A lot of the time we build things up in our heads so much that even the prospect of them becomes daunting. Take veganism for example. The idea of cutting out all animal products from your diet can seem really difficult or even too difficult. You think about how much you crave that piece of chocolate after a long day at school/ work or your Mum’s homemade lasagna on a cold winter’s night that you ‘couldn’t live without’. As soon as you make that first excuse, the others quickly follow. ‘I will become iron and calcium deficient’, ‘I still live at home and my parents aren’t vegan’, ‘I can’t afford it’, ‘I don’t have time to do so much meal prep’, and the list goes on… But when it comes down to it, they are just excuses and I’d say that 95% of the time they’re not even accurate.
Being vegan 50 years ago may have been difficult but in this day and age with all of the information and support that there is out there, you quickly find out how easy and worthwhile it really is. But if being vegan is intimidating to you then just bring it back to the basics. Think about your current diet, what does it look like? Maybe Special K for breakfast, a chicken and salad wrap for lunch, a muesli bar for a snack and korma curry for dinner. Well guess what, you can still have all of that with only slight adjustments. Instead of cow’s milk with your cereal, trade it for almond/soy milk. Instead of chicken in your wrap, try some mixed beans instead and sweet chilli sauce or a salsa. Grab some vegan muesli bars from your health food store or even simpler, just snack on some nuts and fruit. For dinner, leave out the beef/chicken (trust me you won’t miss it) and instead add more potatoes, pumpkin, sweet potato, broccoli, mushroom… you get the point.
[Quick side note, my recipe post on vegan curry is coming soon so keep your eyes peeled, it’s pretty damn good if I do say so myself!]
If you are a foodie and don’t know how to make a dish vegan then Google it! I can assure you there will be a recipe there if not hundreds of recipes. I don’t know what it is but there is something really satisfying when you make a dish vegan and it comes out just as good, if not better than the original. But don’t worry, even if the only thing that you can cook is toast, then that’s fine too. Vegans don’t need to cook meals any more than anyone else does. If you forgot to go shopping and are running low on supplies why not just have baked beans on toast? It’s maybe not the healthiest dinner but it’s quick and really hits the spot. On that note, I feel like most people think that vegans eat 100% healthily 24/7 and whilst for some that would be true, it’s not true for everyone. It would be like thinking that because one personal trainer at the gym only eats steamed veggies and protein shakes that every person at the gym eats that way. The commonality between the personal trainer and the rest of the people at the gym is the want to workout just as the commonality between a vegan who only eats organic fruit and veggies and all other vegans is the refusal to eat/ use animal bi-products.
If you are vegan for purely ethical reasons, then by all means you can still eat whole packets of Oreos and vegan chocolate, bags of chips, vegan pastries and desserts, salty/oily fries and smother all of your food in tomato sauce. I in no way recommend this kind of lifestyle, all I am saying is that it is possible. Veganism is so adaptable and differs from person to person. After all there are; high carbohydrate/low fat vegans (80/10/10); raw vegans; fruitarians; and vegans who’s meals are ever-changing. Veganism is not like ‘fads’ or ‘diets’ that last about a week before you fall off the wagon and grab the first unhealthy thing that you can lay your hands on. It’s not about restricting yourself and it’s not just for ‘hippies’, it’s a compassionate way of life that benefits yourself, other beings and our world.
So get out of your head and go and explore the possibilities because they’re endless and exciting.