With Veganuary kicking off and my boyfriend giving that a go, I’ve been reminded of some of the niggles and difficulties I had when I first went vegan. It can feel like it’s just not going to be a plausible long term option, but this summer will be three years since I first went vegan so it definitely is!
I’d always start by suggesting you find vegan versions of all your favourite foods. When I first went vegan this wasn’t so easy, but I went shopping with Rich a few days ago to buy vegan equivalents of his favourites and the choice we have now is amazing! I think all too often people allow a vegan life style to lead them to a very restrictive diet void of a lot of treats when it really doesn’t have to and shouldn’t be that way!
A good step is also watching documentaries. I watched Earthlings and Cowspiracy when I first went vegan and they helped cement my belief and faith in what I was doing and meant that I can no longer just see a chicken nugget or a burger, I see the animal that had to die to become that. There are documentaries approaching the topic of veganism from so many different angles, Game Changers is a more recent health focused one that helped Rich to see how a vegan diet can physically be better for you.
Educating yourself is also a good idea for when you get the first person that decides to argue with you about how veganism is pointless/dumb/not worth it/something. I’m at a point where I really just can’t be bothered and usually ask why what I eat matters so much to them, but having the facts in the back of my head can help me shut them down if they won’t be respectful. We can all have differing opinions and diets but as soon as someone is rude, I’m done with being nice.
Checking what you’re eating is also really important for new vegans. I had a few weeks when I first switched up my diet where I felt blegh and a bit dizzy at times despite thinking I was eating enough, but after using a calorie tracker for a few days I was only eating around seven hundred calories a day! I hadn’t changed how much I was eating but cutting out meat and dairy made my calorie intake drop so I needed to add more snacks!
My final tip would be to find vegans online to follow. I’m picky with who it is I follow, I don’t like anyone too pushy or people who post clips of graphic animal cruelty. Figure out what ‘type’ of vegans you like and follow a few! I found, especially when I was starting out, it just made me feel a bit less alone and helped me see it as being a long term life style change rather than a ‘diet’, since veganism really is much more than just what you eat.
I hope this is helpful to someone out there! Trying out Veganuary or transitioning to a vegan lifestyle/diet doesn’t have to be as difficult as people try to make out!