Tip #1: Breathe.
With any new undertaking in life, beginning is almost always the hardest part. The first tip is to relax, go slow, and allow yourself – and your body – time to adjust. I wouldn’t recommend going vegan cold turkey. So much pressure! And also, often times, when you eliminate foods from your body abruptly, you’ll crave it more. Just breathe. Focus. And ease into being vegan nice and slowly!
Tip #2: Have a Mission.
Whip out that old journal you’ve been neglecting for months and simply write out all the reasons why you are deciding to make this major change in your life. Be your own biggest supporter. Thoughts to consider:
Why am I doing this?
What do I hope to get out of this? Mentally, emotionally, and physically?
What did an animal have to go through to get on my plate?
How do I feel after consuming animal products?
What can I reflect on if I’m feeling like giving up in the future?
Gather these thoughts together to create your own vegan mission statement. Get creative and make the words bright and artistic, and post this on your mirror so that you can reflect on your beliefs everyday. Putting words to your cause is therapeutic, and gives the transition more ammunition.
Tip #3: Research.
The unknown is scary. Often, the best way to take the scary out of the unknown is to equip yourself with tons of information and research. Vegan sites that are in place for your education and safe transition are virtually endless. Utilize this resource to understand nutritional needs a new vegan has, benefits to your new lifestyle, and tips to stay committed to your cause.
Tip #4: Community.
The most valuable piece of advice for making this transition smoothly is to find a community and interact with other people who can relate. Finding a group of like-minded individuals, or even just a friend or two who share your ethics and drive to do something can make a world of difference. Places to look:
On the Internet: Social websites are a fantastic place to connect with other vegans, asks questions, and find informational guides. You’ll find that vegans are – for the most part – a friendly bunch, eager to help and listen, so don’t be afraid to reach out to your favorite blogger or tweeter for advice.
In school: Either join your college vegan club or start your own! Navigating vegan options in a college setting can be tricky. Brainstorm with like-minded people to figure out food options and ways to raise awareness around campus.
In the community: One word: Meetup.com! Find a vegan meetup group in your area through Meetup to try out new restaurants with a group and attend potlucks.
Even if you don’t live in the most vegan-friendly city, there are options out there almost everywhere. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there to find your niche. If you’re struggling to find a community that fits your interests, start your own event doing something that motivates you!
Tip #5: Experiment!
Have fun! Find interested recipes online or try to create something using your imagination! The easiest way to stay vegan is by enjoying your new diet and lifestyle, and feeling great inside and out.