Going Vegan is not that Hard
Updated: Jul 24, 2020
So apparently going vegan or plantsbased is a big deal. Well of course when you decide to stop eating meat and animal by products apparently you have to sing and dance about it, as per the insta community memes would say. Everyone says ‘oh, well I just couldn’t give up [insert meat/cheese/eggs]’, to which I reply ‘I’m not telling you to give it all up’ well at least not all in one go. But it turns out then when you get the ball rolling its actually pretty easy to cut alla that bad stuff out.
Bad stuff you say Lulu, but we are cavemen, born to eat meat, its natural for us! Well I'm not going to dive too much into it right now, but yes bad stuff. The amount of hormones, antibiotics and chemicals that are pumped into to what we know as meat these days from the supermarket you just don’t want to know about. Which is exactly why you don’t, because the supermarkets and animal agriculture industry keep it from you, otherwise if they were completely transparent about it you would cease buying it immediately. But trust me when I say, the WHO did not class processed meat as a class one carcinogen (FYI same as cigarettes) and red meat a class 2 as causing cancer and probably causing cancer for nothing.
So, from my own experience in going plant based, I thought I would share a few tips that helped me to ditch the bad stuff that might also help out you. Obviously to remember here is that everyone has their own preferences and dietary/medical backgrounds. Personally, as you may have seen from my earlier posts, I have Crohn’s disease which kicked off my interest in health and diet and how it effects my body. I also didn’t eat tonnes of meat before I went veggie and despised eggs – though defiantly not opposed when in cake form! So, take what advise applies to you and try to implement it when possible, it’s not about being perfect here (no one is an I can tell you for an absolute fact that I'm still working on it) it’s just about action and the right intentions.
1. As they all say: EDUCATE YOURSELF
For me this was really one of the key aspects to me going vegetarian initially, as it meant that is wasn’t me depriving myself of meat and dairy, I just didn’t actually want to eat it. I can remember the last time I ate chicken and I just felt incredibly uncomfortable, it was a struggle to eat and I just did not enjoy it. From then on, no more chick chick. My interest was initially in vegetarian eating, I certainly did not expect to be where I am now naming myself 99% vegan (I physically cannot eat chips without mayo and when there is no vegan option, sometimes it just has to be done). My main focus points of research were the environment and health as they are what most struck a cord with me. I took my research a bit further and over the summer of 2015 I undertook a research project here in the UK called an EPQ which is basically a dissertation you do when you're 16/17. I found so many good resources and read lots of books and studies, setting me up pretty well in my understanding.
A few of them were:
1. Eating Animals – Jonathan Safran Foer
2. Meat: A Benign Extravagance - Simon Fairlie
3. Forks over Knives
4. Dr Mark Hyman (not vegan but sure is a clever chap!)
5. What the Health
When you know about the industry and the actually really negative health impacts that consumption of animal by products has on your body and the environment, not to mention the unbelievable conditions that animals in factory farming are forced to endure (note: emotive language there 😉), I challenge you to enjoy the beef burger that you are munching on.
2. More Veg
I’ll tell you now, before I went vegetarian I didn’t really like tomatoes and, courgettes? well, not really keen. Now, if I eat a meal without something green in I feel deeply and personally uncomfortable and low key worried (p.s not really, I'm not that weird but I do love my greens). What its best to do here is start by just including more veg with your meals. If your still eating meat, but I know you're actually really are on the cut down after reading this, just throw a few more veggies on your plate and you're good to go. 2 benefits come straight to mind. 1. You can just go wild with trying new veg. Pak Choi, whats that? Who knows? How to best prepare? Have a cheeky google. Have a walk around the veg isle and each week pick up something new. You’ll find things you like and others, well, lower down on the like list. 2. You’ll be eating a greater volume of food so when it comes to sitting down ont sofa after dinner, you’ll just be so full that the biscuit tin will stay firmly closed. #winning
3. Slow and Steady wins the Race
Look you're going to be turning into a tortoise eating only veg anyway, so you may as well take some tips from the almighty species. As I said, I had no plans to go vegan. First went the meat, then the dairy (most people do the other way around which I would advise), then I just felt hypocritical eating fish so that bit the dust to. Then what do you know, I was vegan! No one’s telling you to do it over night, cos lets be real here, it aint gonna happen. And look you may have given up dairy, but you're in Italy and its boiling and there is a gelato shop RIGHT. THERE. But think about it – you're already doing some pretty smashing stuff for the environment not eating meat and dairy, so if you want yourself an ice cream in Italy, walk right into that shop and buy one. Then you might find that they in fact do dairy free sorbet, so quickly grab your polishing cloth and give that halo of yours a squeaky clean and get that instead. Mango is so much more refreshing than cow secretion anyway, right?
4. Don’t go singing and dancing about it, or do if you want to
This one can go either way really. If you don’t tell every single person you meet, then you can take things at your own pace. Also, if you're out for lunch and your brother has ordered himself a big fat beef burger he won’t then turn to you and say ‘oh, what are you having, a salad?’ then you just feel rubbish and everyone will take a pick at you if you just so happen to slip up. Just decide to go for the vegetarian option of your own accord. Some might say that if you declare yourself to be on the path to going veggie, then other people can hold you accountable, you can turn to your brother and say, actually I'm gonna have the bloody delightful veggie burger right there on the menu too and not slip into the mindset that they don’t know you don’t eat meat so that means you can. Whichever way works best for you go for it. But regarding restaurants, I have been known to be very ‘happy’ to order a bowl of steamed vegetables because it was the only vegan item on the menu. What can I say, not everyone is on the same path to enlightenment as you, particularly not menu curators, yet . . .
So there you go, a few nuggets of wisdom from me to you. I sincerely hope that they help and just remember, whatever actions you're taking to reduce the animal products you consume helps, little by little it all makes a difference.
Go forth my veggie friends and conquer!
Love from Lulu
Y’all that be on the fandangle technology train of Instagram, hit up some of those food bloggers. Favourites of mine include @uglyvegan, @deliciouslyella, @superfoodsiobhan (she’s a student, so that’s no excuse). @wellandfull, @theplantfeed, @gigieatsvegan, @thefeedfeed.vegan AND OMG @thehappypear = a must, if not for veggie inspiration then just for life inspiration