The most common response I get when telling people about veganism is “I have no idea where to start”. It’s a pretty common sentiment to have seeing as many of us are led to believe growing up that beef builds muscles, potatoes put on the pounds, and salads are for skinny European women starving themselves. The truth is that there is a great awakening to be had once we dive into veganism head-first and embrace all of what a cruelty-free lifestyle has to offer. If you find yourself thinking “I love the idea of being a vegan but it’s just too darn difficult for me” then let me let you in on an insider secret- we all had to overcome that mental wall at one point. Don’t be trapped by a limiting mindset or fear of starting!
Once you do have the chutzpah to get started you should aim to take it slowly. If you want to make a complete switch to only eating whole foods right away, great! But I really recommend taking it at a measured pace and indulging yourself in some processed vegan comfort foods like Oreos or dairy-free pizza. Try to make vegan versions of your favorite dishes. A spaghetti bolognese can easily be made with fake vegan meat found at the store. Additionally, there are a vast array of vegan cheeses out there for almost any recipe. Although these plant-based substitutes will not taste the exact same as their non-vegan counterparts they will still be tasty, albeit in a different way. Try to think of it as enjoying and experiencing something new, not recreating an exact taste or sensation.
Don’t be afraid of slipping-up and making mistakes. Remember that every time you choose a vegan meal over one that contains meat or dairy you are making a huge difference! Don’t let a momentary lapse of will-power derail your progress and motivation! It helps to get a friend or family member to go vegan with you. It will be a lot easier if you have someone to hold you accountable. Plus it makes grocery shopping and cooking much easier!
Obviously an education component is crucial to sustaining a vegan lifestyle. Documentaries on veganism, cruelty-free literature, and vegan bloggers and YouTubers have had a profound impact on my personal journey. If you have any questions or seek more tips on getting started don’t hesitate to contact me! I find great joy in helping others finding enlightenment in cruelty-free living.