Why I Became Vegan – 5 Easy Tips To Help You Too
I became vegetarian in September 2010.
I woke up one day with a feeling WORSE than a hangover. Barely able to walk, I had to go to ER, I was placed under anesthesia, had to have my stomach pumped and was placed on IVs for hydration. The doc placed me on a 30 day vegetarian diet to give my digestion a break from all the meat consumption. When I went back for a check up, the doc said it was my best bet to stay on this diet permanently. I had caused my stomach lining so much damage due to the foods I was consuming. My lining was as thin as a piece of paper and my digestive system was just unable to digest meat any longer.
I became vegan in January 2012
I’ve never been too crazy about milk or cheese so I naturally stayed away from them, unless it was a food that had it in it’s ingredients. I found out what veganism was at a restaurant, I was “creating” a veggie option and the waitress asked me if I was vegan, I asked her what it was, she explained the differences and since I was almost there, I made the conscious choice to be vegan. Started paying attention to ingredients in products and it’s been a wrap since then.
When I first became vegan, I had no clue what I was doing. This was BEFORE major restaurants and grocery stores carried vegan brands or had animal free alternatives. I was STRUGGLING so bad that I gave up and went back to vegetarian for a couple months. I decided to go vegan again after doing a lot of research.
2 Quick tips I can give you for finding vegan items at a restaurant or grocery store.
READ & ASK.
- Read the ingredients – there’s a little cheat code right underneath that says “May Contain” and if it says milk or any other contents that refer to animals, it’s NOT vegan. I always ALWAYS read the ingredients even when it clearly says “Vegan” across the top of the packaging or menu.
- Just ask “Is this vegan?” If they’re apprehensive, elaborate. “Does it have milk or dairy? Or animal products?” Easy.
If you’re wanting to transition into a plant based or vegan lifestyle here are 5 tips to help you.
- Research it – You know how to research what you want to do and how it benefits you. You’ve used Google before. Don’t play yourself. Search simple phrases like “How can I go vegan?” “Benefits of Veganism?” “How do vegans get their protein?”. The information is out there. If you’re uncomfortable with talking to someone in person, Google is all yours.
- Just do it – Sometimes in life, you just HAVE to go for it with no understanding and learn as you go. Simple to say, hard to do but analysis paralysis is REAL. Trust me. I know. Again, if you get stumped, fall back to number 1. Veganism isn’t easy at first, but if you educate yourself enough on why you want it, then it’ll be easier to stick with it.
- Get familiar with cost – I get asked often if being vegan is expensive. Yes, if you eat out every day and buy processed foods. No, if you maintain a whole foods diet and cook meals at home. Walk through your nearest health food store or market and look at the prices. Yes, some alternative plant based products are more expensive than processed junk but I’ve learned being preventive with my health is less expensive than be reactive with my health, and you should too if this journey is a priority.
- Get a friend – If you’re thinking about it, I’m SURE someone you know is as well. Try a day, a week or a month of a plant based lifestyle. Track your progress and see how your life changes. Trying doesn’t hurt. If you don’t like it, go back to your previous lifestyle. You never know if you don’t try.
- Know what you can eat – Circling back to my 2 Quick Tips. You’ll be amazed to find out that some of your favorite foods are vegan. If they don’t have dairy, and/or animal products they’re vegan. Oreo’s, original Lays, Sweet & Spicy Doritos … yep, vegan!