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Becoming vegan is something that a lot of families are at least thinking about at the moment, and it is possible that some of you reading this might be looking to transition from a meat-eating lifestyle to veganism. If this is you; then we have some ideas to help make things a little easier for the change to a family vegan lifestyle.
Add foods before you take them away
If you are going to be cutting out meat from your diet, and animal-based products too, then it is wise to make sure that your family is used to some of the new tastes and textures that you will have to introduce to insure you are getting the right nutrients within your diet.
Examples might be pulses, and nuts; foods that provide you with the extra protein that you will need from your diet once you cut out meat, and animal products.
Consider going vegetarian first
Moving straight from eating meat, to cutting it out, alongside dairy, and other animal based products, can be a little bit too much for a family’s taste buds all in one go. It might be worth considering transitioning slowly, so that you aren’t shocking the system quite so much.
Unfortunately, as much as you might have good intentions, your mind could have other ideas, and it is perfectly plausible that you could find yourself craving certain foods when you and your family transition. If you are moving through the stages more slowly, it is likely to be easier to stick with the diet if you don’t have to deal with too many specific cravings all at once, and have got your body used to missing it’s favourites more gradually.
Work out your family’s trigger foods
Considering a move to veganism, through vegetarianism, can also help you to work out what are the foods that you are going to miss the most; your family’s “trigger” foods. For example, cheese is something that our family adores; are you prepared to use the vegan alternative? Do you think it might be worth trying vegan cheese first and getting used to the taste, BEFORE you make the change, so you are able to cope with the move better? Again, do your research, and work out the coping techniques for your specific trigger foods. For example, I Love Vegan are there to help with an excellent article on how to go vegan if you love cheese.
Check your getting the right vitamins and adjust
However you decide to make the transition, make sure that you are eating all you need and do your research beforehand, so that you understand what nutrients you and your growing family need as a vegan, and how you are going to get them. Be careful what organisations you use to help you understand this as well, making sure you get your information from reputable sources, like the NHS (in the UK). You might also consider getting support from a reputable vegan association within your region, e.g. The Vegan Society (UK) and American Vegan Society.
Consider meal planning if you don’t already
If you are restricting your diet, it is all the more important to be able to plan ahead, to make sure that you are:
- Getting enough of the nutrients that your family needs, and
- Not tempted to change back because you have run out of something, and haven’t got the energy or inclination to think in that new vegan mindset.
Think about getting some vegan cookbooks, or following a few fabulous vegan bloggers for inspiration, both on their sites, or their instagram accounts. Start to collect vegan recipes on Pinterest that you can try later.
Why not bookmark our vegan family food ideas too?
Do it as a family
If you are thinking of becoming a vegan, and you have kids, as long as you can give them a healthy diet – it is a lot better to do it as a family. There is nothing more soul destroying that having to cook and eat a separate meal for yourself. It could potentially mean that you are tempted to eat at different times of the day to the rest of the family.
Family meal times for many are an important part of the day. They are an opportunity for families to sit down, give each other their full attention, and chat about things; together. It would be a real shame if a lifestyle choice that you made somehow got in the way of that.
Therefore, make the decision as a family and not in isolation.
Think how you will explain your decision to others carefully
Finally, it is important for your own self motivation to know WHY you are turning vegan. What is your motivating factor? Keep this in mind throughout the transition, and it can help to keep you on track, even if you have days when you are wondering why you are doing it.
If your motivation is animal cruelty; set aside a few moments to write down what inspired your family, perhaps even with specific resources, such as videos, and articles, so that you can refer back to this as you transition.
If it is to be healthier, or to become greener; think about your reasons too, and keep them in mind throughout.
Alongside the need to stay motivated and positive, it is important to realise that you might be met with resistance from some of your family and friends. Having it clear in your mind why you have made this decision, will make it easier to explain to others your choices. It is likely that you will be met with less resistance from others if you have it clear in your mind what your response is going to be if people question your ideas and motives.
You might be amazed at how many people seem to hate vegans just because!
Some people have even said they have lost some of their friends just by making this lifestyle choice, so be prepared!
We hope that you have found this to be a useful article on going vegan, we do have other resources on the site covering food, so why not check these out?
If you are looking for other ideas around vegan recipes and vegan family lifestyle, do check out these too:
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