I have been getting a flood of questions from friends and followers asking how they can learn more about going vegan or vegetarian. I AM SO HAPPY YOU HAVE QUESTIONS! I am glad that so many of you are starting to question the way that we are raised, and are taking notice of the effects of the livestock industry on our planet.
To start off give these videos a watch, they are all on youtube and should be pretty eye opening (they were for me):
101 reasons to go vegan – This is a great overall summery of veganism, why you should go vegan, what we really eat, why it’s better for your health, etc.
Earthlings – Do it for the animals. We are all earthlings, and veganism is really an issue of ego versus eco. Are we eating with our egos telling us that our lives are worth more than the animals we are slaughtering? Or are we eating in an eco-conscious manner that is best for all living things?
Vegucated – Another good look at the meat/dairy industry, and a look at how simple it really is to make the transition to a plant based diet.
Cowspiracy – A look at how this industry is destroying our planet. This is your home, don’t you want to help save your home?
And here are a few more resources to read and look through. It is important to do your research because as a vegan/vegetarian you are going to get constantly bombarded with people judging or questioning your choices:
Dairy cows fact sheet – A dairy cow’s life, dairy nutrition myths, and the impact of the dairy industry on the planet.
Why milk is bad for you – Did you know that milk actually drains the calcium from our bones? And that the nations with the highest consumption of milk are also the highest in osteoporosis? Oh the irony….
Eating for your health – A quick lowdown on the facts about eating animal products
UN urges shift towards vegan diet – The UN has called for a shift towards a vegan diet to combat the effects of global warming.
But does going vegan really make a difference? – The answer is yes. Read on.
Wondering about veganism? – Check out this nifty little chart!
So now that you are equipped with all of these resources, how to start? What this lifestyle boils down to is eating whole, plant based foods in abundance. What do we eat? Loads of fresh/frozen fruits and veggies, starches like oats, rice, pasta, and potatoes, nuts and seeds, beans, etc. If it is grown from the earth, we eat it! Here’s what a day might look like to me lately:
Breakfast: My superfoods powder mixed with unsweetened almond milk to make a shake, and oatmeal with banana and peanut butter, or bananas with peanut butter sauce.
Lunch: A big salad of baby spinach and mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, and hummus topped with nutritional yeast seasoning and sriracha sauce. Then I will usually have another piece of fruit, or maybe toast with nut butter.
Dinner: Black beans, corn, and tomatoes mixed with more sriracha, mustard, and nutritional yeast. More fruit for dessert, maybe blueberries with peanut butter sauce, or watermelon.
Snacks: Dates/other dried fruit or trail mixes, veggie chips, carrots with almond butter to dip, veggies with hummus, toast with spreads, popcorn, vegan baked goods (!), coconut milk yogurt, rice cakes, larabars, macro bars, etc.
Condiments: nutritional yeast, sriracha and other hot sauces, mustards, pickles, hummus, nut butters, coconut oil, Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute, cinnamon, powdered peanut butter, etc.
When you are eating plant based your grocery bill doesn’t have to be expensive! I tend to stay away from fake meat products because they tend to have a lot of ingredients and I don’t think that’s necessarily good. Though I will eat these from time to time of course! I will also eat tofu sometimes but it isn’t something I buy on the regular. Staying away from these products that tend to be pricey helps keep my bills down. What I focus on buying are cheap grains and starches, and loads of produce. You don’t have to start exclusively shopping at Whole Foods just because you go vegan. You can absolutely be vegan on the cheap. But do know that you will generally need to eat more on this lifestyle because plant based foods are generally lower in calories. This means that you might want to track your calories when you are starting to make sure you are eating enough. Another thing to consider when you’re starting is to buy a B12 supplement. This is the only nutrient that you cannot get from a plant based diet, and it is essential for health. So run to your local Vitamin Shoppe or GNC and grab a bottle.
I think one of the biggest factors that deters people from adopting this lifestyle is the fear of being teased. And here’s some tough love: you are going to get teased. Suck it up. I am lucky that most people in my life have been supportive, but it’s just a fact that my brother is going to make fun of me until his dying day. This is sadly baggage that comes with this lifestyle. This is why we should arm ourselves with knowledge to back our decision. I hope that I have provided you with some of the knowledge you seek when looking to make this transition!
If you guys have any more questions please don’t hesitate to ask away! I am no expert, but I am passionate and here to help! I am more happy with my decision to go vegan every day, and I am happy to help others down this path of a more eco-concious life.
xo. your fellow earthling, Mara