In this series: HOW TO DETOX: THE I-HAVE-NO-IDEA-WHAT-I’M-DOING GUIDE
Also have a look at: SOURCES ON PLANT-BASED, NON-TOXIC LIVING, 5 BRANDS THAT ARE MAKING LIFE EASIER FOR THIS BUSY MAMA BEE, Vegan, Gluten-free recipes from yours truly, Kitchen Supplies I can’t do Without , Recipes and plant-based tips I share on IG and Facebook
Congratulations-You have made the decision !
I am SO happy for you, friend! Even if you are “just considering” to stop eating animals, you have made that leap. I am proud of you. There are many reasons why I wish everyone was like you, but this post is to help you to keep on taking another step every day, without overwhelming yourself. I hope the below suggestions will be of help. If you have more questions, concerns, doubts, feel free to DM me, comment under this article, or, find me on IG or FB and I will be there to listen.
“To be prepared is half the victory”
The best thing to do right now is to stock up on as many whole foods, pantry items, colourful vegetables as you can. Definitely, do not even hang out in the nonvegan section of the store. As I said before, vegan does not necessarily mean healthy-neither does “plant-based”. Even if you are considering this new life for ethical reasons (animal rights, environmental issues and so on), try to stay away from tempting, but highly processed, items *as much as possible*. If you can do some simple meal-prep and keep all the good stuff in sight for when the temptation arises, you are going to have a much easier time handling those cravings.
Consider using Meal/grocery delivery services and meal-planners
I have a list of sources here with my honest reviews/thoughts. I have used most of the services included in that list, and some of them are still in my daily life. Grocery delivery subscriptions might be a good idea especially if you think you might be tempted at grocery stores. Just subscribe to vegan boxes, and you are good to go. We are all at different stages of our healthy/plant-based eating life. After all these years, I have recently started using meal-prep apps/ meal planners (again, I review some of those on that resources page). My favourite so far has been PlateJoy, but most of these services have free trial periods, so try for yourself.
Feel free to also look at the kitchen supplies I use daily.
When Hungry, Eat
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they go vegan is not eating enough. The amount of food you need to eat to feel satisfied may be different than you used to. You may need to eat more frequently. Don’t worry. Feed and nourish your body.
I know women who stopped menstruating after they went vegan, and they blamed the little amount of soymilk they were using in their coffee, because they had heard stories about soy. I know women who started to have extremely dry skin when they stopped eating meat, or those who started to feel unusually fatigued. In all of these cases, we realized that they were either not eating enough, or, they were eating the wrong kinds of food for their body type.
Focus on filling up on volume-based whole foods first- meaning fruits, vegetables, legumes. Most of these will have high amount of water so you will be hydrated while eating:) Then, complement your diet with healthy fats. I absolutely love nuts and seeds, and talk about healthy fats all the time, but it’s easy to overdo those.
I mentioned those who were eating the wrong kinds of foods for their body type. This is an important point to note: What is wrong for me might not be wrong for you. My husband can have multiple cups of coffee without any problem, but I would be awake all night if I have half a cup in the afternoon. Some people need more protein in their diet, some thrive on mostly raw veggies and fruits. Observe yourself, how you feel, how certain foods affect you; observe, and take your time. Do also keep in mind that things might change again. I have phases when I can have coffee in the morning, but for two weeks every month, my body rejects it completely. I adjust.
Work with your body, not against it.
Do have fun, and treat this new phase like an adventure
Discover new recipes, new spices, new produce, new books/influencers/podcasts, and really try out this new lifestyle. Try to have fun! Remind yourself of the reason(s) why you have taken this step, but don’t be harsh on yourself if you “fall off the wagon”. Just get back on it right away. Since 1998, I have heard all kinds of jokes, comments, some of which were extremely heartbreaking, or unsolicited advice. Things are changing, and I think people are more welcoming towards a plant-based life. If you do experience a negative attitude from others, do remind yourself that, at the end of the day, you are doing this for yourself (and the animals, and the environment:)). Many times, those people are kind of curious, kind of envious, so don’t take it personally. The happier you are with yourself, with your decision, the less important it will be what others think.
Welcome, dear friend.
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Editor’s note: The information in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health programme.