There are many different ways and reasons why people become vegan and I want to give you any advice I possibly can to make this transition easy for you. I came to veganism after being vegetarian for a short amount of time and because I had an interest in my health and nutrition. I’m not going to discuss ‘my vegan story’ within this post as I plan on doing an in-depth post about this in the future, however that is the primary reason I found veganism in the first place. The Following points are my advice on an easier transition from a Standard Western Diet to a Vegan Lifestyle, I hope they are helpful but if you have any other questions please leave them below or Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Going vegan can feel incredibly isolating- especially if your friends and family aren’t vegan and/or don’t understand veganism. For me, I didn’t know any vegans and my family weren’t supportive of the change at all and hence why this tip was incredibly important during my transition. It’s important to interact with other vegans in order to discover new things, find more knowledge and continue your motivation for veganism. When I first went vegan, my knowledge was purely limited to the nutritional and other health benefits of veganism but through discussion with other vegans and the influence of other vegans within social media communities, I learned more about animal cruelty, environmental effects of animal agriculture, and also further my nutrition knowledge.
I suggest following vegan social media influencers on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr and Youtube.
Below, I’m going to list some of my favourite Instagram and Youtube Influencers:
and of course….. ME @crueltyfreehealth
Cam and Nina
Apples and Amandas
Sweet Simple Vegan
High Carb Hannah
There are also other ways of getting involved within the vegan community. Search for Vegan Facebook groups and events within your area, try out apps such as ‘Vegan Amino’ and put yourself out there.
For my Adelaide friends,
Everyday Simple Health hosts vegan picnics every month and I have been to quite a few and they are such a fun and easy way to meet like-minded people.
The above link is a link to the Adelaide Vegans Facebook group which is always the first to know about new vegan products, restaurants and events!
If you’re not from Adelaide- DO NOT WORRY!
Pretty much every big city has a vegan community and it wont be hard to find groups and events in your area!
You need to figure out what motivates you to become a vegan. Is it Nutrition? Is it Animal Cruelty? Is it the Environment? Is it all of these things? Whatever it is that is driving the process of you becoming a vegan, learn more and more about it to motivate you to stay vegan once you have transitioned to it.
Listed below are my some good resources to start developing your knowledge about what veganism can do for you, the animals and the planet.
Forks Over Knives
What The Heealth
Engine 2 DIet
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 1 and 2
** Films about animal cruelty in the meat/dairy industry. Very worthwhile to watch, but very difficult. May cause feelings of guilt, sadness and disgust.
The China Study – T. Colin Campbell
Whole – T. Colin Campbell
The Starch Solution – John. A. McDougall
Eat To Live – Joel Furham
How Not to Die – Gene Stone
The Engine 2 Diet – Rip Esselstyn
Don’t feel as if you need to restrict yourself just because you’re vegan now. I recommend gathering together a weeks worth of recipes, making a shopping list and getting everything you need. There are different diets within veganism and you shouldn’t feel like you need to follow any of these. Get inventive with your meals, try and avoid the idea of ‘meat and three veg’ because you’re going to get really bored of the meat alternatives and the few vegetables you will eat. I recommend finding recipes such as pasta dishes, curries, casseroles, soups, salads and bakes but of course experiment with the vegan meat alternatives and ways to cook with tofu and seitan (if you wish).
Meat and dairy alternatives are a good way of weaning yourself off of actual meat and dairy products if you are experiencing cravings. Please remember that these are alternatives to meat and therefore are a highly processed foods with generally added salts, fats and oils and may not be the healthiest of choices. I personally recommend sticking to a wholefoods diet however, these products really helped in my transition to veganism.
and of course… CRUELTY FREE HEALTH
When I first went vegan, I didn’t realise how many of the ingredients within processed products were animal derived. I also didn’t know what restaurants were able to serve me vegan foods and often went out for dinner and ordered something I thought was vegan and as it turned out – it wasn’t. You are bound to have a barista give you cows milk instead of soy or almond and unfortunately you have to just accept it and move on. You’re likely to make mistakes and you’re also likely to crave animal foods and give in to them but I promise you, if you are craving meat and dairy- the longer you go without them, the easier it gets. Your taste-buds change and you won’t crave them for long. It might take some mental strength, but you’ll get through it and you will thank yourself for it.
Plant foods aren’t as calorically dense as animal products and therefore, it takes more plant foods to give you the same amount of energy as the equivalent animal product. This simply means you need to eat more plant foods than you would animal products and therefore you might feel like you are eating a lot more than usual however, you are probably still getting a similar intake of calories/energy. I suggest that if you are in tune enough with your body to eat intuitively then you should do so. Your body naturally tells you when it’s hungry and when it needs more energy- listen to what it’s telling you and give it the energy it wants from your food. I feel like me saying this comes across as a negative statement about plant foods, but lets look at this realistically…
MORE FOOD > LESS FOOD
(you get to eat more food as a vegan, for less calories?? that’s awesome)
If you’re following my other tips then you will have to watch some videos on animal cruelty and environmental destruction and it’s going to hurt. You’re going to feel angry that this information hasn’t been taught to you before, you’re going to feel guilty for giving those industries your money and you’re going to hate it. You can not let this get to you. Whatever you were doing before, you are choosing not to participate in it now and that is all that matters. Encourage other people to watch, read and listen to the things that influence your decision and motivation to be and stay a vegan, to help spread the message about these injustices to both the animals and the planet but do not blame yourself.
Thanks for starting your vegan journey, I’d love to help you in any way that I can. You can contact me on any of my social media which is linked in the right hand sidebar on the home screen and feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions at all or want more resources about veganism.