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How to Go Vegan (in 10 Easy Steps)

Wondering how to go vegan but not sure where to start or what you can eat? Follow these 10 tips to make becoming a vegan a breeze!

How to go vegan - turmeric tofu buddha bowl with lots of fresh vegetables.

I remember the day I went vegan - I was in a London station on the way to visit my sister looking for a snack to buy, having just decided to make the transition. I literally remember thinking: 'I'm never going to be full again' because there was just nothing plant-based in the shops except hummus.

At the time I panicked. I thought if finding a simple snack was this hard, how could a vegan diet be sustainable? If this was all that was on offer, how could I keep this up long-term?

Thankfully 10 years on, things have changed massively. The world has embraced plant-based eating with impressive speed, and there are more and more options available each day.

Despite this, I know how daunting it can be to make the initial switch - from learning to read labels, to explaining your diet to friends. So if, like I was, you're wondering how to become vegan, read on for my step-by-step guide.

Thinking about transitioning to a plant-based diet? Listen to my podcast episode 5 Tips for Going Vegan.
How to go vegan - image of woman chopping vegetables.

1) GO SLOW


One of the easiest mistakes people make when going vegan is thinking it has to be done overnight. It doesn't! It's totally ok to take it slowly. While it's fantastic if you want to adopt a plant-based diet all at once, it's also great to start by just reducing your consumption of animal products.

  • Take simple, manageable steps like eating meat-free one day a week, or one meal per day.

  • Increase the amount of plant-based meals you eat as you get more comfortable with them.

  • Be kind to yourself! You're bound to fall off the wagon occasionally while you're a beginner and that's ok - it will get easier with time.

2) FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN EAT 


When people go vegan, they often focus on what they're cutting out, which is a sure way to make yourself miserable! Instead of thinking about how much you miss cheese (this was definitely me), ask 'What CAN I eat as a vegan?'

  • For every food you're worried about giving up, take time to find an alternative you love. Meat alternatives like the Beyond Burger have become incredibly popular in the last couple of years, and there are now loads of plant-based milks, ice creams and cheeses out there too.
  • Experiment and see what products you like that you might not have tried before!
How do I start being vegan? Image of beet burger in bun..

3) EMBRACE NEW VEGAN FOODS


Use this time when you're new to the lifestyle to embrace all the foods you might not have eaten before (because I promise you, there are lots!). Why not try some of the following:

  • Tempeh & tofu
  • Nut and seeds butters
  • Dairy-free milks
  • Coconut yoghurt
  • Cultured, nut-based cheeses
  • Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha

4) TRY NEW RESTAURANTS


One of the best parts about going plant-based! In almost every town and city now, there are a variety of vegan or vegan-friendly restaurants to choose from.

  • If you're tired and can't face making dinner, why not go out (if it's accessible to you)? It can provide a welcome break, not to mention cooking inspiration.

  • In addition to fully plant-based restaurants, many popular chains now offer vegan menus or options, too. The easiest way to find vegan food near you is to download the Happy Cow app and search your local area.
Plantbased cocktail from a restaurant in Vancouver BC.

5) DON'T JUST EAT JUNK


It's tempting to live off vegan junk food when there are so many options, but we need to eat a balanced diet to support our bodies:

  • Focus on eating mainly whole foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and grains to ensure you're getting plenty of nutrients.
  • Indulge in treats and fast foods from time to time, but keep them occasional.

WONDERING HOW TO GO VEGAN ON A BUDGET? TRY THESE WALLET-FRIENDLY RECIPES


Red Lentil Dhal

Store Cupboard Lentil Bolognese

Easy Eggplant & Chickpea Stew

6) GET ORGANIZED


Changing your diet can seem like hard work, but it doesn't have to be! Learning how to become vegan (and sticking with it) is pretty easy if you just get a little organized.

  • Plan the meals you're going to cook ahead of time, and shop for them with a list of ingredients.

  • ALWAYS shop on a full stomach - that way you'll be less tempted by foods you don't need!

How to go vegan - a selection of vegan whole food items: rice, beans, tofu and vegetables.

7) LEARN A FEW SIMPLE VEGAN RECIPES


Don't try to master complicated recipes when you first start being vegan. Take it slow and cook meals you're comfortable with.

  • Learn a few simple dishes and make them your trusted favourites.

You might also be interested in my 20 Minute Vegan Dinners eBook, containing easy vegan recipes for beginners.

Cheesy plantbased pasta with mushrooms and tempeh.

8) SUPPLEMENT


An important part of how to transition to vegan is knowing what vitamins or minerals you may need to supplement:

  • As with any dietary change, it's important to make sure you're not missing out on nutrients so it's a good idea to check in with a professional who can advise you.

9) ASK FOR HELP


Don't do it alone! There are loads of great organizations and groups out there for anyone wondering how to go vegan.

  • Look for local Meetups/events with other plant-based peeps, and chat to your friends! Just because they're not vegan themselves doesn't mean they won't be supportive and interested.
How to go vegan - artichoke and white bean sandwich with fresh vegetables.

10) DON'T GET DISHEARTENED


What you're doing is amazing! It's natural that there will be moments when it feels like too much and you might fall off the wagon. If this happens, there are some things you can do:

  • First - breathe, and don't beat yourself up!
  • Second - remember why you decided to go vegan in the first place. Sometimes it helps to put you back on the right path.
  • Third - do something to relax, or if you can go out for food. Enjoying delicious food you didn't have to cook yourself can take some pressure off.

And remember: the change you've made is a big one - don't expect to do it all perfectly. Enjoy the process - before you know it you'll have been vegan for years!

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No bake snickers bars.Wondering how to go vegan for beginners but not sure where to start or what you can eat? Follow these 10 steps to make becoming a vegan a breeze!

Comments 10

  1. I absolutely love this!! Thank you for being so thorough, straightforward, & including so many helpful resources.Reading this really helps me to feel it IS possible for me to continue on my vegan journey. I’m only two weeks in and trying my best in a home where my husband, kids, and mother in-law all eat meat with every single meal and are wondering how long I am going to last. This has really given me lots of hope and supporting help. Thank you, thank you for writing this!!

    1. Post
      Author

      It’s my absolute pleasure Rubi – I’m SO glad it was helpful. Your situation isn’t easy and you deserve so much credit for keeping going during this time. You can do it! Sending you a hug 🙂

  2. My best friend and I have decided that together, we are going to start eating vegan. I appreciate you mentioning how it is important to embrace new vegan food you’ve never had before. We will have to find quality vegan recipes that can help us embrace this new style of eating.

    1. Post
      Author

      Good for you both! That’s really exciting. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions, and I hope you find some useful recipes on my site. 🙂

  3. Love your 10 “becoming a vegan” steps! It’s super informative and helpful to read! And yeah, such an endeavor shouldn’t be tackled alone!

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      Author

      Absolutely. Having support can make all the difference! So glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  4. Great tips and suggestions on how to go vegan. Yes, it can seem very daunting so this is a fantastic list. I’m sure it will be used over and over again!

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      Author
    1. Post
      Author

      Oh thank you! I’m really so glad it’s helpful Megan. Let me know if you have any questions. 🙂

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