Recently I experimented with what’s called a “Raw Vegan Diet.” Following that experimentation I’ve decided to become vegan. I feel like this change has been coming for quite a while and I have some tips for you if you’re considering the same thing!
1. Find your “Why”
At first the change felt so natural and right I almost didn’t stop to think why I was doing it. That is until I started telling people i’m going vegan and they asked “Why?” I didn’t really have a response ready. So this prompted me to explore the reasons behind this change beyond following my impulses.
I can tell you once I reflected a little and found my Why’s it has made me feel a whole lot more secure in my decision. If this is something you’re considering, first off ask yourself “why?” and take some time to think about it. Maybe it’s health related, maybe it’s ethics, maybe it’s just the new hip thing to do and you want to see what all of the fuss is about. Whatever your reasons are, identify them and it will make the transition a whole lot smoother.
2. Make it gradual
Before starting my Raw Vegan experiment I had started to ween myself off of dairy while at home. Almost to the point where I was eating 100% vegan at home and only eating dairy and fish when I was out at restaurants. This prompts you to gradually explore some substitutions for your favorite meals and to also try some new recipes over time. If you have a strong urge to go full vegan right away and jump in with both feet then great! But i’ve found it’s easier to make these changes gradually to give your eating habits time to adjust. I think it makes reverting back to old ways less likely as well.
3. Approach it as a trial period and find a buddy
When you approach something as just a new fun thing you’re exploring rather than a HUGE life changing decision there’s much less pressure. Play with the idea for a while and think “Well if i wasn’t eating this, what could I eat instead?” “What could I order in restaurants that I go to instead of my usual?” You may find that it’s not as restricting as you previously thought. Many restaurants offer vegan options these days and sometimes it’s as easy as just saying ‘no cheese’. It also helps not to announce to everyone that you’re going vegan in the beginning. Until you’re really sure it’s something you want to commit to it’s easier if you don’t have to answer a million questions and concerns. But if you have a partner or friend that you can try this with it is much more fun! Kelley and I have been playing around with different vegan recipes and ideas for a while and it’s something new and creative for us to explore together.
4. Since it’s just something new and fun you’re trying there’s no failure involved
I think it’s important to state that this isn’t the first time I’ve considered going vegan. I tried it back in late 2013 and was miserable. It didn’t last long as I wasn’t ready for the change. So don’t be discouraged if you try it and then revert back to old habits. If the change is right for you it will come up again at a more suiting time.
I think it’s also important to state that the Vegan movement has been taking off rapidly in the past few years. As a result there are lots of vegan restaurants popping up all over the place. This is great! There are lots of vegan options and lots of substitutes for your favorite foods that taste quite similar and in some cases identical. However it is also easier now to be vegan and be not so healthy. (A vegan donut is still a donut). So if you decide to try this don’t forget about your fruits and veggies!
I hope you found this helpful. Please comment with any questions you may have :-)
P.S. If you're near the Orlando area be sure to check out my friends Becca and Mike at Leguminati. They run an all vegan food truck and make DELICIOUS vegan cheeses, meats and more that you can buy on their site or at any of the farmers markets they sell at.