How you can become a longterm, happy and healthy vegan! Change your life for the better.
For some of us vegans it was the easiest thing ever and for others the biggest challenge. Going vegan seems to be impossible to many people. They always tell me ” I could never go vegan. I could never live without meat, dairy or eggs.” Guess what! EVERY vegan said that before he or she went vegan. If someone had told me a few years ago , that I would be a proud vegan in future, I would have laughed at him. And here I am!
If you’ve read my last blog post ( From “chicken-Gina” to “veggie-Gina”) you know about my story, so let’s get on with the actual topic of this blog post: my tips on going vegan! Because trust me: it’s not as hard as you might think it is.
Whether you’re a vegan newbie or oldie, or just someone who’s interested in this lifestyle – I hope this helps, inspires and motivates you!
Harsh change or soft transition – should I become a vegetarian first?
This is a question I get a lot. One at the beginning: I was a vegetarian for about 3 or 4 years before I went vegan. I didn’t plan to go vegan at first but because I informed myself more and more, it was the most logical step I could do. Anyway!
When I became a vegetarian, cheese was my life and it made the transition very easy. Looking back I can’t say I did something wrong, because my actions were based on my knowledge. I didn’t know that dairy and eggs are bad for me. Knowing that know, I would go vegan right away. Why continue eating something that harms me? That’s what my dad thought too and he went vegan one day to another. This is probably more difficult at first. There is much more to cut out of your diet. If you love to cook and try out new thing it won’t be too hard, but if you’re lazy and never got in touch with vegetarian or vegan food ( like my dad) there might be some tough days.
It’s totally up on you, how you want to do it! Everyone is different and deals with cravings ect. differently. Maybe the best way for you is to go vegetarian for a month and then go vegan. I only made it ( permanent) by leaving out eggs and dairy from time to time. It totally depends on you!
10 tips for successfully becoming vegan
1. Do it your way
It can be really helpful to get some tips and inspiration from others and exchange information. But what worked for them doesn’t have to work best for you. Feel free to try their methods, but make sure to listen to your body and needs in the end. You are individual and so is your “vegan story”.
2. Get informed!
I assume that you already know a few things about veganism since you clicked on this blog post! It’s supposed to be healthy, you’re not harming any animals and can live and eat in a good conscience. Having a lot of striking reasons to go vegan makes it way easier to pull through the whole thing. Some people go vegan for the animals, some for their health, others for peace or nature. I am vegan for everything for example but at first I was vegan for animals and nature, since I didn’t know that animal products are not healthy. I watched a few documentaries ( the highly discussed ” What the health” documentary on Netflix and some others), read articles and visited local farms.
Not everything you’ll be hearing or reading might be true. There are always supporter and opponents, different opinions, mysterious studies and so on. I believe that humans are not meant to eat animals. They had to do so to survive in the past but they don’t need it anymore. I noticed only good effects since I went vegan, so for me it’s proven that it is the best for your health. That’s my opinion 🙂 In the end it is true what YOU believe in.
3. The right motivation – Do it for yourself
This is your decision. You want to change something and most important is that you want to do a change for yourself and nobody else. Don’t get me wrong here! Of course you can go vegan for animals, nature, peace, to fight world hunger ( and so on ) but you need to do it because it’s what YOU want. Not your friend, sister, boyfriend or anyone else. That is not the right motivation and you will probably fail and feel guilty .
4. NO pressure, NO suffering
Your body, your life, your decisions and your tempo! NEVER put yourself under pressure. If it takes weeks, months or even a year, that’s fine! It has to work for you. Others went vegan in a day or week? Good for them, but you do your best and that is enough.
It took me months to fully go vegan. I couldn’t resist a cheesy pizza. Maybe you love milk chocolate, scrambled eggs or a freshly grilled steak and that one time you can’t resist and eat it. Don’t feel bad! A change takes time. It’s better if you make exceptions at the beginning than to be incredibly suffering under the pressure to resist ( people who torture themselves often break off the vegan lifestyle after a year or even earlier, because they can’t stand it anymore). If the desire is too high, a slow transition might be easier for you. Leave out dairy, meat and eggs from time to time, until you’re completely vegan!
What can help ( especially in the first year) are replacement products. You are used to animal products. You are used to consume them and cook with them. There are some really authentic meat or cheese supplements, that helped me a lot, because I didn’t know what to eat at the beginning. Try out vegan recipes ( or something new, that comes to your mind) and you will be blown away by the diversity of vegan foods sooner or later. There is soooo much to try, create and explore and you will see, that being vegan isn’t a restriction but an enrichment! After 10 months of being vegan, I barely buy replacements. Sometimes it’s nice to have “pulled pork” on my burger, or “chicken nuggets” with my fries though 😀
6. ” I don’t like most veggies”
People are often scared about going vegan because the range of veggies that they like is low. Well, I only liked green beans, corn, carrots and a few other vegetables. No cooked tomatoes, peppers ect. . I was picky as hell. Now, the only veggie I don’t like is a sloppy eggplant. I don’t have the medical acknowledgement to explain it , but my sense of taste changed completely! Try to be open. You didn’t like beans, brocoli or kale as a child? Well, maybe you like it now. Or maybe you just have to prepare it differently. The craziest recipes or combinations are sometimes the best and sometimes the most basic ones are! I love almost every veggie when it’s roasted in the oven with some olive oil for example. Which leads to the next point.
7. Be open and experiment
Chickpea cookie dough or even cookie dough bars? A moist chocolate cake made with zucchini? Chocolate pudding made with avocados? YES! You won’t believe how versatile veggies and fruits can be. Always be open to try something new, even if it sounds strange at first. You will be surprised! Also I highly recommend going to vegan restaurants ( if you have some at your town or nearby ). There is nothing that I love more than trying out everything on these menus ( from time to time of course).
8. Workout & love yourself!
To me, veganism is highly connected to self-love. I struggled with that A LOT. When I became vegan I started to workout daily ( the vegan diet awakened power I never knew I had). I didn’t want to go only vegan but live and eat healthy too. With a daily workout ( at the beginning I did only 15-30 min per day) I wanted to treat my body well. I wanted to intensify the power and energy that I have with healthy food. Non vegan food does not meet these expectations. Veganism helps ( me) to motivate myself to be active which again helps me to love myself. I have never felt this strong, powerful, healthy and great! I can’t put it in words, you need to feel it yourself.
So get yourself together, start working out, go jogging or whatever it is that you enjoy. A balanced body and mind, self-love and happiness are waiting for you. It’s in your hands.
9. Stay true to your principles – In good and in bad times
Sometimes things can get crazy. You question everything you believe in or you are just hungry and the only food in your near is not vegan. Something similar happened to me in Thailand. I was traveling for 3 Weeks and never had vegan chocolate or cake. So what? Well, I am a chocaholic and bake every week at home. When I see a delicious looking non vegan cake somewhere, I bake my own at home. That wasn’t an opportunity in Thailand. I didn’t struggle until I saw the most epic chocolate cake at a small shop right next to our hostel. I walked by EVERY morning staring at it. Everyday it got worse. I started making excuses – “It’s just that one cake”. I was SO close to forget about everything I believe in. For that one piece of cake. Luckily my friend Nina was with me and reminded me about why I’m even doing this. We watched a documentation on YouTube and my power was back. Guess what happened at the shop the next day? They had made fresh VEGAN cake!! You won’t believe how happy I was, that I’d kept my strength. I would have regretted it sooo bad because everything went so smooth and good the last months. I clearly didn’t need that cake. When you’re having a “hard time”, don’t give up on everything just like that. Remind yourself why you are vegan and why it’s the right thing to do! You will be stronger afterwards.
Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.
(But also don’t forget about point two! If you’re a newbie – take the time you need!)
10. Dealing with the family/friends – justifying
First things first: You don’t have to justify yourself to anyone. It’s your life and it’s only your decision. And that’s that! Of course you can answer questions, but don’t ever feel like you have to justify yourself.
My family thought I was joking. They thought going vegan would be insane, crazy and unnatural. Even unhealthy!
Some reactions I’ve got as a vegan:
“And what do you eat then?”
” One person doesn’t make a difference.”
“Don’t eat the food’s food “
“Going vegan doesn’t change anything.”
” Well I only eat very little meat/ cheese/ eggs, none at all really”
“It’s great that you’re vegan, but I couldn’t do it.”
“You’ll have weak bones.”
“Tofu is disgusting. I tried it once!”
“Do you want one? oh I forgot you can’t eat that. “
“I’m totally against animal cruelty (as they eat a steak).”
The list is endless.
To what I experienced the best way to deal with critical friends and family is to stay calm, be determined about what you believe in , don’t try to discuss with them and keep your facts about veganism with yourself ( except they ask). My family didn’t like the idea of veganism at first. They were making their jokes and I let them do so, with the knowledge that I know better. And they will know better too, some day.
Don’t try to impose your lifestyle on others. Rather try to make it attractive for them. You’re going to a big family party with lots of non vegan food? Bring some delicious vegan food with you! Bake a cake, muffins or make a yummy pasta salad. Let your family/friends try it and maybe they will be a little less biased about veganism.
So much to my tips on becoming a longterm, happy vegan! I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and I also hope that it helps you going vegan/ helps you stay strong and in general inspires you in your decisions. Unfortunately I had to deactivate the comment function because of the private policy. I have no idea of IT and didn’t make it to edit the comment box without a plug in ( I can only install them with a premium account). I’d love to hear your thoughts on this anyway, so feel free to write me on instagram or send me an email 🙂
Thanks for reading,