Want to learn how to go vegan or vegetarian, get enough protein, and love your food? Going vegan can seem like a daunting thing if you have a SAD (Standard American Diet) of meat and dairy products, but it really isn’t as difficult as you may think. More than ever, we’re seeing celebrities and high performance athletes switching to vegan and vegetarian diets.
A vegan lifestyle is easiest on your bank account and the environment, so going vegan is the biggest win all around. Eating plant based foods can be the foundation of a joyous and energetic lifestyle! But, you may be thinking – how do I move into a new way of thinking, eating and living, and keep those unconscious habits and sneaky meat cravings at bay? Read our top tips on how to go vegan below.
Here are our top 5 tips on how to go vegan and never look back:
1. Start small – going vegan is not a diet fad, it is a lifestyle and holistic shift to a happier you. Rather than eliminating all animal products at once, do it in steps. How much you cut out at one time is up to you. If you eat animal products every day, try to cut back to only a couple times a week, or lose red meat first, then all meat, then move from too much dairy, to just a little dairy every once in a while. Slowly but surely replace the meat in your diet with vegan protein foods such as nuts, seeds, legumes, quinoa and spirulina. First become mostly vegetarian, then become a plant based vegan.
2. Be kind to yourself – you are on a new adventure into a higher level of existence. Don’t be so dogmatic that it’s not fun. If you're aiming to go vegan, chances are you will likely take a step backwards every once in a while as you create your new lifestyle. If eating a small amount of dairy helps prevent you from eating meat, then it’s a much better alternative and you shouldn’t worry about it. After all, it is written in the ancient yoga books of India that the sacred cow came down from heaven for the benefit of all created beings, that cows are equal to the rays of the sun that travel through the universe giving light, warmth and nourishment, and cows should be lovingly cared for and protected with great honor and respect. Let us appreciate that cows give us abundance and happiness, and feed us all with their milk, yogurt, butter and cheese. Cows are like our mothers giving us strength and nourishment, and offering us their selfless service by giving us so much without asking for anything in return. We can make it a beautiful ritual to treat ourselves with a little organic dairy, and say thank you for the wonderful life and positive prana that we have been given by happy cows grazing on the pasturelands. Holy Cow! Enjoy a little dairy if that is your desire!
3. Join groups for support – Vegans and vegetarians are incredibly supportive to people that are open to their lifestyle and there are numerous groups that will offer support and tips to members. If you are having trouble reducing your cravings for meat, you can check out the meat substitutes that PETA suggests. And be sure to click through to their other interesting articles to inspire us to consider veganism. You can also join Paul McCartney and his Meat Free Monday campaign. He knows what’s going on!
4. Supplement your diet – most people are deficient in nutrients in this day and age. If you aren’t able to access enough leafy greens or you don’t like beans, it can be tricky to eat enough of the right foods when going vegan. So it is okay to supplement your meals and snacks to ensure that you get the right amount of protein and nutrients. Try using the highest quality organic and non-GMO supplements to counteract depleted soil, and to build up resistance to environmental pollutants. Once you begin feeling remarkably more energetic and clearheaded from nature’s most powerful foods, you will never look back to that SAD diet you gave up.
5. Honor life – respect the life you have been given, and the life of all living beings. Live in harmony with nature. Eat health giving plant based foods to fill yourself with positive energy. Read how the practice of yoga philosophy can protect your health and the environment of our planet.
Give it a try!