I’d like to prepare you for some of the issues you might encounter on your journey to veganism. If you’re living alone, this first part won’t apply to you. I can’t stress this enough…try your best to get your spouse, kids, and/or roommate to begin this journey with you. Becoming vegan is extremely difficult if you are sharing the refrigerator with meat-eaters.
If your spouse and/or kids remain omnivores (eating meat, dairy, and plant based foods), you will have to eat separate meals from them, which creates a lot of work in the kitchen for yourself or whoever does the cooking. Plus, if you do the grocery shopping, you’ll still be supporting the meat and dairy industries by purchasing for your family, which can ultimately lead to feelings of resentment within you. You certainly cannot force it upon them…They might still eat non-vegan food outside the home. However, inside the home, you have some control over what is consumed. You can call it an ‘experiment’ or a ‘challenge’…whatever it takes to get them on board with you, at least for the first month. Once they taste all the delicious new dishes, they surely won’t mind your continued vegan cooking. When it comes to convincing your spouse/kids, tasty dishes and meat-alternatives are key. You must prove to them that cruelty-free living can be easy and delicious.
So, take your time at the grocery store. Have a list of things you’ll need for certain dishes. Of course you’ll buy lots of fruits and veggies, but get some fun stuff too. Buy vegan ice cream, buy frozen veggie meatballs, buy a vegan pizza (the brand “Amy’s” vegan pizza is amazing)…the point is, make them love this new lifestyle. For tips on how to stock your new vegan pantry click here.
Another issue you might come across is dining out. Although many restaurants are becoming vegan friendly, it can still be challenging to find true vegan food on a menu. Many places now offer ‘vegetarian’ options, which are meat-free, but still contain animal products such as eggs or cheese. First and foremost, if possible, download the app called Happy Cow. This super helpful app provides gps navigation to help you find your nearest veg-friendly restaurants. If that’s not an option for you, get on Google and Yelp to search for your local vegan friendly restaurants. If you have no luck, just do a search for local healthy restaurants. This will point you in the right direction. Most restaurants that pride themselves on being ‘healthy’ will usually offer at least a few vegan options. Lastly, get used to asking for substitutes. If your favorite restaurant has a great salad that is normally served with chicken, ask the waiter to replace the chicken for avocado, tofu, or even fruit! Most places will be happy to accommodate your request as long as they have the ingredients.
If you were a heavy meat-eater, it can be tempting to give in at restaurants, but stay strong! Always remember; our bodies are vessels that carry us through this journey of life. Our vessels are good to us if we nourish them with the foods that mother nature provides!