While you may have heard about those non-meat eaters known as vegetarians, there is an extreme sect of them called vegans, or those who not only skip the meat, but also avoid dairy, eggs, and anything that’s derived from—or even processed using—animals or animal products.

With celebrities like Ellen DeGeneris, Portia De Rossi, Carrie Underwood, Lea Michele, and Jenna Dewan Tatum all purporting the health benefits of going vegan, the practice has become more popular than ever. Alanis Morisette credits the diet with helping her shed 20 pounds, and actresses Olivia Wilde and Alicia Silverstone both dedicate their blogs to the practice. Silverstone even penned a book about it, once saying “[it’s] the single best thing I’ve done in my life. I’m so much happier and more confident.”

Interested in trying it? We went to an expert nutritionist to find out five ways to ease into veganism—and determine whether this lifestyle choice is really for you.

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