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Welcome! I’m so excited that you are interested in going vegan. 😃

You’ll experience so many incredible health benefits and help protect our planet. Plus, the animals are happy too.  

There are many ways to go about changing your diet. 

Some people do it from one day to the next. Others prefer a step-by-step approach. 

There’s no right or wrong way, so choose the option you think will be best suited for you.

Keep in mind that what matters is that you reach your goal, not how you get there or how long it takes you. 

This post will be especially valuable for you if you want to go vegan step by step. 

Let’s quickly talk about the benefits of the step-by-step approach:

  • You don’t have to give up all animal products at once.
  • You can use up all the non-vegan foods in your home during the transition period 
  • You have more time to get used to eating vegan meals
  • You can try out new recipes and experiment with what you like and don’t like before diving in entirely 
  • You learn how to handle social situations
  • You can get to know the vegan options and restaurants in your city
  • You feel less overwhelmed 
  • You have more time to discover all the vegan products at your store and figure out where to find the ingredients you need
  • You build the skills you needed to make this a permanent change in your eating habits 

Summary:

Going vegan step by step has a variety of benefits. Among others, you don’t have to give up all animal products at once. Moreover, you can use up all the ingredients you already have in your home. It also gives you time to get used to vegan foods and to try out recipes. Further, you can learn how to navigate social situations, and get to know vegan restaurants in your city. 

But there are also some disadvantages to going vegan step by step: 

  • You need self-motivation and determination to keep taking the next step. It can be tempting to stay stuck in one step because you know the next one will be hard for you. If you find yourself in this position, contact me, and I will get you the motivation you need 😉. 
  • It may take longer until you feel the benefits of your lifestyle change. Every step that you take on your journey towards veganism is valuable, even if you are just at the beginning. Eating fewer animal products is much better than no change at all. So exercise patience if you don’t feel all the health benefits of being vegan right away. They will come.

Summary:

Possible disadvantages of going vegan step by step can be that you need more self-motivation and determination. Moreover, it may take longer until you start to experience the benefits. 

How to go vegan step by step 

I propose switching to a vegan diet by taking three big steps. These steps will further be subdivided into smaller steps. 

How much time you take between each step is totally up to you. You can set a time frame (like 1 month per step/baby step) or do it intuitively; when you feel ready to take the next one, you take it. 

Some actions will be easier for you; others may be more challenging. So don’t be too hard on yourself. 

Moreover, keep in mind that the process of changing your diet is very individual. Always listen to your body and do what feels right for you. 

View the strategy in this post as a guide and make changes as you see fit. In the end, this is your journey. But I’m happy to guide you and am always here if you have questions or need assistance.

Summary:

Transition to a vegan diet by taking three steps that are further subdivided into smaller steps. How much time you take for each step is totally up to you, you can set a timeframe or do it intuitively. 

The three steps are

Step 1: Incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet

Step 2: Slowly reduce your meat intake and eventually go vegetarian 

Step 3: Slowly transition from a vegetarian diet to a vegan one

Alright, you are ready for the first step! Let’s get started:

Step 1: Incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet

That’s right. Before you start eliminating/reducing anything from our diet, you add more plant food. 

This a helpful first step because:

1) Most people are not eating enough fruits and veggies. So, starting to incorporate more of them will benefit your health right away. 

2) Fruits and vegetables will soon make up two of the five main food groups of your diet. Thus, it’s a good idea to get your body and taste buds used to them.

3) You will discover how you can prepare fruits and veggies so that they taste good to you, and you enjoy eating them. 

Figuring this out now will be helpful once you start reducing animal products.

Keep a food diary

You can get a better idea of how many fruits and veggies you are currently eating by keeping a food diary for a few days.

You can track everything you eat or just your fruits and vegetable intake. 

Once you know how many servings you are already consuming, you know how many more you need to add. 

The recommended daily intake is 5 servings of fruit and vegetables

If reaching this number seems challenging right now, start small (f.e. two servings of fruits and veggies a day) and then work your way up. 

Here are some resources that will help you increase your intake of fruit and veggies.

10 easy ways to eat more vegetables 

10 easy ways to eat more fruit 

Have you increased your daily intake of fruits and veggies?

Awesome, you are ready for the next step. 

Summary:

As a first step, you add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Ideally, strive for 5 servings of each. By keeping a food diary for a few days, you can figure out how many servings you are currently eating and how many more you need to add. 

Step 2: Slowly reduce your meat intake and eventually go vegetarian 

Many find it helpful to go vegetarian before going vegan because it doesn’t require you to give up all animal products at once. 

Moreover, vegetarian options (in contrast to vegan options) are available in almost every restaurant/cafeteria/store/fast food place. Readily and easily accessible alternatives make it easier to give up meat. 

Additionally, being vegetarian is more accepted in society. 

Plus, you probably already know some vegetarian dishes that you love and know how to cook. So, you don’t have to start from scratch. 

For many, transitioning to a vegetarian diet is a big step. Thus, we break it down into smaller baby steps. Of course, it is up to you how fast or slow you want to take each step.

Note: Because I specify it in the below step-by-step approach for readability reasons, I want to clarify that with going vegetarian, I mean ovo-lacto vegetarian. So, you are encouraged to remove all meat and seafood from your diet but can still use eggs and dairy. 

How to go vegetarian step by step 

1. Pick one day of the week and make it your meat-free day (f.e. meatless Monday).

On this day you can eat everything except meat. Which day of the week you pick is totally up to you. It can be during the week or on the weekend. 

2. Once you are comfortable eating meat-free once a week, pick one meal of the day (f.e. breakfast), and decide that from now on, this meal will always be vegetarian.

Most of your favorite breakfast foods are probably already vegetarian. So, all you need to do is remove the few ingredients that are not. Moreover, you can try out some breakfast recipes that you may have never tried before.

Additionally, you can try out meat alternatives like vegetarian or vegan sausage or lunch meat.

3. After you’ve been eating one vegetarian meal a day, and that is going well for you, it’s time to integrate a second vegetarian meal every day

So, you may choose that from now on, all your breakfasts and lunches will be vegetarian. 

What may seem scary doesn’t have to be. There are lots of super delicious vegetarian lunch recipes out there. From sandwiches, soups, burgers, to pasta dishes, and everything else.

There’s also meal-prep friendly recipes, as well as ones that are great for on the go. And others that are easy to take to work/school with you.

Moreover, if you go out to eat or have lunch at a cafeteria, you likely find vegetarian options. Most places now offer them. 

4. Switch your all snacks, desserts, and beverages to vegetarian ones 

Before you commit fully to vegetarianism, you can catch a break with this easy third step: switching all your snacks and desserts to vegetarian ones.

This step is easy because most candy, snacks, chocolates, desserts, and baked goods are vegetarian by nature. 

Still, there are some ingredients you need to look out for Gelatin or products enriched with vitamin D (orange juice, margarine). 

5. So, you know what’s coming. In this fourth and final step, it’s time to become entirely vegetarian.

Yep, everything you eat from now on is free of meat and seafood. How awesome is that!

How do you feel?

I’m so proud of you for making it happen!

After you celebrate your achievement, you are ready for the third and final step:

Transitioning from a vegetarian to a vegan diet.

Summary:

As a second step, you slowly transition to a vegetarian diet. You do this by starting with one meat-free day a week. Then you choose one meal of the day and decide that this one will always be vegetarian from now on. After a while, you choose a second meal that, from now on, will always be vegetarian. So, now your breakfast and lunch are vegetarian, for example. Next, you make sure all your snacks, candy, and desserts are vegetarian. Most of them already are, but there are some ingredients to look out for like gelatin. As a final step, you switch all your meals to vegetarian ones.  

Step 3: Slowly swap vegetarian meals with vegan ones

Alright, we are getting serious. 😉

In this third step, you will gradually transition to a vegan diet by switching vegetarian dishes to vegan ones, one meal at a time. You already know the drill from step two. 😉

At this point in your journey, it’s vital that you start taking a vitamin B12 supplement

In the winter months or if you generally spend little time outdoors, you should also take a vitamin D supplement

Let’s get started: 

How to transition from a vegetarian diet to a vegan one, one meal at a time 

1.Pick one meal, such as breakfast, and decide that from now on, this meal will always be vegan. 

So, for example, if you always eat oats for breakfast, then you can easily veganize that meal. Instead of milk, use plant milk. Instead of yogurt, use plant-based yogurt. 

There are also vegan breakfast pastries and vegan bread. You can use vegan butter, jam, or chocolate hazelnut spread for your toast.

Another option is to make a sandwich with vegan cheese and vegan lunch meat or the famous avocado toast. 

You can also make vegan pancakes, tofu scramble, and so much more. 

The possibilities are almost endless. 

All your other meals of the day can remain vegetarian for the time being.

2. After you’ve been enjoying one vegan dish a day for some time, it’s time to integrate a second vegan meal every day. 

So, from now on, for example, your breakfast and lunch are always vegan. Yet, your dinner can still be vegetarian.

There are tons of amazing vegan lunch recipes available. Lunch can be as simple as a sandwich with hummus, fresh veggies, and sprouts. You can also make a tasty salad with falafel. 

There are also lots of tasty and easy vegan pasta dishes.

You can also find meal-prep friendly recipes and ones that are perfect for on the go, work, or school. 

3. Switch your all snacks and desserts to vegan ones.

 This step is easy because there are so many vegan options nowadays. You can find vegan candy in most supermarkets, drug stores, and health food stores. 

Some popular snacks are already vegan. These are, for example, Oreos, chips, pretzel sticks, and popcorn without butter. 

Also, there are vegan alternatives for many sweets and snacks. You can find vegan chocolate, vegan candy bars, vegan cookies, vegan gummy bears, vegan granola bars, and pretty much anything else your heart desires. 

Even when it comes to desserts, you do not have to do miss out on anything. 

Cakes, cookies, muffins, etc. can easily be veganized. More and more stores and bakeries also offer them if you are not a fan of baking yourself.  

Moreover, you can often find a good selection of vegan ice creams in stores as well as ice cream parlors.

4. You probably already guessed (and maybe dreaded) this step! 

But once you feel comfortable eating two vegan meals a day and have switched all your snacks and desserts to vegan ones, it’s time to take the last step and become entirely vegan. 

Yes! From now on, everything you eat will be plant-based. 

You did it! How great does this feel?

I am so proud of you, and you should be proud of yourself! 👏 👏 👏

via GIPHY

By gradually changing your diet, you were able to get used to being vegan. 

You got to know recipes and figured out where to find vegan products in the supermarket. 

You learned to deal with social situations and set the foundation for being and staying vegan. 

For you, being vegan is not just a trend, but a long-term lifestyle change. 🙂

Summary:

In the third and last step, you transition from a vegetarian to a vegan diet by replacing one vegetarian meal a day with a vegan one. One by one, you replace all vegetarian meals as well as snacks and desserts with vegan alternatives until, eventually, you eat entirely vegan. 

Final notes

At this time in your journey, don’t stress too much about eating healthy all the time. Just enjoy being vegan.

 Play around with vegan meat alternatives, try vegan cheese, veganzie your “old” favorites, and so on.  

Take time to explore the wide variety of vegan options available and get used to this new way of eating. 

I’m not saying eat like crap all the time, but right now, you don’t need to practice a perfect healthy vegan diet. 

Nevertheless, eventually, you do want to transition to a whole-foods diet to experience all the benefits a vegan diet offers the fullest and prevent nutrient-deficiency. 

In this post, you can learn how to go form vegan to healthy vegan in four easy steps.

You can learn about supplements all vegans should take here

How did your journey to veganism go? What did you struggle with? What was easy for you?

  • Now that my doctor advised me to go on a diet after knowing that I am diabetic, I have decided to start my vegan journey. I like that you elaborated on how to go vegan step by step. Perhaps, I shall then follow your advice to add more fruits and vegetables in my diet and gradually reduce my meat intake. Hopefully, when I get used to it I can find a shop that sells healthy food.

    • Hi Victoria, I’m so excited to hear that you decided to start your vegan journey. I know it can seem overwhelming at first, but just take it step by step and you’ll start to see and feel results soon. Adding more fruits and veggies into your diet is a great first step.👍🏻

      Most regular stores offer lots of healthy food as well, it may take some time to find them, but usually, they are available. Health food stores are not necessary, but of course, you can shop there if you like. 🙂

      Let me know if I can help you in any way!

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