Apr 2, 2022
6 Mistakes To Avoid When Going Vegan, and What to Do Instead
First things first - if you’ve chosen to embrace veganism, then here’s a very warm welcome to you! You’ve just taken one of the best life decisions not only for your own health, but that of fellow living beings, and for planet Earth. And if you are somewhat intimidated about entering this new chapter, don’t be - we’ve all been there, and we know you’ll do just fine.
Having said that, we also know that a little bit of guidance at the very start of a new journey can do wonders. That’s why we’re here to help! In this blog, we share 6 mistakes to avoid when going vegan. Hopefully, with this guide, you’ll get helpful tips you can keep in mind.
2. Not Eating Enough Whole Foods
We believe everyone should consume more whole foods in their diet, not only vegans! Several researchers and health experts have proved that whole foods are our best option for improving our health and preventing diseases. Simply put, whole foods are foods that are either not processed at all, or undergo minimal processing. Such foods help because you’re consuming nutrients in their most natural form, allowing your body to absorb maximum benefits.
For those that have recently transitioned to veganism and have meat cravings, you can choose items like seitan over heavily processed vegan meat alternatives (which are ok for occasional indulgence).
Swapping out fries for a baked potato and making sure you get fresh fruit alongside sweet treats like pastries or breakfast bars will also help maximise your nutritional intake. This doesn’t mean you should deprive yourself of those treats, but it can be helpful to think about if you’re getting your nutrient-rich whole foods into your diet as well. In short, increase your whole food intake and your body and immune system will thank you for it!
3. Feeling Pressured to Buy Costly Substitutes
Contrary to what most assume, enjoying a vegan lifestyle can be quite cost-effective. While it’s true that some vegan substitutes for meats, ice creams and desserts are on the costlier side, that doesn’t mean you have to purchase them on a regular basis. Just go back to the basics, to your fruits, veggies, nuts, beans and more - which are not only nutritious and reasonably priced, but also easy to store for long durations without being spoiled.
This way, you’re not just going to be saving money but you are also going to stay super healthy. And you can always indulge on special occasions when you want to. Plus, in today’s world, there are a lot more people turning vegan at a rapid pace, and options are increasing too!
If you are able to, it’s worth checking out apps which are designed to save money whilst preventing food waste, also. Too Good To Go lets you buy food from shops and restaurants that would have otherwise gone to waste, at a cheaper price before closing time. Whilst you may have to do a bit of hunting to find the fully vegan options, their listings include greengrocers selling off veg boxes at the end of the day. And to save even more, food-sharing app Olio was created to allow neighbours to give away in-date food that you don’t need for free.
4. Thinking You Can’t Indulge Yourself
Adopting a new lifestyle around food can sometimes trick you into thinking that you’re on a diet. But going vegan doesn't mean that you have to deny yourself indulgences. A balanced, wholesome vegan diet always leaves room for indulgences, otherwise, it can get monotonous.
We encourage others to indulge in their favourite vegan treats from time to time with moderation. Whether you enjoy fried snacks, desserts, shakes or burgers, today the food market has a wide range of alternatives for vegan consumers who want to treat themselves. Veganism shouldn't be viewed as saying ‘No’ to a certain food but as saying ‘Yes’ to a whole variety of different foods.
5. Being Too Hard On Yourself
Aren't we all guilty of doing this to ourselves more than once? But what we need to remind ourselves is that we are human and it’s ok to make mistakes. Being too strict with yourself can foster an ‘all or nothing’ approach, which means even a small setback could send you down a spiral of guilt and defeat where you feel like abandoning the entire lifestyle altogether. This is an unhealthy approach that can do more harm than good. Instead, remember that any new journey takes time to settle into.
So anytime you feel like you’re slipping up, remember to not be hard on yourself or get frustrated. Take a deep breath, remind yourself of the initial reason that made you want to become vegan and be motivated by it - and pick up where you left off from. Trust us, it will be so worth it.
6. Not Having A Plan In Place
It’s always good to prepare! Cooking and consuming vegan foods on a daily basis can be overwhelming to the first-time vegan, especially in our busy lives today. So planning your meals in advance would make you feel relaxed before every meal. Plus, it will help you save plenty of money as you will cut down on ordering in. While plant-based meals provide a person with several health benefits, it is a good idea to plan your meals for the week so you can balance the nutrients you consume and ensure you are getting enough of them on a regular basis. Here’s some inspo - check out our quick vegan breakfast recipes that can be rustled up in a jiffy!
Some of the most important nutrients that a vegan person need comes from fruits and vegetables - starchy foods such as oats, potatoes, wholemeal bread etc, and proteins from legumes. Other nutrients include iodine, calcium, healthy fats, iron, zinc, vitamins etc. Therefore always ensure your meals contain the above nutrients to be in the best of health and mood!