How to Optimize A Vegan Diet, and Improve Health

We are so lucky to live in a society in which we can dictate the type of food we want to eat.  We are so blessed to be able have choice, and to be able to consume diets that align with our beliefs and preferences.  In the recent years, there has been a big movement towards a vegan diet and lifestyle.  Obviously removing whole food groups from your diet can lead to nutrient deficiencies or imbalances, so what precautions can a vegan take to ensure they are getting everything they need to function optimally?