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tips for becoming vegan

Have you ever made the attempt to have a vegan diet or lifestyle…and then have it fail, quite miserably?

It’s hard, I know it!

Even with all of the benefits for your mind, body, and the environment; it can still be very difficult to go vegan. For one, cheese is literally addictive, so that’s hard to give up. For another, there aren’t many vegan friendly restaurants out there. Though, it is starting to be easier to find vegan options!

But, because it’s not the norm, being vegan, you may also save some money and fit into those skinny jeans again, by not being able to eat out as much! (And, not feel guilty that an animal had to sacrifice their life for you to eat, when there are so many other options out there. But, hey, if that doesn’t make you want to be vegan, maybe fitting into your old clothes, from when you were younger and more fit, will!) Here are some tips that I would’ve loved to have before I started trying to become vegan, just in case you need a little help, too!

Get additional help with becoming vegan or plant based by going through this online course!

1. Know Your Why

One thing that will make going vegan about a hundred times easier, is to recognize why you want to choose this lifestyle, or way of eating.

Is it to become healthier?

Lose weight?

Save money? (Yes, this is one side effect, as long as you opt out of buying fake meats and such.)

Or, is it to help reduce the CO2 that the meat and dairy industry produces (which is actually one of the main causes of excess CO2 on this planet, or at least in our country)?

For the environment?

For the sake of reducing animal cruelty in the world?

There are so many reasons why you should become vegan. So, find out your why and hold on tight! You’ll need it when non-vegan people criticize you for your decision.

2. Find Vegan Alternatives To Your Favorite Foods

If you want to become vegan but aren’t sure what to eat, or want to continue eating the foods you love that aren’t vegan; then you’re in luck!

Now is a great time to go vegan or vegetarian, there are so many meat substitutes and dairy substitutes available that you can easily continue eating almost everything you’re already used to. The alternatives may be a little pricier than the non vegan variety, but you should also explore eating a more plant based diet! A plant based diet is quite a bit cheaper than an omnivores diet, or even a vegetarian diet. Meat and dairy can be expensive in certain parts of this country, and it’s not that great for you either. But, if you still want to eat them and start your journey to veganism with them, go ahead and splurge a little extra money on the substitutes.

Some of these substitutes can be easily found, like non dairy milk. I always get unsweetened soymilk, but there’s other kinds like almond milk and cashew or coconut milk (you can usually find these flavored, too!). There’s non dairy ice cream, too (cashew milk ice cream is even better than diary ice cream, I’m not joking!). And, for everyone who needs coffee as much as I do; Silk makes some pretty good coffee creamer, I’d recommend the vanilla or caramel, or both, mixed! CoffeeMate is even starting to come out with some non-dairy versions, just check the ingredient list!

If you need a cheese alternative and don’t want to make it yourself, I’ve heard daiya is good. They even make non dairy cream cheeze and cheeze cake!! There’s more alternatives as well, just take a look around the next time you get groceries.

Or, you could always check out my newest Recipe Book, which has all vegan recipes and picky eater approved!

3. Start With Vegan Food You Already Eat!!

If you’re not big on processed foods, then meat substitutes may not be for you. Try taking a more natural route to becoming vegan and start with food that is already vegan. These can include salads (obviously), soups, pasta, rice and veggies, sandwiches, etc. There are so many different food options that don’t include meat or dairy or eggs. You could even get a vegan cookbook and try a new recipe from there. Or, google it or find one on pinterest! When I started trying to become vegan I asked for vegan cookbooks for Christmas, so I have a good collection of them. I don’t think Pinterest even existed when I started my journey to veganism; there are soo many amazing resources on there!! Check them out and follow my vegan meal ideas board, healthy recipes, or healthy dessert recipes boards; they all have amazing recipes and meal, snack, and dessert ideas on them!!

Check out 7 Awesome meals for beginner vegans! or subscribe so I can let you know when my site has been updated with more posts on becoming healthier, or other vegan meal idea posts!!

 

4. Focus On Fruits, Veggies, Whole Grains And Protein

Focus on what you can have, instead of what you can’t have. Something that has also helped me, was not telling myself that I can’t have something, but telling myself that I don’t want to have it. I don’t want to eat food in which the process to obtain it contributes greatly to global warming and destruction of rain forests. And, I don’t want to eat food when it means another creature on this planet will suffer because of it! It’s a little psychological trick, but it does seem to help quite a bit when you keep it up!

I want food that is natural and comes from the earth to feed us (plants). There are so many fruits, veggies, whole grains, and proteins that don’t come from animals; you won’t get bored from what you’re eating! Plus, there are so many more colors when you eat a plant based diet, the food is simply prettier when you eat better! If you’re still craving ice cream but want it to be plant based, try making it yourself with a frozen banana or a coconut milk base.

As far as proteins go that aren’t animal based, since everyone is concerned for our protein needs; think beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. (Veggies and grains also have protein in them; so, we really don’t have to worry about protein unless we aren’t eating enough food in general.) Quinoa is also another great source of protein, along with tofu and soy milk. There’s so many options, don’t excuse yourself from veganism because of a lack of variety, or there being nothing to eat.

5. Tell Someone Or Become Vegan With A Friend

If you’re having difficulty sticking to a vegan diet or lifestyle because you don’t think anyone would care or that it doesn’t really matter; try telling someone who you know will care, or at least who will keep you accountable. When you tell someone that you’re going to try to be vegan, they’ll probably think one of two things; you’re crazy and are going to be malnourished, or you’re strong willed and are going to achieve an extremely healthy lifestyle and they are happy for you. And, I sure hope it’s the second one. If they think the first option, you may want to consider someone else to keep you accountable!

If you choose to become vegan with someone else then it may make things a thousand times easier for you! You’ll be able to keep each other accountable, trade vegan recipes that you find and love. And, you’ll understand to give each other grace when you slip up once in awhile because you know the challenge. This would be the preferred way to go, if you’re able to! Just be sure both of you are honest about what you eat. It won’t make it any easier on you if you tell each other how good you are with it, but then you’re secretly struggling with it.

Get additional help with becoming vegan or plant based by going through this online course!

6. Start Slow

If it helps, slowly add in more plant based items and take non vegan items out of your diet. Maybe substitute  non vegan items with vegan versions, like non-dairy ice cream or milk. Or, become a vegetarian first and take meat and fish out of your diet. Add in some more plant foods. Then take out eggs and add in more plant based foods. And then, just continue this til you have no more animal products left to take out of your diet. I’ll let you know now that you may want to leave cheese or coffee creamer for last. That’s what I did, and those were the hardest to remove. Even harder than cheese cake, then again, I need my coffee everyday, and pizza is like a staple to me. (*hint, pizza still tastes delicious with just veggies and nutritional yeast on it, and please don’t think I’m crazy because of it!)

Once you have some items out of your diet, especially greasy animal products; if you accidentally slip up, there’s a chance that you won’t even like it anymore and that it tastes too greasy. This has honestly happened to me before. The same thing can happen if you take sugar out of your diet for awhile!! It’s amazing how our taste buds change to reflect what we eat. It can take some time though, so don’t use this as a method to become vegan.

7. Know That It May Not Be Easy, But It Will Be Worth It

Did anyone tell you being vegan is easy? I hope not, because they’d be wrong. Unless you live in a city where the majority of people are vegan or focus on a plant based food; becoming vegan isn’t all that easy. It can take time, too. Or at least it took me some time. I stopped eating meat around the age of 7, then I started trying to become vegan my last year at college. This was a challenge! Not only because going vegan is hard, but my why wasn’t clearly defined. At the time, I had pretty much just given birth to my first daughter and was breastfeeding her. I also loved cheese. Have you ever changed a breastfed babies diaper after the mother consumed a lot of cheese? I hope not, for your sake! But, guess what; I stopped eating cheese and her diapers were more tolerable! So, that certainly helped!

I didn’t know much about nutrition when I first tried to become vegan. But, I did decide to take a nutrition course and a sociology of food course in my last semester of college. Those classes helped me out a ton on learning what to eat on a plant based diet, and why one should go vegan, and what nutrients to make sure I’m still getting enough of (vitamin B12). If you don’t have the option of taking classes to learn more about nutrition and food; don’t worry, there are tons of books and documentaries and inspiring stories about the transition. There’s even several documentaries on Netflix about the subject, like Forks over Knives, Food Inc, Vegucated, and What the Health just to name a few!!

8. Understand That There Won’t Always Be A Vegan Option

Yep, you won’t always get to eat out! And, you need to be ok with that. You need to be ok with not gaining weight by eating fast food or eating out at fancy restaurants! If you’re lucky enough to live in a city with a vegan restaurant, then the options they have probably aren’t that unhealthy. Then again, I’ve never been to a vegan restaurant before, so I wouldn’t really know!

This may take some getting used to. It may also take some planning and meal prepping at the beginning of the week, especially if you work outside the home. That’s what I did; one day a week I would take a couple of hours and make all of my meals for lunch for the work week. This way I didn’t have to worry about not eating or having to go out for lunch. It made life a lot simpler, too. Plus, you save money by not eating out. Win- win!

9. Know That Not Everyone Will Accept It

This is a big one. I mentioned it a little earlier, how some people will think going vegan is crazy or that you’re going to be completely deficient in protein. And, you need to remember a couple of things when people judge you like this. The first thing; they’re wrong, you’re not crazy, and there’s plenty of protein in ‘vegan’ food. In fact, people who are eating meat may actually be getting too much protein, and there’s real health concerns that come from that! Second; they may not know all of the health benefits, or other reasons why going vegan is so great, so you may need to gently educate them. And, when I say gently, I mean gently, don’t try to push the lifestyle onto other people; if they criticize you about it, then they won’t like it and may fight back. The topic of food can make some people get really defensive, so I wouldn’t bring it up unless they do.

If being vegan is what you want, you shouldn’t let the criticism of others make you change your mind. There will be unsupportive people around you criticizing everything you eat or do, but don’t let that scare you away. I’d also recommend that if you go to someones house to eat (who’s either unsupportive or unaware of you being vegan), to bring your own food; possibly even enough for everyone if it’s a dinner, like Thanksgiving. (Just let the host know ahead of time, and be polite, or just be yourself.)

10. If All Else Fails, Inspire Yourself With Some Documentaries Or Books

It can be hard to go against the normal way of eating or living, to go against the current and against the Standard American Diet (SAD). People criticize you, tell you you’re going to be deficient in nutrients. But, honestly, they’re the ones who are nutrient deficient; eating what is considered normal to eat in this country. So, if you need a little more inspiration any time through out your journey of becoming or being vegan; watch some documentaries or read some books or articles on it. Learn more about how healthy a plant based diet is; the inspiring stories about people who have overcome cancer, diabetes, and other disorders or medical conditions because of it.

Personally, I opt for the documentaries. There’s quite a few on Netflix. Plus, it gives me something to do while I’m nursing my younger daughter; I’ve never found it very easy to read while nursing. If you don’t want to scroll back up to the ones I mentioned before that are on Netflix; they are Forks over Knives, Food Inc, Vegucated, Hungry for Change, and What the Health. I actually first watched Food Inc. in a my college course on the sociology of food. But, all of these documentaries are inspiring!

Most importantly, you have to do this for you, not someone else. If you’re going to change your eating habits for the better, you need to have a why for yourself, or there’s a good chance it’s not going to stick. So, even if you start eating better for someone else, you better develop a why for yourself over time, and stay strong!!

Get additional help with becoming vegan or plant based by going through this online course!

tips for becoming vegan

Let me know if you’re struggling with this or have any other helpful tips for going vegan, in the comments!! And make sure you share these 10 Useful Tips for Becoming VEGAN with any friends you have that are interested in becoming vegan!


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8 Quick and Healthy Vegan Meal Ideas

Trying to go vegan? Here's some tips to help you out! #vegan going vegan, vegan tips, vegan hacks, advice for going vegan
Trying to go vegan? Here's some tips to help you out! #vegan going vegan, vegan tips, vegan hacks, advice for going vegan

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