This guide explains how to go vegan with minimal effort, in a lasting and healthy way. I’ve followed a vegan diet for more than thirty years, so I can offer tons of useful advice. By the time you finish reading, you’ll know exactly how to move forward.

Easy Ideas for Starting Out

Here are some potent ideas that I’ll get into over the course of this article:

  • Be vegan in your kitchen—resolve to never again bring animal products into your home.
  • Read up on the basics of vegan cooking.
  • Try out a vegan diet for a week or a month.
  • Follow Mark Bittman’s Vegan Before 6 plan, and eat vegan each day until dinner.
  • Stop eating any particular non-vegan foods you feel ready to quit.
  • Explore the hundreds of vegan alternatives to meat, dairy, and egg-based foods.
  • Commit to trying five new vegan foods a week.

Now that we’ve reviewed some key advice for beginners, let’s go into detail about every aspect of going vegan.

Go Vegan by Crowding, Not Cutting

Many people assume that going vegan requires willpower and struggle. But the opposite is true; becoming vegan is actually quite easy and it takes no sacrifice whatsoever.

So let’s begin with my top piece of advice on how to go vegan: rid your diet of non-vegan foods by crowding, not cutting.

Don’t try to cut animal products out of your diet. Instead, crowd them out. Every time you discover a new vegan food you enjoy, it’ll crowd more non-vegan foods out of your diet. You’ll make rapid progress just by sampling new foods at every opportunity.

Even a little effort here delivers a huge payoff. So don’t let a week go by without trying at least a few new vegan foods.

Discover the Endless Assortment of Incredible Vegan Foods

Beginnings should be easy. Our list of easy vegan foods includes dozens of delicious items. Some are ready-to-eat, while others take just minutes to prepare. None require any cooking skills.

Once you’ve reviewed that list, my guide to vegan eating will introduce you to the best cooking, dining, and grocery shopping possibilities.

Next, you can check out some of these food-oriented links:

Read all of the above pages and you’ll know more about vegan food than many vegans who’ve been at it a decade. You’ll be off to the strongest possible start to embracing a totally vegan diet.

Salads are invariably healthy and bring loads of color and flavors. Here’s a sweet potato, purple cabbage, and avocado salad with vegan Thousand Island dressing from Jacques Restaurant in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Stepping Stones Toward a Vegan Diet

How fast should you move towards a vegan diet? That’s totally up to you. The more new foods you try, the quicker you will progress.

You certainly don’t need to go entirely vegan overnight. While some people do it all at once, others ease into a vegan diet over months or even years.

Use whichever ideas enable you to gain the most ground with the least effort. Here are three of the most helpful:

1) Vegan Before Six

Mark Bittman is one of America’s most influential food writers. He has long followed a “Vegan Before 6:00” approach. That is, he eats a totally vegan diet from morning through late afternoon. Then, starting at dinner, and continuing for the rest of the evening, he eats whatever he wants—sometimes vegan foods, and sometimes non-vegetarian foods.

The Vegan Before 6:00 approach offers perhaps the easiest way to become mostly vegan. It’ll perfectly prepare you to throw the switch and become vegan after 6:00 too. To learn more, check out Bittman’s book on the topic.

2) Do a Vegan Test Drive

Does a lifelong commitment scare you? No worries—why not simply take a vegan diet for a test drive? Just try out a vegan diet for a week, 21 days, or an entire month. You’ll quickly see for yourself how well a plant-based lifestyle works for you.

Being vegan gets easier the longer you stick with it. It only takes a few weeks for vegan foods to become your default choice. By the time your test drive ends, you may well decide to keep going and stay vegan for good.

3) Go Vegan In Your Kitchen

In my first year of college, I randomly encountered a slaughterhouse video. Horrified by what I saw, I started dropping meat from my diet and quickly became vegetarian. My junior year I moved into a cottage and had my very own kitchen. I realized that my unfettered kitchen access offered the perfect opportunity to move from vegetarian to vegan. I resolved to never bring any non-vegan food into my new house.

Since I rarely ate out, my resolution to keep animal products out of my home instantly made me at least 90 percent vegan. Plus, this commitment pushed me to improve my vegan cooking skills. I found a collection of easy vegan recipes and I was off to the races.



Leave a Comment