5 Tips to Transition to a Healthy Vegan Lifestyle
Various studies have shown that transitioning to a plant-based diet will increase your longevity. While it isn’t the right solution for everyone, you may find it an energizing and rewarding alternative to eating SAD (Standard American Diet). Adapting to a vegan lifestyle may look daunting from the outside, but like any shift in behavior, it simply involves breaking an old habit in order to install a new one. Here are 5 tips to help you along the road to a longer, healthier life.
1. Change Your Mind
Since we are all human, transitioning to anything new, whether it’s a new school, a new workplace, or a new relationship inspires a healthy amount of fear. This is a good thing. We should be wary of change. But we don’t want to let it cripple us once we identify the change as a positive one. So how do we get the fear out of our heads? By proving to ourselves that the fear is irrational. Sit down with a pad and pen (or keyboard and screen) and write down all the concerns you have about transitioning to a vegan lifestyle. What are you giving up? What do you worry you won’t be able to follow through with? Once you organize a list of the problems you’re worried may arise, you can start solving them. 
2. The two C’s: Convenience and Community
You want the transition to a vegan lifestyle to add years to your life but NOT to add hours to your day. Eliminate this concern by taking a few minutes on Google to locate local vegan-friendly restaurants and markets. You will gain confidence knowing exactly where all your food will be coming from and what your options are. You will likely be pleasantly surprised by how many you have. In addition, becoming vegan is not just about eating more veggies. It will open you up to an incredible community of people who are already living the way you want to live. They are there to help you during your transition and provide you with answers to questions you didn’t even know you had, like, what’s the best way to cook Brussel Sprouts?
3. Take Your Food With You
Taking your lunch to work or school is not just a great way to save money, it’s also a great way to stay in control of your diet. Don’t limit yourself to eateries you can get in and out of in 30 minutes. Expand your daily diet by opening it up to the entire range of vegan cuisine available to you via the supermarket and your own kitchen. Many vegans find that they become much more proficient chefs once they fully commit to eating plant-based.
4. Expand Your Veggie Vocabulary
Staying positive is a great way to negotiate any transition. Instead of focusing on all the foods you have to cut out or leave behind, try to focus on all the things you are going to be adding to your diet that you never knew existed. There is an entire world of delicious vegetables that can be prepared in any number of vegan-friendly ways. You can start online with Pinterest or Instagram or keep it old school and head down to the local bookstore. Ask them to direct you to the vegan cookbook section. Recipes are a fantastic resource for exciting possibilities.
5. Say Goodbye to the Bad Stuff
Remember you are going Vegan for a reason. It doesn’t hurt to make a list of all the bad stuff you’re leaving behind. No more stuffy noses from the casein in that milk you’ve been adding to your cereal. No more backups from that melted mozzarella from Dominos. Whenever you waver, you can look at this list and remind yourself that going vegan is not just about improving your longevity, but life’s quality as well.