‘I could never do that’.
This is the answer I mostly hear from people once I’ve told them that I’m a vegan. And the truth is: I thought the same way before. I’ve eaten meat my entire life – like most people. Maybe I even overdid it a little bit. I’ve followed the typical bodybuilding diet, rice and chicken with nearly every meal. This sometimes resulted in over 1 kilogram of meat a day.
This is not what I would consider a healthy meal nowadays, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have cared if someone told me so back then.
It’s now over two years that I’ve became a vegan and I haven’t looked back. Read about how I go vegan and stay energetic all the times here: How a Vegan Diet Keeps Me Energized, Mentally Sharp and Full of Drive
But what does ‘going vegan’ really mean?
Going Vegan from a Meat Eater
To go vegan means living a more natural and ethical life. My diet is currently full of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, ‘plant-milks’, seeds and beans. There’s no meat, dairy, honey and cheese in my diet.
I don’t wear fur nor any other animal skin. This may sound odd to you, but it’s completely normal to me. I mean: I’d rather consider the place where I live a garden, not a cemetery.
Going vegan also means saying no to immediate gratification and taking a look at the bigger picture. Going vegan signals self-control.
You may not believe me when I tell you that, but I loved the taste of meat. I’m not going to lie. I remember telling a friend of mine after going vegan that I’m just trying this vegan-thing out and that I’ll probably have to eat a Big Mac again soon and treat myself.
By going vegan you’re setting your own gratification aside for the bigger picture. Be it for your health, the planet or the animals. You’re setting priorities and you show that you live a life of principles.
It may take some discipline in the beginning, but I’m glad to say to you today that I’ve never eaten a Big Mac again.
Your Step-By-Step Guide To Become A Vegan
If the previous text sounded really hard for you, don’t worry. I wrote down a step-by-step plan for you to slowly get drawn into this vegan journey. Before you know it, you’re already in a good routine. Let’s begin!
Ask Yourself Why You Want To Become A Vegan
You see me talking a lot about your ‘Why’. I can’t stress this one enough. Asking yourself ‘Why’ is so important. You have to know yourself, not just if you want to become a vegan, but if you want to live a good life. Introspection is a crucial skill that you have to develop.
Start asking yourself the hard questions:
- Why do I do what I do?
- Why am I going to work?
- Why do I want to follow a vegan diet?
These questions will show you your motivations and give you a glimpse, of who you really are. They will also make achieving your goals much easier.
Change Your Mindset
My biggest ‘Why’ was simply my urgent need to live a life of self-control and integrity. I have a strong need to simply do what is right. After reading the book Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, I first tried to reject the information and forget what I’ve just read. But every freaking time I’ve eaten a chicken, I’ve felt guilty and shameful. I knew that eating meat would give me a lot of pleasure, but I also knew that one’s own primitive needs shouldn’t outweigh one’s morals and principles. I mean otherwise you could justify rape.
You have to change your mindset to the point when you realize that instant gratification should not be the epitome of your life. This shouldn’t sound woo-woo, but start to look at the big picture.
Analyze Your Eating Habits
People often tell me that they have never eaten anything vegan. Which is of course complete bullocks. If you’ve ever eaten a banana, you’ve eaten vegan food. Chances are you’re already eating vegan to a pretty high degree.
To find out to what degree, write down how your current eating habits look like. This may be tedious but this is golden. What do you eat from breakfast to dinner? Once you’ve figured out what you’re currently eating, you can think about how you can better your eating habits.
Eat More Whole-Food, Plant-Based Foods
Instead of advising people to stop eating what they’re currently eating, I like to advise them that they should simply eat more of the good stuff. Research has shown that people even lose more weight when they’re advised to eat more veggies instead of being advised to eat less sweets. If you’re eating brown rice, broccoli and chicken for lunch right now, I’ll advise you to simply double the portion size of your broccoli and rice, while keeping the chicken portion the same size.
After some time you’ll crave healthier and healthier foods. Making it far easier to eat good nutrition. You’ve developed a habit before you know it.
Buy Vegan Alternatives
After you’ve analyzed your eating habits, highlight the meals where you’re currently eating non-veggie. Meals containing meat, dairy, honey and cheese.
Buy vegan alternative foods for these meals. Nowadays these vegan-foods can be found in nearly every supermarket. It’s absolutely easy to find alternatives. Like cheese on your pizza? Guess what, there are vegan alternatives for it. Always liked eating grill ribs? Yes, there are vegan grill ribs available. I’m not joking, the possibilities are nearly endless.
Buy Vegan Clothes
This is the last and hardest part. I don’t advise you to throw your current clothes away. Instead I’ll advise you to buy ethical new clothes. Pay special attention when buying jackets and shoes. You want to stay clear from wool and leather.
The shoes are usually the trickiest part to find while being a vegan. To find a guide on your shoes, which are probably the hardest clothes to buy vegan, click here.
How Would This Look Like If It Were Easy?
This was the mantra of my Online Trainer Course from Jonathan Goodman, a leader in the industry. How would this look like if it were easy? This is a saying that you should incorporate in your daily life.
How would becoming a vegan look like if it was easy? Because the truth is, it can be easier than you might think if you simply follow these proven steps. Even if it may be challenging at some point, in the end it will be worth it, trust me.
|||^||Jonathan Safran Foer: Eating Animals|