Going Vegan: Phase Two
Congratulations for successfully completing the research phase. It ca be fairly overwhelming and emotional when you discover what the animal industry is about and it’s practices. However now that you know, there is no need to look back. Time to get started on your vegan lifestyle.
We are all about taking it slow when transitioning to veganism. It is a big change for a lot of people and being prepared is the only way to better your chances of sticking to it. You grow up being taught that animal products are good for you and part of a balanced diet, that thought process can be difficult to break on a lot of people.
The first stage had you doing a lot of research, good thing the research is fun to do! Now it’s time to use your research for good; vegan good. We don’t typically recommend going straight to a vegan lifestyle. We have set up this phase in a way that you can leave out any step that you don’t need but still have the options to start slow. There is no shame in eliminating one thing at a time.
THE IMPLEMENTATION PHASE
Step 5 – Buy a B12 Supplement
Before you get started it is important to know that many vegans are often deficient in vitamin B12, heck even some non-vegans are deficient. B12 is vital for the creation of red blood cells and keeping your body healthy. You don’t need a lot of this vitamin, however you do need it. Unfortunately B12 is not naturally occuring in plant-based foods, so in order to get this nutrient you will have to buy foods fortified with it or a B12 supplement. Good thing about this vitamin is that it is water soluble, meaning that you cannot take too much, if you do you will just pee out the extra. Take it from Kat who has been low on B12, when you are you feel it. You are tired all the time, you go pale and can even develop dark spots on your hands, among other things.
Step 6 – Replace Something
We can’t say it enough, start slowly. Going cold turkey works for some people, but not for everybody. Pick something to replace whether it be meat (a good first step), dairy, eggs or maybe even just one particular meat. Dev for example started her journey by giving up pork and beef, now she has given up everything up cheese and is well on her way to getting rid of the cheese too. Starting slow helps you stay on track and the change doesn’t seem so bad. Do this for as long as it takes.
Step 7 – Go to a Vegan Restaurant
Expose yourself to some delicious vegan food from an amazing restaurant. We recommend going to an all vegan restaurant if you have one near you as it shows you just ow many options you have, you just need to go to specific places. It is always nice to bring some friends too, so that they know that you all can still go out and eat delicious food together. If you are in the Toronto area here are some of our favourite restaurants that would impress any diet:
- Hogtown Vegan
- Apiecalypse Now
Step 8 – Veganize the Classics
Now that you are well into your vegan journey, it’s time to veganize the classics. We always recommend this as these are the things people love most. Instead of going from burgers and fries to a salad, go from burgers and fries to veggie burgers and fries. Some of our favourite classics are:
Step 9 – Go Vegan for A Week
Now that you have dabbled into the vegan world, it’s time to dive a little further. This time we suggest going vegan for a week! With all the research and the recipes you have tried out this should be a piece of vegan cake. However don’t worry if it isn’t, at times it’s hard even for somebody that’s been vegan for years. Kat for example gets cravings at random times, when these happen it is important to remember why you are doing this. We also want to make sure that if you accidentally eat something non-vegan, that is okay too! Mistakes happen, learn from them and move on.
Step 10 – Replace Something
Now after your week is done it is time to decide whether you are ready to stay vegan or you would like to go back to eliminating one thing at a time. Either choice is okay. Keeping working on this one as long as you need to. Do this until you have completely eliminated all animal based foods; including meat, fish, eggs, dairy and honey.