Public Health Nutritionist Tracye McQuirter's Top 5 Tips for New Vegans

With January--or Veganuary--coming to a close very soon, public health nutritionist and 30-year vegan Tracye McQuirter, best known for her national best-seller By Any Greens Necessary, has shared some helpful tips for new vegans or veg-curious people in need of some inspiration!

Named a "national food hero" by Vegetarian Times, make sure to check out McQuirter's top five list below and share it far and wide!

1- Learn More

Read and watch everything you can about eating vegan. Talk to vegans you know about how they transitioned, what challenges they had and how they overcame them, and what things they love most about their vegan lifestyle. Support yourself with knowledge—it works! A recent survey of nearly 8,000 vegans found that more than 40% were inspired to go vegan after watching an educational video or movie, nearly 30% were motivated by an article, book or song lyric, and another 25% were encouraged to become vegan by a conversation with another person. The new series, Prescription: Nutrition, on CuriosityStream is a great resource. Learning about the powerful health benefits of a plant-based diet can be motivating and help you take control of improving your health and well-being.

2- Veganize Your Current Meals

Choose some of your favorite meals that you cook on a regular basis for lunch or dinner, and then veganize them. For example, curried chicken can become curried chickpeas or a hamburger can become a grilled or sautéed portobello mushroom smothered with sautéed tomatoes and onions. You’ll be surprised at how easily you can make your most familiar meals vegan.

3- Find New Vegan Recipes

Make a habit of leisurely checking out vegan recipe sites once a week or so when you have some free time. That way, you’ll expand your awareness about the infinite variety of vegan dishes that exist, you’ll identify some favorite, go-to sites for mealtime inspiration, and you’ll train your brain to think vegan when it comes to food.

4- Take Food Preparation Classes

When you’re transitioning to vegan food, you may need to learn a whole new set of skills, so why not take classes from an expert in vegan cooking? It’ll help cut your learning curve in half. And it’s a great way to taste new food, meet new vegan-friendly people, and have some fun at the same time.

5- Enjoy the Transition

Celebrate the fact that you’re taking this life-changing step toward eating healthier. That alone is a tremendous achievement.

So there you have it! Whether you are a new vegan trying out Veganuary, slowly transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle, or are simply curious, incorporate these tips by Tracye McQuirter for a smoother transition!

Lena Tachdjian is a certified nutritionist and a writer, who splits her time between Canada and Armenia. She writes about nutrition, health, food, recipes, culture, travel, animal rights, and more. You can follow her on her nutrition and travel blog

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