Hey friends, I’m back! Sorry for the brief recess, but I found myself in a very busy and overwhelming schedule. That’s not an excuse though, I have a commitment to you as a reader to continue sharing great information, so I apologize. I wanted to come back with a simple post, but I’ve had several requests to post a “How to become a Vegan” post, so here you have it! I tried to think of an appropriate length of time that would work for most people, and I figured 10days was long enough to give you time to get comfortable with the idea of what it means to become a vegan.
You are doing something amazing for your self, the environment & the animals! THANK YOU!!! Best of luck!!
-Find out what veganism means, and look up some great resources to help you transition. You can check out my resources page for references.
-Go shopping! This is key, if you have healthy vegan foods you actually enjoy eating then you WILL eat them. Check out my shopping tips.
-Start cleaning out your pantry & fridge, don’t just get rid of animal products but also processed/unhealthy foods.
- Start to cut back on your animal products and try to have at least one vegan meal.
-Let your family & friends know you are moving towards a plant-based diet. Be ready, although our loved ones want the best for us, they are surrounded by false information about protein,calcium, etc and may offer more negativity than positivity. Simply listen to them, and try not to get too defensive.
-Continue your research, check out great recipes you’re looking forward to trying.
-Remind yourself why you’ve decided to try this lifestyle. Check out my “Why I’m a Vegan” Post.
-Although it’s important to know your weaknesses (e.g. sweets, a certain restaurant,etc) you will be surprised just how disciplined you can become very quickly if you truly want to.
-Continue cleaning out your pantry & fridge.
-Since it’s day TWO try having TWO vegan meals. Check out all my easy yummy recipes.
- By day three you should know whether or not this is going to be difficult for you. I decided to become a vegan over night and the most difficult part was the social part. Pin point what is most difficult for you, and try to find a solution.
-Today would be a perfect day to start a new exercise routine, if you haven’t already. It will help continue to inspire you to eat healthy and continue on this journey. Fyi, Yoga is a great cardio and strength training workout. Check out my post on why I practice Yoga.
-Since today is Day Three, I suggest you have three vegan meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner!
-If you’ve relapsed, which happens to everyone, don’t be too difficult on yourself. It is VERY important that you are compassionate towards yourself. Simply, take it as a “hiccup” and continue.
-If you’ve received any negativity from “friends” and/or family, don’t let it get you down. It is YOUR health, and YOU know what is best for your body, IF you are truly listening.
-Hopefully by now most if not all of your meals should be vegan. (I say “should” not as a judgmental expectation, but as a point of reference… This is YOUR journey, you go at your own pace …)
-By this point, I suggest you start integrating AT LEAST one large salad in your day. If you’re not used to eating lots of vegetables, starting with one salad a day will be an easy way to start.
YAY!! You made it to day 5, congratulations. Again, this is a great time to stop and reflect on why you are trying to adopt a more healthier & compassionate lifestyle
-You’ve probably ran out of some of your favorite vegan foods, so go out and check out all the great vegan options at your supermarket/healthfood store. Just be careful, there’s A LOT of vegan junk foods that are very nutrient dense and don’t offer a good balance. Stick to lower sodium foods, foods that are not overly processed (e.g. organic tofu or tempeh), the closest the food is to its natural state the better. Check out my grocery shopping recommendations here.
-Find yummy and filling vegan snacks or foods on the go! My favorites are nuts, vegan yogurt, fruits, dates with almond butter, etc…
-These days will be crucial. If you’ve fallen “off the wagon” this is the time to get back on and continue with the commitment you’ve made to YOURSELF! This isn’t a commitment you’re making to me or anyone else, change starts with you!
-Continue eating delicious healthy food! Eat filling foods so you don’t get cravings when you drive by a fast-food restaurant, or see your favorite “sugary food” commercial.
-Start cutting out other unhealthy foods: processed sugars, bleached carbs (white flour, white rice, anything with the word “enriched”)
-This is a perfect time to discover amazing vegan restaurants in your area! I live in LA where we have a new vegan restaurant every few months, so I have plenty of options. If you live somewhere where there aren’t many vegan restaurants, speak to your favorite restaurant about integrating some healthier options. All the local ma’ & pa’ mexican restaurants in my area they are more than happy to make us something “off the menu”, it’s all about keeping your business. A LOT of people don’t know what vegan is, especially in other cultures, so be aware & be clear when describing what you can and cannot eat.
-Check out tons of great vegan events going on in your area. There are vegan “meet up groups”, fundraisers, protests (if you’re ready), potlucks, etc. If you’d like to socialize with others living a similar lifestyle, there are great resources out there. Just remember, vegan doesn’t mean “perfect”, so don’t expect everyone to be loving and nice. I’ve had a few let downs, but many MANY more positive experiences.
-This is the perfect time to cut out other unhealthy foods like cooking with a lot of oil, salt & sugar. There are A LOT of spices & herbs out there to help make your dishes delicious.
-If you’re committed to a vegan lifestyle & not a diet, start deciding how you feel about the leather you currently own, honey in your tea, the fur in your closet. I donated my leather boots to a nonprofit that helps clothe the homeless & Ray (VEGAN CHICANO DOCTOR) donated his to an organization we volunteer with that goes down to Tijuana to offer free medical care. Why let perfectly good clothes go to waste if it can help keep someone warm?
-YOU MADE IT TO DAY 10!!!! If you can make it this far, then you can keep going.
-This is a great time to host a “vegan potluck, dinner party, etc” to show off your new delicious recipes to your friends and family.
-Visit an animal sanctuary in your area to help continue to make the connection. I love Animal Acres in Acton, CA
-By now, you probably know a lot about veganism, and where you want to go from here. Some vegans discover that soy products or gluten products don’t make them feel too great so they cut them out, some vegans (like me) develop such a great amount of eNeRGY that they start pushing their physical limits (e.g. marathons, triathlons,etc), others try juicing (check out my post on juicing) or eating more raw foods (check out my raw food recipes), some decided to only eat organic (check out my post on Why Organic), others decided that animal activism is very important and join Animal Rights Organizations or attend protest, and some live a quiet simple vegan lifestyle. Whatever type of vegan you become, know that you are doing something great for your health (as long as you’re not a junk food vegan), environment and are helping to stop contributing to the suffering of factory farmed animals.
These are my recommendations based on my personal experience. If this doesn’t work for you modify it. Again, it is YOUR journey, take control of it! And remember, it’s a good idea to get a check up before and then come back and find out what a difference this wonderful healthy lifestyle has done.
-PEACE & NRGY
(Don’t forget to check out VeganChicanoDoctor for great medical/health tips and Dr. Ray’s own personal journey)
Like what I’ve shared? Buy me a cup of tea, a wheatgrass shot, a cup of atole, Veggie Juice or Dessert!YUM!