Start by adding more plant-based foods to your diet as you slowly eliminate meat, dairy, and egg products. Trying a new plant-based recipe once or twice a week or having dinner at a local vegan restaurant is an interesting way to introduce new foods to your diet without feeling like you're missing out. Making small changes to your daily meals is one of the easiest ways to increase the amount of plant-based foods in your diet. You can start by eliminating meat or dairy products one day a week and go from there.
Or you can try changing one meal at a time, eating vegan breakfast during the first week, adding a vegan lunch during the second week, and so on. You can even try swapping one product at a time by swapping cow's milk for almond or soy milk or butter for coconut oil or margarine. There's a plant-based alternative for just about every type of food you can think of, so you don't have to miss any of your favorite foods. For more inspiration, check out our recipe section, as well as our ideas for food and drink and for filling sandwiches and rolls.
On a budget? Our Live Vegan for Less campaign, which features the cheapest vegan foods, can help. Most people get vitamin D from canned fish, such as salmon and sardines, and from fortified dairy products, such as milk and yogurt, but D is also found in some fortified non-dairy milks, such as soy or almond milk and orange juice. Some fungi that have been exposed to UV light are also good sources. In the summer months, when the sun is strongest, our skin can synthesize D.
The daily value (DV) of vitamin D is 600 IU, and some experts say it should be closer to 1500 IU. Many people, including vegans, may need to take a supplement to reach those numbers. Vitamin B12, a vitamin that helps transform food into energy in our body and helps brain function, is found mainly in animal foods, such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products. People who follow a vegan diet can get some vitamin B12 from fortified cereals or energy bars, but they should talk to their doctor about taking a supplement.
The recommended daily dose of vitamin B12 is 2.4 micrograms for most adults. Maintaining a vegan kitchen turned out to be my biggest and easiest step towards a vegan diet. The other crucial step was to clarify my limits.