There are plenty of things you need to know when you’re making the switch to veganism lifestyle, but if I’ve learned anything from my journey and observing others’, it’s that many of us tend to make the same mistakes. You’ll find your transition to be far easier (and healthier) if you manage to avoid the following pitfalls.
1. Switch To Veganism, But Don’t overdo it on junk food
Yep, Oreos are vegan. So are most Lay’s potato chips. And Swedish fish, and lots of processed “baked goods.” The list goes on and on. You might be thinking, “But I never eat that stuff, and if I go vegan I’ll want to eat even more healthy!” Which is probably true. However, a few months into going vegan, I hit a wall where I became so tired of reading food labels that I started depending on junk foods that I knew happened to be vegan just to get me through the day. I didn’t want to spend my half an hour break from work quizzing a waitress, so I’d just pop in to a convenience store and grab a couple crinkly packets of junk snacks.
Not only is this not really great for the environment, it’s awful for your body, and in turn, for your energy levels and mood. I started thinking that “being vegan” couldn’t be good for me because I was exhausted and grumpy all the time. Turns out that’s what a diet of salt and vinegar chips and dark chocolate bars will do to a gal!
2. Don’t overdo it on “substitutes”
When you first switch to veganism – you’ll discover a whole world of new brands marketed to you, promising to replace your bacon cheeseburgers, ice cream, and so forth. Have some fun with it! But it’ll be easier on your wallet and your ability to form new healthy habits if you don’t overdo it. Plus, while many of those products have a place in a healthy diet, they’re still usually more processed than your body really needs its food to be.
You don’t need to replace everything you used to eat with an imitation—there are plenty of new and healthy foods for you to try now! Explore your local farmers market, learn new recipes, and experiment! Don’t just run to the freezer aisle and load up on imitation “chik’n.” Your body will thank you.
3. Don’t necessarily feel you have to make the switch overnight
For many of us, the decision to go vegan came in a moment of epiphany. And in that moment, it felt like you had to make the switch to veganism immediately and completely, never look back, and never slip up. At least, that’s how I felt.
And I failed.
And then I had another epiphany, and once more tried to switch over night.
And once again failed.
And then I thought, “I don’t even really like eggs. I’ll stop buying eggs.” I felt better about myself, knowing that I was preventing cruelty through that one small decision. Then I tried almond milk, and thought, “This is better than cow’s milk. I’ll stop buying cows milk.” And I felt better again.
The change happened gradually, and what I learned in the process was that by making small decisions that I could feel good about, my transition became nearly effortless.
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