Hey, I'm new to the website and could really use tips. I've been a veg for about 2 years and I'm really considering going vegan. I'm going to try it for 30 days just to see how it goes. Any tips on what to buy to get enough protein, what food to avoid like ones with hidden animal ingredient, how to buy without spending tons of money? Thanks bunches
Awesome! If my experience is any guide, it's harder to work up the courage to take the step to being vegan than it is to just eat a vegan diet. Once I started doing it, it has become really pretty simple. Important, however, is not to beat up on yourself. Veganism by its very nature has a tendency towards puritanism. Don't let it make you crazy, and if you slip up or whatever, don't stress. You'll still be doing more to reduce suffering by being an extremely imperfect vegan than you would as a perfect ovo-lacto-vegetarian. I think the inability to be "perfectly" vegan drives a lot of people to give it up because living without causing harm to another creature in some indirect fashion is impossible, at least in modern society and probably society of any kind. So take it easy. For me, I started by not buying any animal products for home, but didn't worry as much when I was eating elsewhere. After a period of time I found myself no longer ordering anything at restaurants that wasn't vegan, and then eventually I felt comfortable asserting my dietary restrictions when others were providing food for me. And there I was. Vegan. Like that. About as smooth a transition as possible. And I haven't looked back.
And for nutritional info, I think every vegan needs to be familiar with http://veganhealth.org/. Jack Norris is a vegan and a registered dietitian, and he stays current with all nutritional research that is relevant to vegans. That site is indispensable. Nothing is worse PR for veganism than vegans who don't take care of their health.
Also, protein is something to be conscious of, to be sure, but it's nowhere near as hard as people think it is to get enough, particularly if you like legumes (beans and the like) and tofu. If you eat those things fairly regularly, you're probably good. Eat whole grains as well as legumes to ensure you get whole proteins.
But seriously, look at veganhealth.org. B12 is the most essential thing to make sure you are getting, as it does not come easily from a vegan diet. Take a supplement. A vitamin D supplement is probably warranted as well but read for yourself what Jack says on the topic. I went in earlier this year to have my doctor check my blood for glaring deficiencies in light of my diet, and the only thing that came up low was D. I've doubled my supplements for the time being until I am tested again next month.
Hope that helps get you started. Also, Erik Marcus wrote a handy book called The Ultimate Vegan Guide that I found useful when I was first pondering going vegan. Maybe it'll help you too.
I just joined because I had to say to Colinski that the post was very helpful indeed!
I've been lacto-ovo for about 2 years myself, testing th vegan waters and finding it very difficult to be 'perfect'. As silly as this sounds, it never occurred to me that I don't have to be perfect! Duh!
Anything is better.
I love the way you transitioned.
I was considering alternating days of lacto-ovo and vegan to try that, but I like your idea better. Much easier to live with.