It’s been 3 weeks since my diet became 100% vegan, and I have learned some things. So today I thought I would share 10 things to know about going vegan, based on my recent experience. Let me know if you can relate to anything, or if you had a completely different experience, I would love to know!
1. You’ll need to answer questions. Lot’s of them.
I knew I would be answering questions as soon as I told people I was going vegan, but I didn’t expect so many people to suddenly be so interested in my diet. I don’t mind answering these questions, as long as they are kindhearted. There is a big difference between “do you find it harder to incorporate protein into your diet now?” and “don’t you know you won’t get enough protein if you don’t eat meat???”. I completely understand people’s curiosity, and am happy answer any questions they have, but when people ask ill-informed questions, my patience dwindles away fast. Just keep in mind that a big diet change like going vegan will invite lot’s of questions, so be prepared!
2. People will be concerned for your health.
This ties in to my first point: people will all of a sudden care a whole lot about what you eat. At first, I found this annoying, because I knew I had done my research and knew how to deal with this change in diet. But I soon realized that although I might have done my research, my friends and family hadn’t, and so I couldn’t really blame them for being worried. Take your time to explain this change in lifestyle to them, because at the end of they day, their concern will almost always stem from a place of love.
3. Some things are easier to give up than you think.
When I started this journey, I thought I would struggle a lot to give up meat. While I didn’t eat meat on a everyday basis, I did enjoy a piece of salmon or chicken, or a beef burger, every now and then. Surprisingly, I have not once craved meat. I haven’t even eaten any meat substitutes, because I don’t crave the texture or taste of meat. Why this is exactly I don’t know, but I am for sure not complaining.
4. Some things are much harder to give up than you think.
Well, it wasn’t bound to be a super easy smooth journey the whole way through. While I haven’t caved meat, I have craved cheese. Being Dutch, I know my cheese, and I used to enjoy it a whole lot. Since I came to university I hadn’t eaten much of it, for health reasons, but it was definitely a treat food for me. So when I made pasta with tomato sauce the other day, I couldn’t help but crave some Parmesan cheese on top. But I didn’t give in, and the longer I go on without it, the less I crave it.
5. There will be temptations.
As much as you believe in the cause for you going vegan, there will always be temptations. In my case, I have eaten meat, dairy, and eggs for the last 20 years. So I think that it is only natural that when I am in a supermarket and see that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is being sold for half price, I can’t help by crave it immensely. Or that when I go out for dinner with my friends, and they order cheese laden pizza’s, that I am slightly disappointing with my vegetables only pizza. I think that temptations will always exist, but that they will slowly fade away. The more you get accustomed to your vegan diet, the less your previous diet will seem appealing.
6. You’ll make mistakes, and that’s okay.
No one is perfect, and that’s normal. You will make mistakes. When I started my vegan diet, I thought it would be simple: just no meat, dairy, or eggs. But I was mistaken. There are so many animal derived ingredients that I never even knew existed, and the amount of time I spend reading labels nowadays has greatly increased. But I have made mistakes. The other day I went to Starbucks and order a soy chai tea latte. In my head, this drink was a mixture of tea and soy milk, so it was vegan. I went home and did some research on vegan Starbucks drinks (tip: do this before you actually go to Starbucks) and found out that the chai tea latte has traces of honey in it. Oops. Was I automatically no longer a vegan? Of course not. I did not intentionally consume the honey, and it was a mistake made once and never again. Mistakes are part of transitioning your diet, so don’t feel so bad when you make one.
7. There is a huge vegan community online.
The first few days of my vegan diet I felt a little lost. I had no friends or family members that were vegan so I felt like I was the only vegan on the planet. I then went on Instagram and found the biggest vegan community. People posting their food, their opinion, everything to do with being vegan. I am now addicted to Instagram, but on the plus side, I no longer feel alone. It definitely keeps me going and motivated.
8. You’ll start to crave fruit and vegetables.
A turning point in my journey was when I started to crave fruit and vegetables. Instead of craving a piece of cake, I was craving kiwi’s. Instead of craving pizza, I was craving potatoes. I saw this as a way of my body telling me that it has made the transition successfully, and I couldn’t be happier. Now I can actually feed my cravings, because they are 100% vegan and very healthy.
9. You’ll start to feel amazing.
I can’t put my finger on exactly what has changed, but overall, I am happier. I feel more energized, purposeful, and happy. I think that this is mainly due to my diet. I see it as my body being happy with what I am feeding it, and in return, I feel better. It’s like being on a constant happy high, and I never want to lose it.
10. You’ll want to share all of it.
When I started my vegan diet, I thought it would just be something personal that I wouldn’t really talk about. Well, I was wrong. I have already written a few blog posts about it (sorry if there’s been too many!), started a vegan Instagram account, and find myself wanting to talk to people about my diet. I make sure to never judge others on their diets, and never really talk about my diet unless asked. But the fact that I feel so amazing because I have gone vegan makes me want others to feel the same, and so all I want to do it share it.
If you want to check out my vegan Instagram account, give it a follow: