Are you thinking of going vegan this year? Perhaps you want to eat healthier, or you don’t want to consume products that come from animal cruelty. Especially now, we all want to stay healthy, right? To prevent diseases, we must nourish our bodies, and a plant-based diet is ideal for that.
How can you stay vegan, though? Have you had any doubts? That’s OK, we all wonder about it before we go vegan, or at least, many of us do.
Difficult or Not?
A vegan diet is probably the most ridiculed and attacked among the general public. This is a fact, and yet, scientific evidence has proven again and again that a plant-based diet is good for your body and health.
A common problem is that most people don’t know what veganism entails. Not consuming animal products is all we know, and it sounds nearly ominous. “Oh my god, what do they eat …?”
The most difficult part, however, is not the food. When you check the recipes on my website, you’ll see several easy recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and even vegan booze. Vegan food is the best I’ve ever had (and believe me, I love to eat). It is rich in flavor and mouthwatering good.
When I see silly jokes about so called “horrible” vegan food in Hollywood comedies – like I once saw in Adam Sandler’s Grown ups, it just makes me realize how little some people know about it …
What can be hard is the lack of support and the constant comments you will suddenly receive from other people. While some comments are well-meant or can be genuinely interested questions, there are others that are launched at you like missiles, with the intent to provoke you into a discussion or an admission that somehow you “are still going wrong”.
In my opinion, food is not the reason why some vegans stray from veganism. I think it is lack of support, constant badgering from family and friends (it happens to some), lack of vegan products in your hometown (especially when you live in a small town), not knowing how to or not wanting to cook meals that aren’t available, or forgetting why you went vegan in the first place.
How Can You Stay Vegan Then?
Here are a few tips.
- First of all, remember why you became vegan. If you did it for ethical reasons, remind yourself of the animals’ plight. It doesn’t go away, just because you stopped watching the live slaughterhouse footage. If it was for health reasons, look at what your new diet has done for your body and health.
- Build a community. Find other vegans. There are vegan groups on Facebook where you can find local vegans and where people share recipes, tips, advice, and offer understanding that non-vegan friends or family can’t always give. Ask for help. Vegan online groups are very helpful and always happy to welcome newbies into their midst.
- Find comfort foods. We do need them sometimes, and there are some amazing vegan comfort foods. There are also several snacks that are “accidentally” vegan. Some examples are Ritz crackers, Lays salty chips, Lays Barbecue chips, Pringles BBQ, Sun Chips Original, Kraft Creamy Italian salad dressing (in the US, for other countries, please check ingredients to be sure they have the same), Campbells mushroom gravy, Hershey syrup, and more …
- Splurge! You don’t need a big wallet to spoil yourself. When you go to the grocery store, treat yourself to that nice vegan chocolate bar, or what about Morningstar veggie chorizo? It always feels great to give ourselves a well-deserved treat.
- Try new things. Get a cookbook or find recipes online. Try out something you’ve never done before, like making vegan chocolates or vegan fondue. Or what about vegan Baileys? Be adventurous and have fun with it.
- Get educated. Find vegan life and recipe blogs and follow them. Find vegan cookbooks. Get information about protein, vitamin B12, calcium, and so on. Watch documentaries such as Cowspiracy, Forks over Knives, or the Game Changers.
- Be pro-active. Tell your family that you’re vegan when there is a family dinner or barbecue. Bring your own vegan meal if they don’t know what to cook for you, or give them some ideas. When you’re at a restaurant, ask if they have vegan options. Even if they don’t, many are open to veganizing their meals by leaving out dairy or any other animal ingredient.
- Visit an animal sanctuary. There’s nothing like a cuddle with a loving calf or giving a pig a belly rub to remind yourself why you went vegan. Check out Esther the Wonder Pig‘s story. I follow Esther the Wonder Pig on Instagram, and I always see these beautiful updates of her lying on a bed, playing with a dog, cuddling with her human guardian, it’s heartwarming!
- Don’t be too harsh on yourself. It’s OK to make mistakes. It’s all right to slip of the wagon. If that happens, just climb back on and continue your journey. We are all learning. It’s not a competition or a race, it’s a lifestyle, and it takes a while to adapt to a new way of life.
When you begin a new journey it’s always helpful not to be alone in it. I started my vegan journey alone and met some ridicule along the way, but things are different now. Things have changed and more information about the vegan lifestyle is available nowadays.
I created this website, mainly to help newbie vegans find their way, by sharing recipes, cookbook reviews, and tips. Whenever you start a new path in life – and not only in veganism, in anything basically, affiliate marketing, dance classes, a new course, etc – you can make that path a little easier by having some company 🙂
And remember, nobody’s perfect. It’s not a race, it’s a journey.