Becoming Vegan -- Ease Into It
It's a big jump from the Standard American Diet (SAD) to becoming vegan. Some of you may be so committed that you just want to switch cold turkey, cutting all animal products out of your diet... BAM. More power to you.
Others may know that you'll be more successful if you ease into it. Maybe you just want to eat fewer animal products and introduce more healthy choices into your diet. If this is the case, it may not be such a shock to your system. By easing into a new way of eating, there is no need to purge your kitchen completely of all the things that are familiar to you. Rather, start by slowly and systematically cutting back on animal products while still using foods that you recognize and like. That way, you won't feel abandoned by all you know and love.
Here's an example of what I mean:
One positive way to start that may assist you in adjusting to a diet filled with tastes that are foreign to you is to identify and continue to use as many of the foods in your current daily diet that are already vegan.
So, instead of starting out with tastes that are unfamiliar to you, start with favorites that are vegan but don't seem as if they are. For me, that would be a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a bowl of soup -- what's more familiar and comforting? For you, it might be a giant salad or spaghetti with meatless marinara sauce, or nut butters for breakfast (familiar and delicious). Just take what you have and leave out the animal products.
Essentially, eating a diet free of (or with fewer) animal products doesn't need to be scary to you and upsetting to your palate. Start by making a list of common foods you love that are free from animal products. Keep the list handy when you shop. Then add in a few new items to try while you're still relying on the old favorites.
Tomorrow, I'll start a 5-part series on more detailed ways to transition to eating vegan. See you then...