Congratulations on wanting to make the change you wont regret it :) Im so happy for you.
Well, transitioning is a personal thing, you have to do it in a way that makes you feel comfortable so that you actually sick to it forever, because remember its a lifestyle, not a diet. You can either do it gradually or jump right into it! Personally I think the most important phase is research and education. So many people jump right in without knowing what to do or what to eat and then they fail because they feel deprived. Here are some vegan documentaries you can watch that may help
I suggest buying some staples first, such as pastas, rice, quinoa any kind of bean/legume, tinned tomatoes, any variety of nut/seed, oats etc. (Tip: chia seeds are great for snacks for chia puddings) If its also available you can get kelp noodles, black bean noodles, soy bean spaghetti, soba noodles, adzuki pasta etc. (not necessary though, these are more on the expensive side)
Just remember to eat enough! I cant stress this enough. The main reason people switch back to a “regular” diet from being vegan is because they don’t eat enough. They are used to eating that amount, not realising you should be eating more because the food is lower in calories. They end up being hungry and feeling deprived and blame it on the diet when it wasn’t undertaken correctly.
If you want a substitute for meat there are so many to pick from my favourite is firm tofu and tempeh. Theres so many different varieties of tofu for different purposes like curries, soups, stir-fries and even the silken one for desserts. Have a look at a few recipes and load up on veggies as well as the protein sources to go alongside your staple. Theres also so many varieties of beans/legumes (chickpeas, kidney, lima, soy, black beans, lentils etc) You can throw these into any meal to make them filling and nutritious and this is also a cheap option.
If you like “cheesy” flavours, buy some nutritional yeast, its a vegan source of B12 and gives your meal that cheesy flavour. You can also make nut cheese, which is very easy and simple. Theres also vegan cheese readily available, however natural is always best.
Switch over your milk/yoghurts. Find which type of milk you like best, theres so many varieties, I drink blue diamond unsweetened almond milk, but theres soy, rice, oat, hemp, sunflower seed, quinoa, hazelnut, coconut etc. (You could even make your own, its so easy and takes little time) For yoghurts, theres soy, coconut, almond, cashew etc.
Load up on fruits and veggies of course, as these tend to be the main focus of the meal. You want to make sure you’re eating plenty of fruit
Its honestly not hard at all to be vegan, its so beneficial for your health, if struggle at the start don’t give up! Its the best decision i’ve ever made in my life. You have to play around with what suits you and experiment with flavours and herbs/spices until you find what you like :)
Here are some sites for recipe inspiration:
http://www.veganhealth.org/ (This site is to learn about vegan nutrition)
I hope this helps lovely! Good luck xxx
PS, I hope you don’t mind me posting this publicly. I just thought this information could be useful to others as well :)