Not many people have the will power to go vegan overnight, with many going vegetarian first. However, I’ll be the first to admit that transitioning from vegetarian to vegan can be a little overwhelming and confusing. Yet fret not, here are some tips on how I did it myself, and haven’t eaten any animal products since.
1. Educate yourself first
I wasn’t particularly interested in going vegan until I finally got around to watching Cowspiracy. Once I had done so, I really didn’t have any justification not to cut out animal products completely.
There’s a reason diets and cutting out food groups for nothing more than weight loss don’t work, and that’s because you just go back to your old habits with no repercussion. But take it from a previous nacho addict, you can’t eat cheese again after seeing the destruction it causes.
Once you realise that your actions affect people other than yourself, you will actually want to give up animal products.
2. Find substitutes
Transitioning from vegetarian to vegan in my opinion is harder than going from omnivore to vegan. This is because vegan is all about the little things. Dressings, toppings, sauces, milks etc all need to be considered, and can leave you a little stuck with what to eat.
Yet, instead of boring yourself with what you can’t eat, find substitutes quickly. Find the perfect plant based milk for you, and you can still enjoy your tea and cereal. Get your vegan cheese just right, and relish in your cheese toasties and cheese covered burgers.
Show yourself that you can still eat everything you did before, and you won’t feel deprived or craving animal products.
3. Tell people you’re vegan
It may sound odd, but telling people that you’re transitioning from vegetarian to vegan holds you accountable for your actions. Ask vegan communities for help or support, or just let your family and friends know.
It really helps in those first few days/weeks when temptation might be there, and it means it will let others down as well as yourself if you give in.
4. Do it relatively quickly
You don’t need to follow a set deadline, however procrastinating about when you’ll officially make the switch just puts you off.
It’ll be ‘just one more pizza’ or a ‘few more cakes’, and then before you know it you’re back to square one. Whether you cut out eggs the first week, dairy the next and then honey and beeswax etc. later, make sure you follow through.
There’s no point for transitioning for 6 months and never getting around to it, you’re just still a veggie that way.
5. Experiment with food
The thought of tofu used to fill me with dread, but now I know how it should be cooked, I love it! Same with most vegetables, mock meats and plant based milks. Try a vegan quiche, cook your own vegan cake or even just eat out at a vegan restaurant.
There are thousands of types of food out there, and cutting out a few ingredients really won’t end your love affair with food. Show yourself that vegan food can be exciting, delicious, and easy to cook.
Transitioning from vegetarian to vegan is a personal journey
I can’t even remember the date I went vegan, it just kind of happened. My transition was relatively quick, but that doesn’t mean that’s the case for everyone. Once you’ve educated yourself and show yourself it’s not a chore, you’ll love it.
I love food more than ever, feel good about what I eat, and know I am helping the environment, the animals and myself. It may seem like a big step, but it’s a brilliant one.