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Avoid these 5 mistakes when going vegan

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Are you considering going vegan but want to avoid simple (but big) mistakes? Here are 5 tips from us! 

1. Not drinking enough water

It is important to drink lots of water on a vegan diet. People who transition to a plant-based diet tend to add more whole plant-based foods, which increases their dietary fibre intake. Fibre absorbs water, so if you are eating a vegan meal with a lot of fibre you need more water to help your body move food faster and easier.

For many people, drinking more water will help prevent constipation and gas. 

2. Forming your new diet around processed foods

When going vegan, many people assume that they can't eat the same foods as before. As a result, they're often living off of convenience-food and fast food—which are processed and lack essential nutrients.

But that's not true. You can eat the same foods as before, but in a healthier way that doesn't necessarily require processed ingredients.

We're not saying you can't eat these foods - they're absolutely delicious and can help make the transition much easier! But don't make the mistake of thinking it's the only way to live as a vegan.

For example, if you're looking to replace meat, you can use ingredients like tofu, soya chunks, beans, mushrooms, and jackfruit.

Plus, processed vegan foods are more expensive, leading many to believe the myth that a plant-based diet is more expensive than a meat and dairy centred one. 

Thankfully, a lot of vegan food brands are realising this and are working to make their products more clean label. But for now: everything in moderation!

3. Purchasing expensive, imported ingredients

One of the first things people say about veganism is that it's expensive, but that is not true.

In fact, millions of Indians are eating inexpensive vegan and plant-based foods on a daily basis: sambhar, dal, chana masala, masala poori, gobhi manchurian, dosas, vadas, idlis, chutney, aloo gobhi, chapatis, lemon rice, coconut rice, veg noodles, veg momos, veg fried rice, bisi bele bath, veg pulao, veg biryani, rajma, samosa, and so on.

The most inexpensive, accessible ingredients are plant-based. The truth is that you can eat like royalty on pennies a day if you're a vegan in India.

Instead of dining at an expensive restaurant, choose a local darshini, sagaar, or hotel. They offer nutritious and comforting plant-based foods at throwaway prices.

Feel free to try new foods and add new ingredients into your diet, but remember that you don't have to 'buy' into it!

4. Not getting enough B12

Without enough B12 in our system, the consequences on our health can be devastating. We need it to make DNA, red blood cells, and even maintain our central nervous system.

B12 is produced by some bacteria, yeast, and archaea and is found in untreated water and soil. While it is found in animal products, it cannot be manufactured by animals themselves. B12 is contained in animal products because animals live in unclean environments and store B12 in their bodies throughout their lives.

Some plant foods still contain B12, including certain mushrooms and seaweed and even fortified foods, but it isn’t a reliable source for your long-term health, and so a supplement is necessary for vegans and even non-vegans. 

Supplements are great because they exist in their free, crystalline form that is highly absorbable. In animal products, the B12 is bound to protein, and that can be harder to absorb for some people. 

Even though B12 can be stored in the liver for five years, you can become deficient if your diet doesn’t include enough on a regular basis.

As a result, mild to severe symptoms can take years to develop - so don’t wait until you become deficient to supplement!

5. Going vegan “cold turkey”

Most vegans you meet were non-vegan before. If you quit eating meat and/or dairy overnight, your body can actually have negative reactions to your decision. 

The phrase cold turkey actually comes from the side effects of abruptly quitting hard drugs. People suffered extremely unpleasant experiences, whereas gradually transitioning away from hard drugs is better and more sustainable over the long run.

The same thing applies to going vegan cold turkey. It would be a mistake to go vegan overnight because you may experience headaches, gas, bloating, weight fluctuations, cravings, mood swings, and even acne as your body is adjusting to a different diet.

It’s easier to transition over time and learn as you go. Going vegan is a process, and doing it quickly may cause many people to give up entirely.

How long have you been vegan? How long did it take you to go vegan? Let us know in the comments and if you found this helpful!


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