We’ve all been there, thinking about going vegan but thought it just seems so hard. You watched others become vegan and wonder how the heck did they do that, and why? Questions run through your mind like: "Are they going to start protesting? If I become a vegan do I have to start protesting as well?" If you are a vegetarian you think “I could never be a vegan”, until one day you just do. Well I have been in many of those stages of meatless eating and finally just switched to being a vegan. Here is a quick guide on how to switch to vegan or a meatless diet.
I would say if you are hesitant in any way try to start slow. This can help give your mind awareness on what it is like to eat not eat meat. Some ideas for this, are starting with a Meatless Monday or gradually substituting one meatless meal a day in place of what you would normally eat. This allows you to start working up an arsenal of recipes you can make and plan out, so once you really dive in cooking meatless will be as easy as one, two, three. Of course you will try different recipes when you are fully living the veg life, but at least for now you can watch how it affects you and your wallet and your taste buds will agree it’s a great change.
Stock up on having more vegetables in your home.
Yes I know how easy it is to have things like pasta, mac and vegan cheese, and frozen prepared vegan meals. Trust me I lived off these foods (in the beginning); but instead of just keeping these staples in your fridge have other things like fruits and vegetables. When you are in a pinch on what to make for dinner you can easily add things like broccoli to your pasta. You can also add vegetables in your mac and vegan cheese which helps make this a complete meal. This will be overall better for you and also soy products are still good for you, like anything we it's best to be wary of the sodium in these soy products. Now I'm not saying soy is bad, but we must remember everything in moderation.In addition, to adding vegetables to meals they are a great substitute for chips or crackers. I honestly find that eating carrots and hummus or vegan queso with vegetables tastes so much better and I feel a lot better then in comparison with chips.
Be more conscious about why you are eating meatless, educate yourself on why you have chosen this lifestyle. Maybe it's for health reasons, for the environment, or for animal rights. For me starting out I was vegetarian for the animals and overtime I have transitioned to vegan for the animals and our environment. Although my husband switched mainly for health reasons and has seen a dramatic difference over time. Once I learned about why it was important to not eat meat and I was able to peacefully educate others about where there food comes from and how it affects the environment (when they inquired of course). When you understand why being meat free is important to you, you will have more desire to continue your journey.
Bonus tip: Know that you won't lose any flavors that you had with meat. Most people think that they will lose the flavors that they once knew when they ate meat; but that’s honestly not the case, because we use spices and other natural flavors that come from this earth. Since becoming a vegetarian and vegan I have felt like I have embraced just an array of flavors and the power of marinating is phenomenal. So don’t worry you will still have whatever sweet, savory or well flavored meal you desire.
My final tip is Don’t give up.
Many people may try to discourage you. Don’t worry about them. This is your choice and you should be proud of that. You don’t have to go out and start proclaiming your change if you don't want to, but be proud that you are making a difference! It's important for our environment and sustaining the animals that we are still graced to have on this earth. Also sometimes there will be mistakes but if you accidentally mess up just keep going, you are in this for the long haul and your health and our environment is important so know that you are making a difference every time you go meatless.
Have a wonderful journey into this rewarding meatless lifestyle, your body will thank you!
Peace and Love, Yhanni