How to Switch
There are two main ways to switch to veganism, gradually, and cold tofurkey. I would strongly recommend gradual (in general in life), but some people prefer the cold tofurkey route. I suppose if you just had your epiphany and the thought of eating animal products now disgusts you, a gradual switch may not be desirable.
Which ever way you go, ensure it is for the long haul, not just a fad diet. Don't set temporary goals, make permanent life-style changes.
- Putting Meat Back in Its Place (New York Times)
- Important Medical Considerations to Veganism
- I Need Help Transitioning to Veganism
The gradual method involves typically involves the following steps:
- Stop eating red meat (a.k.a mammals)
- Stop eating meat (chicken, fish etc.)
- Stop eating eggs (whole eggs, don't worry about eggs used for baking yet)
- Stop drinking milk (switch to soy milk, the sugar free brands are best with Cheerios)
- Don't buy leather (micro fibers are great with pets)
- Avoid other dairy products
- Work on your finishing touches as desired (even Ingrid Newkirk would forgive you for eating a little cake made with eggs every now and then)
Switching Cold Tofurkey
Chuck the contents of your fridge, find a new favorite restaurant and never look back.
One common effect is that you will have cold like symptoms as your body detoxifies. This period may last a couple of weeks.
If you break your diet and consume milk based foods like cheese or milkshakes for one meal, take time to "check yourself" and see if you notice any different reactions to them you might not have noticed before.
Most sushi restaurants offer cucumber, carrot, avocado, daikon, spinach and vegetarian futomaki along with brown rice. Wasabi helps clear the sinuses.
Indian restaurants often offer smorgasbord plates with between 6 to 10 different small portions of different foods. Most are quite spicy and will also clear out the sinuses. An almost psychedelic effect can be felt after the meal for those who are not used to the spiciness.
Key Convenience Foods
One key food to switching to veganism is to switch cow's milk for soy milk. Non-vegetarians find themselves eating dairy based foods without even noticing they are present.
Raw loose leaf spinach is extremely convenient for making fast salads and provides calcium, Vitamin K and Beta Carotene. The containers also make convenient storage units for vegetables after use.
Soy Cheese Slices with Grain Bread
The right brand of soy cheese slice made as a cheese sandwich can make a very satisfying and quick breakfast. The richness of the grain bread will make up for any meat-eaters biases against soy cheese.
Including olives, capers, beet slices and pickled ginger can add some punch to salads if one is trying to avoid mayonnaise based salad dressings.
Most instant miso packs have an ingredient called bonito in them, which is made from shrimp. People allergic to seafood in particular should avoid them.
Some Omega-3 fortified fruit juices obtain their content from fish.
Many crackers use whey as an ingredient.
Nuts contain large amounts of rare earth metals. A few brazil nuts have 100% the RDA of selenium. Peanuts in particular are crop rotated with cotton and are exposed to leftover pesticides.