7 ways to take the stress out of going vegan

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happy face, paper, stress-free

To some people, going vegan is stressful. If you leave with anything, may it be this: veganism is a journey and not a destination, be patient and be kind to yourself.

Without further ado, here are 7 ways to take the stress out of going vegan:

  1. Start slowly: It's not necessary to go vegan overnight. Start by incorporating more plant-based foods and meals into your diet. Then,  gradually cut out animal products.
  2. Plan ahead: Meal planning and preparation can help ensure you always have vegan options available, no matter where you are.
  3. Learn to make easy meals and snacks: Try out new vegan recipes from Youtube or Instagram and note down the things that are tasty, healthy, inexpensive, and easy to make so you can avoid getting nutrients from unhealthy, processed vegan foods.
  4. Find a support system: Connect with other vegans and join online groups or communities for support and advice.
  5. Be patient: It's normal to make mistakes. The importance of making a mistake is that it shows you what to do right next time. Every vegan has made mistakes.
  6. Explore the literature on a plant-based diet: Find free open source data on the internet, watch documentaries, or read books to  learn about the environmental, health, and ethical reasons for choosing and following a vegan lifestyle. Knowing the facts can relieve you of any anxiety and remind you why you’re doing it in the first place.
  7. Be flexible: going vegan is NOT about an all or nothing mindset. We believe perfection is the enemy of progress. 

Can you go vegan overnight?

It’s possible to go vegan overnight, but many people report experiencing symptoms like headaches, fatigue, or even nutrient deficiencies if you’re not careful. This is why it’s so important to review the nutrients that are important for vegans to consume, such as:

On the other hand, transitioning gradually may be more comfortable and worthwhile for most people. It allows you to adjust your taste buds, habits, and lifestyle over a sustainable period of time. 

Finding a balance that works for you ensures that you’re taking care of your health and well-being while making the transition. But even after you’ve transitioned, it’s possible to fall out-of-balance. People who have been vegan for decades are like regular people: they’ve gained and lost weight, they’ve gained and lost muscle, they’ve had good blood tests and bad blood tests, and so on. You just need to find what’s right for you.

If you want, you can consult with a healthcare provider before making any drastic changes to your diet, just to be safe!

Are vegans more stressed?

The Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition journal looked at all the research that had been done on whether a vegetarian diet was linked to an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and stress and found no connection between not eating meat and experiencing more mental health issues.

There is information on the internet claiming that vegans and vegetarians are more depressed, anxious, or stressed than meat-eaters, but that simply isn't true.

The truth is that the stress comes from people who want to go vegan, but are worried about missing their favourite foods, the reaction their family and friends will have, the cost of food, and having to find new ways to prepare food. But with patience, support, and time, these stressors can be overcome and the real benefits of a vegan diet can start kicking in!

What are the benefits of a vegan diet?

The Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition conducted an umbrella review of the existing research on the health benefits of a vegan diet and found that a fully plant-based diet reduces weight, reduces risk of cancer, reduces risk for all-cause mortality, and may protect against diseases like heart disease, diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and stroke. 

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