Happy New Year, everyone! I’m ready for whatever the hell 2015 throws my way, and particularly happy with the way 2014 went. I’m a little sad to see it go… it was such a big year for me, personally and professionally. I made a new house a home, met Minnie, started a great job, fell in love with Daryl Dixon, adopted a vegan lifestyle, started this blog, published my first book – the list just goes on! It’s been real, 2014. You were so so good for me!
Now… hello 2015! So glad you are here, and I hope you can keep up with 2014. I thought a nice way to kick off the New Year would be to share some of my experience from when I became vegan. For some, adopting a vegan diet can be as simple as a light-switch. For others, not so much. I’m here to talk to all those “not so much” people out there! Veganuary is here, and I think now is the perfect time to give it a go.
#1: Start as a vegetarian. This is what I did. I slowly began cutting meat from my life. I started with just white meat, then no meat, then eventually made the big switch (with the help of books, documentaries, and tons of sites). Your meals should revolve around veggies, lentils, beans, and grains. I have a great vegan shopping list, for those who need the extra help. Not sure what sort of meals you should be making? There is some serious inspiration on Pinterest! Get over there and start browsing. You’ll be drooling in no time.
#2: Try a new ingredient each week. Scared of okra? How about swiss chard? Have you ever tried tempeh? I know, what the fuck is tempeh, right? Well, it’s fucking delicious, FYI, and you need to try it. Being open to new ingredients is a huge part of this process. New veggies, new fruit, new proteins. No, you won’t like it all, but yes, you will expand your palette. If there is one thing I can guarantee, it is that you will be more creative in the kitchen than ever. Embrace it. It’s a blast. Throw on your favorite happy playlist and dance around the kitchen. PARTAAAAY, BABY!
#3: Watch the documentaries. There’s a ton, and I have listed my favorites here. Yes, some are graphic. Yes, they are sad. Suck it up. If everyone turned a blind eye to suffering, there would be no compassion. Suffering is a reality for these beautiful creatures. The least you can do is open your eyes. I highly recommend Vegucated. These documentaries are what tipped the scale for me. Vegetarian to vegan in seconds.
#4: Do the research. Aside from documentaries, there are a ton of great websites and books available. I highly recommend checking out VeganHealth.org. This website breaks down a lot of the FAQs and can serve as a great guide. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with non-vegan food, as well as ingredients. Trust me, you’ll be surprised by how many weird ingredients are NOT vegan [or maybe you won’t!]
#5: Vegan Before 6. Sara bases her diet loosely off this [though she hates admitting it – she’s doesn’t follow rules]. If you’re afraid to go all-in, give it a try! You can learn more about it here.
Small steps, baby. That’s how it starts. Good luck! xx Bianca