The Ultimate Primer on Going Vegan: Key Things to Know and Do


Discover the ultimate guide to going vegan for beginners and unlock a world of health, compassion, and sustainability. Learn fundamental essentials, from understanding the basics of veganism to navigating social situations. Explore delicious plant-based recipes and find valuable tips on meal planning, grocery shopping, and incorporating essential nutrients into your diet. Start your transformative experience and complete lifestyle change today!

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Why choose a vegan lifestyle?

Veganism has emerged as one of the trendiest and most talked-about lifestyle concepts in modern health and wellness. And even though going vegan is viewed as a new practice, it’s been implemented in various cultures throughout centuries for health benefits and as a way of life. When one makes the decision to go vegan, if loyal, their life will never be the same. Embracing a vegan lifestyle is linked to numerous health advantages, revitalizing your body by abstaining from animal products that lack vitality. On the flip side, you’ll consume tons of foods with vitality loaded with nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants that breathe life back into your cells. But why should you go vegan? Getting a better understanding of what it truly means to be vegan is the first step. Check out Lifestyle Heavy’s article on the 7 benefits of accepting a vegan lifestyle here…

Understanding the basics of veganism.

Starting with the non-consumption of animal products is the first step to understanding the basics of veganism. Looking for non-animal food products may seem like a minuscule task but you’ll be surprised how many products we consume daily that aren’t vegan. Take, for instance, pudding, you’d think there are no animal by-products in the pudding, but there are. Most pudding contains gelatin, and different types of gelatin are made with various bones of animals including pigs and cows. Or take for instance your average marshmallow, they seem innocent especially once you’re around the campfire with the kiddos but in actuality, they carry gelatin as well. Take out your mental pen and pad while you research vegan products as it’s a must before taking this lifestyle seriously due to all the hidden meat in foods that we consume unknowingly. Start thinking about how you’ll incorporate veganism into your life, will you cut back on consuming animal products or out with them altogether? Knowing the answer to this question will help you in your early journey to becoming vegan.

Essential nutrients for a healthy diet.

We’ve heard the terms of being vegan and plant-based. The terms could essentially be viewed as one and the same but also render differently. Going vegan can be a bit different from plant-based as far as lifestyle, from not just the food you eat but the kind of car you drive, whether you purchase leather furniture, or if you choose to wear those snake-skinned boots in the back of your closet. Some vegan food products are highly processed and could cause just as much health damage as processed animal products on the shelf. Going plant-based means that you are focusing on a healthier vegan-like lifestyle by eating fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, and legumes that are fresh and not processed. As a plant-based eater, you’d focus on your farm-to-table ratio of eating and make sure your produce is at a high level. Essentially once you switch to plant products you’ll start to incorporate more vital nutrients and vitamins from your food intake that you could have missed by eating such heavy animal-based products.

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Vegan meal planning and grocery shopping tips.

Word of advice, just know that grocery shopping may take a longer time now that you’ve made the switch to veganism. Reading labels and ingredients will be your new best friend accompanied by taste-testing new veggies that you never knew existed. It’s an entire world of non-animal by-products that you’ll fall in love with once you make the change. Your palette for tasting new foods will also change with the enhancement of new food combinations. Check out these tips for grocery shopping as a vegan:

  • Plan Ahead: Make a grocery list before heading to the store to ensure you have everything you need for your vegan meals. You’ll definitely run into a few additional products at the store so save room on your list for adjustments.
  • Read Labels: Be diligent in reading food labels to check for any hidden animal-derived ingredients. These items can be trickily labeled so bring your smartphone along for goggling for a few of those funky ingredients.
  • Shop the Perimeter: Focus on fresh produce, whole grains, legumes, and plant-based proteins found in the perimeter sections of the grocery store. When all else fails, you should be spending tons of your time in this section, and guess what there’s no label reading on produce unless you’d like to focus on organic vs. non-organic foods.
  • Explore the Bulk Section: Find a variety of nuts, seeds, grains, and dried fruits in the bulk section, which often offers more affordable options.
  • Stock Up on Staples: Keep your pantry stocked with vegan essentials like plant-based milk, tofu, tempeh, beans, lentils, fruits, produce, and whole grains.
  • Try New Ingredients: Experiment with different fruits, vegetables, and plant-based proteins to add variety and excitement to your meals. A world of new food combinations will whisk you away into vegan land, just allow yourself to be emersed in all the new non-animal products and focus on health.
  • Buy Frozen: Opt for frozen fruits, vegetables, and plant-based protein options when fresh produce is not readily available or to reduce waste. Use these only as your backup when you don’t have fresh produce handy.
  • Shop Local: Visit farmer’s markets or local farms to support local growers and find fresh, seasonal, and organic produce.
  • Utilize Online Resources: Explore online vegan grocery stores or delivery services that offer a wide range of vegan products. Just prepare for shipping and arrival dates that could be far off. I currently purchase mushroom bacon that takes 5 to 7 business days for arrival but is well worth the wait, check them out here…
  • Stay Organized: Keep your pantry well-organized to easily locate your vegan ingredients and prevent food waste. Throw away pantry products with meat ingredients that you no longer need and start your vegan journey fresh. Bite the bullet, and just do it, you’ll love yourself in about a week or so…

Navigating social situations as a vegan.

Social situations as a new vegan can be quite uncomfortable. This subject needs more awareness as many have struggled with social situations as a vegan newbie and there’s a true need to create a social plan and boundaries for your well-being. You’ll get the weird stares, hear the whisper side convos, and please brace yourself for the millions of questions as to why you’re not eating the host’s famous bbq ribs at the house party. This is the moment when your social plan comes into play, as a vegan it’s totally fine to express why or not express why and create a diversion that you’re just not wanting to indulge that day. You’re perfectly fine to walk away from a debate or heated discussion about being vegan if revealing your new intentions to follow a more plant-based lifestyle is your choice. If you choose to not update everyone on your health plans that very second, guess what…that’s your business. When a conversation goes array due to your recent eating style change try and change the subject amicably, go prepare a bowl of fruit, and find your happy medium. If someone is interested to know more or the health benefits you have encountered feel free to inform, but remember it’s not up to you to save the world from veganism as it’s an individual choice and decision for all.

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Exploring delicious plant-based recipes

Exploring new plant-based recipes can get you way out of your cooking comfort zone. Always remember that comfort and familiarity breed contentment, which is just a feeling, not necessarily what’s your end goal for your new eating plans. There are a trillion ways to cook and prepare broccoli and close to 100 different types of bananas which means that the recipe game plan possibilities are endless for vegans and plant-based living. It may be wise to stick to a few recipes right out of the gate while gradually working on incorporating new meals as you conquer the old.

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Also, don’t forget about plant-based and vegan dessert recipes they’ll definitely help become motivation on those difficult days of possibly giving up. Remember, this is a lifestyle change that takes time to accomplish as you built your prior eating lifestyle over time as well. Stopping old habits and picking up new ones takes time to adjust and rinsing and repeating to get it just right. You’ll get there, plan to give yourself time and focus on gaining support along the way. Always know that the biggest cheerleader you already have is, YOU, you’ve got this!

Vegan substitutes for common animal products.

So, if you’re like me and loved a nice crispy piece of fried chicken or a juicy hamburger from time to time, there are so many vegan substitutes, I mean the Insanity!! First, the natural ways to achieve meat flavors are endless from mushrooms to jackfruit not to mention tempeh and tofu. If you want to stay away from processed vegan foods the “meat taste” is definitely achievable and quite flavorful. Markets around the world also sell an array of processed vegan meat sourced from soy and tofu byproducts and several others to mention. No matter the meat, shopping for meatless foods has gotten so much easier than it has ever been to replace “meat taste” without harming any animals.

Overcoming challenges and staying motivated.

No matter the growing pains of the initial days and months of going vegan, it’s almost inevitable to get discouraged and slip back into meat-eating. There are not a lot of bonified vegans to start and it can be a lonely place sometimes. Especially when you have meat-eaters encouraging you to start back playing for the other team. Knowing that you’ll have down days before they even come is more beneficial than you think. You can prepare yourself for days that are gloomy and unsupportive during your initial vegan walk. Here are a few examples of ways to get out of your vegan funk and embrace your new lifestyle change.

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  • Start a vegan journal. Journal your feelings and date them, they might be regular entries at first but a year in you’ll realize how far you’ve come. This journal could be used as motivation and will keep you heading in the right direction. Cut to a year in, you can author an informational book or ebook and allow others to experience your first year as a vegan.
  • Allow yourself time to adjust to this lifestyle even if it means narrowing your vegan eating from one vegan day a week to 7 vegan days a week to achieve optimal results, so be it!
  • Allow yourself a vegan cheat day where you make a favorite vegan dessert to lift your spirits or even sip on some vegan wine to relax you.
  • Join social media support groups. Joining a vegan support group or groups will be a total game changer as you can often visit posts, share your experiences, and get tips, hacks, and recipes from each other. The groups also list vegan events locally in your town and across the world for you vegan travelers and must-try vegan restaurants. The vegan groups can definitely exhilarate your mood.
  • Download vegan apps like Happy Cow that’ll list vegan restaurants and events in your local areas as well.

Embracing the benefits of a vegan lifestyle.

There are several benefits to switching to a vegan lifestyle and if you’ve stuck in there to the end of this article you may already have a list of bennies that trump meat-eating. At Lifestyle Heavy we believe in true lifestyle change that catapults you into the next chapter of your life healthier, happier, and more fulfilled in whatever you’d like to accomplish. We’ll always prepare content revolving around the pure blissful changes you can make and the advantages of accepting these lifestyle changes. Going vegan isn’t for the faint and you’re a warrior if you’re already there. Just in case you haven’t been easily persuaded thus far, see the benefits list on going vegan. You can also read more about the advantageous effects of going vegan here…

  • Better life expectancy
  • Clarity with skin, brain fog, and fatigue
  • Deeper spiritual connection if you’re into all that jazz
  • Higher fertility rates
  • Weight loss with a plant-based diet and exercise
  • Lowers the risk of heart disease as it reduces cholesterol levels
  • Manages diabetes by lowering A1C levels
  • Helps healthy gut bacteria flourish
  • Decreases inflammation

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