Over the past decades, a vegetarian life-style has become much more common and accepted than say just 25 years ago, when it was difficult to eat a satisfying meal away from home.
With the advent of wider vegetarian options, more and more people jump straight from a non-vegetarian lifestyle into veganism.
What are some of the main problems you are going to encounter, once you decide to become a vegan and don't just exclude meat, fish, pork and chicken but also eggs and dairy?
Obviously, it will be more difficult and sometimes next to impossible to obtain enough essential nutrients from vegetarian sources alone.
Accept the fact that you will need to supplement B-vitamins (especially B12) as well as many minerals (calcium, iodine, iron, selenium, zinc), and omega-3, and simply take those supplements!
When you practice sports, you will most definitely want to add an extra protein-supplement too,as it already can be hard for non-vegetarians to ingest enough protein. There are however bigger hurdles to take.
Knowing what's vegan and what's not seems easy, but isn't in an environment when so many rely on highly-processed foods: with food labels as long as your arm, you will need to get familiar with what additive is animal-derived and what's not.
The Vegetarian Resource group is a big help when you are in doubt. When you just start out as a vegan, it may feel as if it takes forever to do your shopping.
Rather than feeling overwhelmed by the difficulties to pick processed food items that are vegan, a smart choice is to rely on trusted vegan recipes and cook meals from scratch, using fresh foods as much as possible without resorting to vegan 'Frankenstein foods'.
A harder problem is going to be your family. How are you going to tell them you've become vegan and survive family gatherings when all you can eat seems to be that proverbial leaf of lettuce?
Outside a love for animals, it may be best to not go into lengthy discussions and simply declare that *you* feel better eating this way.
As for 'surviving' family gatherings and parties, it can be as simple as bringing and sharing your own food with your family and friends. Who knows, they might ask you for recipes and feel inspired to surprise you with delicious dishes at the next party?
Specific vegetarian supplements can be roughly split in two categories. The first category is meant to provide essential nutrients that are not as easy to obtain from food when leading a vegetarian and especially vegan life-style.
The other category offers supplements that are adapted to vegan requirements, because they contain animalic substances. One such, not so obvious example, is vitamin D3 which is derived normally from sheep's hair. AOR offers a completely vegan-friendly vitamin D3 supplement that is derived from lichen.