If you are considering going vegan and have no idea where to start this blog is for you. Below you will find some tips to help you get started. Regardless of if you are a meat eater, fast food lover, vegetarian, or you love junk food etc the transition is totally possible. I use to cram junkfood down my throat, I loved fried chicken, had no clue how to cook, and I lived at the fast food restaurants drive through windows lol. If I was able to break my bad eating habits you can too. Lets get you started.
1. Make the decision to start
Its very easy to put off doing what you know you need to do. Its easy to make the excuse that you will start eating healthy next year as your “new years resolution” but why not start now. You only have one body and its very important to take care of it. Set a date to start your new healthy transition, decide exactly how you want to go about it, and stick to your plan.
2. Remember its a journey
If you are able to make the transition right away and just go cold turkey and stop consuming all animal & dairy products that is amazing. However for me it was TRULY a process. It took me a few years to totally surrender all of my bad eating habits. I went from meat eater, to pescetarian ( only eats fish + dairy products), to vegetarian ( doesn’t eat meat but can still consume dairy products), to vegan( no meat or animal products), and now I eat 80% raw (80% of food is uncooked,unprocessed,uncanned). This did not happen overnight and I learned to stop beating myself up when I would have slip ups. When you start changing your eating habits your body will want and crave what you once fed it. Your body will scream for for that big mac & cheedar cheese fries, you will have to retrain your taste buds by providing your body healthy foods. Now I crave fresh fruits & veggies because I have retrained my taste buds to like foods that are actually nutritious for me.
3. Go at Your Own Pace & Decide what you want to eliminate first
If you eat meat and dairy products you can start by only eating meat once a week to start. Then you slowly stop eating meat all together. Sometimes trying to take all foods you once enjoyed away at one time can become overwhelming and cause you to quit before you really get started. This helped me a ton when I decided to first stop consuming chicken, beef, pork and just eat fish. Then I slowly stopped eating fish but would still consume cheese & icecream. I then started juicing alot to flood my body with fresh fruits and veggies which slowly helped to retrain my tastebuds. A great example for this would be in the morning instead of making bacon & eggs you could make a smoothie with fresh fruit.
4. Listen to your body
Every persons body is completely different and has needs. Its important while making the transition that you pay attention to everything your body may be speaking to you. If you feel you need to eat a specific thing while changing your diet don’t deprive yourself. Its about finding a balance while you learn what works and what doesn’t work for you. NOTE: While cleansing the body from the inside out you may experience the healing crisis. When you begin to flush your system with fresh fruits & veggies, your body begins to detox and purify your blood which may cause your skin to break out, or you may use the rest room alot etc this is a sign that the body is cleansing.
5. Dont put crazy pressure on yourself
I wanted eating healthy to become a lifestyle instead of some diet I was forcing upon myself. I wanted it to be fun so I decided to not beat myself up when I would slip and have a slice of pizza, but instead I encouraged myself that I had come so far. I didnt want to put so much pressure on myself and this allowed me to transition at my own pace. I also made learning how to make food fun. I love to decorate and make each dish look pretty, so this allowed me to be creative while making healthy foods.
6. Connect with other vegans
Its always great to connect with like minded individuals. If you can find a vegan group on “meet up” or via instagram, twitter, facebook, youtube etc this will be a great way to help keep you on track. You can also learn about new meal ideas,products, and restaurants from other new vegan friends.
7. Find alternatives
So I was pretty darn excited to find out that I could still eat icecream as a vegan. Say Whaaaa. LOL You will not be deprived by going vegan. The brand rice dream, so delicious, almond dream etc all have icecream substitutes made from rice, almonds, or coconuts. You can also make raw icecream or sorbet and I have several recipes post on the website under the “raw food” & “desserts” section. The vegan world has truly become creative and you can now find meat alternatives(gardein), cheese alternatives ( daiya, go veggie) & milk alternatives including (almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, hempmilk) etc. I recorded a youtube video teaching how to make yummy fresh homemade almond milk from scratch. You can click the youtube tab at the top of website to view.
When I first decided to start eating healthy I had NO CLUE where to start. All I ever knew was fast food, junk food, and the soul food lifestyle. When I decided to stop eating meat, I was truly walking into a new world which was overwhelming to me. I decided to purchase some books “The Raw Food Life Style” “The Beauty Detox” “Veganomicon” “The Raw Cure” just to name a few. I then googled recipes and I started practicing in my kitchen. I had to learn what taste good and what didn’t. I had many disasters when I first started haha. This was my first time being introduced to seasonings, herbs, and even how to cook brown rice LOL. I literally did NOT cook. The closest thing I ever did was pour cereal into a bowl or place some prepackaged foods inside the microwave. When I first started I would make food that did not taste good, but I didn’t give up I was determined to eat healthy. Im so thankful I didn’t give up on this journey or the BeAHealthNutToo brand would not exist and I wouldnt be able to share my experience with all of you. So I encourage you to practice, use blogs, youtube tutorials, and invest time in learning how to make healthy food.
9. Not all vegans are healthy
Just to be clear there are alot of vegan junk foods available. Read your labels, and as much as you can I would try to consume fresh fruits and veggies. If you decide to transition to vegan but you constantly cram vegan chips & vegan cookies down your throat thats not going to give you the health benefitsand nutrition that you would get if you decide to truly detox from within. Consume fresh food options, and cut down on the sweets and processed foods.
10. Create healthy versions of your favorite foods
As a vegan you do not have to eat salads everyday.LOL You can make all sorts of tasty foods that are not boring or plain. If you start to get bored because you feel like you are eating the same thing switch it up. Make a vegan soap, raw or vegan pasta, raw tacos, hummus, kale chips and so much more. Browse around on the website for meal ideas. As you start to embrace this new way of living you will be surprised with all the cool yummy dishes you will be able to create.
11. Yes you will still get protein and all the essential vitamins & minerals as a vegan
People ask me all the time “omg you dont eat meat where in the world do you get your protein from?” You will still get protein even if you don’t eat meat. I use to weigh 102lbs when I was consuming meat and animal products, I actually gained weight and I now weigh 120lbs even though I stopped consuming meat. Read my blog http://lashananicole.com/plant-based-protein/
12. Do your research
Google becoming a vegan and truly study on the lifestyle you are interested in embracing. Below are a few documentaries to watch. “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead”, “Vegucated”, & “Forks Over Knives”
Thanks so much for reading. Im excited for you to embark on your healthy journey. If you have any questions feel free to leave them below. Share this blog with anyone you know who wants to live a healthier lifestyle.
** The newest on the go mason mug just launched “You Are What You Eat”. Its a great reminder to take care of your body from the inside out. Find it now + get 15% off your entire order by using code “Health” during checkout.
** You can watch weekly inspirational videos + raw food tutorials on my youtube channel. Link is about at the top of website.
** I am scheduled to speak in London England March 14th & 15th, 2015. All details will be post on the event page soon. If you live in London I would love to meet you.
Hugs & Happy Health
DISCLAIMER * The above statements have not been approved by the FDA and the product is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or mitigate any disease