How Your Lifestyle Changes with a Vegan Diet
One thing people who go on a vegan diet don’t quite realize in the beginning is that their lifestyle is going to change just as much as their diet. What you do, who you spend time with, where you eat, and many more things are going to need some adjustments if you are committed to your vegan lifestyle.
Where You Eat Out Might Change
While restaurants and fast food chains are continuing to provide more options for vegetarians and vegans, there is still a lot of work to do. It is possible that when you switch to a vegan lifestyle, you will adjust where you eat out.
You might find it easier to either choose vegan restaurants more often, or go out with friends at restaurants that are known for vegetarian or vegan options. Many chains are now offering a new section on their menu for people who don’t eat meat, dairy, or eggs, so this is great news for you!
Is Vegan Diet Healthier?
You Will Cook More at Home
It is inevitable – switching to a vegan diet is probably going to meat cooking more at home. But this is a good thing! Cooking more at home comes with so many amazing benefits. You will save money by not eating out, eat more whole foods and less processed ones, and can have more family time when you involve your kids in the cooking process.
Convenience and On-the-Go Snacks Might Change
You may also find that the snacks you bring on the go, breakfast you eat in your car on the way to work, or quick snacks you pick up at the convenience store are going to be different. While you can still eat most chips and crackers while on a vegan diet, if you used to grab a chocolate-covered granola bar or yogurt while heading out the door, they are probably not going to be vegan-friendly.
However, there are still a lot of options available. You can bring along a fruit smoothie or a banana, a handful of nuts, or some dried fruit and nuts in your own homemade trail mix.
Vegan diet before and after
You Will Become an Expert at Nutrition Labels
Get ready to call yourself a pro, because you will get very good at reading nutrition labels, especially the ingredients list. This becomes a natural part of your life, where you get used to flipping every item over at the grocery store to look at the ingredients and make sure it is vegan.
In addition to reading the labels, you may also be more concerned about where you shop, especially if you want local produce or more organic options.
How to Deal with Low Energy on a Vegan Diet
Have you been following the vegan diet for a while and are struggling with low energy? This can actually be from a few different things, all of which are treatable and manageable. Don’t give up on your diet just yet! See if any of the following tips resonate with you.
Are You Getting Enough Nutrients?
The first question to ask yourself if your energy has been a bit low is whether or not you are getting adequate nutrients in your diet. Low energy can be the result of certain vitamins and minerals being too low. For example, B12 is a little harder to get through a vegan diet. If you are deficient in B12, you can take a supplement.
Some other nutrients you want to double check include:
These can all lead to a feeling of lethargy and low energy if you are not supplementing them or getting enough through your vegan diet.
Vegan diet benefits
Are You Eating Enough?
In addition to the vitamins and minerals you are consuming, you also need to be sure you are eating enough in general. It is easy to eat too low of calories and fat while on a vegan diet, without realizing it. Most high calorie foods include dairy and cheese, meat, fish, and eggs, so when you cut these out of your diet, you are left with mostly low fat and low calorie foods. With the exception of nuts and seeds, you may not realize how little you are actually eating.
Do You Need to Supplement?
Supplementation is optional for many people, but for some, it is necessary. If you tend to be a picky eater who doesn’t try new things, get full pretty fast, or just don’t eat balanced meals, then you need to use supplements for the nutrients you are not getting. A multi-vitamin is a good place to start, though your doctor can run bloodwork to see if you’re low on iron, vitamin D, or B12.
Are You Getting Enough Sleep?
Don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. This could be unrelated to your vegan lifestyle, and just a matter of losing sleep for other reasons. Consider how your sleep has been, how many hours you get a night, whether you have distractions before bed, and if you wake up multiple times a night. Even if you’re in bed for 8 hours or so, the sleep quality might be poor.
Have You Asked Your Doctor?
If you still can’t figure out why your energy is so low after switching to a vegan diet, consult your doctor. It is possible that it is from a medical condition not related to your diet. Make sure your doctor is aware of your vegan diet, and what you are eating on a typical day.