Healthy Eating: Seniors Guide to Transitioning to Veganism

People have become more and more aware of their eating habits, primarily due to the rising lifestyle diseases. However, if we made more conscious decisions about our lifestyle, most of these diseases would be a thing of the past. Anyone can readjust their lives and begin practicing general healthy living habits, even seniors living independently in private communities. In practicing healthy living habits, age has never been a limit.

In the last few years, there’s been a growing interest in veganism, especially regarding weight-loss routines. However, shifting to these plant-based diets is not as easy as it sounds and needs utmost patience, discipline, and gradual progression. Let’s discuss some strategies that will help you transition to veganism smoothly:

Do Your Research

There’s no timeline for switching to a vegan diet. Some make this change early, while others consider it later into their senior years. Most importantly, you must do your research; ask yourself why you want to switch to a plant-based diet and if it will be beneficial to you. These questions will prepare you psychologically and clarify what you’ll get into.

Take note that just like in the regular open diet plans, you will also bump into unhealthy vegan foods, and you need to know what foods and drinks to avoid as a vegan, some of which include your favorite food spices. Adapting to a vegan lifestyle may also include your clothing and entertainment. For example, you may have to watch the garments you wear to ensure that they’re not made from animal materials like wool, silk, leather, etc.

Are you ready to let all that go? With all the knowledge in mind, you won’t struggle, and you can note down all the doubts and questions you have in mind.

Talk to Your Nutritionist

Switching to a vegan diet does not have to be a big deal; however, your body and brain need to be prepared for the transition like any other life activity. More so, if you have any underlying health conditions, they would be best suited to advise if you can withstand the vegan lifestyle.

Despite sporadic cases where one would be discouraged, it would still be essential to consult a nutritionist before the switch. They will advise on alternative supplements to balance your diet and help you with a healthy meal plan to enable smooth transitioning.

It can be confusing knowing how to balance out the portions. Also, some find themselves shifting into the unhealthy carb vegan diet plan, which erases the whole health factor when taken in large amounts. Talking to a professional nutritionist certainly helps, and asking questions will also help clear any doubts in your mind. So, don’t leave any stone unturned during your discussion.

Take It Slow

You have gotten used to eating any kind of food without any restrictions all your life. So, shifting to vegan foods will not be easy. Cheat days may pop up once in a while, but that’s okay. Your nutritionist may have already given you a meal plan to follow or give you ideas on how to make one, so you’re at liberty to make a few tweaks to it and if you love berries then a cheat day becomes better. We recommend selecting several plant-based foods and rotating them throughout the week.

To keep up, start with your favorite meals and ensure that you try out new ingredients and dishes every week to prevent redundancy. As you try out more recipes, you will also add new favorites to your menu, and you’ll also have a variety to choose from, making the whole process exciting and worth a try. Keeping up with this diet will not be a huge struggle when you look back at your progress.

Find Vegan Restaurants

It should not be hard for any vegan to find a vegan meal anywhere in the world. With the vegan movement growing over the years, some have tapped into this as a business opportunity, and they’ve set up unique vegan restaurants.

You can easily find popular vegan food spots near you and plan for a meal out once in a while. Doing this also helps you meet fellow vegans and opens your mind to learning different dishes, and you’ll get to listen to the personal struggles of those willing to share. You will quickly form friendships that help in accountability in those outdoor explorations.

Get the Right Support

Despite the rising veganism popularity, transitioning into it is not easy. Therefore, from the beginning, you’ll need the right socio-support group to encourage you through this journey positively and that doesn’t mean you should know everything about ivy plants. Join social media groups to stay motivated, try out new recipes with fellow vegan family members and friends, follow serious vegan icons with journals or online following, and get tips and tricks on doing it better.

Don’t force any family member to adapt to your new lifestyle. Shifting to a vegan lifestyle, especially when you’re in a family setup, may be pretty tough, and in the beginning, you will be tested and triggered. However, most family members and friends will respect your intentions with time. So, be patient with them and know your way through to balance it all out. With time, some of them may be encouraged, and they may join you, so the fundamental rule here is to practice patience, compassion and manage your expectations.


About the Author

Jenn Walker is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.

Michelle Li

Michelle Li, with a background in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University, has explored the intersection of health and culinary arts for over 15 years. Joining us in 2020, her approach to cooking is informed by her extensive travels and studies in global food cultures. Michelle is also a certified sommelier, further enriching her gastronomic insights. Her hobbies include organic gardening and participating in culinary workshops. Michelle is an avid blogger on food sustainability and enjoys hosting cooking classes in her local community.

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