Going vegan? Use this 12-week daily planner

It contains all the nutritional info, recipes, and moral support you'll need for a big dietary transition.

Have you ever wanted to go vegan, but didn't know where or how to start? Perhaps this new book could help you. Written by Michelle Neff, it is called Going Vegan: Your Daily Planner (Simon & Schuster, 2019), and it offers a detailed guide to making the transition from meat to meatless.

The book is divided into two parts. The first one delves into vegan health and nutrition, how to shop for vegan ingredients, and strategies for long-term success. The second one is the planner portion of the book, which has 12 weeks' worth of a daily diet plan, recipes, and a section for tracking personal results. A typical day looks like this:

Going Vegan interior pic© K Martinko – A peek at the inside of ‘Going Vegan: Your Daily Planner'

I was impressed by the in-depth discussion of vegan health, presented at the beginning of the book. Neff addresses the problem of many wannabe vegans failing to get sufficient nutrients, and then giving up because they feel crummy.

“Some well-meaning people stop consuming milk, eggs, and dairy, but end up eating nothing but French fries, chips and salsa, or next to nothing at all, then wonder why they feel tired all the time… They blame it on veganism, with unfounded claims that they aren't getting enough protein, and then switch back to eating beef and cheese. Of course, it's not lack of protein that is getting these unhealthy vegans down; it's a complete lack of all nutrients.”

It's clear that Going Vegan is designed to avoid this nutrient depletion. The meals are a well-balanced selection of grains, vegetables, and plant-based proteins, presented in recipes that sound absolutely delicious and easy to make. Neff doesn't shy away from discussing bloating, gas, cravings (and occasional failures), and criticism or judgement from non-vegans. The more open discussion about these factors, the more likely your long-term success.

Neff has good advice for figuring out where to start one's vegan journey. People are often told to give up meat first, followed by dairy, but this doesn't always make sense: “Dairy, and cheese in particular, is often the most difficult food to eliminate from your diet. This is a good argument for gradually eliminating it first rather than last, as it may take the longest to wean you off of it.” She discusses the ‘middle path' approach to veganism, which pushes meat to the side of the plate and makes it less of a central focus, more of a side dish.

The appeal of this 12-week meal planner is that it exposes new vegans to a broad range of healthy recipes right off the bat, preventing them from getting stuck in a rut that might be unhealthy, repetitive, and discouraging. If you follow it precisely, you'll be confident in the kitchen within three months and more likely to stick with veganism for life.

You can find the planner on Amazon or from other booksellers.

It contains all the nutritional info, recipes, and moral support you'll need for a big dietary transition.