7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Going Vegan

Guest post by Stephanie Dreyer, VeegMama

I am so excited to be on Urban Naturale today!  If you are in the process of deciding if vegan is the right lifestyle for you, or just feel overwhelmed with overhauling your diet, read on! It took me 6 months to hit my stride after going vegan overnight almost 5 years ago. There was a steep learning curve to build a new repertoire of recipes, familiarize myself with vegan products, and learn the latest in the animal rights movement. I wish I had had a vegan fairy godmother to show me the way. Let me be that for you! First off, I would have told my pre-vegan self the following few things.  If I had known then what I know now, I might have gone vegan a lot earlier and would have enjoyed the process a bit more!  These are just a few of the things I wish I had known before going vegan.

1. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Veganism is a lifestyle choice that I plan to live for the rest of my life. Big changes don’t have to be made overnight. In my new ebook, VeegMama’s Guide To Going Vegan, I share how to transition to a vegan diet and lifestyle simply and easily. I went vegan overnight, which was tough and overwhelming.  Five years later, I realize, it didn’t have to be so hard.  A transition takes time.  There are no trophies for how long it takes you to get there (as anything in life).  I wish I would have slowed down and realized that going vegan didn’t have to happen overnight.  It would have made the whole process less daunting.

2. You will lose weight.

Losing six pounds the first week into my vegan journey was a complete surprise. I was in it for the animals, but the weight loss was an added bonus!  It’s no surprise that eliminating meat and dairy from your diet and ramping up on extra vegetables is going to have positive effects on your waistline. Weight loss is one of the fringe benefits of going vegan.

3. You don’t have to be perfect.

I felt this pressure to learn everything there was to know about veganism, like I was preparing for a final exam and had to be an expert all at once if I was given the privilege of calling myself a vegan. There is no vegan police force watching your every move to call you out if you accidentally eat something with cheese or slip up and have a cookie baked with butter. As in life, do the best you can at any given moment. As long as you have the intention of living more compassionately, you are living the vegan lifestyle.

4. You don’t have to give up cheese.

I was a huge cheese freak before going vegan. It was one of the main reasons I didn’t switch to vegan from vegetarianism 5 years sooner. I did not realize that there are a variety of alternatives available to indulge my cheese cravings, including nut cheeses, spreads, and sauces. I can still easily satisfy my “cheese tooth” in my vegan diet.

5. You can eat as much as you want.

I never worry about how much I eat any more. No counting calories, no worrying about second helpings. As long as you are eating veggies and whole foods (versus French fries and Oreos), you really can eat as much as you want on a vegan diet and not worry about weight gain or other dietary issues.

6. It’s a lifestyle, not a diet.

When I committed to a new way of eating, I was also signing up for a new way of living – a life full of compassion and kindness, free of animal cruelty and products in any way, shape of form. It brought me into a community of other like-minded, loving individuals and really carved a new way of life for myself that has been more joyful and rewarding than I ever could have anticipated.

7. It’s easier than you think.

Chances are that you are already eating many plant-based foods (think pasta, rice and beans). Major retailers like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s offer many products that are prominently labeled. Vegan and vegan friendly restaurants are growing and growing.

There are also small changes that lead up to big differences in creating a plant-based diet, including:

*Adding more fruits and veggies to your plate (leaving less room for animal products)

*Switching out one thing for something else

*Making one meal a day meatless and building from there

So, what are you waiting for?  Just do it!  It is easier than you think, and the positive benefits will far outweigh any hesitation you are feeling now.  For more information and advice on “good” living and the vegan lifestyle, check out VeegMama’s Guide To Going Vegan.

About the author
Stephanie Dreyer, is the founder of VeegMama, a lifestyle blog sharing new approaches to healthy living and eating.  She encourages her readers to live their best life every day through food, wellness, and personal fulfillment.  She is also a children’s book writer and mom of three.  Stephanie was most recently featured on KCAL 9 in Los Angeles and Chickpea Magazine.  She is a contributing author in the #1 Amazon Bestselling Book, Sexy Fit and Fab Sirens.  Her new ebook, VeegMama’s Guide To Going Vegan, is now available. You can visit her at http://veegmama.com and can connect with her at [email protected], [http://facebook.com/Veegmama], [http://twitter.com/Veegmama], [http://instagram.com/Veegmama], and [http://pinterest.com/veegmama].

 

Are you vegan or are you thinking about transitioning to a plant-based diet?
What are some of the things you wish you knew before going vegan?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.

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