Vegan-Diet: Mistakes to Avoid

Vegan-Diet: Mistakes to Avoid

Mistakes to Avoid

-Everyone makes mistakes, but the key here is to list some that many people who are just starting out in veganism. If you can avoid these, you’ll find that your life will be so much easier and the transition will go (a lot more) smoothly.

-Not eating a variety. We already talked about this in a former article, but I want to brush on it a little more, really emphasizing that this is important. When you’re starting out, it’s really easy to get stuck on what’s easy or foods that you already know you like. You need a variety of nutrients, and you won’t get this just from eating pasta with pasta sauce every night. It’s easy, but you’re not getting everything you need. That’s why we’re meal prepping.

-Eating too much junk. Things such as pop tarts, Oreos, and many fast food places are either vegan or have vegan options. This isn’t giving you permission to chow down to your heart’s content. These foods still have incredibly high sugar, carb, and bad fat content. Treating yourself occasionally is OK, but just be mindful.

-Eating too much dairy and meat substitutes. Vegan cheese and vegan meat is a huge market, but they can also be expensive. They’re basically one of the biggest reasons why veganism is seen as such an expensive lifestyle, despite the fact that it actually isn’t. You don’t have to buy these, let’s get that clear. Yes, some of them are very healthy for you, but there are better ways to get protein. Have a little, just do it in moderation, and get the nutrients that you need from dairy and meat from other sources.

-Freaking out over protein. This is the number one, most annoying question I get when people ask me about veganism. How do you get your protein? Well, for one, the average person does not need nearly as much as we think we do, only about 15% of our diet, and there are plenty of other places to get it. Beans, nuts, tofu, grains, there are plenty of sources.

-Not eating enough. Veggies and fruit, foods you’ll likely be eating quite a lot of, are full of fiber, and fiber doesn’t get digested by the system. It also helps trick you into thinking that you’re full, and you’ve had enough. Your body is digesting foods at a faster rate. Remember, the foods you’re eating now likely have a much lower calorie rate than the foods you were eating before. Be mindful of this, and be sure that you’re getting enough food to keep you healthy and energized.

-Beating yourself up every time you slip up. Look, everyone makes slip-ups. If you crack and buy a chicken burger after three weeks of being vegan straight, don’t think that you’re a horrible person. It happens. Or even if you make a mistake, accidentally buying something that isn’t vegan. Maybe the burger is vegan, but not the bun. Maybe the pasta and pasta sauce is vegan, but not the drink that came with it. I once saw a girl burst into tears because she didn’t realize that Caesar’s salad dressing often has anchovy paste and eggs. Be gentle on yourself, and learn for next time. This is what you’ll be doing for the first little while, after all; you’ll be learning. You can’t be aware of everything.

-Not doing the vegan lifestyle for you, or doing it for the wrong reasons. I always say that before you make a huge lifestyle change, you should have more than one reason. You should also be careful to consider that you may be feeling pressured into doing this. Are you? Are a lot of your friends vegan? Are you feeling guilty about your impact on the environment through your food? Do you want to lose weight? Have a few real, solid reasons. Maybe they’re listed on our list in a former article, maybe not. But regardless, write them down, and pull them out to remind yourself when you feel yourself going weak. Do this for you, not anybody else.

-Not doing it the way that works for you. I think one of the biggest misconceptions about a new lifestyle is that it has to change right away, overnight. I think taking small steps is a much smarter way of doing it, and there’s no shame in it. If you think going completely cold turkey is what works for you, then you should do that. But if you feel that slowly easing animal products out of your life by replacing one product at a time (for example, one week you could buy tofu instead of chicken, then the next week you buy tofu and plant-based milk instead of regular milk), then you should do that. You should approach this diet the way that you feel you will succeed at it.

-That actually brings us into our following topic; meal prepping, and how it can help you on your vegan journey. It may help speed up the process of feeling like a complete and confident vegan and can help you resist these moments of temptation.

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