What I Learned About Vegan Diet

1 Year Veganniversary: 10 Things I’ve Learned, in GIFs

One year ago today, my life changed in the best way possible. I looked into what’s hidden behind the food on the shelves in Stop & Shop. I made myself open my eyes wide for the beautiful souls who share this Earth with us. I took one good hard look at the world around me and decided that I wanted something more out of life. I wanted to do better. I wanted to be better. I wanted to do more than just exist. I’m so happy to say that this year has really been a game-changer for me, and I am so excited to share some of my thoughts and musings about it.

You guys know I am a total sucker for GIF posts, so did you expect anything less?

#1: Veganism is not expensive.

chandler
Honestly, who the hell started the rumor that vegan is expensive? Organic – yes. Vegan – no. If you can’t afford brown rice and beans, then… I’m so sorry. Buy fruit and veggies in season and you will not be paying a ton of money. Visit local farm stands, markets, etc. If you are naturally a smart shopper, going vegan is not going to make a difference in your bank account. It can actually save you money because you are not buying all those fake and expensive snacks! Whole foods and grains #FTW.

#2: You won’t crave dairy products forever.

milk

I admit, I was one of those “I couldn’t give up cheese,” back in the day when I was a vegetarian. Guess what? I did. Guess what else? I don’t miss it. Also, fun fact: I despise fake vegan cheese alternatives. I think they taste too fake, so I opt for homemade cashew cheese. I get by just fine on that when I need a cheesy-fix! I promise, your palette is going to change drastically once you get over the first few months. Those cravings will be few and far between, honey.

#3: Oh, and fake/sugary products won’t even tempt you.

b

On the same note, all those fake milk chocolate candy bars are going to become less and less appetizing. Once you start eating the good stuff (aka cacao and dark chocolate), you will wonder what the hell your tastebuds were thinking. Now that I think about it, M&Ms always gave me a weird sore throat after a while. Seriously, that shit ain’t normal.

I also noticed that my craving for sweets in general calmed the fuck down. Fruit is enough to do the trick most days when I have a craving, or a piece of dark chocolate. Please note: this is coming from a girl who previously couldn’t stay away from cupcakes and rogue frosting to save her life.

#4: There are going to be haters – yes, even vegan ones!

joy

haters

I learnt this the hard way. Yikes, people. Relax! I can’t tell you how many comments and/or messages I received about my lifestyle… FROM VEGANS. “Oh, you eat that even though it is processed in the same facility?” “That doesn’t sound very plant-based to me” “You watch the Walking Dead as a vegan?” OY. OY PEOPLE. I am doing the best I can over here. Can’t we just all live our lives kindly and without judgement? If we are all working towards the same goal, there is no need for negativity. Practice what you preach, sista/bro: kindness. Everyone goes at their own pace, and don’t jump down their throat if you disagree with something. You do you, and I’ll do me.

If you experience the same, listen: Ignore or delete those messages (I did!) because you don’t need that type of energy in your life. You’re doing awesome.

#5: Banana “nice cream” is everything.

ice cream

Frozen bananas, vanilla, and a dash of soy milk in your food processor. I mean, that’s it. I eat nana ice cream after dinner… probably 4-5 times each week. I also eat it for breakfast sometimes. I’m over it, I can eat this shit whenever I want because it’s guilt-free and the combos are endless. My favorite is to add frozen cherries and dark chocolate chunks for a vegan version of Cherry Garcia! Start making and you’ll be as big of a nana-head as the rest of us.

#6: Your cooking game will be top notch.

kitch

If you are doing veganism the right way (you know, not eating frozen vegan pizza every night), your cooking game is about to get real. You are forced to be creative in the kitchen, and I can’t lie… it is a ton of fun. Cooking vegan is the best thing to happen to my skill set in a long time! There will be disasters, and you will embrace them, got it?

#7: 99% of restaurants have some vegan option.

story

Even if that means a bowl of white rice with a side of veggies, there is an option for you. French fries cooked in vegetable oil? Probably got it! Always ask and you will figure something out. If you are afraid to show up as an “unannounced vegan,” just call ahead and see what they can do for you. Nothing? Move along. Just please do not be afraid to go out to eat!

#8: Eating vegan in Disney is a piece of cake.

diss dis

This lesson is a little out of the ordinary, but if you are a Disney fanatic like me, this is awesome news. I share my vegan experiences in Disney here and here. I encourage you to check it out. Traveling as a vegan was never so easy and catered to. It just re-affirmed my belief that it is, in fact, the most magical place on Earth.

#9: Your perception of the world around you will change.

crying

It’s hard to explain this one, because I am sure this may not happen to everyone. But personally, I experienced quite a change in the way I look at the Universe. I am more conscious not only of what I am putting into my body, but what is around. Fresh air, the trees, even seeing a squirrel will make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I have a whole new take on life. You truly appreciate the friggen potatoes that grow from the Earth and the fruit that grows on trees. Do I sound like a hippie yet? Good.

#10: You’re always learning.

kramer

You think you know everything there is to eating vegan, and then some awesome blogger shares a quick tip and your mind is completely blown. This happens on the daily for me. Pretty sure that’s why I had enough tips to share this 100 Quick Vegan Tips post [oh hey, it may even blow your mind!] I’m going to keep eating off dat knowledge tree, baby.

Oh, and last but not least…

A huge THANK YOU to every one of you who are reading this. I created this blog as a way to connect with the vegan community, to learn, and to grow. It’s amazing how many of you I have connected with, and how much of an inspiration you have been to me. We are all on our own beautiful journeys, but the way they overlap is wonderful. Let’s keep on growing together. xx bianca

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45 thoughts on “1 Year Veganniversary: 10 Things I’ve Learned, in GIFs

  1. Love it! Every story is better told in gifs :D I was also one of those people who couldn’t give up cheese, but after one-cheese free month I don’t miss it a bit :)
    Congrats on your one year veganniversity! :)

  2. This must have taken ages to write and I enjoyed every minute of it! :) Well done on making it to a year! I’m still only at month four but loving every second! (even when I lose my blog recipes like today! oops)! Going to look at your 100 tips now to see what I don’t know! Many Thanks! :)

    • Haha – thank you!! It was awesome to reflect, and I love finding the funny GIFS to go with my thoughts!! 4 months is incredible – so excited for you. I hope some of the tips are new for ya! <3

  3. I love this post! The first paragraph – beautiful. Really. I wish more people felt that way. I did get a giggle over The Walking Dead. People actually feel that way? I had no idea. lol I love the show. #5 – YES! and I’m so glad I read this post because Cherry Garcia was my fave and I’ve never even thought about adding cherries and chocolate chunks to my nice cream. DUH! #9, I get it. I really do. :) This whole post is great and a nice way to start my morning. Happy Friday!!

    • Your comment made my day!! Thank you so much for reading it. And UGH yes to the Walking Dead – I was pretty taken back by it and was like oh boy, what am I getting myself into?! Luckily, I haven’t had any haters in a while. Glad for that :-D xx

  4. Happy Veganniversary! Thanks for writing this. I am about 6 months in and I identify so much with most of these! Thanks for #4. I’ve been struggling with this one – even hesitating to use the V word for fear of the criticism from all directions – it’s so important to just stay positive and share the love. (Cute squirrels!) This is the first I am seeing your blog, so I look forward to exploring it. Bookmarking ‘100 tips’ for later!

    • Thank you so so much! Your comment makes me smile :) #4 makes me so mad to have to write out, because I really wish there was no bullying over this kind of stuff. But it happens! I took it pretty personal at first, but after a few “label” changes and disclaimers, I am happy to say that it got better and I definitely have learned to stand my ground and brush things off. You will, too!! I hope you enjoy the 100 tips :-D <3

  5. What a fun post! I agree 100% with all of these…though I haven’t had the opportunity to visit Disney as a vegan.
    Congrats on your 1 year veganniversary! I’ve just had my 5 year :D

    • Thank you so much!! I highly recommend Disney as a vegan – I had the best experience and cannot wait to go back and try even more. 5 YEARS!! I cannot wait to get there. That’s amazing – good for you. <3

  6. This is wonderful! I actually really connect with you on every one of your points. I am constantly learning and this life I have come to live is truly an adventure that I absolutely adore and look forward to. The vegan community is amazing and the people I come in contact every day (today, YOU) give me strength and knowledge that this is the right path for happiness. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Your comment just made me smile like crazy – thank you so much for this. I feel the same way… such a great community to be a part of. So happy to connect with you today! <3

  7. It was really fun to read this post! I was like WTF at Walking Dead comment and I have to admit, I still don’t get what that person meant by it. Btw, huge Walking Dead fan! :) I could really relate to #9, as I have never before been so aware, mindful and grateful for life, nature and even those little creepy crawlies :)

    • Yay – so glad this post hit home with you!! Yeah, TWD thing was so strange. It was within my first month of blogging – I was like OH GOD, is this what all vegans are like?! Thankfully, it was just that one LOL I am such a huge fan, too! (Daryl and Carol forever) #9 makes me laugh every time because I feel like that GIF describes it so wonderfully. <3

  8. Congratulations Bianca! I’m so happy for you.

    I especially appreciate that you said this:

    “I am doing the best I can over here. Can’t we just all live our lives kindly and without judgement? If we are all working towards the same goal, there is no need for negativity. Practice what you preach, sista/bro: kindness. Everyone goes at their own pace, and don’t jump down their throat if you disagree with something. You do you, and I’ll do me.”

    I believe that almost everybody is doing the best they can with what they have (and know). Yes, occasionally there is a bad apple or two. But most people are trying hard to get by and do the right thing, even if they’ve never heard the word “vegan.”

    Myself, I am not a vegan. But two of my housemates were vegan for many years and totally nonjudgmental of my food choices. And that caused me to let go of some old feelings and thoughts I had about veg*ns, and learn to make a lot of vegan dishes (as you know my specialty is desserts!).

    As the saying goes, be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle…

    • Thank you so much for your comment & for reading. One of the biggest things I wanted to accomplish with this blog was to show people that every little bit helps – perfection is not key… it’s about doing the most good and least harm. I appreciate anyone who comes to look at vegan recipes and posts – veghead or not! So glad you got that from this post, too :)

      Oh, vegan dessert!! I love that. Thank you so much for stopping by. Happy to connect with amazing people, such as yourself!! xx

  9. Happy Birthday :) I had a lot of fun reading your post. So nice! It’s almost exactly the same that I have experienced so far. I really like the way you deal with haters. That’s the was to go! I think everybody has its own view on how to be vegan and we all have our own pace, as you said. We are all doing our part for a better world but we all do it in a different way. Just keep going your way. And thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    • Thank you so much for your sweet comment – made my morning! I was so distraught over haters in beginning, but I’ve learned to just brush it off :) So glad you could relate!! <3

  10. I love this article! It’s perfect :) “Cooking vegan is the best thing to happen to my skill set in a long time!” Oh yeah!!!

  11. Yeah, there’s always gonna be that “Did you source that sugar?” bitch out there. It used to get to me when vegans tried to make me feel like I’m not vegan enough. I’m not perfect, nor have I ever claimed to be. And #9? I soooooooooooooooooo get that.

  12. Hi Bianca, congrats to your veganniversary! You assembled a great gif show here and every point of it is true for me, too (though my 1 year is in November). I find, the first half month or month is like “OMG everything’s so new” and then you just can’t imagine to not eat and cook vegan anymore – I love it! Stay as loving and tolerant as you are, I love to read your recipes & thoughts :) <3
    Anna

    • Thank you so much, Anna! You are very sweet. Proud of you for going strong, too! It’s so nice to not ever feel like going back. It’s such a great lifestyle change. So glad you loved the GIFs – I love bringing any type of humor… even for serious talks such as this one :) So glad to have met such a kind person, such as yourself, through our vegan journeys :) xx

  13. I absolutely love this post! I’ve only been vegan for a few months, but I can relate to every single one of these. I find it particularly amazing how my tastebuds have completely adapted to my new diet – I hardly ever crave animal products. Besides, it’s so easy to recreate non-vegan flavours and textures (naturally, and not with weird substitutes of course!) that I never feel like I’m missing out on anything. Congratulations on your veganniversary, and thank you for all your inspiring posts! :) x

    • Thank you so much for your kind comment, Lucia! I’m so happy to hear you can relate and how easy of a transition it has been. Mine was very similar – I just kinda decided and then never really craved much again! I feel like the longer it’s been, the more empowered I feel. I can’t imagine ever going back :) xx bianca

  14. I love this!

    Though for me #9 wasn’t a product of becoming vegan, it was more the catalyst! I’m not 100% vegan, but I’m working on it…

    I went fully vegan for a month in September & was amazed at how easy I found it; I didn’t miss meat or dairy at all. Now I avoid animal products around 98% of the time, but sometimes when I’m out or at someone’s house, I might accept something with egg in, to be polite!

    But if anyone ever dared try to shame me for that, they wouldn’t find me to be particularly receptive! As you say, “I’ll do me & you do you!” Even if everybody just ate less meat & less animal products, it would have a profound impact on animal welfare, not to mention the environment and our own health.

    So, being 98% vegan is okay with me! And I’ll continue working on the remaining 2%!

    Lorna | naturally-bee.blogspot.co.uk |

    • Lorna – I love your comment!! It is everything that I agree with. I eat vegan, but do enjoy the occasional honey if it comes from a local beekeeper. If anyone tries to get mad, I would say the same as you. And I have!! Do the most good and least harm – it all helps. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to read my post. I appreciate it so much. Keep doing you, girl! xx

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