Vegan diet benefits are huge in the healthy living space. Learn the best tips for transitioning to a vegan diet without pressure to be all or nothing.
Working a few plant-based recipes into your diet isn't hard to do when approached the right way. It's mostly the pressure that the online community gives that turns most people away from adapting a vegan diet.
Transitioning to Vegan Foods Without Pressure
I may not win some people over saying this, and I may gain some haters, but here we go. The pressure of the online world to do life perfectly has gotten out of hand. Especially when it comes to a vegan or plant-based diet.
Whether you're adding one vegan meal, or working to make all of your meals vegan, vegan and plant based diet benefits are still there. It's not the number we should focus on, but rather that you're slowly moving forward to an end goal.
Benefits of Being Vegan and Plant Based Diet Benefits
The first thing you need to start with is your why. Why are you transitioning to vegan meals? Is it for health reasons? Is it because you've had a change in your ethical stance? This needs to be what you keep asking yourself for every decision you make.
For our family, the why is health. Our actions always keep that as the center, which is why when we go out, we don't stress too much. Stress plays a critical role with your overall health.
In fact, it can be the center reason why you are both mentally and physically unhealthy. Your body can show symptoms of illness, that are actually stress induced. Read more about what you may be experiencing in this article by the Mayo Clinic.
There are 4 main categories when it comes to benefits associated with transitioning to vegan and the why you need to ask yourself:
As I have said, our why has to do with our health. But for you, it may be the environment that keeps you going, the animals that drive you, or perhaps overall cost of food. For some it's also a mix of multiple benefits.
How does a plant based diet affect your body?
Once you know your why, and you make sure to keep your stress levels low, eating a diet rich in plants can have a huge impact on your overall health. Here are some of the plant based diet benefits that our family saw:
- blood pressure went from high even medicated, to low with no medication
- weight loss
- increase in energy
- better sleep
- less irritability
- overall better mood
Here are some articles that explain further how eating a healthy vegan diet can affect your health:
Plant based diet books and documentaries
If you're looking for some great places to start with books and documentaries about the plant based diet, here are a few to start with:
Documentaries (these can also be found as books):
A few more books:
Arguments and excuses
Arguments against transitioning to vegan are all over in the online world. But the bottom line is that if you want to make the change, you'll find a way to make it happen. For every argument as to why you can't do it, is a rebuttal as to why you should.
I will miss my favorite foods- My website is filled with recipes that satisfy even the biggest meat eaters (just read the comments). Plus, starting slow and allowing yourself to still enjoy things you love is something I advocate for.
I don't have time to learn to cook new recipes- I have so many recipes that are not only quick and easy, but some are done in 30 minutes! See my post on Easy Vegan Recipes Done in 30 Minutes for some great examples.
It's too expensive- You don't have to eat fancy foods when eating a plant based diet. In fact, my site is mostly dedicated to recipes using everyday ingredients. Nothing fancy. In fact my entire cookbook, Vegan Burgers and Burritos, uses ingredients you'd find at a regular grocery store!
Things like nuts can definitely be on the more expensive side, but still not as expensive as meat. And there are many places to buy in bulk and save money.
Support to transition to a plant based diet
Getting support when making a change is one of the most important things you can do. Whether it's support from friends, family or an outside source.
When I first started, I scoured the internet and found as much info as I could. We didn't have the support of anyone we knew because we were the first to make this kind of change. This is how Veggies Don't Bite came along.
I created my website because I didn't want others to struggle like we did. And now, I also took it a step further. I created a membership site where I help my members with anything and everything when it comes to plant based meals.
It's a place where you can start adding more plants into your diet in a low pressure, judgement free environment.
Vegan for beginners meal plan
To help get you started, I have a few great vegan meal plans on this site. All come with shopping lists. You can also read my Ultimate Guide to Vegan Meal Prep.
Easy Vegan Lunch Recipes Meal Plan
I have a few podcast episodes that can help you too!
- Vegan Versus Plant-Based Versus Vegetarian
- How to Transition to a Plant Based Diet
- Does a Plant-Based Diet Work For Athletes?
- It Starts With a Why
- Balanced Plant-Based Eating
- Living a Strict Vegan Lifestyle
Overall, transitioning to vegan is a decision you need to make by asking yourself why you want to do it. Your why should be the driver for each step. This is not a fad diet, this is a lifestyle meant to better the quality of your overall mental and physical health.
My mom wants to start a vegan diet. I like how you mention eating a diet free of animal products boosts energy and reduces stress. Thank you for the information. I'll provide this information to my mom so she can search for types of vegan meals.
Thanks Jay! Best of luck to your mom and let me know if I can be of help.
This is so true and thank you for addressing it. When my family and I went vegan almost 2 years ago, we were buying into that "all or nothing/perfect vegan"approach and we just couldn't keep it up. As a "beginner' I found it quite stressful and wasn't sure how to answer the "What are you?" questions when I wasn't being strictly vegan so I threw in the towel.Then I remembered why we started our vegan journey and all the wonderful things I learned(thanks mostly to Pinterest bloggers! Thank you sooo much) and I realized I was letting the pressure to conform to some ideal dictate my decisions.So I'm happy to say we have found a balance of vegan/clean eating/standard diet that I and my family can maintain and also share with friends in an unintimidating way. Thank you for the support!
Thank you so much Sarah for your kind words and sharing your story. I fully agree with you and am so happy you have found that balance that works for you!
Great post! Love your site and recipes! I largely follow this philosophy of eating myself. I switched to a mostly whole foods, plant based lifestyle over a year ago to deal with a Crohn's disease diagnosis and it has helped immensely so far, however, when I'm at a friend's house or at a restaurant or traveling, I try not to fret too much if what is available isn't something that I would make for myself at home. Luckily, my digestive issues are mild and at this point and I have some room to relax my expectations and restrictions from time to time. Stress plays a huge role in good digestion and if I'm constantly worried about what I can/cannot eat when I'm not at home, it's just not beneficial to my health either. What I find kind of interesting about veganism and what I don't see mentioned a lot in general is that many vegan offerings in the grocery store are highly processed and while they are obviously animal friendly, which is great, they may not be friendly to your body. Just because it's vegan doesn't mean it's good for you.
I so agree with you! Vegan does not necessarily mean healthy. Thanks so much for being here!
I love how you addressed this all or nothing approach to plant based. I think it’s funny how people feel like they have to fit in specific categories and have to live within these limits. For me and my family, we choose to eat plant based for health reasons too. Our home is strictly plant based but guess what? We still eat very minimal meat and dairy products when enjoying meals with family and friends outside our home. I found that it’s not the end of the world and it just makes it easier on all of us. I can’t say that those foods aren’t enjoyable and attractive either because I would be lying. It’s a blessing to be invited for dinner with my parents and enjoy a traditional home cooked meal. For the sake of my families health and mine, we eat clean at home, and when people come to my home, they expect a delicious vegan meal 🙂
oh yea, and I do carry honey in my pantry for health reasons too 😉
Your recipes are amazing by the way and have made our plant based endeavors enjoyable!
Thank you SO much Annica! This is exactly what I am trying to convey, I am so appreciative of you and am so happy you are here!!
This is a great way to help beginners transition to being more plant based with delicious ideas!
Slik uses Palm Oil !
I don't tend to stress about these things. I think the Silk brand makes good products.