New To The Vegan Lifestyle?

Here are a few mistakes to avoid

By Daniella Obuwan Oshiame – January 2024

 

Going vegan is super exciting and overwhelming at the same time. You are stepping into a new eating habit you have never considered before. With your new eating lifestyle, you are figuring out what to eat and what not to eat, how to replace animal proteins with plant proteins, how to get rid of your meat addiction, or how to eat out at restaurants. All of these can be pretty tough to handle and may push you into making mistakes as a new vegan.

Always remember that mistakes are inevitable on a vegan diet, and you should not beat yourself up every time you make one. Here are a few mistakes to avoid as a new vegan.

 

1. Rushing Into A Vegan Diet

It is a fabulous idea to want to go vegan. The journey might feel challenging in the beginning because you transitioned too quickly. This can lead to under-eating and frustration, making you give up after trying so hard to sustain the lifestyle. You are learning a whole new way of eating by going vegan. And it is okay to start slow. Be patient with yourself, and move at your own pace. If you need to drop one animal food at a time (meat first, fish, dairy, and eggs), then so be it! By starting slow, you will gradually fall In love with vegan foods. Hence, it will help you sustain a healthy vegan diet.

 

2. Protein Obsession

Where do you get your protein? This is the most common question non-vegans ask these days. As a new vegan, if you let this question overshadow your thoughts, you will start worrying so much about your protein intake that no amount of plant protein will be enough for you at each meal. You will just keep adding more and more, and this can lead to what I call Protein Obsession. Protein from plant foods supports health and longevity better than protein from animal foods.

One thing to keep in mind is that protein intake is per kilogram of body weight. So try not to overeat it. When you know your body weight and the amount you need to be eating, you won’t have to worry about the question: where do you get your protein? But do not worry; a vegan diet has plenty of protein-rich foods. Think beans, legumes, tofu, tempeh, nuts, seeds, seitan, etc. Plus, you can never get protein deficient on a vegan diet because almost all the plant foods we eat have enough protein.

 

3. Neglecting Support

Neglecting support on a vegan diet can be frustrating and, eventually, make you give up on your vegan journey. So, If you are new to the vegan lifestyle, it might be time for you to locate and connect with a vegan support community that shares the same values around food choices as yours. This can be quite comforting and less isolating, as it becomes a source of awareness, education, inspiration, and companionship for you.

Attend vegan meet-ups and cookouts. Interact on social media platforms. Ask questions if you are feeling stuck and confused. Speak out and do not be shy to accept support.

 

4. Forgetting To Supplement

Remember to supplement if you feel you need more nutrients on a vegan diet. The most common deficiency for vegans is vitamin B12, as well as iodine, Omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and vitamin D. The good news is that it is easy to avoid these nutrient risks! Firstly, eat an abundant source of plant-based foods and try to consume more fortified foods like breakfast cereals and plant milk. Second, take a daily dose of vegan-friendly multivitamins or supplement with individual nutrients if you feel okay taking it that way.

I’m super excited about your willingness to go vegan, and I wish you all the best on your fantastic journey. Always remember that to achieve a healthy vegan diet, you have to eat right and at least follow the four ways mentioned above to avoid falling off the wagon. By simply eating plenty of whole plant-based foods and regularly consuming a few essential nutrients (in the form of supplements) you will surely enjoy your vegan journey.

 

My Short Bio: 

Daniella Obuwan Oshiame is a Professional Freelance Health, Nutrition & Vegan Writer, with 4 Certifications in Health & Nutrition-related Fields. She enjoys writing health, nutrition, vegan, & fitness articles to educate and keep people informed.
You can send her an email and connect with her on her social media pages; 
 
Instagram: @_the.wan 
Twitter: @_the_wan
LinkedIn & Medium: Daniella Obuwan Oshiame

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