Let me start by saying… I’m not expert and I’m just starting out on this journey myself so I’m really just documenting my journey here but I thought I’d share how I got myself started!
I hope this helps you in some way, especially if you’re finding the early stages and transition a little tough.
Firstly, I started this as a 30 Day Challenge which you can read about here. I was not really a stranger to the Vegan diet as I’ve got friends who are vegan and I’ve joined them for many reals and back in Singapore I used to frequent VeganBurg a lot. I even voiced their franchise commercials for their US expansion. I was also a vegetarian for a while as a kid, before I really knew what it was… I somehow just rejected meat. So to me, it wasn’t a weird or strange world, just not one I was conscious enough to be in.
I had begun my Vegan journey with a meal plan. I made all my meals for a week which made it very easy not to stray. I would and wouldn’t recommend this. If you love eating the same thing over and over then go for it, if you love variety then perhaps use similar ingredients but make different meals for the week - that way you won’t get bored. I chose some recipes from Gaz Oakley’s Avant Garde Vegan YouTube Channel.
Having your resources really helps in the crucial first stages. Know what you need to be searching for on the back of labels or just make shopping lists before you head out to the store. Know the brands to look out for and for which nasties you should be aware of hidden in the ingredients section. This could be very daunting at first, but really it isn’t and if you’re super concerned about it just opt for a raw diet to start, which is easy enough to achieve and processed foods aren’t great for you anyway.
At this point you might be thinking… you’ve only spoken about food… What do I do about my clothes, items around my house or practices that I take part in that aren’t exactly vegan. Are you just plant based diet-ing? Well… Yes and No… I started out just doing the plant based diet but as I learnt more and discovered the other areas of my life that weren’t as ethical as I had hoped. So what do you do about that leather wallet you have or the deodorant you use is tested on animals or the suede on your shoes. I can’t tell you to go out and burn all these items and never use them again because that would be just wasteful. The practice that I am using now is any purchase or consumption going forward will be run through the vegan filter.
My deodorant ran out, so I switched to a vegan one. My toothpaste is about to run out so I’m on the hunt for a better option. You can’t go back and change your past, so don’t lose sleep over it, put your energy into the future and your future actions. I believe that will be of the most benefit, and less wasteful.
Now at this point you might be a little overwhelmed or you might be losing steam. How do you stay motivated? Well, I reached out to friends and family that would be supportive of my journey. I fed off their energy, I did more research, watched shows, read articles and surrounded myself online with information and encouragement. It also helped that I was really just enjoying the new diet and looking into ethical fashion and alternative choices.
I don’t have all the answers, I’m just starting on this journey. Any advice or questions, drop it in the comments below.