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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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