If you’re like me, you probably weren’t born vegan. Sure, there are plenty of households where babies are born to parents who are either vegan or vegetarian, adopting their eating habits from day one, but where I live that’s not so common. If you’re new to veganism or have recently decided to try being a vegetarian first, you’re in the right place. The best advice I can give is that your transition should be slow – that’s the only way to make it last.
Being a Vegan doesn’t happen over night. I had to unlearn a lot of eating habits and decisions before reaping the rewards of a new eating style. I’ve also struggled in the past with putting way too much pressure on myself. Know that self-derived anxiety and unrealistic goals has been a part of my past, I did things differently this time around.
Starting your transition
When I made the decision to go Vegan, I didn’t label it as such. In fact, I spent most of my time convincing myself and others that I was, “Simply giving up meat and dairy”. Well, guess what, that’s what Vegans do. At the time I had no idea how I would do it, what I would eat, how I would resist my cravings, and moreover, cook vegan meals. During the first 6 – 8 weeks I simply managed. I got by without meat and very limited dairy (no tall glasses of milk or cheese on my food).
Throughout the first two months of my transition, I started learning a great deal about what to eat, what it means to be vegan, and how to live and eat in a way that works with my body. For example, I figured out that eating beans daily is NOT an option for me. But, having oatmeal every morning with blueberries and bananas works. By repeating these small changes I got really far down the path of Veganism.
Think directionaly, not absolutely
Another thing that really helped my transition was focusing on making better choices day after day. By week 3 I was feeling so much better that I was convinced that healthier eating was having a positive influence on my life. Also, I was much more comfortable with the whole idea. The more I read, watched, and learned, the less I struggled with the idea of eating more plant based foods and few if any animal based products.
Every day I learn something new about being vegan or my own body. What I can and can’t eat, what makes me feel good, what alleviates my congestion, and a myriad of other discoveries that enhance my well being. Moving from polluted to clean eating is difficult if not impossible if you’re trying to do it all at once. This really is a marathon, not a sprint. Start your transition slowly and you’ll not only achieve more but your changes will last.