After spending a summer in Europe, I came back to the States a pescatarian in 2008. Because I completely cut out meat, I found I was eating a lot of fish, shrimp, and other seafood. I
Googled researched about our friendly sea creatures, and found that they have mercury in them. And me eating mercury freaked me out. So by that December, I was a full out lacto-ovo-vegetarian.
Being a dairy-eating-vegetarian is tough when you are lactose intolerant. I would eat ice cream and have the WORST gas ever within 10 minutes. Plus, I have fitness and health goals I want to attain. I felt like becoming a vegan was the next step for me. In December of 2011, I stopped eating all dairy products and went vegan.
You can do this, too. And it doesn’t have to take so long. Here are some tips:
- Research. Research. Research. Knowledge is power, and when you know of the dirty ways our animal friends are being treated, it will absolutely make giving up meat an easier decision.
- YouTube is a great option. There are amazing vegans who post videos daily on YouTube. Life Regenerator and Running Raw are my favorites!
- Learn the nutrition language. Carbohydrates, fats, protein, antioxidants, vitamins. What are they? What are some beneficial forms of each and some harmful forms of each?
- Talking to your family and friends about going veg isn’t always the best thing. In doing so, they might become judgmental of your choice. They may also tease you if you slip up and generally be unsupportive.
- Realize this is one of the healthiest decisions you can make for yourself. Your body is going to thrive and you will have all the energy to chase your dreams, live life, and deal with your personal struggles. Love yourself and your body, and go vegan!
- Baby Steps! This lifestyle has been sustainable because I took my time learning about it and really felt my body change throughout the process. I loved how every little healthy decision made such a significant difference to my body – whether it was weight loss, a boost of energy, feeling light on my feet, my running improved, etc.
Even if you decide NOT to go completely veg, having one vegan meal a week will make all the difference. You will feel the difference in your energy level, digestion discomfort, and mood. I challenge you to try it!