Tips for Going Vegan from Reader's Digest
World Vegan Day was November 1st and veganism got a little more attention than usual. When I came across 'Becoming Vegan: 12 Tips from the Experts' from none other than Reader's Digest, I almost had to pinch myself. Really. I even love how it starts out - "Vegan's not just a buzzword." It took Reader's Digest to inform me that more American's consider themselves vegans than vegetarians. Wow. Although this article is about going vegan, I think that these are great tips for going vegetarian AND for those of us who already are vegan or vegetarian. Though I've been vegan for years now and vegetarian for even longer, I found out new information from Becoming Vegan: 12 Tips from the Experts. Here are a few of my favorite tips they give with a little of my own input on each one:
# 1. Go at your own pace. I think this is a great tip because going vegetarian or vegan can seem overwhelming, if not impossible, to some people if they have to do it overnight. Being vegan is easy once you know the tips and tricks, but if you're clueless it can be crazy hard. It's good to give yourself some time to figure things out. That said, this tip only works for some people. For many people, finding out what happens to animals or just how devastating the impacts of a non-veg diet can be on the environment or their own health, it becomes impossible to continue living the way they were when they were totally ignorant. If you are one of these people, I suggest you really focus on tip # 4 and tip #12 below.
# 4. Find a vegan support group. I think the phrase 'support group' can have a negative connotation, but the idea behind this tip is still pretty right on. Changing the way you eat can be a big deal and it's possible that people around you will feel threatened or feel like you are turning your back on tradition or them when you're really just trying to make a positive impact on the world and yourself. People can be judgmental when they don't understand something. You need some cheerleaders in your corner who get what you're trying to do. It's great if you know someone already and maybe they can introduce you to some of their friends, but if you don't there are still plenty of options for you. Try to find a Vegan group in your area, such as through meetup.com or a local group like VegMichigan. In addition to local groups, you can also find yourself an online group of virtual cheerleaders. Search out some online vegan groups or vegan blogs. You will find a lot of vegans on facebook, pinterest, instagram, twitter, etc. Without a doubt, you will find someone who knows of some resources, recipes, restaurants, etc. that you didn't know about no matter how hard core of a vegan you may already be.
# 12. Get resourceful! Case in point. I did not know about half the resources presented with Tip #12 in the Reader's Digest article. There is so much helpful information out there, get searching. This is the best time there has ever been to find information on anything you want - including going vegan. I have shared a few links on my website of sites I have found helpful, but there are TONS and tons more. Whatever you are looking for, do a search. If you're still having trouble, ask someone from your vegan 'support group.'
Going vegetarian or vegan can seem overwhelming, but with the right support, it can be easy as (vegan) pie. Even mainstream media outlets such as Reader's Digest are now willing to help you make the transition! Whether you are just considering ways to incorporate more vegetarian/vegan options into your diet or you are a long-time vegan, check out these great tips from Reader's Digest.