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A Beginner’s Guide to Veganism

It is an entirely new diet, mindset and lifestyle. When I first transitioned to veganism, I slipped up a couple of times before I finally got the hang of things. Here are my few tips to make the transition much smoother:

1. Always carry snacks with you.

I repeat, ALWAYS carry snacks with you. When you are first transitioning, your body is adjusting to a different energy source. A common issue with new vegans is that they do not eat enough. Plants metabolize a lot quicker than animal products so chances are you will get hungry at weird times. Along with that, when you are first transitioning, it is difficult to know where you can/cannot eat and what you can/cannot eat. Your safest bet will always be to carry food around in your bag until you have a hang of things.

2. Vegan junk food.

Enough said. Vegan junk food, in my opinion, is the most realistic way to transition into a vegan diet. It allows you to have similar tasting foods that are vegan. When I first transitioned, Oreos and Veggie Grill’s Mac & Cheese were my best friends. (PSA: Oreos are vegan). I am so grateful to have a Veggie Grill near campus where everything is vegan. It is about a 10 minute drive to vegan heaven! When you are first transitioning, it gets really frustrating/annoying to have to constantly ask whether or not you can eat something so having a restaurant where you can eat anything on the menu without worries is essential.

3. Know the reason why you are transitioning into a vegan diet.

If you have a faulty reason to be vegan such as trying to emulate a celebrity, chances are you will not be survive the vegan diet. That said, if you have a reason that is true to your heart, try and remind yourself of that reason. For me, it is my deep love for animals. Even the animals I hate, I love. Every time I was tempted to eat meat, cheese, or dairy, I reminded myself that an innocent animal was sacrificed for my taste buds. Whether your reason be ethical, environmental, health, or religiously oriented, it is important to be firm and remain positive.

4. Take this as a new adventure.

Instead of feeling like you are being deprived of a lot of foods, take this as an opportunity to venture into all the food you would have otherwise never tried! For example, something I have loved is ice cream. If you come across ice cream made from cashews, you will realize how much more creamy it is than regular ice cream! You will also be pleasantly surprised by how much food you can have. I can usually eat what my friends are eating - I just ask for the vegetarian version without cheese.

Overall, just try to have a good time with your transition to veganism. Your experience can only be as good as you make it out to be. Know that you are making this world a better place and you are making an active effort for change.

 

Photos courtesy of Photopin.com

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