Here I share my top 10 tips for men going vegan. No, you don’t have to stop eating meat right now!
So you’ve decided to give the vegan lifestyle a go! Great, now what the fuck do you do?
In the beginning, it’s all very daunting. It’s a difficult time adjusting to the vegan lifestyle. Not just physically and mentally but also emotionally (Arghhh emotion! Run away!!)
Here are some tips to help you get started!
Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Going vegan isn’t easy, despite what you may read. It’s not a piece of (vegan) cake.
The very concept of no meat or dairy at the beginning is so alien that it can be hard starting a plant-based diet. So the idea is to go gradually.
Take it easy, cut out animal products from least favourite to most favourite. I went:
Beef > Pork > Chicken > Milk > Cheese > Mayo
‘Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Going vegan isn’t easy, despite what you may read’
Keep it Quiet
Announcing to the world you’re going vegan at the very start of your transition just makes the decision that much harder for you to upkeep.
Practice veganism quietly, no one will even notice. When you’re at the point you feel comfortable with vegan food and the vegan lifestyle, then is the time to announce yourself and when you do be proud of it.
If someone does pick up on your new eating habits, just say you have fitness goals you want to achieve and that means eating healthy. They can’t argue with that.
If you have vegan friends, get speaking to them and ask them for guidance too. Or if you have friends that want to try it with you, even better!
If you have no friends, then you can always email me: contact (@) memanmevegan.com
Don’t Worry About Protein!
The only people that worry about a vegans protein intake are non-vegans. As long as you eat a varied diet of vegan foods you will be fine. Don’t buy into the vegan protein deficiency myth, you’re not going to keel over in a month’s time through lack of protein. Instead, get smart about it. Here is a list of some vegan proteins to get you started.
- Peanut Butter – 25g protein per 100g
- Kidney Beans – 24g protein per 100g
- Black Beans – 21g protein per 100g
- Pinto Beans – 21g protein per 100g
- Chickpeas – 19g protein per 100g
- Flax Seeds – 18g protein per 100g
- Tofu – 17g protein per 100g
- Oats – 16.9g protein per 100g
- Chia Seeds – 16.5g protein per 100g
- Spelt – 15g protein per 100g
- Quinoa – 14.1g protein per 100g
- Hemp Seed – 11g protein per 3/tbsps
- Spirulina – 10g protein per 2/tbsps
- Nutritional Yeast – 9g protein per 2/tbsps
- Lentils – 9g protein per 100g
- Green Peas – 5.5g protein per 100
Those foods that are in bold are complete proteins, meaning they consist of all the essential amino acids, these are what helps build cells and muscle. Those that aren’t just need to be mixed with another protein to make it complete. For example: beans and peas, oats and peanut butter. Simple.
‘The only people that worry about a vegans protein intake are non-vegans’
Chef it Up
80,000 edible plants in the world and you’ve been eating the same 3 dead animals all your life!
Listen to Your Body
Beyond the diet, you have the physical impact too. When you go plant-based your body will go into detox mode. Your body really will feel different.
Headaches and digestive issues are common. It’s important to be aware of these side effects in the initial transition period because they are what put people off and revert them back to eating animal products.
Understand that this could be either of two things. First, are you eating enough calories? Plant-based foods are lower in calories than meat or dairy so make sure you are eating enough food. Vegan snacks such as fruits, nuts and seeds can help you achieve the calorie intake you require in between meals.
If you are consuming enough calories and you are still getting headaches or feeling fatigue it is most likely your body getting rid of toxins. This depends on what your diet was like before you went plant-based. Make sure to stay well hydrated to support your bodies detoxification.
Feeling depressed at the start of going vegan is totally normal and it is temporary. You are changing a lot of what used to be habitual and has been socially ingrained from birth. Your conscience will fight it and it can be difficult.
Personally, I used to get slightly angry at the fact I couldn’t eat certain things, especially when eating out and there were no vegan options!
‘Feeling depressed at the start of going vegan is totally normal’
This frustration passes with time and eventually, you will feel the benefits of your change, just ask any dedicated vegan on the planet. There is no reward without hard work.
It’s an interesting word, usually seen as quite negative. I like Will Smith’s interpretation of the word discipline, ‘self-love’. Healthy choices are not deprivation, they are ‘self-love’.
Every time you say no to that burger, fried chicken or crispy pork you are ‘self-loving’. You’re not being negative about the fact you can’t eat something you are simply saying ‘I choose not to eat that’.
Loading your body with salt, fat, sugar, cholesterol and who knows what other chemicals is an act of self-harm.
That’s not to say you should feel bad if you slip up, going vegan is difficult and with that, you will make mistakes. Don’t be so strict with yourself, it’s a gradual process.
‘Every time you say no to that burger, fried chicken or crispy pork you are ‘self-loving’’
Write out a very simple vegan diet plan. Scope out some vegan meals you fancy from Pinterest or Instagram and plan out your week.
Don’t worry if it doesn’t go completely to plan. If you end up eating the same meal 4 times in one week, don’t worry, we’ve all been there.
Shopping can sometimes be confusing for a vegan. Although supermarkets are now catching on to the vegan movement it can still be difficult. Here is a great vegan grocery list you can download to help with your next shopping trip.
One of my favourite things about becoming vegan has been the opportunity to try new things and discover new cooking techniques.
I’ve gone from only being able to cook pasta in a tomato type sauce to making my own vegan cheese, vegan mayo, vegan pancakes, vegan wraps, vegan burgers, vegan desserts, vegan cookies and even vegan roast dinner!
Some people believe veganism means eating salads or ‘rabbit food’ all day every day. It couldn’t be further from the truth. The unbelievable amount of creativity in the vegan food world right now is astonishing. It’s a whole new cuisine at the start of it’s journey and the possibilities are endless.
First, realise the benefits of going vegan. Remember that your decision will lead to a healthier body, stop the harm of animals and significantly reduce your carbon footprint.
People are quick to dismiss vegans and their opinions. So, it’s important to research and gain knowledge of what you are fighting for. Whether it’s for animal rights, health reasons or environmental issues.
A pivotal moment on my journey into veganism was watching videos from slaughterhouses, reading about what’s really lurking inside my food and paying attention to the vast amount of studies that indicate livestock farming is one of the leading contributors to global warming.
People should be free to pursue whatever diet they wish but I do believe it’s important we know where our food comes from and the impact it has on our environment. This is not just in terms of meat or dairy but fruit and veg too.
Don’t Give a Fuck
You can’t let people get to you. Once it’s out and people know you’re a vegan you have to stick by your beliefs or people will tear you apart.
By identifying as a vegan you are challenging other people’s beliefs, habits and more importantly their conscience. This doesn’t always go down very well and you will encounter odd social situations.
‘Once it’s out and people know you’re a vegan you have to stick by your beliefs or people will tear you apart.’
I always found explaining that I chose the lifestyle as a means to be healthier, reduce harm to animals and reduce my negative impact on the world works very well. Who knows you might even plant a new vegan seed.
Going vegan is not easy but as every vegan in the world will tell you it’s definitely worth it.
Once you side the initial struggle, the feeling after is somewhat hard to describe. Don’t give in, pursue the diet properly and feel it for yourself.