How to become vegan?

I finally sat down to write this post! I hope that those who asked for it are still here. I’ll talk about 13 hints that will help you transition to veganism from a standard diet. I think that these are things that it’s good to pay attention to and remember about and each one of them helped me sooner or later.

 

 

1. Educate yourself

It’s very important that you know what you’re doing. If you become vegan and you eat only vegan fries, vegan cheese and vegan pizza, you’ll get deficiencies and other issues that you’ll put a blame for on a diet. And it wouldn’t be the diet’s fault itself, it would be your fault. So you need to know what you eat, why and what for. Read about specific products, about their nutritional values and different ways of combining foods, of preparing them. Have a knowledge that will allow you to answer questions like “where do you get your protein from?” or “that’s not enough!”

 

2. Prepare yourself for comments from others

You’ll surely get some comments. From strangers somewhere on the Internet, from your friends or even close family. Someone will eventually tell you that you’re ruining your life, that you just need to eat meat, that you’re stupid and more. If you’re sure about what you’re doing (I mean, you have the knowledge mentioned above and you want to change the way you eat) then comments like that won’t bother you. Although they’re annoying after a while, yes, but they won’t make you question your decision.

 

3. Try everything

There are tons and tons of different fruits in the world and it’s worth it to try as many as you can because it might turn out that your favorite one isn’t strawberry but maybe something very exotic. Try new things always when you can, learn new tastes and smells.

 

 

4. Get ready for detox

This is a big subject so I won’t go into details now, I’ll go back to it later. Everyone reacts differently and one person might now have too many detox symptoms and someone else will have a lot of them. For example, Nathan experienced everything much less than me, I had headaches for like 2-3 months. This can make you feel uncomfortable and some people start saying that this diet isn’t for them because they don’t feel well. What’s interesting, I had a comment from a woman who ate only fruits for just one day and said it wasn’t for her because she was weak and hungry. Unfortunately, your body was getting totally different products before and a lot of them were harmful so fixing everything will take more than a day or even several weeks.

 

5. Get rid of food you don’t want to eat

This is a problem mostly at the beginning while transitioning. When you allow yourself to be very hungry you’ll crave other foods, foods that you don’t really want to eat. You’ll grab some chocolate bar or frozen meal. So it’s good to get rid of things that you don’t want to eat and make sure that you have enough fresh produce to last. When you go shopping get ripe and unripe fruits so that the unripe ones will ripen while you’re eating the ripe ones ;).

 

6. Have a reason, motivation and don’t beat yourself up

If you believe that this is a good and healthy way of living and that it’ll make you feel better and will help animals and environment (or any other reason), then everything is ok. You have your motivation and a specific reason so you do all that for yourself, to feel better. If you want to become vegan only because, for example, someone on the Internet who you like is vegan, it won’t work because it won’t be important enough for you. At the same time it’s good to remember not to beat yourself up when you eat something different. It happens and there’s no need to be mad at yourself. Don’t take it as failing but more as one more experience that teaches you something.

 

 

7. Be realistic

Don’t put on yourself any expectations that you can’t meet, like, a sudden diet change in one night because it might not work and then… go back to point number 6. Think realistically, give yourself time. Give yourself time and a chance to get used to a new way.

 

8. Don’t complicate

On the Internet you can find a lot of vegan and raw vegan recipes. Let’s face it, a huge part of them are pretty complicated. A lot of them have tons of ingredients and then it takes hours to make it. You don’t have to eat like this! You don’t even have to buy vegan cheese or vegan meat. Usually the simplest meals (like a few mangoes at ones) are the best and if you don’t feel like making anything special then don’t. I rarely use recipes and if I do they’re always very simple.

 

9. Always have snacks

In your purse, backpack, car – always have something that you can snack on in case you get hungry while being stuck in traffic or in a line at your doctor’s office. Bananas, smoothie or cut fruits are awesome and will let you now crave this chicken from KFC that you’re passing in a bus with a growling stomach ;).

 

 

10. Eat enough

This is the biggest problem I noticed among people wanting to become raw vegan, especially fruitarian. They don’t eat enough! When you’re changing your diet from where your typical dinner was soup and then meat, potatoes and some salad to one in which your dinner will be, for example, a bowl of watermelon, you need to eat more of it. Remember that 500 kcal of meat is much less in a volume than 500 kcal of fruit. If you feel weak, don’t have energy and you keep losing weight then you need to increase a calorie intake.

 

11. Don’t be afraid to eat big meals

Yes! A lot of people think that if you eat three bananas it’ll be enough because it’s a lot and you shouldn’t eat more. No, it’s not like this. Don’t be afraid of eating more. Eat 8 mangoes and then 2 more if you still want them. Eat until you feel satisfied. Until you feel like “ahh, it was good, I had enough” :).

 

12. Find people who eat in a similar way

You might feel lonely in a way that your friends and family eat differently and maybe even don’t support you. It’s important to find someone who eat in a similar way, who thinks similar and maybe even who is in a process of changing a diet at the same time. If not in a real life, then on the Internet. There’s a lot of groups on Facebook for vegans, raw vegans and fruitarians.

 

13. Not everyone has to agree with you

The fact that you eat this way and you think this is the best and the healthiest one (which I agree with) doesn’t mean that others have to think the same. Don’t force them to think that they need to change their diet, that they’re stupid and so on because the more you push the less likely it is that they’ll change anything and they won’t even want to be around you after a while. If they ask questions or it just comes up in a conversation then it’s all good but don’t try to force anyone because not everyone has to agree with you.

 

 

 

That’s all for now. I think I talked about all the things that I found most important. If you have any other hints go ahead and leave them in the comment section.

 

I’ll see you next time,

Aga

 

 

 

Main photo: Patricia Niţă

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