Going vegan? Start by embracing plant-based foods, ditching animal products, and exploring new flavours for a compassionate and sustainable lifestyle.
This post is for some serious bacon, cheese, milk chocolate and sweets lovers. If that’s you, keep reading 🙂
Find your WHY
This is the most important step in your journey. It can take a few days, weeks, months to shift your mind. When I started my vegan transition my biggest reason was to heal my gut and overall health. When I started feeling better, I decided to do a bit more in-depth research about how my lifestyle impacts the Earth, animals, how I can stop animal abuse/testing, deforestation, and all the bad things that are happening around us but everyone is trying to pretend are not. You change your mindset and you realise it’s not about you anymore, it’s about everyone and everything.
To start, definitely ask yourself these questions:
• Why shall I change my diet?
• Who and what can benefit from it?
• Do I want to be the change in this world and why?
• If I can help save xy amount of animals per minute, hour, a year would I do it?
• How am I going to feel when I know I’m doing no harm to anyone?
So give it a think, make it black and white and just start.
Please, don’t be too hard on yourself if you find it challenging to completely eliminate meat, cheese, or any beloved foods right away. Quitting before even giving it a proper try because you couldn’t do it perfectly is unnecessary.
It took me six months as a vegetarian before becoming vegan, and that’s perfectly okay. Everyone’s journey is different—some can make the switch overnight like my sister, while others may need years. Take baby steps by gradually reducing meat consumption until you can stop completely. Even if you can’t imagine life without milk chocolate or small treats at the moment, that’s also alright. It will happen in due time. Also, if you feel you would like to implement more whole foods but still like to have occasional non-vegan food, go for it. Remember, in veganism, every baby step is actually a significant stride.
Cravings for non-vegan food
This is going to sound odd but when I decided to start my vegan journey, I had dreams about eating meat for weeks. And not in a way that I missed eating meat or was desperate but In a way that I’m not “allowed” to eat it. Upon waking up, I felt a mix of disappointment and confusion. However, it’s important to remember that this is completely normal and these feelings will diminish over time. When you think about it, I was consuming animal products for 25 years, so it was a pretty huge shift in my life. And none of it is weird or unexpected. All those feelings are okay and will diminish with time.
IIf you find yourself craving meat or certain non-vegan foods, it’s understandable. After all, if you’ve been eating meat for most of your life, your taste buds are accustomed to those flavours. Remember, cravings are often a result of what we are accustomed to eating. I never thought I would crave a green juice over a piece of chocolate, but our preferences can change. So, keep going with your vegan journey, and you will find that cravings will eventually fade away.
For those concerned about indulging in treats like cakes, sweets, and certain alcoholic beverages, rest assured that there are always vegan options available. The vegan range today is vast, offering a variety of snacks and beverages that can replace their non-vegan counterparts. While they may not taste exactly the same at first, with a few tries, you will adjust and appreciate the flavours in their own unique way.
“What if I make a mistake?“
We are all humans and we do make loads of mistakes. And you will keep making them until you die. It’s in our nature. But hey, no biggie. It happens. It will be less and less as time goes by. I’ll say it once again, don’t stress yourself. It’s a big thing that you made this decision and you’re trying. Especially when you start and you don’t know much about ingredients and food processing. For example, I didn’t know that fish bladder is used to filter beers, I also didn’t know crushed bugs are used as red food colouring or Shellac is a resin secreted by the female lac bug. How collagen and gelatine are made of animal’s cooked bones, skin, cartilage, ligaments etc. But you will get there. Just keep educating yourself and reading my blog. 🙂 I will give my best to provide all the useful info for you.
“I don’t have support from my family and friends”
Well, you will need to find new friends and family.
Okay, okay jk, you can keep them. 🙂
I know this is a tough one. I was, and still am there. My mum still thinks this whole “vegan thing” is a big nonsense to her but every time I travel back home she proudly cooks vegan meals and sends me photos regularly of some new recipes she tried. My mum now eats more legumes and veggies than ever before even tho she consumes meat and dairy. See what I mean? These little changes matter.
About your friends, you know how they say..if they don’t support or respect you they are not your real friends. However harsh or sad that sounds, it’s very very true. All my genuine friends never said anything about me changing my diet. There were a lot of questions and concerns but if you show them how passionate and serious you are, eventually, they will get it. Fun fact: I inspired my boyfriend at the time, my sister, and three other friends to go fully vegan and also helped others to (re)think about what they eat. And lemme tell you, it’s the biggest reward ever.
Not to mention some of them were the most stubborn meat-eaters you can imagine. So don’t be embarrassed and worry too much about what other people will think or say about you. People will always have something to say about everything, it just depends on how you deal with it. Just don’t be preachy and don’t judge. That’s very important. If you share with your friends, family, or random people what you eat and explain how it benefits you, they might follow. Just imagine, would you consider changing your diet when someone judges you, or would you rather see the example and proof that something works. So keep going and I’m sure o you will inspire others.
Last but not least is to do your own research. Read the REAL STUFF out there, and educate yourself. Don’t read Thelegraph’s or Cosmo’s article about how red meat can actually detox your body, how vegans die younger from malnutrition, and all that bullshtuff. See where the information is coming from, who funded these studies, who wrote it. Watch documentaries like What the health (health reason), Forks over knives and Cowspiracy (environmental reason), and Earthlings (ethical reason). Read books like How not to die (Dr. Michael Greger), The China study (T. Colin and Thomas M, Cambell) and Whole (T.Colin Cambell). Visit websites like www.Nutritionfacts.org, www.vegansociety.com/ etc.
I really hope I helped with all the little tips. I will keep providing useful information about the vegan lifestyle, food recipes, all the struggles one can go through by being/becoming vegan, and many other things.