How to Go Vegan: 8 Steps that Helped Us

Changing our food habits is hard, but we think we can help

1. Firstly, everyone's journey is different.

Some people go vegan overnight, others do it gradually. Do what feels right for you. We were both vegetarian before going vegan, which made the transition easier for us. J was vegetarian for 15 years before going vegan, mainly because she really really loved cheese. And R was vegetarian for one year before giving up on all animal products and by-products. So be patient with yourself. Maybe try replacing one meal a week. Replacing a few meals for plant-based options has a positive impact on our climate crisis - not to mention it's great for our bodies and kind to our animal friends. Decide an action plan and give it a go.

2. Do your research.

If you want this to be a life long decision we encourage you to dive deep into all the reasons to go vegan. Find reputable sources about health, the animals, and the environment. Veganism is not a diet, it is a philosophy. The more you learn about its impact, the more you will understand why a vegan lifestyle is important.

3. Find alternatives.

Find vegan alternatives to the meals and products you already enjoy. Whatever it is you are already enjoying - just keep eating it without meat, dairy and eggs. Use plant-based options. The internet is filled with amazing vegan recipes, go look for some by simply typing the recipe you already enjoy, for example, Fettuccine Alfredo, and type “vegan recipe” at the end of it. You will be amazed at all the possibilities that exist. If you want to know about some recipes we enjoy from other bloggers click here.

4. Eat the rainbow.

spinach, red onion, cabbage, red pepper, avocado, carrots, and jalapeños

This is actually one of the greater things about going vegan, you will consume way more veggies, nuts, fruits, grains, seeds, and mushrooms. You might even notice your taste for vegetables (and food in general) change, a cauliflower can be delicious buffalo "wings", tofu replaces scrambled eggs very well, cashews make a creamy cheese, jackfruit makes for a wonderful pulled “pork” dish. It's truly amazing what you will discover. Eat a variety of food, especially a variety of colors, and you might be pleasantly surprised at all the amazing benefits you are gaining. When we eat this way, our yearly blood work show positive results.

5. Learn to love cooking!

This is a pretty important one. If you do not cook, or you do not enjoy it, find ways to spark that joy. It is not an easy journey if you do not cook. Find a few recipes that are simple and delicious to start. Remember that spices are really what add flavors. Plus, cooking at home is the healthiest and most cost effective way to make this change. You will be doing your body and wallet a favor. For those who don't know how to cook, maybe try a food subscription service that comes with all the ingredients portioned out with step by step instructions. These meal kits can be a great confidence booster. My sister loves them because they introduce her to new recipes and they're simple enough that she can include her kids in the cooking.

6. You don't have to give up on your cultural dishes.

Mushrooms cooked with onions garlic and tomatoes served with white rice and French fries

We've veganized many Peruvian, Spanish, Cuban, and American dishes, and we love to share it with our family and friends. It's common to associate with one's culture through food. Being able to still enjoy the flavors you grew up having makes this so much easier. With an open mind you can veganize any dish. Here is an example of a popular Peruvian Recipe we veganized (pictured above).

7. Share.

Many people are scared to go vegan due to the fear that they might not fit in during social situations and gatherings. The best way around this is to bring something to share. Introduce your people into your little vegan world. Your family and friends will learn and appreciate you sharing. Not to mention, they will be impressed it's all vegan!

8. Find Support.

There is something so intimate about creating something with someone else. Sharing the sensory experience and adventure of a new recipe is something we enjoy together. See if someone in your life would want to explore veganism with you. Find new recipes that you'd like to try to create together. Sharing food can be a great motivator, and sharing the experience of creating is a wonderful craft. Explore a different way of life together. It could make this new journey that much more exciting!

besitos, J & R

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