TAKE THE FIRST STEP
So, you decided that you want to live a more compassionate lifestyle but don't know where to begin? Well look no further… I'm going to keep it raw and real for you and show you how you can take the first steps to successfully transition to a vegan lifestyle and stay vegan for life! Below are the steps that I took which helped me along my journey as well as the many others that I helped transition towards veganism. Follow the steps in order to assure yourself of an easy transition. Keep in mind that education is always the first step in changing your diet and lifestyle. The reason why you do something will keep you going when life gets in the way.
FOODS TO AVOID
Meat: Beef, lamb, pork, veal, horse, organ meat, wild meat, etc.
Poultry: Chicken, turkey, goose, duck, quail, etc.
Fish and seafood: All types of fish, anchovies, shrimp, squid, scallops, calamari, mussels, crab, lobster and fish sauce
Dairy: Milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, cream, ice cream, etc.
Eggs: From chickens, quails, ostriches and fish
Bee products: Honey, bee pollen, royal jelly, etc.
CLOTHING TO AVOID
Animal fur or feathers
ACTIVITIES TO AVOID
Zoos or any other captive animal displays. A zoo is a business where the babies draw crowds and adult animals are routinely traded, loaned, or sold. The disposal of older (“surplus”) animals is a not-so-well kept secret (and sometimes illegal) industry practice. Animals end can end up at auction, on a hunting ranch, in research laboratories, or dying in a more depraved situation.
Circuses. Mexico, Peru and several other Latin American countries have already banned or restricted the use of animals in traveling circuses in recent years. Performing animals are even rarer in Europe, where many nations prohibit them. There is no such federal law in the United States unfortunately.
Educate yourself on the environmental, ethical, and healthful reasons to live vegan
Education is one of the first steps in learning about a vegan lifestyle including the benefits on your health, the animals and our planet. If you don't know why you're doing something, you’ll find it easier to give in to temptation because you haven’t built a solid foundation yet. Click on a photo above to learn more about how the animals, the environment, our water, the rain forest, world hunger and the health of your body would all improve by living vegan.
Watch powerful documentaries
After watching these documentaries for the first time, I got fired up and was inspired to make a change in my life. When we visually see whats going on in the animal agricultural industry, the direct impact it has on the animals, our environment and the health of our bodies, we are far more likely to make a change (even if it's just a small change) because we are seeing the impact first hand. Empower yourself with the truth!
FOLLOW influential VEGANs
There are so many influential vegans who share their journies online through books and videos. These are just a small list of the people who continue to inspire me along my vegan and raw journey. There are so many others out there that you may be able to relate to more since we are all unique individuals and look up to different types of people. Remember, not one "guru" has all of the answers for your specific lifestyle. We all have different life experiences and by sharing our experiences and knowledge, we can help heal the world. Who cares if you do not agree with 100% of how others live their life or spreads their truth. All vegans are essentially all working towards the same cause and greater good of our planet. It’s not always easy to put yourself out to the world for others to judge so show these people some real compassionate vegan LOVE!
"Veganize" your favorite meals
Have you tried all of the vegan burgers on the market right now? What about all of the different types of dairy free vegan cheeses out there? There are so many vegan alternatives to meat, dairy and eggs that even if you don't like one brand, you'll probably find another if you keep trying them and giving vegan a chance. My advice is to take your main "go to" meals and remove the animal products and replace them with vegan alternatives. Have these backup plan meals ready to go in your house anytime you feel hungry. Examples for breakfast would be: overnight oats with fresh fruit, tofu scrabme with potato hash or Examples for lunch would be: veggie burger with fresh, falafal sandwich, veggies and hummus with pita bread for lunch, pasta with tomato sauce and steamed veggies or a baked potato. When I went vegan I literally had Mexican food every single night... beans, rice, guacamole, pico de gallo, Ole! Amy's organic microwavable meals really helped me out too. Although I do not eat microwave foods anymore, they really helped me in the beginning of my vegan journey.
VEGAN ALTERNATIVES TO MEAT, DAIRY & EGGS
BURGERS: Bean burgers, lentil burgers, sweet potato burgers, Beyond Burger, Hillary’s burger, Amy's burger, Nut burgers, Morningstar Burger, Gardein Burger, etc. Click here to learn about some of the best tasting vegan burgers out on the market!
ICE CREAM: Basically all of the diary free alternatives (banana, coconut, soy, almond, etc.) that you can turn into ice cream. Ben & Jerry's, So Delicious, Coconut Dream and many others have amazing vegan ice creams on the market.
YOGURT: Soy yogurt, coconut yogurt, almond yogurt, cashew yogurt and even flax yogurt.
MEAT: Tofu, tempeh, seitan, textured vegetable protein, jackfruit, mushrooms, lentils, beans, legumes, eggplant or cauliflower. Gardein offers beefless crumbles, chick'n products, fishless products that many vegans love!
DIPS: Hummus, guacamole, cashew cheese sauce, vegan ranch dip and artichoke dip.
CREAM CHEESE/SOUR CREAM: Tofutti, Kite Hill, Daiya or Follow Your Heart.
BUTTER: Earth Balance or Miyokos. “I Can’t Believe its not Butter” is essentially vegan but take a look at the genetically modified ingredients. Trust me, you don’t want this in your body. not even a little bit.
MAYONNAISE: Veganaise, smashed avocado or many others on this list here.
EGGS: To substitute an egg in baking, use applesauce, pureed soft tofu, egg replacer, a flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax seeds plus 3 tablespoons water or other liquid, blended), or mashed a banana. For scrambled eggs you can use the Vegan Egg or tofu.
HONEY: Agave, maple syrup, rice syrup or Bee Free Honee. We don’t need to exploit bees to make our food or drinks sweet. Lets leave them out of the equation.
CHOCOLATE: Cacao, my favorite raw vegan chocolate company is Coracao Confections. Enjoy Life chocolate chips or Lindt plain dark chocolate 70%, 80% & 85%. Click here for the ultimate guide to vegan chocolate by peta2.
Try out new healthy & delicious vegan recipes
When I first went vegan I really didn't know what to eat so I created a Pinterest account and started searching and saving all of the vegan recipes and guides I could find. Today there are millions of vegan recipes online. Anything you can eat now can be made vegan including: pizza, burgers, pasta, lasagna, vegetable curries, burritos, pasta, ice cream, chocolate, cakes, cookies and smoothies... You name it!
I never considered myself an amazing chef but when I started experimenting in the kitchen I started to amaze myself and found the confidence within to create some of my own dishes. I started making healthy and delicious meals that tasted even better than what I was used to eating before. My advice to people interested in changing their diet is to experiment with all foods. Don't be afraid to get dirty or make mistakes in the kitchen. How do you know you'll like something if you don't try it a couple of different ways? I used to hate peppers and now I aboslutely love them. Your taste buds change over time espeically when you clean up your diet and remove processed foods.
Become more mindful, conscious and aware of everything consume. Not just with the food you eat but the thoughts you think, the people you surround yourself with, the content you watch, the music you listen to and the type of experiences you attract. We are all responsible for our lives and we vote for the type of world we want to live in by how we directly spend our money. We may not always have control over the circumstances around us but we are certainly responsibly for how we react, how we treat others and how we spend our money. All change starts from within so if you want to change the world, you know what to do... Change yourself!
GET REAL WITH YOURSELF
Truly ask yourself: Would I eat the pets I love? If not, why eat other animals? Just because we've always been doing something doesn't mean it's right. Loving one animal but setting a life up for suffering torture and death is called speciesism. Lets love ALL animals and grant them the right to be free even though we've intervened in their breeding process.
If you still are having a hard time resonating with this lifestyle, watch this video and ask yourself if you feel sad, hungry or angry after watching it. This video is graphic but I feel that if you are going to support an industry, shouldn't you be able to see how the "products" (or prodcuts of death) you are purchasing are created?
When you watch this video... ask yourself if you feel hungry, sad or angry?
take the first step
Order a vegan kick starter or signup for a 22 day vegan challenge and receive FREE recipes and personal guidance from helpful mentors and clinical dietitians. This will help to make sure you are eating enough and a variety of plant foods to help sustain and satiate yourself so you can stay on track and be successful on this lifestyle. Take the first step, ask for help and change your life and the entire planet.
ask for help
Reach out to positive and influential vegans who have been living this lifestyle for a while and ask them to coach you. I have helped many people transition to a more plant centered diet. If you are not ready to take the step towards veganism but would like to know how to incorporate more plant foods into your diet, I would love to help you! I understand that not everyone is ready or able to make a change in their life right away so keep educating and inspiring yourself. You can do anything you set your mind to.