Removing animal products from your diet, including meat and dairy, is a great way to get a health boost, save money, and do something good for animals and the world. Plus, going vegan has tons of positive health benefits, including lowered cholesterol, lower blood pressure, lower body mass index, and lower risk for heart disease.

And despite what you might think, or have been told by meat-eaters, being vegan is not all endless bowls of salad, plates of wilted vegetables, never-ending mugs of green tea and tasteless tofu! We promise!

Here are 10 easy steps to going vegan to help you on your way…

1. Do it with a friend
Making a major change is always difficult, so enlist your significant other, or a friend to try a vegan challenge? It may be the added little push you need to get started and you can support each other along the way.

2. Give yourself time to adjust
Adjusting to a vegan diet will involve some trial and error and you are not going to get it right from the start. Don’t give up if you failed for one day or for one meal.

3. Find recipes using vegan ingredients that you like
There are tons of delicious vegan recipes out there and there’s bound to be a few that appeal to you. Give them a try! Or if you know any vegans, ask them for some of their favourite recipes. Check out some of our yummy recipes on this website, or on our Pinterest board.

4. Remember to keep some snacks handy
As you adjust to your new diet, you may find you are now hungry at different times of the day. Carry some vegan snacks with you (such as fruits, nuts, veggies and hummus) to make sure you don’t end up feeling hungry and without food.

5. Try not to fill up on simple carbohydrates
Filling up on bread is easy, but has little nutritional benefit. However, if you struggle in the beginning to stop relying on bread, at least add some hummus topped with tomatoes and cucumbers!

6. Make sure you eat enough protein
Protein is a very important component of our diet, but it doesn’t only come from meat. It’s actually in loads of stuff! Some high-protein options include quinoa, green peas, almonds, cashews, black beans, chickpeas, tofu and kale.

7. Soy is both good and bad
Soy that’s a cheap filler in processed food isn’t really good for you and has been linked to digestive and allergic problems so try avoid it. However, unprocessed soy is good for you so stock up on tofu, soy beans and miso.

8. Take some vitamins
Vegan diets can lack in B12, Vitamin A and Vitamin D (especially in the beginning while you are learning about what to eat). Make sure that you get enough of these vital vitamins – you can even get advice from your doctor.

9. Just because it says vegan doesn’t mean it’s good for you
Vegan food has come a long way which is a good thing, but some vegan ready-made options have a high amount of sugar, sodium, and fat content. Specifically processed fake meat and cheese products, so try not to eat them every day.

10. Don’t beat yourself up if you fail sometimes
So, you snacked on some beef jerky when you forgot your vegan snacks, or discovered that the meal you had at a restaurant wasn’t entirely vegan. Don’t give up – you’re still new to the lifestyle and you’ll figure it out with time. Slip-ups are only natural!

And most of all, remember that you are doing a wonderful thing for your body and the planet, not to mention saving many farm animals lives! Good on you – keep it up!