So, you want to go vegan. No idea where to start? Asking yourself the all too common question of, ‘but where will I get my protein!’? Majority of people have a general understanding of what a plant-based lifestyle looks like but lack the fundamental understanding of how to implement it into their daily lives. Well friends, I am here to tell you that taking the leap will be a beautiful and exciting adventure. My main piece of advice: Sit back, relax and allow this blog post to guide you through the whirlwind and take all of the guess-work out of it for you!
Ask Yourself Why You Are Thinking About Going Vegan
Why are you wanting to become a vegan? Is it to look and feel better? To protect our beautiful planet? To save the lives of our furry friends? Or even end world hunger? If the answer is yes to any or all of these questions then you’re making the right lifestyle choice! Before I made the final switch to a plant based way of life, I tried it months before and failed. I realized it was making it all about myself and what I wanted my body to look like. I felt deprived because I was looking at it from a “diet” point of view. I told myself ‘I can’t have the ice cream’ because I would gain weight, or ‘I can’t have cheese’ because it didn’t follow the vegan guidelines. Once you begin to look at it from the point of view that veganism is about way more than yourself, only then, will you succeed.
After about two months into my first attempt, I reverted back to eating eggs; this small set back made me feel like the vegan foundation I stood on would surely crumble and I soon began eating meat again, ending my endeavor into the world of veganism. Finally, after cracking a fertilized egg for breakfast one morning, I realized that eating any animal products, at all, did not align with my heart; seeing the bi-product of factory farming in my breakfast bowl made me incapable of ignoring the harsh realities any longer. I learned that for our own selfish cravings, we as a society, are not only destroying this beautiful planet, but torturing innocent, beautiful and intelligent creatures in the process. Soon after, I decided to tune into what I really was passionate about: health, animals, and the preservation of this planet. More education led me to make the official switch to living a fully plant based lifestyle. Once you understand the bigger picture, your body and mind will align with your choices and amazing things will follow; including (but, of course, not limited to) weight loss, increased energy, more compassion and an overall a better quality of life.
Before you jump into anything: do your research. Its best to make your own judgments when sourcing the benefits for yourself. Put in the effort to know what you need to fuel your body and what could potentially be missing from your diet. Figure out which supplements you should be taking and what vegans most often have deficiency’s in; B12, for example. Vitamin B12 is mainly found in animal products and is known to improve energy and support the immune system. Surprisingly, calcium and protein deficiencies are not a side effect that comes from a plant based diet. By learning to combine certain foods that have enough of both, you will quickly meet your daily needs; just requires a bit of creativity. 😉
Don’t forget! There is no need to trap yourself in the house and eat kale while your friends are having a wonderful time at a steak house. If you’re going out to eat, do your research ahead of time and figure out what they cook their food in-or be painfully obnoxious and tell them how to cook your food. That’s OK too. In my opinion, the most exciting part of this whole vegan thing is cooking my own food, trying new recipes and learning to become more creative with my cooking! This change has taught me that cooking is not as daunting a task as I had previously believed– on the contrary, it is simple and much less time consuming, all the while being more cost effective.
Find out why vegans are so passionate about the subject, anyway. There is so much more to it than animal cruelty (which is a good enough reason in itself) but look into the part where we could actually save our planet and feed the millions of starving people around the world. Imagine the compassion and the love people would have for one another if we were able to stop the animal abuse, save the starving children, and live in a flourished, healthy environment.
Take Your Time and Ease Into Veganism
The most important advice I could give is to ease into it. I know that documentary you just watched was very emotionally scarring, but cutting animal products out of your life cold turkey (pun intended) can lead you to feel deprived. Try eliminating an item or two every week, and eventually you will get there. There are so many delicious recipes out there, from raw foods, to mock meat to make the transition a bit easier. There is nothing wrong with jumping off the band wagon to figure out if it is really for you. Listen to your body, if you feel that you want an egg, eat the egg. I assure you that the vegan gods won’t ban you from the vegan heavens. The more time you take to understand how you feel while on this journey the more successful you will be in the long run. Stop and take time to appreciate what you’re doing for your body and how selfless you are in a world gone mean.
So, is becoming a vegan really that hard? Well, yes and no. All you have to do is stop eating, cooking, and socializing the ways you’ve grown accustomed to doing your entire life! No meat, eggs, dairy, honey or other animal products, period! No denying, that is ridiculously hard! But soon, you will gain confidence in yourself; confidence that will inevitably lead you further down the vegan rabbit hole. Turning you into the kale-munching, tree-hugging, animal activist you’ve always dreamed of becoming!
Becoming vegan has changed my life immensely, for the better. My happiness and energy levels are through the roof; which is good because veganism has subsequently made me a much more passionate human being and giving subtly condescending speeches to my meat eating friends causes me to exude a lot of energy!
Just remember the obvious: of course, anything you do to change your entire lifestyle will be incredibly difficult but having a positive mindset will lead you to success. A plant based lifestyle is a journey that you will be on for the rest of your life; so, you might as well enjoy your immersion into the world of quinoa-eating, bare-foot warriors.