Vegan Diet for Beginners: Your Complete Guide

February 23, 2022

Whether you’re vegan-curious for the first time or freshly embracing this lifestyle with open arms, our complete guide has all the resources you need to get started, maintain your diet, and thrive as a plant-based eater.

Table of Contents

General Vegan Diet Information
What Is the Vegan Diet?
What is the Difference Between Vegetarian and Vegan?
Why Go Vegan?
Is a Vegan Diet Healthy?
What are the Potential Risks Involved with Eating a Vegan Diet?
What Vitamins are Lacking in a Vegan Diet?
The Do’s and Don’ts of Vegan Foods

How to Transition to a Vegan Diet
What Vegan Foods Can I Eat?
What Foods Should I Avoid on a Vegan Diet?
What Fruit is Not Vegan?
What Snacks Can I Eat on a Vegan Diet?
What is a Junk Food Vegan?

Vegan Beverages
What Can I Drink on a Vegan Diet?
What Alcohol Can You Drink on a Vegan Diet?
What Beer is Vegan?
What Does Vegan Wine Mean?

How to Find a Balance With a Vegan Diet
How Do I Know What is Vegan?
What Supplements Should I Take on a Vegan Diet?
How Much Does It Cost to be on a Vegan Diet?
Will I Lose Weight on a Vegan Diet?
How Can I Build Muscles on a Vegan Diet?
How Do I Eat a Vegan Diet at Restaurants?
How Do I Eat a Vegan Diet at Social Gatherings?

Conclusion


General Vegan Diet Information

What Is the Vegan Diet?

The vegan diet eschews eating meat, dairy, or other animal products like honey or gelatin. The philosophy also extends into lifestyle territory; many followers eliminate all animal products and nix leather from their wardrobe or any skin or beauty products that have been tested on animals.

The roots of the vegan diet can be traced back to ancient Indian and Mediterranean societies; the Greek philosopher Pythagoras of Samos first mentioned ethical vegetarianism around around 500 BCE, and ancient religions like Buddhism and Hinduism also advocated for vegetarianism. The more modern “vegan” term was coined in 1944 by a British woodworker named Donald Watson, who wanted to create an identifier for vegetarians who also didn’t eat dairy or eggs. When Watson died in 2005, there were 2 million vegans in the US. Today, there are approximately 9.7 million, according to a recent study.

Here are a few different types of popular vegan diets:

  • Whole-food: This approach is based on consuming a wide variety of whole plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
  • Raw-food: A raw-food vegan diet focuses on raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds or plant foods that are cooked at temperatures below 118°F.
  • 80/10/10: Sometimes referred to as the low-fat or fruitarian diet, 80/10/10 limits fat-rich plants like avocados and nuts, opting instead for mainly raw fruits and soft greens.
  • Thrive diet: Following a vegan thrive diet means you eat plant-based, whole foods that are raw or minimally cooked, always at low temperatures. You can also go “Raw till 4,” choosing raw foods before 4 p.m. and enjoying a cooked plant-based meal for dinner.

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What Is the Difference Between Vegetarian and Vegan?

Both vegetarians and vegans do not eat meat or fish. While many vegetarians choose to include eggs and dairy products in their diet, vegans don’t, and also avoid animal byproducts that may be present in food, clothing, and beauty products. Vegans also typically abstain from activities that rely on animals for entertainment, like zoos, circuses, or aquariums.

Vegetarians and vegans do not consume:

  • meat
  • poultry
  • fish and shellfish
  • insects
  • rennet, gelatin, and other types of animal protein
  • stock or fats made from animals

Strict vegans also try to avoid:

  • leather
  • wool
  • silk
  • beeswax and honey
  • soaps, candles, and other items made using animal fats, like tallow
  • products that contain casein (sourced from milk proteins)
    cosmetics tested on animals

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Why Go Vegan?

vegan starter guide

When it comes to environmental, health, and ethical implications, there are many upsides that come with adopting a vegan lifestyle. For health benefits, some find they just feel better after cutting meat and dairy, while others are more compelled for scientific reasons, like the fact that a vegan diet includes less saturated fat and cholesterol, and more vitamins and dietary fiber than conventional diets. Some studies also suggest that vegans have a lower risk of heart disease as well as a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes when following a plant-based diet.

Those who give up animal products for ethical reasons are often motivated by a desire to protect the inhumane treatment of livestock animals, including poor-quality feed, overcrowded pens, and uncompassionate slaughtering practices. Vegans who strongly share these values go beyond the plate and nix leather, fur, wool, and silk from their wardrobes as well. On the environmental front, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine reports that a vegan diet may help combat climate change, citing that a global shift to plant-based diets could reduce mortality and greenhouse gases caused by food production by 10% and 70%, respectively, by 2050.

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Is a Vegan Diet Healthy?

vegan starter guide

A vegan diet can be a healthy addition to your lifestyle. Let’s take a look at some of the science-backed benefits you might enjoy by going vegan.

  • Nourishing nutrients. Eliminating meat and animal products and loading up on whole food ingredients from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes automatically upgrades your nutrient intake. Studies have found that vegan diets are often richer in fiber, antioxidants, and beneficial plant compounds than other diets, as well as essential vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, C, and E, magnesium, and folate.
  • Weight loss. If you’re going vegan for ethical reasons, weight loss might not be the main benefit on your mind, but it may be a byproduct of changing your eating patterns. Studies suggest that vegans tend to be thinner overall and have lower body mass indexes than nonvegans, and may experience ease of weight loss when following plant-based eating. Even without following a vegan diet perfectly, participants in this weight loss study still lost slightly more weight than those following a traditional Western diet.
  • Lower blood pressure. The American Heart Association reports that 80 million Americans have hypertension, and one study found that “vegans and lacto-ovo vegetarians had significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and significantly lower odds of hypertension (0.37 and 0.57, respectively), when compared to non-vegetarians.”
  • Reduce blood sugar. Vegan diets have been highlighted for their potential to help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. According to one study, a whole-food, plant-based diet (featuring limited to no refined foods) are highly beneficial, and may also contribute to better outcomes for cardiovascular health.
  • Save on health care. Several large healthcare organizations like Kaiser Permanente have started promoting plant-based diets in recent years. It’s a cost-effective way to treat multiple chronic conditions simultaneously (like high cholesterol and high blood pressure), and ultimately keep you out of doctor’s offices and hospitals.
  • Reduce cancer risk. The World Health Organization suggests that up to one third of cancers may be preventable by monitoring factors within your control, including diet. For example, enjoying legumes may help reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by up to 18%. Some research also suggests that enjoying at least seven servings of fruits and vegetables per day may help lower your risk of dying from cancer by up to 15%.

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What are the Potential Risks Involved with Eating a Vegan Diet?

While there are numerous benefits to eating a vegan diet, there are also some nutritional imbalances that can come along with it, including missing out on getting enough protein, vitamin D, and more. If you’re paying close attention, these deficiencies can be remedied easily with supplements or diet modifications, but the deficiencies also come with some added risk. For example, lack of adequate iron may cause you to feel lethargic and put you at greater risk of developing iron-deficiency anemia, which is a potentially serious condition that occurs when your body isn’t making enough red blood cells. Like any diet, veganism requires a big lifestyle switch that can mean eliminating multiple food groups you might be used to. For some, it can feel unsustainable in the long-term. Chatting with your doctor or nutritionist, or discussing the potential change with your family can also help put your best foot forward.

What Vitamins are Lacking in a Vegan Diet?

Going meatless can be a healthy option for some, but veganism can come with certain nutrient deficiencies you should be on the lookout for.

  • Vitamin D: One of the best sources of vitamin D is daily sunshine, but it’s also found in a variety of foods like milk and fatty fish. If these items aren’t in your diet, you might experience lower vitamin D levels. Try adding mushrooms or fortified ingredients (like almond milk, cereals, or rice milk) to your routine, and supplementing as needed.
  • Vitamin B12: This nutrient works closely with B9 to help form red blood cells and utilize iron effectively, which may support wound healing and helps keep your nerve cells healthy. It’s most commonly found in meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, eggs, cheese, and milk products. All B vitamins are water-soluble, so the body doesn’t store them, and it’s common for vegetarians and vegans to be deficient. Vegan sources of B12 include: nutritional yeast, seaweed, tempeh, and chlorella.
  • Iron: Just like B12, iron occurs naturally in meat and seafood. Vegans will need to keep an eye on their levels and incorporate plenty of nuts, beans, and veggies into their meals. You can also opt for an iron supplement if you find your levels remain low.
  • Protein: While there are plenty of plant-based protein options out there (like tofu, legumes, quinoa, and tempeh), meat and seafood are also high in this nutrient, so eliminating it might mean a reduction in your daily intake.
  • Calcium: Calcium—found dairy products like milk—is another nutrient your vegan diet may be missing. A 1999 study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that four-and-a-half servings of broccoli offer the same amount of calcium as one cup of milk, but you’d need to eat as many as 20 servings of broccoli per day to get enough calcium.
  • Alpha-linolenic acid: ALAs are long-chain fatty acids (aka omega-3s) found in cold-water fish and seafood, so vegan diets may be lacking. To get what you need, be sure to consume foods like nuts, seeds, avocado, navy beans, flax, and edamame.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Vegan Foods

vegan starter guide

How to Transition to a Vegan Diet?

Removing animal-derived ingredients is an obvious first step when transitioning to a vegan diet, but this lifestyle change requires more than dietary swaps and doesn’t have to look one specific way. Here are three tips for making the switch.

  • Slow and steady. The most sustainable approach is to take things gradually. Instead of throwing out everything in your pantry and refrigerator, simply replace it with a vegan option when you’ve finished it. This will give you some time to find replacements for favorite items like condiments and snacks, and will help reduce the overwhelm you might feel when you’re just starting out. You might explore vegetarianism as a first step and then eliminate eggs and dairy after a couple of months, or transition from omnivore to vegan by simply reducing the amount of meat you consume in a week before eliminating it entirely.
  • Track your progress. Along the way, keep a journal of the foods you tried, noting whether or not you liked them or not, and start meal planning for the week. You can also do research to discover vegan-friendly restaurants in your area. Finally, keep your pulse on how you’re feeling. Take notes of increased energy, better sleep, and any generally healthier feelings that you experience, and look back at them anytime you need support to keep going.
  • Enjoy the experiments. It’ll take time to find your new favorites, but it’s all part of the fun! This is a great time to explore new foods and flavors, and build a new collection of favorite recipes. From vegan pizza to no-bake desserts to yes, vegan mac and cheese, Thrive Market has you covered. We stock hundreds of Vegan Certified and plant-based products, or pick up our vegan starter kit for a curated bundle of ready-to-go ingredients.

What Vegan Foods Can I Eat?

vegan starter guide

There’s a lot to enjoy on a vegan diet. Check out our vegan meal plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas, and you can also cook up your own recipes from this (partial!) list of approved foods.

Vegan Vegetables

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Bell peppers
  • Butternut squash
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Radish
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard

Vegan Fruits

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi
  • Passion fruit
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon

Vegan Protein

Vegan Whole Grains

Vegan Nuts and Seeds

What Foods Should I Avoid on a Vegan Diet?

Vegans avoid any animal-derived products, but there are also some less obvious ingredients you’ll want to steer clear of. And just like other diets, not all vegan foods are healthy for you. Animal products to avoid include meat, poultry, fish and seafood, dairy, eggs, and bee products like honey and royal jelly. Vegans also avoid ingredients derived from animals including gelatin (a thickener sourced from animal bones and connective tissue), vitamin D3 (derived from fish oil), whey, casein, and lactose (derived from dairy), and omega-3 fatty acids, which come from fish, although there are vegan alternatives made from algae.

Be mindful of the “vegan junk food” category, which are typically packaged and processed and can be filled with as much sugar as their conventional counterparts. Non-vegan ingredients can also sneak into seemingly safe products like breads—some bakeries use L-cysteine, an amino acid used as a softening agent that’s sourced from poultry feathers, for example. Here are a few other culprits:

  • French fries (fried in animal fat)
  • Caesar dressing or olive tapenade (made with anchovies)
  • Pesto (mixed with Parmesan cheese)
  • Non-dairy creamer (containing casein, a milk-derived protein)
  • Some canned beans (made with lard or ham)
  • Candies (made with gelatin)

What Fruit is Not Vegan?

Many fruits are vegan and can be enjoyed on a plant-based diet. While some vegans argue that figs and avocados aren’t vegan because bees are required for cultivation, The Vegan Society disagrees with this stance, citing that “vegans avoid using animals as far as possible and practicable,” and recognize that it may not be possible to avoid pollinated foods at all times, although they support more humane farming practices that avoid trucking bees long distances.

If you prefer to keep a stricter vegan diet, consider avoiding the following fruits:

  • Figs (contain dead wasps which is a natural process)
  • Avocados
  • Bananas (only if they are coated in chitosan, a preservative to increase shelf-life)

What Snacks Can I Eat on a Vegan Diet?

hu chocolate

The world of vegan snacks has become really exciting recently, with options that fulfill every possible craving. The main thing is to be sure that what you’re enjoying is actually vegan. That means you’ll want to double check labels to be sure it doesn’t include any animal-derived ingredients, and shop for vegan cookies, vegan chocolate, and vegan chips using our handy filtering tool. Here are some of the most popular vegan snacks on ThriveMarket.com.

Partake Foods Crunchy Birthday Cookie
Inspired to make treats everyone can enjoy, this box of crunchy cookies is vegan, allergy-friendly, gluten-free, and kosher. Member Lawren from North Carolina says they’re the “perfect way to celebrate without needing an excuse.”

Thrive Market Avocado Oil Potato Chips
This bag keeps it simple with non-GMO spuds that are kettle-cooked in vegan-friendly avocado oil.

Hu Salty Dark Chocolate Bar
There’s a reason Hu’s chocolate has hundreds of five-star reviews: high-quality vegan ingredients like fair trade cacao and cocoa butter meet fleur de sel for ultimate satisfaction.

Late July Jalapeño Lime Tortilla Chips
This organic, gluten-free, and vegan bag offers an ideal blend of salty, crunchy, and a kick of heat that’s not over the top. Katherine says they’re the “best tortilla chips I’ve ever had!”

Thrive Market Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
When you’re inspired to bake but don’t want to fuss over a recipe, just open a bag of our vegan cookie mix made with coconut flour, almond flour, coconut sugar, and vegan chocolate chips—no egg or dairy milk required.

What is a Junk Food Vegan?

Being a junk food vegan means you regularly consume highly processed foods instead of nourishing, whole foods like legumes, nuts, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and grains. Especially when you’re switching to a vegan diet, it’s tempting to be swayed by all the vegan options reminiscent of your favorite non-vegan foods, like alternative cheeses, cookies, and snacks. Australian blogger The Minimalist Vegan has seen how common it is for vegans to remain unhealthy. “With the rise of junk food options in our supermarkets, cafes and fast food chains like McDonald’s and Domino’s, it’s becoming harder for vegans to embrace a whole foods diet,” she writes. These foods might be convenient, but you’re likely sacrificing nutrition along the way, especially if you’re not balancing these occasional treats with whole foods as the foundation of your meals.


Vegan Beverages

vegan matcha latte

From carbonated cans and energy drinks to iced coffees and juices, there are plenty of vegan beverages to choose from. Most supermarkets and coffee shops have non-dairy nut milks and creamers available, and you can also make many of them yourself to enjoy at home.

What can I Drink on a Vegan Diet?

Our vegan drinks list doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to hydration, caffeination, and sweet sips. Here’s a range of options to enjoy on a vegan diet.

  • Water. An obvious choice for daily hydration, you can jazz up your H2O with lemon, cucumber, fresh herbs, and a scoop of chia seeds.
  • Coffee. Coffee is naturally vegan. Where you’ll need to be careful is the creamer category, and our plant-based options are just as creamy as the original.
  • Coconut water. Light and refreshing, hydrate with coconut water for added electrolytes.
  • Nut milk. Almond milk is just the tip of the iceberg in the dairy-free drink department. You can also enjoy pistachio milk, walnut milk, cashew milk, and more.
  • Ceremonial matcha. Our matcha is sourced from the famed Shizuoka and Kagoshima regions of Japan and is shaded prior to spring harvest, which promotes chlorophyll for a deeper taste and aroma. To make this matcha latte vegan, just omit the collagen.
  • Wellness tonics. These superfood juices are made with immune-supporting ingredients like turmeric and ginger—get our easy recipe here.
  • Alcohol alternatives. Brands like HOP WTR make sparkling beer-inspired beverages that just happen to be plant-based and gluten-free.
  • Smoothies. When made with ingredients like dairy-free milk or water, nut butter, greens, and your favorite berries, smoothies are completely vegan and a great way to add plant-based protein to your morning meal.
  • Kombucha: This fermented beverage offers probiotic benefits from a SCOBY—or symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast.

What Alcohol Can You Drink on a Vegan Diet?

vegan cocktail recipes

When it comes to cocktail hour, vegans can definitely indulge—most beers, wines, and spirits are vegan-friendly. The main thing is figuring out whether specific production techniques utilize hidden ingredients that aren’t plant-based. Bailey’s Irish Cream is an obvious offender, but do you know if your wine has been filtered using fish guts? It’s not common knowledge, but some wine producers use isinglass (a fish product) to filter their grape bunches through a process called ‘fining.’ Although the wine industry doesn’t have plant-based regulations in place, some wineries recognize it’s an important detail for consumers and make it a point to advertise that their bottles are vegan. If you’re not sure, just ask.

Spirits like gin, tequila, rum, vodka, and whiskey are naturally vegan and can be enjoyed straight or with vegan mixers or sodas. Most beers are also vegan (more on that below.) You can also explore the world of mocktails, like our sparkling rose and hemp elixir.

What Beer is Vegan?

Beer is made from grain, hops, yeast, and water—all naturally vegan ingredients. Most commercial beers (such as Budweiser, Coors, and Heineken) and small-batch brewers are vegan, and craft breweries might include the vegan status on their labels or online. Similar to wine, some breweries add finings to help clarify the beer when it’s being racked, which may include animal-derived products like gelatin or isinglass.

Non-alcoholic beer is also becoming a popular alternative. Brands like HOP WTR (mentioned above) and Q Mixers (offering ginger beer and tonic waters) enhance cocktail hour when you’re ready to unwind but don’t want the buzz.

What Does Vegan Wine Mean?

Vegan wine and regular wine are both made the same way. The key difference is fining, a process that helps clarify and stabilize a wine and remove hydrogen sulfide and bitter flavors from the finished product. Vegan wine either hasn’t been fined (which would fall under the ‘natural’ wine category) or has been fined using ingredients like clay or charcoal, not animal-derived substances like gelatin, casein, or albumen (egg whites). If a winemaker labels their wines as unfiltered or unfined, you know it’s free from animal substances. You can also look for this designation in other languages:

  • French: non-filtre
  • Spanish: sins-filtrar
  • Italian: non-filtrato

How to Find a Balance With a Vegan Diet

How Do I Know What is Vegan?

How do you know if something is vegan? We have a few tips to make the most of your shopping experience.

Start by reading labels closely. Most vegan-friendly items will have certifications (like Certified Vegan) clearly marked on the package.

Check the ingredients list for potential allergens like dairy, eggs, or seafood, and seek out Big 8 Allergen-Free brands.
Familiarize yourself with vegan brands so you can always rely on trusty go-to’s when you’re shopping.

Simple is usually best. The closer you stick to whole and unprocessed foods, the more likely you are to eat vegan and not accidentally ingest something on the no-go list.

At the end of the day, knowing your personal values is important. Although a vegan diet has certain universal restrictions, some people may make accommodations or adjustments to suit their needs or lifestyle. Knowing what these are for you might help you make quicker shopping decisions.

What Supplements Should I Take on a Vegan Diet?

When you’re vegan, certain nutrients may be naturally lacking in your diet. For example, vitamin B12 is primarily found in meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, so in addition to prioritizing this nutrient in your day-to-day meals, a supplement may be beneficial as well. Some vitamins and minerals are simply more difficult to get from plants alone. If you’re concerned about possible nutrient deficiencies, chat with your healthcare provider and consider the following supplements.

How Much Does It Cost to be on a Vegan Diet?

Wondering how expensive it is to eat on a vegan diet? A recent study in England found that vegans spend an average of 40% less on food than omnivores. Nixing meat and fish from your weekly menu can offer big savings, and you can stretch your budget even more by shopping in season. Make a visit to the farmers’ market part of your regular routine and support producers in your area—not only does this bolster the local economy, but you’ll be bringing home seasonal produce that’s both delicious and affordable.

Where veganism can sometimes get expensive is with processed and packaged foods. The more you cook from scratch without relying on pre-made ingredients, the more you’ll save. And don’t forget the frozen aisle! Enjoy peak season fruits and vegetables year-round at even greater savings. Bonus: it saves time in the kitchen too—just add frozen berries to smoothies or a vegetable medley to your next stir-fry.

Will I Lose Weight on a Vegan Diet?

While most people choose a vegan lifestyle due to ethical concerns over the treatment of animals, weight loss might be a byproduct. One of the reasons is that you’re naturally reducing the number of high-calorie foods you consume and upping high-fiber ingredients like loads of low-calorie veggies.

If weight loss is a priority for you, you’ll want to avoid refined sugars, oils, and refined flours, and The Vegan Food Pyramid recommends focusing on the following four food groups:

  • Legumes
  • Fruits
  • Grains
  • Vegetables

Studies suggest that those who follow a plant-based diet tend to have lower BMI than those who aren’t vegan. Although more research is needed (especially with larger and more diverse groups), plant-based diets “should be considered a viable option for patients who are interested in losing weight and improving dietary quality consistent with chronic disease prevention and treatment.”

How Can I Build Muscles on a Vegan Diet?

how to build muscle on a vegan diet

Looking to build muscle on a vegan diet? Here are a few tips.

  • Protein power. Protein is an essential building block of body tissue and can also be a source of fuel. Since many vegan protein sources don’t contain all nine of the essential amino acids, you’ll need to plan to eat higher amounts and a wider variety of these foods—like quinoa, legumes, tofu, and protein powders—to meet your goals.
  • Eat enough fat. Healthy fats (like avocados and coconut oil) give you added calories to promote muscle building.
  • Stay hydrated. Vegan diets are naturally high in fiber thanks to fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. When you increase fiber without upping your hydration, you may experience certain side effects like abdominal discomfort or bloating.

How Do I Eat a Vegan Diet at Restaurants?

Vegan restaurants aren’t the only option when it comes to dining out. And no, you don’t have to limit yourself to salads (unless there’s a really exceptional one on the menu). Many cuisines are filled with veggies and plant-proteins:

Beyond looking for veggie-centric cuisines, here are some tips for dining out while vegan.

  1. Do your research. Researching a restaurant ahead of time involves a few different strategies. You can start by searching websites like Happy Cow, which lists vegan restaurants by location—a great resource for traveling, or just exploring your hometown. Once you’ve identified a few contenders, check out the restaurant menus online to see if there are any obvious vegan dishes, or ones that can be easily modified.
  2. Reach out. Next, speak to the restaurant directly, either by giving them a call or sending an email. (You can also try reaching out via social media if the restaurant has an active presence.) Ask about the dishes that are easy to modify (like leaving off cheese or using oil instead of butter for cooking), and let them know in advance about your dietary restrictions. They may even have a daily special that’s vegan on the day of your reservation.
  3. Embrace side dishes. Rather than sticking to the mains, sometimes it’s easier to pick a few side dishes to enjoy that add up to a balanced meal.
  4. Don’t go hungry. If you’re still uncertain of what you’ll find when you arrive (or are joining friends and the restaurant isn’t your top pick) eat a small meal before you go so you’re not hungry throughout the evening.
  5. Follow up. After the fact, leave an honest review of the restaurant on Yelp. This is a great way to share your perspective and make requests for the future.

How Do I Eat a Vegan Diet at Social Gatherings?

Celebrating with friends and family while following a vegan diet doesn’t have to be a struggle, and a little planning can go a long way to ensuring your needs are met without feeling pushy.

Before a dinner party, reach out to the person who invited you to make sure they know you’re vegan, and offer to bring a dish so you’ll know there’s something safe for you to enjoy. They might be more than willing to make accommodations like placing cheese in a bowl instead of tossing it with the salad, for example. If you’re meeting a group for a dinner out, stake out the restaurant by reviewing the menu online or calling to see which dishes can be easily modified. Use some of the tips above (like ordering a few appetizers or side dishes for a complete meal) to ensure you’re enjoying a vegan-only dinner, even if everyone else is passing plates around to share.

Conclusion

Like every lifestyle shift, the more sustainable your approach, the more likely you are to stick with it long-term. When choosing to become vegan, figure out a path that works for you and go from there. And remember that with nearly 10 million vegans worldwide, you’re definitely not alone on your journey, and there are always numerous resources (and delicious recipes) to encourage you every step of the way.

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before changing your diet or healthcare regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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