No one said becoming vegan would be easy. At first you battle temptations every day and are constantly fighting the urge to gobble down anything in front of you when you are starving. Reading labels and asking what feels like hundreds of questions when you eat out is inconvenient, annoying, and a big pain in the butt! But remember, you went vegan for a reason and it gets easier. Whether your decision was personal, ethical, or for health reasons – YOU decided to make the change. You thought long and hard about this lifestyle choice so why throw in the towel when the going gets tough.
I won’t lie, I have struggled because my work and personal life has been hectic. I have wanted to cave a few times when there was no vegan food in sight but I have to remind myself that I am vegan for a reason. Convenience is for the lazy. There is a reason McDonald’s and Burger King don’t cater to vegans. As vegans we think about what we put in out bodies and there is nothing at McDonald’s that I want in my system. For all you new vegans out there, let me give you a few tips that will help you stick to your vegan lifestyle.
1) Non-Vegan Food will Make you Sick
So you’ve been a strict vegan for a month or two now and for some reason you decide to cave and chow down on a Big Mac after a night at the bar. My guess is the hangover isn’t what is going to keep you in the loo the morning after. When we omit a food group such as dairy or meat from our systems and then suddenly stuff our guts with it, our bellies aren’t going to be too pleased. You’ll have gas, diarrhea, and an upset stomach for hours because of your little indulgence. Seriously, just don’t do it. Everyone around you will be thankful.
2) Don’t let the Guilt Drive you Crazy
For however long you have been vegan, my guess is you’ve had to explain to your family, friends, and co-workers why you went vegan and what exactly it means. You’re in a new routine and are preparing healthy vegan meals that you actually enjoy. You should be proud of yourself (heck I’m proud of you) but you feel an insane amount of guilt because – whoops – you just ate a bowl of creamy and cheesy mac and cheese for lunch. You feel like you let the vegans of the world down and you consider giving up, being a vegan is just too hard. Don’t let this happen to you!! We are all human! If you have a bite of a birthday cupcake, I swear it won’t kill you and it won’t kill your vegan lifestyle either. It’s fine to have mishaps but instead of reaching for the chocolate milk next time, try to find a vegan alternative.
3) Don’t blame the price tag
I seriously don’t understand when people say “oh, healthy food is way more expensive…” I want to slap them (but ofcourse I don’t actually do it). It is obvious to me that these unmentioned people clearly don’t know how to shop. Being the brilliant shopper that I am, I go through the grocery store flyers when they get delivered (or read them online) to check out what is on sale. I then go through my cook books and find recipes for the week that use the sale items. It isn’t rocket science. If you buy three cartons of organic raspberries in the dead of winter, yes, they are going to be SUPER expensive. Buy frozen berries instead or buy a couple apples (they are always on sale!).