Updated: Apr 19
Going Vegan was transformative for me in every way imaginable. In regards to my health, I used to suffer with often bouts of extreme low energy. This is no longer the case, and when I get tired now, it is simply because I’ve being doing a little too much and not taking enough rest.
Choosing a Vegan lifestyle has also given me more purpose. Now that I have seen the videos of the suffering and I know a little more about how a diet which involves eating animals, dairy and eggs affects the climate and the world’s ecosystem, I simply cannot turn back to my old ways. This is because I would not want to. In fact I want as many people as possible to see how their diet is affecting their health, the environment and is causing suffering to so many billions of animals, unnecessarily.
Transforming to a Vegan lifestyle does take a little research. In regards to food, any healthy nutritional program requires some research. I can tell you this though, a vegan life-style does not need to be expensive, in-fact I have found it is much cheaper than including animals and dairy products. A Vegan life-style does not need to be hard work. Like any change in life-style once you get into a routine and change certain habits, it all works out nicely.
Here are my 10 tips to go Vegan strong.
1. Keep Reading. You are here reading this, so you obviously want to find out more. Watch videos which will motivate you, watch videos which will educate you. Enjoy videos on youtube giving you great Vegan meal ideas. Here are some places you can start with; Cowspiracy on Netflix, Earthlings at www.earthlings.com or visit vegan22.com for 22 days of full support. Follow inspiring people like @nimai_delgado or @earthinged or @plantbasedjane
2. Go Easy on Yourself. Sometimes you’ll slip up. Most new Vegans do. I certainly did (and on occasion still do!). If you have something with a little egg in it or some milk in it, draw a line under it and move on. You will be surprised how many products use animals in them, but show yourself some self-compassion if you make the odd mistake. You are doing your best to avoid the unnecessary suffering of animals, so be careful not to judge yourself too harshly if you eat some non-vegan products by accident.
3. Spend More Time in the Fruit and Veg Isle. The best thing about going vegan is that it’s a great opportunity to totally reset your diet and become healthier. When you’re at the supermarket load up on lots of fruit and vegetables. Find some whole grains. Put plenty of nuts and seeds in your basket. You will be avoiding lots of over processed foods. Of course there are plenty of over processed vegan foods too, but if you can avoid them, try to do so.
4. Check the Clothing Label. Veganism also means ethnical fashion, which is fashion that does not exploit animals – (ideally it wouldn’t exploit people either). Avoid leather items, like belts and bags. You can find plenty of alternatives at big online stores like at asos.com. There are plenty of alternatives to wool and silk too, so this does not need to be a difficult area, it just needs a little extra research. Find out why it is important to choose vegan options in clothing and textiles here; https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-clothing/wool-industry/ and https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-clothing/leather-industry/ For example, I find it hugely upsetting to see all these Canada Goose Jackets each winter. For every Canada Goose jacket a coyote is horrifically trapped and then killed and their pups often left to starve as they can’t get back to them, just for a trim on a jacket. It’s all just so tragically unnecessary, simply due to vanity.
5. Research Your Nutritional Needs. If you’re Vegan you’ll need to supplement with vitamin B12. (If you’re not vegan you’ll typically need to top up your B12 too). Apart from that a balanced plant based diet should give you everything you need. I take a vegan multivitamin each day to ensure that any gaps in my diet are filled. Many vegan products are supplemented with certain vitamins such as B12, for example some plant based ‘milk’ alternatives. Find out more here; https://www.vegansociety.com/resources/nutrition-and-health
6. Don’t Burn Out. Once you find out about the horrors of the meat, dairy and egg industry you will naturally see the world in a different way. You will wonder how you could have been duped for so long. How such confinement, torture and abuse could become so systemised. You’ll be shocked at how everyone can be so blind to the injustices happening every day to billions of sentient beings. How could billions of male chicks be put into a grinder each year, simply because they are male? How could a cow have her babies taken away from her, again and again and then when she is ‘spent’ sent for slaughter. These are the questions we will ask and will desperately try to convince our friends and family to open their eyes. At the same time, it is important to remember that we can’t turn everyone vegan. All we can do is plant a seed in their minds. Also once you’ve seen some footage of what the industry are trying to hide, you don’t need to keep watching them. Once again, self-compassion is key.
2019 will be a special year for new vegans. Thankfully it is easier than ever to be vegan as there are more products on the supermarket floors and online, and more and more restaurants provide vegan meals. If things get tough, remind yourself why you’re making this change. You are in control of your own health and you owe it to yourself to be your best. You can help reduce the impact on the planet and push back against its environmental decline. You can also be the voice for the voiceless.