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It is so easy to write off things we do not understand. Which is why so many vegans will say that before they went vegan they did not think they could do it. They had a list of reasons to not try it and they also thought it was too hard.
Yes, it is a completely different lifestyle. Yes, sometimes it is hard. It is also rewarding though! Your body will thank you in ways you did not know you were missing.
How I got started
I had been a vegetarian for a long time. I was the unhealthy type of vegetarian. One that did not eat a lot of fruits or vegetables. Primarily I ate processed crap food.
So one night my husband and I watched a documentary about veganism. For me this only motivated a desire I already had to go vegan. We decided to try to eat vegan for one week. We got out some paper and wrote down which recipes we would make and put together our grocery list.
How I stayed vegan
So after the first week I felt awesome. I had severe anemia and iron deficiency after being an unhealthy vegetarian for so long. My uptake in nutrients for that first week really made all the difference in how I felt. I had more energy and no digestive problems.
Since I felt so good I asked my husband if he would do another week with me. We did the same process as before picking and writing down enough recipes to feed us for a week. We made a grocery list and we set up to succeed for another week.
For the first month it was sort of a process of getting together and choosing recipes we both wanted to eat. As time went by it became easier to find recipes we knew we would both like. The time it took us to get our list together started to take less and less time. Most importantly though, we created a habit to have an organized plan for each week.
With the habit to be organized and have a plan, the only problem I found myself running in to was social settings. It was so hard to stand up for myself at birthday parties and family gatherings. I felt like I was being so rude to everybody all the time. It is often a big deal to refuse food that somebody cooks for you. There is a delicate and graceful way to do but it is hard to learn to do.
It has been over a year since I went vegan! I am so proud to have come this far. I do not struggle to refuse non-vegan food like I did in the beginning. The big problem I still have is being compassionate for other people. With slower progress than I would like, I am learning how to 1) bite my tongue with my family (especially those with cancer) and 2) live with the idea that I cannot force anybody I care about to take care of their bodies.
I have found out about myself that I am good at cooking and baking. Since I enjoy to make food, the best way I have found to reach people is to cook for them. I married into a huge family and I have made a tradition to bake a vegan treat for every birthday. My family has started to look forward to what I will bring over to the birthday celebrations. It has become the most subtle way to say something about vegan food without having to say anything at all. You do not miss out on anything by being vegan. I think that is such a big deal to people and they do not know how short the list of things you cannot make vegan actually is.
Your body gets to feel good by eating vegan. Even better than that though it not ever contributing to cruelty. There is some peace of mind that comes along with taking care of yourself. You do not have to be a radical animal rights activist to agree with their message. For you, it might just be an added bonus alongside making better choices.