The title of this post is slightly inaccurate because I never ever tell anyone to become anything, let alone Vegan. But, I often get asked these questions: How can I become Vegan? How can I feel full on just veggies? How do I overcome the initial struggles of changing my diet?
Of course, if I am an expert on anything, it is for sure, on celebrating nature and Nature’s glory 🙂 Yes, I didn’t go to school for that. Maybe there are Shaman schools for that but none that I know of. I just had a drive for it since I was a very little girl and through trial and error, here I am! 20 years and counting being a vegetarian.
How to become vegan!
First and foremost, you have to WANT IT! Personally and from within. No one should guilt you into becoming vegan. You should feel ready, like “This is it”! You want it!”
Once that is established, then the path is clear. Educate yourself. There is no greater motivator than information.
There are plenty of youtube videos, channels, books, movies and magazines. Just make sure you commit to a continuous education and let the fear of dropping meat out of your diet go. It is just a fear. My grandma thought I will die without meat and my mom had to “lie” to her and tell her I only eat organic meat so she doesn’t worry about me. The whole notion that we need meat for our health is extremely inaccurate. Further more meat is the cause of a host of health complications down the road. I work out more than most people and I meet all my protein requirements by just eating whole fruits and veggies. I am not a big pulses and beans eater and I still meet my requirements. As a matter of fact I recently did my full blood test profile and my protein levels were in perfect range. So was my calcium, iron, blood sugar and cholesterol. So relax and enjoy the new compassionate journey into supreme health and fitness.
If you haven’t seen Forks over Knives go ahead and make it a movie night 🙂
(someone just sent this photo to me in an email as I was writing this article so I took it as a sign to include it in my blog post) 🙂
I became vegetarian at the age of 15 or so, I estimate. It wasn’t a cut and clear event. I just knew I couldn’t eat meat. I never liked the taste of meat as a kid and had to force myself to eat it. Once I started to feel like I was making conscious choices about everything in my life and it was all my will and inner wisdom driven choices – then I stopped eating meat. It just didn’t seem right. Yet, I didn’t know much about animal cruelty, animal rights, health, health implications of eating meat and so forth.
OK, so forward 5-6 years and I am in the States, reading a ton of literature. The books that inspired me to go vegan (I was already flirting with Veganism for years) was: Diet For a New America by John Robbins, no other but the son and nephew and heir of Baskin Robbins- the big ice cream company. I remember (don’t quote me on the details) that his father and uncle both ate a lot of ice cream at all the company meetings and such. Both suffered heart attacks and weight issues and painful deaths. The book was so well researched and written that it made me go vegan overnight. Now, I don’t believe anyone should be super militaristic about veganism. Meaning, some honey or farm sheep milk or such shouldn’t be the end of the world. What counts is what you do 90% of the time. I am vegan, other than the rare bee products I take, so I don’t prefer the term “Vegan” but for the lack of better term I will use it more often than not.
Another book I recommend reading is:
The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World
Get excited about cooking, uncorking, preparing. Start noticing new veggies and fruits and get creative in the kitchen.
One of the best things about cleaning ones diet from junk food and meat is that you will start enjoying food much more.
Personally, I have found donuts and junk food repelling. The taste and smell is just that of inferior cheap ingredients. And YES, I can smell that. I can taste refined flour in a cake. I have had to take bites of cakes and such so that not to offend a host and even though everyone was raving about the cake I couldn’t get it. It tasted like refined sugar and flour- no flavor; and then some artificial flavor added to it; overly fatty from refined inferior fats. And I thought to myself “I wish I had a super delicious, flavorful, full of subtle nuances and flavors date or peach or persimmon”.
Focus on variety in your diet.
Keep making new recipes.
Don’t worry too much about nutritional deficiencies. Just focus on whole foods and a variety of veggies and fruits.
Get a methylcobalamin B12 supplement.
Prepare for some detox symptoms. It will get better eventually.
Be ware. There will most likely be a mild to intense diet detox that can last from a few days to weeks and months (depending on your diet up until this point) BUT things will start to get better. If you feel sick and just unwell at first take this as a sign of a toxic body. You don’t want to be carrying around toxicity in your body. You want the sludge out of your system. But getting clean is not always an easy process. Yet it is absolutely needed in order to feel vibrant, energetic and healthy. Stick with it and get through it. Look for support on vegan forums. come to our Beautiful Yogis Group and get some advice and support from myself and the cuties on there 🙂 BEAUTIFUL YOGIS GROUP
You are doing this for your health and for the health of the planet. If it sits well in your heart, you will succeed! Do not worry about all the people telling you that you need protein. Remember about me 🙂 – your yoga teacher that can kick some butt 🙂 I get my protein from fruits and veggies and I have to tell you, I am strong, fast and flexible and NEVER felt like I need some extra protein. I have done bodybuilding in the past following the same diet and the results were just as fabulous.
Don’t over complicate things. Human nutrition is more simple than people make it out to be! Just eat whole foods and you are on the right track. That is your FIRST and FOREMOST important step in becoming vegan.
Let me know if you have any questions. And I will share my thoughts and advice in my next post on this subject. I will go in more detailed advice as well as troubleshoot potential issues.