Have you made a New Year’s Resolution to go vegan in 2018 but worried you’ll fall off the wagon?
If this sounds like you, fear not, here are 12 simple steps to help you keep on track.
12 Easy Tips to Make Your New Year’s Resolution to Go Vegan Stick
Mistakes Happen, Learn From Them
If you make a mistake (which are inevitable for newbies and even the most long-time vegans), it’s okay, don’t sweat the small stuff. Learning from slip-ups and mistakes is what matters. As vegan queen Miley Cyrus once said “you live and you learn it”, everything becomes easier with time and experience. Recognize the mistake and learn from it. Accidentally purchased jarred pasta sauce with some sneaky milk solids in the ingredients? Just remember to read the label next time.
You Don’t Need to Pressure Yourself to be Perfect
Nobody’s perfect, right? Putting pressure on yourself (or someone else for that matter) to be the perfect vegan immediately, probably does more harm than good. Take baby steps, go at your own pace and find what works for you! If you get overwhelmed or feel like you’re struggling at any time – remember that it’s okay to slow down, set yourself a target (this could be something like buying no dairy first, then once you’ve accomplished that milestone, find replacements for meat and other dietary staples you think you may miss). If you make your transition gradual, it won’t seem like a challenging feat.
Learn How to Answer Inevitable Questions
You’re probably going to be asked some usual questions when someone finds out you’re vegan. Unfortunately for most, this is on more than a handful of occasions – ‘Where do you get your protein?’, ‘There’s no vegan option, but would you like gluten-free?’ Having kind, calm, logical responses in mind can be extremely helpful when in emotionally taxing situations. Sometimes you may get asked questions you don’t yet know the answer to yourself – to limit these awkward moments, you may find it helpful to join support groups, read books and watch documentaries where you can find answers from the experts.
Join a Support Group to Meet New, Like-Minded Friends
There are many types of veg-inclusive groups or clubs to meet new friends at, who you will likely share common ground with. From enviro meetings, animal shelter volunteer groups or the LIVEKINDLY Community on Facebook – you’ll have a lovely and welcoming start to veganism! If your local area doesn’t have something suitable yet, why not start a group instead?
Explain Your Decision With Kindness and Logic
People are more likely to see things from your point of view when they feel safe and unthreatened. If you keep it kind, rational and respectful when talking about veganism, who knows, others might even be inspired to do the same thing or make steps towards their own kinder living.
Accept That Not Everyone Will Agree (including other vegans) and That’s Okay
In short – you can’t change everyone. While you may desperately want to, allowing people to make their own decisions is all you can do. However, planting a seed, being a positive role model for how rewarding the vegan lifestyle is – in due time, you will see changes of many kinds, even from the completely unexpected! You may even come across other vegans who disagree with you sometimes, but that’s life – you do you and just live kindly.
Replace Your Fave Staples with Vegan Alternatives
Anything you can make, I can make vegan… or buy vegan. Finding easy vegan alternatives to your favorite meals and cravings is a helpful way to transition into veganism. You don’t even need to use wacky ingredients, just simple substitutions for your normal recipes. Comfort food and baking included!
To be Kind to Others You First Have to be Kind to Yourself
You don’t have to watch footage of animal cruelty to be a vegan. You don’t have to attend slaughterhouse vigils either, (if you don’t want to). Both have their place in helping others connect back with their ethics, but are not vital to being vegan – or a vegan activist for that matter! Have peace with yourself when you see behavior that doesn’t resonate with your morality or beliefs. By living a vegan lifestyle, you are having a huge impact and likely impacting others without even knowing it. Choosing to go vegan can save hundreds of animals per year. Be kind to ya mind, then every kind!
Embrace Veganism and Have Fun, Don’t Think of Your Lifestyle as a Chore
Veganism has many benefits across all areas of life, discovering what does and doesn’t work for you is all part of the fun. When you enjoy something, it becomes easier! If you can find one (or more) enjoyable or rewarding things about veganism every day and record them, you can look back when you’re struggling and remember all the fun. And, leading onto the next tip….
Remember the Reasons You Made This Decision in the First Place
What are your motivations for going vegan? Perhaps you can watch 30 minutes of cute pig videos to help remind you. If you were hoping veganism would improve your health, look at how far you’ve come already. If you’re an environmentally motivated vegan, remind yourself of how much of an impact your food choices can make!
Use Helpful Apps
Download some helpful apps which will make navigating vegan life easier. Some great ones for new vegans include Happy Cow, Is it Vegan?, Cruelty Cutter and some people use nutrition sites like Cronometer to check they’re consuming enough of each nutrient. If you’re looking for a little veggie love, vegan and vegetarian dating apps are thing too!
Take a Supplement
It’s important to keep all bases covered, while a balanced vegan diet will deliver plenty of nutrients, vitamins, fiber and yes, even protein – B12 and other vitamins are essential for the body to function. Did you know 40% of the combined American population suffer from a B12 deficiency? Even non-vegans should be taking a supplement to ensure optimal health.