Lifestyles: no two are the same and are what make each individual unique. Finding the correct one means it is well suited to your personality and interests. Since each of these aspects rely on one another, that means they are also subject to change.
Despite the contrary,
living a vegan-lifestyle is not a distinct set of guidelines, but rather a spectrum. On the far end are those who cannot bear to be in the same room as grilled cheese. On the lenient side are those who cook their meals with only plant-based products, but will eat piece of dark chocolate every so often, even though it has a trace of milk in it. Where you decide to fall does not matter; what should matter is your level of happiness in regards to your way of life.
Becoming vegan is not immediate, but a process.
The transition requires educating yourself, including a discussion with a dietician or primary physician, and doing your own research. Simply cutting meat and dairy out of your diet without replacing it with the proper macronutrients can cause serious complications. For example, if you decide to stop eating meat without increasing your complete protein intake, your body will lose muscle mass; this can then cause other health concerns, like fatigue, soreness and weight loss.
Although the steps take time, they are quite simple.
First, establishing your reasons can motivate and remind you why you choose to live this healthy lifestyle. By then working towards a raw and plant-based diet, you choose to make plant products with minimal to no processing the basis of your meals and including a wide variety but lesser amount of meats, poultry, fish and dairy. This causes you to become more conscious of your diet. Next is becoming a vegetarian through eliminating meat, poultry and fish. By seeking out plant-based proteins, like tofu, tempeh and introducing complementary proteins like rice and beans, you will increase your creativity and variety of meals. By consuming a diverse plant-based diet, you are more likely to achieve your daily intake of macro and micronutrients. Lastly, the switch from dairy to plant-based products may require an uptake of protein, depending on the individual diet. Not so hard, right!?
Regardless of the many reasons to begin the transition, you are almost guaranteed to feel more fit, energized and motivated in the end; that is absolutely worth the journey.
Written by GUADS guest writer Emily