Plant-based diets and veganism continue to gain popularity. More influencers, stars and athletes are switching to them. Why is this happening and what you need to know to become a vegan? Let's figure it out.
Who are vegans and how are they different from vegetarians?
If you decide to switch to a plant-based diet, you must first understand two basic concepts: vegetarianism and veganism. Many people confuse or combine them. So how are vegans different from vegetarians?
Both exclude meat, poultry, fish and seafood from their diet. But vegans go further: they exclude all products that were made through animal exploitation (milk, dairy products, cheese, honey), choose clothes, cosmetics and other goods with caution - they do not use things produced from animal by-products or tested on animals.
Why are people switching to plant-based foods?
There are many reasons for people to switch to a vegetable diet. Here are the main and most common ones.
1. Hygiene and health care. Having deeply studied the subject of plant nutrition, people elaborate what is still good for them, and what harms their body.
2. Ethics and animal care. People equal animal rights to theirs, they understand that other living beings cannot be exploited to help humans meet their own needs
3. Religion or spirituality. Some religions and spiritual practices call to exclude everything related to animal exploitation.
4. Ecology. Plunging into the topic of environmental protection and sustainability, people see this relationship and negative impact of animal husbandry and live-stock production on the environment.
5. Trend. This motive cannot be ignored, consumers follow global trends, and plant-based nutrition is one of them.
Where to get motivation for a comfortable transition to veganism?
Here is my personal example. I got acquainted with veganism when I took up yoga and spiritual practices. It was the first time I excluded animal products from my diet, because I felt better without them. But I didn't have a strong motivation, I didn't realize why I should become a vegan, so I got back to traditional diets.
A couple of years later, I again plunged onto the subject of veganism and healthy eating and began to study literature and researches on this topic. And then a clear motive formed in my head why I want to switch to plant food. I went by the idea of health care: I want a beautiful and healthy body and live a long life. Soon, I began to share vegan views, and ethics was added to the list of motives.
Strong motivation is the prevention of breakdowns and rollbacks to the previous way of life. Here, it is important to find what energizes you. To do this, answer the questions: why should I become a vegan, why have I chosen this path, and why now?
Motivation can be weakened, so you need to constantly feed it. You can study the topic of plant nutrition, read books, watch films, and form your own point of view on each issue. It helps keep you motivated.
How to become a vegan and not to break down?
As with any serious undertaking, going vegan requires a plan, and to develop one, stick to the following points:
Do not try to change your diet in one day, it is a huge stress for your body. Do everything gradually: start by avoiding fast food and other unhealthy foods; organize meat-free days; give up meat completely; then ban fish and seafood, cheese and milk, and so on.
Listen to your body, learn to recognize what it lacks and how it can be replenished by taking care of it.
Study ingredients, choose what meets your requirements at this stage.
At first, the body will miss meat, you will eat more, this is normal, over time, your body will change, you will feel lightness and a surge of strength and energy.
From time to time, undergo medical tests, even if it seems that you have no health problems. Rely on numbers and, if necessary, rebuild your diet so that there is no deficiency of important micronutrients and vitamins.
A comfortable transition to a plant-based diet depends a lot on your awareness and self-motivation, so start by answering the question "why do I want to become a vegan?" and the transition will be "painless".
Veg blogger Darya Makarova.