I’ve gotten alot of questions recently wondering about my transition to veganism – i’m pretty sure i have written about this before but it doesn’t harm to write about it again. So prepare for a long post!
So I will start off by saying that I have never really liked or eaten red meat. I stopped eating red meat 2009/2010, however when I was in hospital recovering from my eating disorder I was forced to eat red meat and so 2010-2011 I ate red meat. But then from 2012 forward I haven’t eaten any red meat. However I have always loved white meat i.e chicken, turkey, fish and also loved dairy products. So they have been a huge part of my diet.
I recently made a post on IG mentioning that in the past c.a 2015/2016 before going vegan I ate around 1,5kg chicken, c.a 500g eggwhite & more whole eggs, c.a 4-6kg quark & 500g cottage cheese A WEEK. And ontop of that there was fish, chocolate, whey protein, protein bars etc So I ate a lot of animal products and I never really considered it. It was food, it was delicious and I didn’t want any rules about what I ate. I didn’t want to have any restrictions. However around the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016 I began to consume more soya products and use non dairy milk instead of real milk and began thinking more about veganism. I began doing more research and watching documentaries and I began to feel that eating animal products was wrong… however I was scared. I was scared of 1) Eating too little and losing weight, 2) Scared of eating too many carbs (yes, I do admit to that), 3) didn’t know how I would get enough protein to build muscle and get stronger, 4) I didn’t want to feel restrictied and I thought it would be complicated, 5)I liked the food I was eating and wasn’t ready to make a change, 6) my boyfriend at the time was very anti-vegan and that did infact hold me back from making a change but also with my past of an eating disorder I didn’t want my family to think that I was going back to my eating disorder habits. So for a long time I kept my feelings and thoughts oy mself, I wasn’t ready to make a change and had a lot of excuses as to why I couldn’t go vegan.
Finally though I decided enough was enough. I felt I was eating too much dairy and animal products. I felt constantly tired, bloated and just wanted a change. I was going through a lot a the time and I was very depressed and very stressed and didn’t feel good in my life situtaiton at all and I just wanted a change and so that’s what I did.
I remember telling my sister the weekend previously that I was going to try a vegan diet. She said she wanted to join, however she never did at the time, but I was set to make a change. I remember the night before I ate all the animal products I had at home or I threw them out and I bought lots of fruit, vegetables, soya products and other vegan products and that was the start of my vegan journey/transition. Before I made the change I wrote a list of a bunch of vegan meals I could eat and what foods were vegan so that I didn’t lost any inspiration or not know what to eat. I also began following lots of vegan accounts as well as doing research.
At first it just began with changing my diet and there was a lot of reading ingredients in the beginning. At first it was just to avoid milk and egg and honey in products but then I began to focus on other ingredients which aren’t vegan such as different e numbers and additives. It was a process and choosing food that was labelled vegan was the easiest in the beginning as it saved time when I was in the store.
One thing that helped me go vegan was actually my Instagram, showing my vegan food did help keep me acoountable and when I don’t know what to eat I can go back and look at the different meals I have eaten, but also now I love knowing I can inspire others to eat vegan. But back then it was a way to keep myself on the vegan track – but also following a bunch of vegan accounts. Also joining vegan facebook groups has helped SO MUCH. You learn about products that are vegan which you wouldn’t think are vegan, and you learn about products you think are vegan which aren’t. Not to mention you get advice when you need it, you learn which house hold and beauty products are vegan and cruelty free, you learn which products which to avoid and which ingredients aren’t vegan, but also you learn about new vegan products on the market. As well as getting a lot of food inspiration and recipe from different vegan food groups. So I highly recommend you join those types of groups!
I have now been vegan for more than 1,5 years and it has been a process, I have made mistakes such as I took a bite of my mothers sandwich which I thought only had hummus on it but has butter under the hummus. I have had alcohol which I haven’t been sure if it was vegan or not. I have bought chewing gum with gelatin in it. I have brought products which have had a non vegan ingredient in it and I have bought household products I thought were CF and vegan but weren’t (I could return them though!). You learn from your “mistakes”. I don’t want to call them mistakes though….. You can’t be perfect and you can’t always avoid animal products but all you can do is your best. It’s not the end of the world if you accidently eat a non vegan food or buy a product that isn’t vegan. Either return the product or give it away or just use it and next time don’t buy the same product. But don’t feel guilty, instead try to move on and learn – that’s the only way.
Would I recommend going vegan over night? It depends on who you are…. For some it is easiest to transition slowly. Find new recipes, try new vegan products and just begin with a few plant based meals each week and eventually go fully vegan. But for others it is easiest to just stop all at once.
My best suggestion is join groups and do research before hand. Watching documentaries and knowing why you want to be and should be vegan are important otherwise it can be easy to forget or think it doesn’t matter. Also learn to plan and prepare… yes, you do need to pack food with you just incase and have snacks and can’t always expect there to be vegan options, so being prepared will help SO MUCH.
And don’t forget to take b12 supplements and get your blood checked atleast once a year just incase… and this is recommended for non vegans as well!!!
If you have any questions or need advice it is just to comment and i will try my best to answer and give advice!