What's up herbivores, in this blog I'm going to be answering questions that I've been getting asked a lot lately which is where do I start if I want to go vegan? I love getting this question and I’m glad that so many people just like you are all very curious and reaching out. So where would you even start? How do you begin? What does it look like? I'm going to answer that today in three very simple answers.
The first thing you want to do, if you are considering going vegan is really formulate your personal “why”. Before diving any further into your “why”, I want to clarify that vegan is different than going plant-based. When people go plant-based they do it for their health, they can also do it for the planet, the environment, but mainly the positive health benefits.
Increase your veggies
The second thing to know when go learning to go vegan is to increase your intake of vegetables. As a nutrition coach one thing that I always tell people to do, no matter what their ultimate goal is to increase their water intake. And as a new plant-based nutrition coach, I say, increase your vegetables. If you're going to be completely vegan, then your plate is going to comprise probably about 75% vegetables. You have a protein source, but mainly vegetables. So you really have to get acclimated in terms of finding vegetables that you like and finding ways to make the vegetables that you like tastes good.
Don't know how to increase your vegetables? It can simply, maybe try adding a salad to whatever you're already eating, or maybe eat larger quantities or larger portions of some of the vegetables that you're already eating. Increasing vegetables is important because a vegan diet is a plan-focused diet, so you will have to learn to put plants first. In traditional diets like the Western American diet that prioritizes meat, dairy, and highly processed foods, when you ask someone what they had for dinner you may get an answer like “oh, I had a burger” “I had a hot dog” “we had steak, chicken, or fish”. If you notice, there’s a tendency to lead with the meat and to put the protein first. So as you do go vegan, You’ll begin to think of ways to put the plants first. So before you make any final long-term decisions, keep eating and enjoying your food the way do, just begin to increase the plants in your diet because that's ultimately what you're gonna do, if and when you choose to go vegan.
The third thing you're going to do if you are considering going and giving yourself grace. When you go down the path of vegan and even vegetarian, you learn that there's so much more pain and suffering in this world. As your social justice sphere increases, so does your heart. Your eyes start to open and you just start to grieve more. You start to feel more at least that was my experience. The best way it was described to me is, it’s like being exposed an nerve. You begin to become more self and socially aware, and you can see so much more pain from the suffering of the individual animals being slaughtered to the groups of animals in captivity, and the attitudes of people who are indifferent or reusing to acknowledge the harm that our diets cause. Really looking into grace and compassion for yourself is going to be one of the most helpful things you can do right away when going vegan. Study grace and have it built-in and lined up for yourself. That way when negatively approaching you, it won't impact you emotionally or spiritually as much.
The negativity definitely impacted me, so I'm wanting to pass this learning of grace for myself and for others at this time in my life along to you. As you go vegan and find that it isn’t a journey of perfection, I do want to make sure that you extend grace to yourself and remember that you’re doing the best that you can.
Those are the three things to consider when wanting to know to start your vegan journey. If you are considering going vegan, determine your “why”, increase your vegetables and then begin to explore grace, for yourself and then for others.
Thank you all for your support. Thank you all for reading my blog. If you have any questions about anything mentioned, have comments on anything I just covered I would love to hear about it, so please drop it in the comment. Until next time, keep grazing!