How to Be a Vegan?
Even after becoming a vegetarian, I asked myself this question again and again. I knew that I wanted to give up animal products. But I did not know at all how this was possible. I even tried a vegan diet for a month but realized that I was not ready.
The decision to officially declare “I am vegan” appeared a long time ago. In the end, it took me two whole years to completely give up eggs, milk, butter and cheese. But when the time came, there were no more questions.
Now, two and a half years later, while this once extreme lifestyle seems familiar to me. I can say that I would like to go back in time and give myself (or someone in my place) advice to the “pre-vegan”.
So as soon as time machines and long-awaited rocket packs are invented. I will take the opportunity to fly to talk to this guy. Here’s how I’ll help her prepare:
The jokes won’t stop.
Get used to them and understand that they do not always show disrespect. My dad’s favorite saying when he tries vegan food is: “it would be meatballs! Of course, this is a joke, and the fact that he says this has often become a joke in itself.
But every family reunion or meeting of friends becomes an occasion for jokes from someone who thinks he invented it first. “You want me to fry you a steak? Ah, exactly … ha-ha-ha! “
My uncle once handed me a plate with a lettuce leaf and said aloud: “Hey Matt, look! Dinner!”I really laughed at this joke.
Get used to jokes, laugh at them or try to explain how important your choice is to you. You decide.
Giving up cheese is not as difficult as it seems.
I’m not saying it’s easy to give up cheese. Life without cheese takes time to get used to. Especially if you are used to cheese as an essential part of the few vegetarian dishes served in “normal” restaurants.
I thought I would miss cheese as an appetizer for wine or beer. But I soon discovered that replacing cheese with nuts or crackers would work very well because of their salinity, and I felt much better after them than after cheese.
I thought I’d miss the cheese in the pizza. I quickly found out that pizza without cheese was far from as tasty as the real one. But it was better than nothing, after a while I got used to (and even began to like) artificial Daiya cheese. Now vegan pizza for me is just pizza, I have not lost anything.
In the end, to get rid of the last piece of cheese – to which I have been holding for several months – it is enough to decide.
Being vegan doesn’t necessarily cost more, but it will.
When you do the math, there is no reason why being vegetarian or vegan should cost more than eating meat.
At $ 3, 5, 8 a pound, meat is one of the most expensive items you can buy at the grocery store. If you replace it, for example, with beans that cost a dollar a pound, you will save a lot.
And, nevertheless, now in the store I spend one and a half to two times more than before. Why? Because when I became a vegan, I followed a super healthy diet. I go to farmers’ markets, cooperatives, and Whole Foods more often than when I wasn’t vegan. I pay extra for organic food. Veganism has made me know more about food. So much so that I’m afraid to be blind and skeptical about everything I buy.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ” Pay Now or pay later.” The money we spend on healthy eating is an investment in future health that will pay off over time.
Most of your meals consist of a single meal.
Believe it or not, that was the hardest part for me – I lost interest in cooking when I gave up meat and dairy. (I realize I’m in the minority: most vegan chefs say they don’t know their passion for cooking until they become vegan.)
That’s why it happened:
First, vegan food takes much less time to prepare. Secondly, without meat and cheese as a source of protein and fat, without carbohydrates, it is not necessary to prepare a side dish rich in carbohydrates to maintain balance.
So instead of cooking two or three different meals for dinner, I switched to one dish: pasta, roasts, salads, smoothies, cereals, herbs, legumes and everything together.
It is a matter of practicality and simplicity that, while lacking sophistication, fits perfectly with other changes in my life caused by changes in nutrition.
Your choice will affect many more people than you think.
I didn’t expect my friends and family to change their habits as a result of my decision. I didn’t want to change anyone. But-regardless of this blog-at least half a dozen of my friends happily told me that they now eat less meat. Some have become pescetarians, vegetarians and even vegans.
People notice everything, even if your influence is not explicitly expressed.
Be prepared to feel responsible and force yourself to meet higher standards than before.
There is a stereotype that vegans are lean and weak. And it’s well deserved, because so many vegans are like that.
With the development of herbal sports movements, the situation changes. But remember that even if you know it because you are involved in all this, most people have no idea. For them, vegans are always lean and weak by definition.
Of course, it’s up to you whether you support this stereotype or make it a perfect counter-example. I chose the latter.
The reminder that I’m vegan (like any vegan, knowingly or not) encourages me to stay fit, win ultramarathon trophies and do my best to get muscular, even though running and my size make it difficult.
Of course, the need to be an example goes beyond fitness-for example, I try to be as far from the stereotypical image of the vegan “preacher” as possible. Many vegans find their purpose in preaching, which is great, but not for me.
No matter how hard you try to ignore it, it still matters.
I’ve never met a more relaxed vegan than my wife and I. We don’t convince people to become vegan, we support people when they tell people that they eat healthier foods, even if their diet is more paleo than vegan, and we don’t like to discuss what others should do.
And even with this attitude and the desire to avoid everything that could be considered intrusive, we began to dine with family and friends twice less, if not less often.
Your veganism matters, whether you like it or not. Some will think that you judge them and will not dare to cook for you, simply because they may decide that you will not like it. Others simply do not want to get tired and can be understood. And while there’s no reason not to invite these people as often as before, I understand that vegan meals can deter less adventurous people, so I don’t invite guests as often as before (notice me: work on it).
You will be pleasantly surprised when you find out who supports you.
The other aspect of the fact that you are less likely to eat with your friends and family is that it becomes quite obvious who thinks your choice is great, who will try to make sure that at any party there are dishes for you and who will want to taste your food and know more about your diet.
It means a lot to me. This is a new and wonderful quality that you will find in people you already know and love well, and this attitude makes you feel recognized, respected and loved.
You may feel alone sometimes, but you are not alone.
I never had the urge to “cheat” for fun. Most often, this desire arose from the convenience or unwillingness to wind the stage, small indulgences in such situations – this is what I recently decided to completely get rid of.
But over the past two years, I have repeatedly felt like I was alone on the way to such food, and those moments were far more difficult than the craving for gastronomic pleasure or convenience.
I passed this test by remembering that I am not alone. Thanks to new technologies, you can have access to a huge support community that will make you feel good about your choices, whatever they may be. You just need to find the right people, and sometimes you don’t even need them. (You know the vegan joke at a dinner party?)
In the long run, it is the connection with people with a similar worldview, in person or via the Internet, that makes moments of doubt increasingly rare.
You don’t have to get weirder by becoming vegan, but it will be.
Now for the fun part. Veganism has changed me so much, inspired me to explore my own singularity and pushed me to the limits and then beyond the mainstream, from abandoning the microwave to adding broccoli to smoothies and owning very few items.
There’s no reason to go vegan until you get weird. And there’s no reason why choosing to go vegan is equivalent to choosing to get weird (other than diet, of course). But that’s how it worked for me.
And I like it.
I learned-mainly through blog posts that I am in many ways an atypical vegan. Therefore, I am ready for the fact that there will be a lot of discussions and controversies about this article, and I am ready to listen to them. Tell us what you think!