Any hard and fast rules?
I am just starting to research switching to a Vegan diet, and i would like to know if there is anything specific i need to know to keep myself out of trouble, or can i simply follow the Vegan food pyramid?
I would say that the most important thing to remember is not to try transitioning all at once. Do things slow and on your own time. There are no hard or fast rules when it comes to your own diet besides the ones you create for yourself. It's already great enough that you are transitioning. Little things at a time. The more you learn, the easier it will be to keep swapping things out. The first steps in a new, cruelty-free diet would be to eliminate meat, dairy milk, and cheese. There are many options for milk such as soy, almond, and coconut. Try them out and see which one appeals to you. They are all tasty, and all very beneficial to your health.
As for meat alternatives, you can find a small selection at your local grocery store. Or, for a bigger selection go to a Trader Joe's or other whole foods store. "Morning Star" is a tasty brand. They have many meatless dishes and you wouldn't even know the difference. Be careful though, as some of them are vegan, but some are only considered vegetarian (provided you know the difference).
As for cheese, the same thing goes. There are many soy and rice alternatives...some are vegan, some are only vegetarian.
This lifestyle is a lot of research, hardwork, and dedication, but it's definitely worth it. Check back if you need anything and good luck!