There are many reasons why people go vegan: spiritual, ecological, animal care, health, etc. All the reasons are valid and are very welcome in a world that needs healing and change. Going vegan is one of the most important changes/choices we can make in life, with tremendous benefits for the self and the world. Such simple, yet meaningful change have a huge impact on the Whole, actively mitigating environmental degradation, saving animals lives, improving our health, raising our vibration and enhancing our awareness.
In spite of going vegan being a simple change just needing intention, it can be a little bit confusing, specially at the beginning and/or if you are not at ease with science contents such as biology, nutrition, physiology and/or ecology. Fortunately, nowadays its pretty easy to get information on these subjects (its the web wonder, 24/7, everywhere), as well as the vegan products, which are widely available (all supermarkets have a health products area). Here I list some considerations, tips and tricks, which I consider essentials from my own journey towards a plant-based diet/lifestyle. Whether you are a newbie or a long-time vegan, you may find useful to know or revise:
- Get informed – learn about the basics of a healthy diet, such as the essential nutrients and their requirements for well-being. Any diet, vegan included, should contemplate 6 essential nutrients: proteins, carbs (simple and complex), lipids (fats), minerals, vitamins and water. Have in mind that a vegan diet can provide you all nutrients required by an healthy living, except for the vitamin B12 that should be taken from fortified vegan foods or as a supplement. Special attention should be given too to Zinc, Iron, vitamin D and complex B, often found in deficiency in vegans. Eat diversely, from a variety of sources, including different beans and grains, legumes and vegetables, fruits and nuts, rotating foods along the week, so you can include in your diet all required nutrients. Remember, information is your (Vegan) power.
- Read labels – create the habit of reading labels, in particular the composition of each food, aka ingredients. Many non-vegan products can be hidden under “strange” names in many processed foods, such as anchovy, gelatin, and albumin. Others despite their funny names such as pectin, agar, xanthan gum, are vegan.
- Look for symbols – vegan symbols such as the symbols of Vegan society or others concerning the vegan origin of all ingredients in a certain product are getting more and more popular nowadays. So, its a good idea to look for vegan symbols in the package as a vegan reassurance of the product origin. It can be very useful in case of doubt concerning certain ingredients. Vegan symbols make our path more easy: V – its vegan, you can eat it.
- Prepare your own meals – go beyond laziness and dwell in the excitement of preparing your own meals and trying new/different foods and dishes. This is a true act of self-care/love. Besides, it’s the best way to assure your vegan meals.
- Keep it simple – try new foods and recipes, but keep it simple. Avoiding too complicated or time demanding cooking is crucial, especially in the beginning of your vegan journey. Small steps at a time, smooth transitions (of ingredients and taste), will be of great help.
- Take your time – for some this may be a night-to-day change, for others it may happen over months/years. Let it be an inside out change, something emerging from within, not the other way around. If you feel it from the heart, it will happen naturally, without a struggle. Therefore, its important to respect your pace and to take your time.
- Vegan lifestyle – once you eat vegan and start to question the origin/nature of many products, you will start to naturally consider a vegan lifestyle. This however can be really challenging, so it’s important to make small changes at a time and where you feel comfortable. Let it be natural and naturally you will find yourself more and more into a vegan lifestyle.
Keep in mind that regardless the reasons you choose to go vegan, ultimately all reasons are love-driven – love for the self, for the Divine, and for the Whole. And LOVE is the most powerful energy that will bring change into our World.
“The love for all living creatures is the most noble attitude of man.”Charles Darwin
Vegan because I care!
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