From cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions to protecting precious rainforests, the positive effects of veganism are endless.
Whilst a plant-based diet is pretty far-off from what we’re used to, going vegan is actually pretty doable, provided that you’re equipped with the right mindset, resources, and support system. Having said that, here are a couple of tips that can help you on your journey to go plant-based. Here we go!
1. Transition at your own pace
Let’s be real. Going from eating meat on a quasi-daily basis to cutting out all animal products from your diet is no easy feat. Good thing is, there is no deadline to turn vegan.
If you’re adamant about adopting a plant-based diet, then set yourself a deadline. Once you’ve got a clear picture of by when you want to be 100% vegan, then start your transition accordingly.
You can start slow by eating plant-based once a week, or you can go cold-turkey and switch your diet up overnight. Whatever you decide, make sure your new diet is still providing you with all the nutrients needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle – but we’ll cover that in the next point.
2. Do your research
Eating vegan doesn’t necessarily mean you’re eating healthy. There’s a lot of vegan-friendly junk food, we’re talking Oreos, Coca Cola, and most crisps, which won’t supply you with enough vitamins.
Surf the web and if needs be, talk to a doctor or nutritionist to learn more about what foods you should eat more of and what supplements you should consider taking to support your plant-based diet. Many vegans opt for Vitamin B12 and D3 supplementation, however it’s always best to talk to a health professional before consuming said supplements regularly.
3. Keep track of your progress
Staying away from your favourite non-vegan foods can get pretty discouraging at times. When temptation strikes, you need all the support you can get to remain on track.
Keep track of your progress and celebrate even the smallest of achievements – after all, you’re your own biggest fan in this endeavour.
Apart from that, make sure to remind yourself why you turned vegan in the first place. A greasy burger might seem like a good idea after a night out, but chances are you’ll regret it the day after. At the end of the day, no meaty dish will replace the satisfaction of fighting for a cause you truly believe in.
4. Inform those closest to you about your decision
Whilst it seems like more and more people are warming up to the idea of veganism, there will always be that one person that will give you a hard time for going plant-based. In times like these, a good support system can work wonders.
Whenever it feels right, make sure to inform your friends and family about your decision to go vegan. Explain the reasoning behind your dietary change and why it means so much to you – chances are they’ll come to terms with it sooner or later. After that, it’ll only be a matter of time before they’ll go out of their way to make sure you leave every family meal nice and full.
5. Talk to other vegans
Going vegan might get lonely at times. Eating out with your non-vegan friends can become quite the chore and continuously explaining your dietary choices to some bacon-loving boomer will get tiring in no time.
When the times get tough, remember that Malta’s got its very own fully-fledged vegan community ready to offer its support. If you’re looking to get close with this awesome group of people, a good place to start would be the Facebook group ‘Vegan Malta Eats’. From great recipes and restaurant recommendations to in-depth discussions and meet-ups, this local community has your back.
6. Learn how to cook
We’ve all heard of the ‘vegans eating rabbit food’ stereotype. Whilst making boring salads is easy and cheap, eating the same leafy greens for days on end gets boring pretty damn fast.
The trick to keeping up a vegan diet is diversity. Brush up on your cooking skills, subscribe to some vegan chefs’ YouTube channels, and learn all about the art of vegan cooking. Once you’re well-equipped with all the right tools, you’ll come to find that you can make a plethora of tasty vegan dishes from the comfort of your own home that will get you wondering why you ever ate meat in the first place.
7. Find some good vegan-friendly eateries
It’s good to take a break from the kitchen every once in a while, and luckily, vegan-friendly restaurants have been mushrooming all over Malta (and Gozo) in the past couple of years.
From vegan street food joints and pasta food trucks to meal-prep websites and hip cafes, getting a bite to eat as a Maltese vegan is nowadays pretty easy. Apart from that, checking out all of Malta’s plant-based will help make sure that your vegan diet never gets boring.