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Beginners Guide to A Vegan Lifestyle - Important Things to Know Before You Start

Know the Benefits and Risks of a Vegan Diet.

There are many reasons for switching to a vegan diet or partially switching, depending on each person's objectives with a diet change.. Before you go vegan, it's important to do some research and understand the potential benefits as well as the risks associated with such a major dietary change. A vegan diet can provide many health benefits, including helping you lose weight, reducing your risk of Type 2 diabetes and associated heart disease, improving acne, and even potentially reducing your risk of certain types of cancer. Cardiovascular disease is the number 1 cause of death globally and one of the biggest factors linked to cardiovascular disease is high cholesterol. A vegan diet doesn’t include any cholesterol as this is found only in animal products. Furthermore, going vegan can have environmental benefits such as reducing water consumption and decreasing pollution from animal farming practices. That being said, there are also potential risks associated with a vegan diet; such as vitamin B12 deficiency and reduced protein intake if care isn't taken in meal planning. These however can be mitigated by supplements, which are readily available all over the country.

In the end, it is up to you to decide whether going vegan is the right decision for you. However, if you are considering going vegan, do your research and make sure that you understand all the potential benefits as well as risks associated with following a vegan diet. Make sure you also familiarize yourself with vegan food substitutes and meal planning so that you can ensure that your body gets all the nutrients it needs while still enjoying all of the advantages of going vegan!

Get Familiar with Plant-Based Food Alternatives.

Learning which plant-based substitutes to enjoy can make the transition to a vegan lifestyle much easier. Embrace nut milks, tofu and soy versions of fish, meat and other staple animal products. Experiment with new types of grains like quinoa, buckwheat and gluten-free oats. Consider options such as seitan and tempeh made from wheat, as well as varieties of field roast that are made from lentils or beans. There are also many vegan-friendly snack bars, foods, snacks and frozen meals available in supermarkets that can replace some of what you’re used to eating when transitioning to a vegan diet. Don't let the unfamiliarity of these alternatives intimidate you; try different dishes in order to find out what works best for your taste buds!

Beyond meat substitutions, get to know the many plant-based items that can be found in most grocery stores. Up your consumption of fruits and veggies by making smoothies or juices, roasting vegetables with different herbs and spices, spiralizing zucchini for ‘zoodles’ as a low-carb pasta alternative, or trying out countless vegan recipes that call for veggies you’ve never heard of. There are also dozens of vegan products – from cheeses to meatless ‘meats’ – readily available online and at farmers markets etc. With so many options, there's no need to limit yourself when making meals on your own!

Stick to Whole Foods Over Processed Products

Many vegan products like faux meats are highly processed and contain lots of added sugar, sodium, and preservatives. Whenever possible, try to stick to whole plant-based foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. Foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds provide essential nutrients for a healthy vegan diet and should be the bulk of your daily intake.

Eating vegan does not mean you are automatically eating healthy. It is important to focus mainly on unprocessed plant-based foods like fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts and seeds in order to obtain all of the necessary nutrients for your body. Eating faux meats or processed vegan products may be tasty but they can be high in sodium, sugar and fat and don’t always provide the essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Whole foods are more nutrient dense than their processed alternatives and should be the primary focus of any vegan diet in order to stay balanced, healthy and energized.

Set Expectations for Eating Out & Traveling with a Vegan Diet.

Eating out and traveling can be one of the biggest challenges to maintaining a vegan lifestyle. When going out to restaurants, check for plant-based dishes or see if you can swap ingredients to make a meal vegan - many places are very accommodating in this regard. However, when traveling, anticipate it will be harder to find vegan food and plan ahead. Bring your own snacks or research restaurants near your destination that may offer options so you don’t have to settle for unhealthy junk food while you travel. There are many great websites and blogs that put together lists of great Vegan restaurants in all the big cities. Happy Cow has become a great website used by Vegans all over the world to find places that are suitable, wherever they may be.

Be sure to plan ahead as much as you can and find vegan versions of all the foods that you love. If it’s something that is traditionally cooked with animal products, like cheese-less pizza, tofu scramble instead of eggs, or seitan “bacon” substitutes for bacon, then think about making your own plant-based version in advance. If possible, research local veggie eateries and make reservations for dining out—restaurants may be packed with travelers and having a reservation ahead of time grants more peace-of-mind about sticking to your vegan lifestyle while still being able to enjoy travel.

Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time.

Coming up with vegan-friendly meals can be a challenge, so it’s important to plan ahead and get in the habit of meal prepping. Take some time each week to plan out your meals for the upcoming days, so you know what ingredients you need to buy as well as which exact recipes you want to make. Having a weekly meal plan will not only help make grocery shopping easier but also save time and money, because you’ll have fewer bills and fewer trips to the supermarket. Additionally, by planning ahead, you can find quick recipes that won't require hours slaving away in your kitchen or eating the same leftovers day after day.

But what if you feel like you don't want to prepare your own meals for tomorrow? You can plan ahead with Pranaa! We offer meal planning and food delivery services in Bangkok, Thailand. We’ve been working really hard to create a seamless experience for our users. Choose from a wide variety of delicious vegan options and we’ll have them delivered to you! So what’re you waiting for? Check out our menu page right now!

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