Becoming a vegan is a huge life decision that needs lots of information and guidance. Sometimes, we can feel discouraged and even judged for our imperfect decisions along our journey. I’m here to remind you that it is a journey and that it’s ok to have good and bad days. Breaking free from our old lifestyle and working towards a new one will not happen overnight. The main consideration for becoming vegan is that there are a myriad number of health and beauty benefits. If you need a little help, inspiration or just more info, here are 5 easy steps to veganism.
Out with The Old
This should be a slow, gentle, and forgiving process on your part. Donating any non-vegan foods you may have to a local food bank/drive or give it away to your carnivore friends. The idea is to have non-vegan items out of sight, hopefully out of mind, and eventually off your plate. Again, there will be ups and downs, but know that you are trying your best. If you aren’t sure what exactly qualifies as vegan, a simple rule is: anything that has eyes or came from a mom is not vegan. A great resource to determine the differences between vegans and vegetarians can be found here.
Netflix or Bookworm Time
A great way to quickly learn about vegan living could be through documentaries on that can be found on Netflix. A big life change generally needs a bit of inspiration a lot of information. In the beginning, veganism can be difficult if you’re alone or continually feeling uninspired. Watching documentaries on factory farms and farming practices, while difficult and can certainly get the waterworks going, may spark a drive within you for real changes. Another less emotionally driven route would be to read about the health benefits that vegans may reap and how they healthily supplement vitamins and minerals they will lack when not consuming meat products. Learning and taking this journey shouldn’t be about fear mongering or guilt tactics, it should be rationally informed decisions for what you define to a healthy lifestyle.
Going Green Around the House
Now that you’ve slowly changed your diet, you may also want to change your household items to more green products. While this can definitely be overwhelming, remember to take small steps every day. I started to replace my conventional cleaning products by trying my own DIY household cleaners and switching my conventional beauty items to cruelty-free products. Eventually, gradual changes led to permanent choices.
A fantastic way for buying larger amounts of fruits and veg is to get a wholesale club membership (e.g. Costco), local CSA or co-op membership. While helping out the community and local farmers, you are getting plenty of food in your belly to keep you satiated. New vegans find themselves hungry often, so be sure to keep plenty of fruits and veggies stocked. Some favorite snacks I keep on hand are nut butters, dressings and hummus which are great snacks keep you from going off track.
From a vegan to an aspiring vegan, don’t worry about being the perfect vegan. Veganism is a very personal choice and one that can completely change your life. You will make amazing vegan friends, connect with some great people and try seriously fantastic foods. But, you will also have naysayers and holier-than-thou vegans who want to tell you you’re not doing enough. Deep breaths. Just always keep in mind that this is for you, whatever your reasons may be and not the Negative Nellie’s.
You’re doing the best you can. Any and every change towards a healthier life is amazing. Remember that you’re amazing and you’re enough. Take small steps, deep breaths, and pat yourself on the back once in awhile. Amazing things are already happening.