I’ve covered the 5 secrets to going vegan successfully before, but I wanted to dive a little deeper into the practical things that new vegans should know to make life a little easier in the “veganning.”
With the vegan movement is exploding in popularity, it’s important to understand the obstacles you might face in the process before jumping in.
Here are 10 things I wish I knew before going vegan:
Learn how to cook.
This isn’t just a suggestion, it’s a requirement. Let’s face it, going vegan means that you probably won’t be able go on a quick trip to grab those easy frozen pizzas or drive-thru dinners. More reason to start learning how to navigate the kitchen & finding easy vegan recipes to create.
It’s more than just about the food.
While you may start with going vegan for one reason, you’ll find out over time that this lifestyle proves positive in other areas of life. The food we eat not only affects our bodies, but our minds, animal welfare, and the planet’s health. Start digging into why vegan is good as a whole, and you’ll be more inspired to keep up this lifestyle.
Don’t force the vegan conversation.
Not everyone will be ready or willing to hear why you went vegan. The best way to go about showing someone what it means is to live by example and to answer questions when asked at the appropriate time. When someone is ready to hear your story, you’ll know when they start asking you questions.
The health benefits won’t happen overnight.
There are plenty of rumors going around that being vegan means getting fit, healthy, and beautiful fast... and that couldn’t be further from the truth. When I first started the transition, I actually ended up gaining 50 pounds in 4 months due to the detox my body needed to go through, and I lost that 50 pounds over the course of 2 years. You can be vegan and very unhealthy, or your body could respond differently than you expect,, so it’s best to make sure that you’re getting all the nutrition your body requires.
Eat colorful meals, not processed foods.
Which brings me to my next point… you will find plenty of vegan food this is overly processed, filled with unnecessary chemicals, and not to mention how expensive they can be to buy. The truth is that you don’t need replacements to go vegan because whole foods provide plenty of texture, taste, & fulfillment.
Try The Veganner’s E-Cookbook to see how to “veganize” your favorite foods.
It’s not as expensive as you think.
Going vegan doesn’t have to be expensive, but it will be if you buy the replacements. Stick to whole grains, whole fruits & veggies, beans, nuts, seeds, plant-based milks, and you shouldn’t be spending more than $100 a week.
How to find vegan options when going out or traveling.
This was something that made going vegan hardest for me in the beginning. It wasn’t until I found HappyCow.net that I started to find the plant-based options I had been wanting. However, this does not mean every place you travel to & try will be vegan friendly. Be prepared by finding a place to stay that includes a kitchen. If you can find vegan options nearby, great. Cut yourself some slack and take lots of snacks just in case!
People will misunderstand you.
In the almost 4 years of being vegan, I’ve heard a lot of hurtful things. At first, it really bugged me that people were weirded out by my choice to abstain from animal products, but now that I’ve been in the game a bit longer, it’s easier to let those comments roll off my back. Learn to accept the fact that there will be a few people who are committed to misunderstanding you & you’ll have an easier time with the backlash (unintentional or not).
It’s okay to make mistakes.
In the “veganning,” there are lots of new things to be aware of: surprise ingredients in products you thought were vegan, restaurants who may have no idea what you’re even talking about, and good intentions that don’t always add up. That’s okay. You’re going to slip, you’re going to get it wrong sometimes, and you’ll learn what to do better next time every mistake you make. Take this journey at your own pace.
You’re not weird & you’re not alone.
Being the only vegan in the room will be the normal experience for most social situations, often leaving you feeling singled out. This is why it’s important to find support from others who understand you & why you’re doing this. Why? Because when you’re feeling weird about it all, they’ll be the one’s cheering you on.
Need some extra support? Enroll in Vegan School. It’s FREE!