Making a lifestyle change is never easy, especially when it comes to our eating habits.
Whether we do it for health, environmental, or ethical reasons, going plant-based has a lot of repercussions on our life. From putting food on our plate three times a day to dealing with family and friends, struggles will inevitably arise.
Thankfully, we know how to overcome them. Here’s the lowdown on the 7 biggest struggles of going plant-based:
1. Not Knowing What to Eat
Let’s face it: most of us aren’t seasoned chefs. Thus, having to say goodbye to the 5 or 10 meals that we actually know how to cook can seem daunting.
The best way to not get discouraged? Invest some time in the kitchen to veganize your old favorites. Plant-based cooking is full of creative and resourceful ways to capture meaty tastes and textures.
It might take a little effort to get out of your comfort zone but it’s all worth it!
2. Insatiable Hunger
Going from a diet rich in animal-products to just plants means your sources of calories are dramatically different. Meat, eggs, and dairy products are a lot more calorie dense, meaning that small quantities will keep you full.
While adjusting to a plant-based diet, you have to keep in mind that grains, legumes, and vegetables are lower in calories.
The solution? Counting your calories for the first few weeks will ensure you’re getting enough.
3. Eating Out and Having a Social Life
From summer BBQs to birthday celebrations at the local steakhouse, facing a non-vegan menu among a company of self-proclaimed ‘carnivores’ can be isolating and anxiety-provoking.
Good news is: it’s a lot easier than you think to eat vegan anywhere with only one important skill. Communication.
Speak to hosts in advance about your dietary needs or agree on food you can bring to the gathering. In a restaurant setting, ask your server for specifications or you can use this app to help navigate menus.
It might take a little practice to get the confidence to ask for what you want and need but trust us, it’s all worth it!
4. Dealing with Unpleasant Physical Side Effects
Bloating and gas are to be expected when starting this lifestyle. That’s because a plant-based diet is rich in fiber which your digestive needs to acclimate to.
Drinking a lot of water and making sure you gradually increase the quantity of legumes and grains over the course of a few weeks is the best way to mitigate the undesirable effects.
Also, always remember to rinse out your beans!
5. Figuring Out Grocery Shopping
Plant-based products are abundant on the market nowadays which can significantly hike up your grocery bills. If you want to adopt a plant-based lifestyle on a budget, sticking to staples like rice, pasta, beans, and lentils is the way to go.
6. Dealing with Negativity
Dealing with criticism from family and friends can be hard.
The solution to keeping your cool? Remembering that your friends and family need time to understand that this is the new you and not a phase.
It’s also important to keep in mind that people will often mock what they don’t understand. Opening up the discussion on civil terms will help lessen the mockeries over time.
7. Nutritional Concerns
It might be the running joke but as a newbie it’s normal to wonder how to get enough vitamins and minerals while eating just plants.
Thankfully for you, we came up with a complete guide on vegan nutrition.
Knowledge is power!
Can you relate to any of these struggles? Let us know in the comments!