If there’s one thing I love about blogging, it’s my ability to openly share my life experiences with you guys. That’s why I originally started this whole blog life and it’s why I continue to do it eight years later. I’ve shared a lot of things here, but one thing I haven’t really written about are my eating habits. For the last year, I’ve been living the vegetarian life. This means I wasn’t eat red meat, poultry, or seafood. I was never really a seafood fan to begin with. So you know, I did this for my own personal reasons. It was not originally health related and has never been about weight loss.
Then as of May 1, 2016, due to health related reasons and my own curiosity, I started eating vegan. This meant, I decided to also cut out dairy, eggs, and honey. Now, let me first tell you that I am not sharing this in order to start a debate. THIS IS MY PERSONAL DECISION. I DO NOT JUDGE ANYONE ELSE’S EATING OR LIFESTYLE HABITS OR CHOICES. I’m sorry I had to basically yell that, but apparently people love to argue with me about why I eat this way. I’m not here for that.
I know from experience, because people tell me, that they want to start eating vegan but don’t know how or where to begin. Or they’re scared to try it, because it’s difficult to cut certain foods out of their diets. Believe me, I’m not going to sugar coat anything here. In the beginning, the thought of eating vegan was really scary. But, now more than two months later it’s beyond doable and I am so happy to have made this decision. Because of this, I want to share a few tips, based on my personal experience, for the beginners out there.
Do Your Research
One thing I found super handy is being able to research my options online. I do this a lot via my phone. Whether it’s looking for vegan restaurants in my city, vegan options at non-vegan restaurants, or ingredients in some of my favorite foods. I am super grateful to those who have come before me and shared their expertise/experiences online. A simple Google search might surprise you. You’ll even find some amazing meatless/dairy-free recipes from some of the best blogs out there. Check out Morena Escardo of MorenaEscardo.com for some delicious vegan recipes. There are so many recipe blogs to choose from, just find your favorite and get cooking!
Follow Vegan Social Media Influencers
I’ve made sure to follow some pretty awesome vegans online. One of my favorites, thanks to my friend Nicole of PresleysPantry.com for pointing him out, is @VeganFatKid on Instagram. He knows all of the best vegan spots in Los Angeles and he does a great job of sharing what he’s eaten. He even refers his followers to vegan options at non-vegan places and other vegan influencers to check out. Feel free to search your favorite social media sites and apps.
Vegan Cookbooks FTW!
If you like to go the more traditional route when it comes to gathering recipes, then you don’t have to worry. There are some amazing vegan cookbooks out there to choose from. I recently ordered But I Could Never Go Vegan and Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck. I can’t wait to jump in and test out the yummy recipes. You’ll learn that there is so much you can do with vegetables!
When I first started this journey, I was afraid to ask the waiter or waitress (at non-vegan restaurants) questions whenever I went out to eat. I felt like I was bugging them. I don’t feel that way anymore. I always ask what their vegan options are or what they’d recommend. You might be surprised when they offer you their vegan menu. If they give you a hard time, ask for a manager. And if worse comes to worse, get up, walk out, and find a restaurant that will be more accommodating. Even as a newbie, I get confused with some vegan menus. I make sure to ask questions about the ingredients, flavors, and textures. A good waiter or waitress will be more than happy to answer your questions.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask you fellow vegans where they like to eat and shop for food. They’ll probably be more than happy to give you tips and advice.
Don’t Give Up So Easily
I know that changing your diet can be extremely hard and frustrating for some. I recently went to a Dodgers game and was tempted by this woman’s chicken barbecue pizza. It was the smell of it that had me drooling. I fought the temptation and went and found myself a veggie dog. The next day, I found a pizza place that made a vegan version of the same pizza. It was really good! Whenever I’m having a rough moment like that, I remind myself that first and foremost, food’s purpose is to provide my body with nutrition. I think we sometimes forget that. Believe me, it gets easier and our vegan food options today are better than they ever have been. People tell me all of the time that they would “never be able to give up meat or cheese.” I get it. Some people can do it and some can’t. I just know that giving up so easily isn’t an option for me.
I really hope any of these tips will help the beginners (like me) out there. I am only two months in and I still have so many questions. I like to call myself a “vegan in progress.” I am seriously learning something new every single day. If you have any questions for me, please leave them below and I will more than happy to answer them if I can.