, my main reason for not eating meat was for animal welfare and the fact that I can survive quite happily without having to kill animals. This made me being ‘merely’ a vegetarian a hypocrite, because of course the production of eggs and milk does lead to slaughtering animals, and animal cruelty. So, if you as a human being believe that killing animals to live is cruel and unnecessary, then the logical next step is to embrace the vegan diet. But don’t expect to be perfect! And try not to preach! I look forward to your next posts!

    1. I appreciate your comment and personal insights Amanda, thanks for stopping by! Glad to hear you are enjoying the content thus far!

      Cheers,
      Donovan

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