Tip #1. Focus on doing, instead of on non-doing.
Don’t focus on denying yourself things. Rather
focus on a Vision of something New
which is a completely plant-based diet, and a lifestyle that’s peaceful and harmonious.
Artist: Nicolai Heidlas
CC BY 3.0
Title Outro song: Wings
Tip #2. Be kind to yourself.
You probably want to become vegan to be better for the planet, animals, and your health. But if you, in the process, talk negatively to yourself when you do eat something non-vegan, you’re still creating harm.
Be kind to the planet, animals, and your body, but be kind to your heart and mind as well!
You can do so by intending to not judge yourself for any missteps.
Tip #3. Let yourself be Grossed OUT
Think about this, for example, a barbeque is people throwing a little party over chewing on corpses. Eww! :O Or cheese, it starts with milk that gets stolen from the cow and calf, and then fungi are added and it’s left there to get stinkier over time until it’s… “ready”… Bon appetit. :S
Tip #4. Inform yourself
It helps to really know how animals are treated, and what impact this has on the environment, the health of your body, and the well-being of people involved in the production process. Some good vegan information sources are:
- Documentary (mainly environment): Cowspiracy. For free on youtube.
- Documentary (mainly health): Forks over Knives + What The Health!?
- Documentary (mainly animal well-being): Earthlings + Peaceble Kingdom
- Speech/Lecture from Gary Yourofsky’s (why to be vegan). For free on Youtube
Tip #5. Indulge in vegan foods
Most of us have an emotional relationship with food. We’re addicted to sugar, fat, and salt. I would encourage you to work towards a healthy diet. But if that seems too hard to do in one go, know that you can still indulge while vegan. You can eat, for example, rice chocolate, potato chips, Oreo cookies, vegan pizzas. Or a little bit healthier perhaps: peanut butter, raisins, dried figs, banana chips or apple chips. Or just completely healthy: snack on fruits. Make strawberries your new candy.
Tip #6. Go to some “Vegan Mekka places”
In certain places on this earth, you’ll find a lot of vegans and vegan eating places. Some that I know and have enjoyed visiting are:
- Portland, Oregon in the USA
- Ubud, Bali in Indonesia
- Sri Thanu, Koh Phangan in Thailand
- Chiang Mai in Thailand
- Auroville, Tamil Nadu in India
Tip #7. Find vegan friends
Getting to know some vegan people helps you to see that “Yes, it’s possible”, and also, vegan people are usually very willing to help you out with your transition by showing you what to eat or how to handle certain obstacles you come across. If you make vegan friends, they can keep you on the right track by cooking and eating with you.
Tip #8. Use a Habit app
There are apps that are specifically designed to help you create new habits in your life. The app I used when I became vegan is Habit Loop. At the end of every day, I would fill out whether I succeeded in eating vegan that day. This app is free, looks neat, is simple, and gives you a statistical indication of your progress. The main thing why it works, I think, is that it’s a bit like a game. Now you not only want to eat vegan for all the reasons you already had, but also for the game element of getting a good mark in the app. Of course, there are many more habit apps, just have a search yourself, if you like.
Tip #9. Go Step by Step
It actually took me 4 years to transition from a vegetarian diet into a vegan diet (but hey, I didn’t have the tips yet that I just shared with you 😉 ). If you can’t make the change in one go, just go step by step. For example, take your time to gradually introduce:
- Replacing all milk in your fridge by the much healthier vegan alternatives like almond milk, rice milk or coconut milk. (soy milk is not so healthy, although maybe still healthier than cow milk)
- Replacing all butter by plant-based butter, this is probably availalbe in any big grocery store
- Start experimenting with new things to put on your bread instead of eggs or meat. Why not try different nut pastes? Vegan mayonaise with cucumber and pepper, vegetable spreads, tahini or humus?
- Use the free-to-use Happy Cow App to take yourself out to a close-by vegan eating place, and get some inspiration there as to what else you could eat. And maybe next time you want to meet up with a friend, propose going to an eating place with vegan options, in stead of your normal options.
- Go on the internet to find vegan recipees you would like to cook, and make it a habit to at least once or twice a week cook a new vegan meal for yourself.
Good luck with your journey!