10 Super Helpful Tips for New Vegans – Make Becoming Vegan Much Easier!
Last updated on October 20th, 2023
In this post, I’m going to give you 10 tips for new vegans that will really help you at the beginning of your transition to veganism.
Transitioning to a vegan diet can be difficult at times but with a little help from others that have done it, the process can be a whole lot easier. So, I’m going to give you some tips to help you go vegan and never look back!
These are all things that I wish I’d known when becoming vegan.
10 Essential Tips for New Vegans:
1. Don’t expect your experience to be the same as anyone else
When your body suddenly has a big change it can impact you both physically and mentally. It can take time to adjust. And every single person adjusts differently.
There are a million factors that contribute to an individual’s diet, lifestyle and genetics. So to assume you’ll react the same as someone else is a big mistake. In fact, over the years I’ve heard so many contradicting side effects to becoming vegan, both positive and negative.
Some people have side effects like these:
- Feeling bloated
- More gas and bathroom visits
- Skin breakouts
- Weight gain
- Trouble sleeping
- Lack of energy
While others have side effects like these:
- Feeling full of energy
- Improved moods
- Weight loss
- Clear skin
- Great sleep
- Better concentration
- Better memory
The list could go on….
But remember, most of what you remove from your diet when you become vegan isn’t good for your body anyway. So, as long as you replace the few essential things you’re body might be missing, like B12, vitamin D and omega 3, there’s nothing to worry about. You just need to figure out the right balance for your body.
Take a look at these posts to help – The 9 Best Vegan Omega 3 Supplements, The Best Vegan Iron Sources and What Vegan Foods Are High in Protein? And Why is Protein Important?
If you’re feeling like something just isn’t right, do a little research to find out if there’s something you’re lacking or getting too much of and adjust your diet.
2. New vegans should NOT just binge on junk food
Now, I’m definitely not the health police and I’ve had my fair share of McPlants and Greggs vegan sausage rolls. But, if you want to make your transition to a vegan diet easy on your body then give it a real chance by being kind to it. When our body is going through any change it needs a little extra love.
I’m not saying never touch a vegan Krispy Kreme or a Beyond burger, but just be careful you don’t fall into the common trap that many new vegans fall into.
Just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s automatically healthy.
Not all vegan food is healthy…..sorry!
Years ago it was almost impossible to be an unhealthy junk-food-eating vegan but now that veganism is becoming more popular, understood and in demand, almost everything you could ever imagine is available, which includes all the unhealthy stuff too.
Eat like an old skool-vegan half the time with whole grains, beans, tofu, fresh fruit and veg. And the other half of the time eat like a modern-day vegan trying all of the crazy-good, but unhealthy plant-based foods people have come up with.
Take a look at this BOSH! Vegan Cookbook for amazing recipes that will give your new vegan diet great variation.
3. Join groups and find all the tricks and tips for new vegans
This is one of the best tips for new vegans.
It’s more than possible to become a vegan on your own but at times it can make all the difference to get a little help.
If you love to travel like me then you’ll understand this, when you get to a new city and can’t find a vegan option on any menu it can put a bit of a downer on your trip. This is where the Happy Cow app will be your best friend.
Useful Apps for new vegans:
- Happy Cow can help you find all the best vegan options nearby. I really don’t know what I would have done without this app.
- Barnivore is another great app that will tell you what beers, wines and other alcoholic drinks are suitable for vegans.
Another useful thing to do is join local vegan groups on Facebook. Not only will you find out about all the vegan goodies in the local shops and restaurants, but you’ll also have a perfect place to ask questions.
There’s a Facebook group called Vegan for Beginners it’s got over 275k members and growing. It’s a great place to ask questions and share experiences.
4. Don’t think of veganism as a sacrifice, think of it as an opportunity
Vegan food can be incredible – Remember that, because it’s one of the top tips for new vegans!
Yes, when becoming vegan it seems like there’s so much you can no longer eat. So much you need to give up.
But, the truth is there is so much to gain. If you get creative and keep an open mind you’ll find your world of food has opened up. The number of vegan options out there is huge and it just keeps growing.
If you want something Google it! The chances are you’ll be able to buy it, but if not, you’ll sure as hell find a recipe for it! Also, check out my Vegan Food and Drink page.
When you’re feeling a little lost with what to eat check out these 72 vegan recipes on BBC’s Good Food site.
5. Remember your WHY – Why do you want to be vegan?
There are three main reasons that people go vegan, for the animals, for the planet or for their health. Most people fit into at least one of these three categories.
All three are very important and worthy reasons but we’re only human so when life gets busy or we are having an off day, it can be hard to remember our ‘why’.
The reason we’re doing it can get lost at the back of our minds. And as with anything in life, when the passion and belief fade it’s hard to stay strong. So, when you’re struggling and feel you might be about to cave just take a few minutes to think about why you chose to make the decision to go vegan in the first place.
6. Don’t just eat ‘healthy foods’ – Eat a balanced diet
Sometimes it can be hard when first starting out as a vegan.
You know you’re eating a bunch of fruit and vegetables but you still don’t feel like your best self. This could be because you’re not getting the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and your key vitamins and nutrients. These are things we all need.
Every diet needs to be balanced and when becoming vegan you ditch things that your body may have been using, so, you need to replace them. If you want some ideas of foods to include in your diet to make it more balanced check out this post from Healthline – 11 Foods Healthy Vegans Eat.
Veganism is not the cause of fatigue, digestive issues, bad skin or anything else but an unbalanced diet could be.
7. Know how to fight the vegan haters
Being a vegan can be tiring – and I don’t mean because you’re lacking in iron! But because some people want to constantly find fault in veganism.
Now, I’m not hating on non-vegans. I used to be one!
Before becoming vegan, I wouldn’t let myself watch documentaries like Cowspiracy. Why? Because I didn’t want to know, I wanted to feel okay about having milk in my coffee. I wanted to be ignorant. This is the very thing that drives me crazy about non-vegans now. What a hypocrite I am!
It’s human nature to ignore the facts. Some are very understanding but don’t want to change. Some get very angry and defensive. And some even stop talking to you altogether.
Think long and hard about how you want to deal with it. Do you want to avoid the topic entirely, do you want to explain a little and move on or do you want to get into a heated debate?
No option is wrong, but remember these two things when talking to non-vegans:
- 1. People will fight back so have bulletproof facts, helpful information and a calm head.
- 2. What were you like before becoming vegan?
8. Not all vegans are kind – but this doesn’t change your ‘why‘
Remember, you being vegan depends on you, not anyone else. If it’s important to you then you don’t need a community. While cheerleaders can be nice, they’re not needed.
Oh boy, have I seen some nasty things come out of vegan mouths – well usually online comments from keyboard warriors. Some vegans seem to extend huge kindness towards animals but they’ve used it all up before it gets to humans.
Now, don’t worry, this is not the majority. I know so many more kind and understanding vegans than judgy mean ones. But in every situation, you’ll find a bad apple.
So, while it’s nice to have support and friendship from people who share your ideals, the vegan community is not the reason you’ve become vegan. You’ve your own personal reasons, someone saying something nasty shouldn’t change that. Just ignore them.
While there’s no reason to be unkind, I do try to understand why some vegans react so harshly. I look at it like this, imagine you have spent years trying to avoid causing harm to animals, you watch a video and witness something horrific happening to a terrified animal then someone says, ‘but bacon’. This is going to be a trigger and could cause you to react with anger.
9. Be prepared – Planning ahead is an important tip for new vegans
This might seem like a really basic one – but it’s so important!
The more prepared you are the more likely you’ll succeed. It’s without a doubt getting so much easier to find great vegan snacks on the go but there are still times you could get caught out. Even in recent times, I’ve been to restaurants where there isn’t much more than chips available for vegans on the menu.
So, if you’re going to a restaurant with a group check out the menu before. If you’re going for a day trip with your non-vegan friends bring snacks. It will all be fine, just be prepared. Keeping a schedule can take the hassle out of thinking about what you’ll eat each day because you’ll have it planned out in advance.
10. Be kind to yourself – The most important of all tips for new vegans
Here’s the last tip and probably the most important tip in my list of 10 tips for new vegans.
If you’ve spent most of your life eating meat, dairy and other non-vegan items it’s going to be a big change becoming vegan, a good change, but a big one. Hopefully most of the time you’ll feel much better for it.
But, at times you will feel mentally, emotionally and physically drained. BE KIND TO YOURSELF. You might have a slip-up – that’s ok – jump back on and give it another go.
Keeping a journal of how you are feeling during the transition might help you understand what’s working and what’s not working. Look at this super cool vegan diary.
When I first went vegan I felt better physically almost immediately but mentally I felt a little confused at times. My normal way of life had completely changed, and my day-to-day needed much more thought. About a week in, I ate a tin of creamy tomato soup and a non-vegan cake, to test myself, I think. Maybe I wanted to see if I was serious.
I didn’t feel good about it and it reinforced the fact that I was doing the right thing.
If you are struggling, allow yourself a mistake, you may just end up stronger for it.
So there you have it, my 10 essential tips for new vegans. I hope you’ve found them useful and best of luck on your journey.
A common issue for new vegans is hair loss or thinning. If this is something you’re wondering about then check out this post – Why Do Vegans Experience Hair Loss? And how to solve it?
If you are not sure why becoming vegan is so important take a look at my post The 5 most compelling reasons to go vegan in 2022!
Meet the Author
Meet Sinead O’Carroll: Vegan explorer, sustainability advocate and the founder of The Wondering Wandering Vegan. Embracing veganism since 2018 and vegetarianism since 2005, Sinead is armed with a Vegan Health, Nutrition and Lifestyle qualification, and is on a mission to share her passion for cruelty-free living.
With a taste for adventure and a heart for eco-conscious choices, she’s here to prove that vegans never miss out on flavour, fun or style. Join her in enjoying the delights of a vegan-friendly world! 🌱✈️🌍
Want to know more? Check out Sinead’s About page here.
Follow me on Instagram to see all the delicious vegan food I find, the vegan and cruelty-free products I use and what I get up to as a travelling vegan.