Making the transition from vegetarian to vegan

Submitted by Marsha Newsom on Tue, 01/26/2010 - 23:22

For a number of reasons, committed vegetarians are making the transition to a vegan diet. Their concern may be for the safety of products from animals in the food chain or for the treatment of the animals themselves. Or it might simply be for the sake of their own health.

Making the Transition

Whatever the reason, vegetarians who are already disciplined in their food choices may still find the transition to a vegan diet challenging. The key to success is to go slow and be kind to yourself. Chances are you will falter, either by accident or through a glitch in your will. With its restrictions against any animal by-product, you will need to research acceptable alternatives for such standard ingredients as eggs, cheese and milk. You'll find a variety of soy substitutes. There's even a soy alternative for those who can't imagine a life without ice cream.

By necessity, vegan diets are rich in grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables. And consequently, rich in minerals, vitamins and fiber. For recipes, cooking tips, and support, join a vegan forum, such as www.veganforum.com, www.veggieboards.com, www.thenakedvegan.net or veganclub.org. Blogs, like “What in the hell does a vegan eat anyway? (veganmenu.blogspot.com) are also excellent sources for tips and menus.

In general, vegans are healthier, and more disciplined and view the restrictions of their lifestyle as a fair trade off for all of the benefits they enjoy.

photo by Tif Otter

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