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So, you’ve thought about going vegan. That’s awesome news. You’ve done some research on yummy vegan meals and starting your plant-based diet. Check! You’ve picked up a few vegan options from the local grocery store. Check! You’ve gotten rid of all the meat out of the freezer and discarded any food that is related to animal products (after one last lingering look, of course). Check! You then plunged head first into a full-on vegan lifestyle, told everyone about it…and then quit on day two. 

You now feel guilt, shame and like you might as well go polish off a full steak dinner, since there’s no way you’re ever going to be able to stick with this diet. You are so used to meat, after all. A million people have tried this before you and million will try it after you. So, that’s it. End of article. Or is it?

I’ll let you in on a secret: it’s not hard to go vegan if you do it properly. "What do you mean?” I hear you ask, "I checked every ingredient, made healthy, vegan recipes, and it was just too hard!” OK, maybe we should stop having theoretical conversations (or is it me talking to myself?) and I’ll tell you the top three ways to go vegan and feel great and be able to keep up your newfound diet beyond day two, instead of reaching for those meals stacked with animal products again.

Start slowly.

More often than not, when one decides that they want to become vegan, they will cut out everything that is not vegan, cold turkey (vegan substitute turkey, of course). That sense of feeling like a failure when they realize that it’s not as easy as they thought it would be then creeps in, and they wonder if this is something that they could ever keep up. As with any major lifestyle change, you have to start slowly. You may want to be able to call yourself vegan from day one of your journey, but if this is something that you’re serious about as a lifestyle change, you are going to need to slowly make these changes to your diet. For example, did you previously use milk in your daily coffee? Switch it over to almond or coconut milk. By making these gradual changes, you can ease yourself into becoming vegan, and establish it as a permanent lifestyle change.

Join a vegan group on social media.

Do you need some daily encouragement with keeping up your vegan transition? Surround yourself with it on social media. Not only will you be able to find message boards that focus on vegan transition, but there are Facebook groups, Instagram posts, and Twitter feeds. By surrounding yourself with inspiration (and a few know-it-alls) on why like-minded people are becoming vegan, how they’re doing so, and seeing first-hand the kind of amazing vegan food choices that are out there, it can definitely help to keep you feeling focused and motivated in your new lifestyle. Find out about true veganism, plant-based protein, chia seeds, plant foods, nutritional yeast, life without dairy, calcium-rich foods, those things we call vegetables that you never ate when you had meat, and 101 other things you should have found out about before diving into this way of eating. Consult with nutritionists who specialize in vegan lifestyles and glean all you can—after all, knowledge is power. Above all, it shouldn’t be called a vegan diet. It should be known as the vegan way of life!

Use a go-getting, eco-friendly, and cost-effective produce delivery service.

Although there are plenty of established companies out there that can source rather tasty produce for you, there is definitely one (no prizes for guessing which one) that only sources local produced and organic foods that, unlike most companies (you know who you are), are totally GMO-free and delivered to perfection at your door. Oh, and check this: we are talking zero-waste packaging here. Cool, eh? So, not only are you helping your body with well-balanced delicious vegan choices, you won’t be left with a ton of single-use plastic, individual wraps, and other crap you simply chuck into the garbage. Now, how could you not feel good about that? 

Hopefully, these top three ways to go vegan and feel great will inspire you to stick with your new lifestyle choice and will lead to a happier and healthier you.