If you’ve miss the kick off on January 1st, don’t worry, it’s not too late!
Veganuary is month long challenge which promotes veganism. Go vegan for a month and you may want to be vegan for life.I’m not quite sure it’s that simple but it surely isn’t a bad idea to cut out meat and incorporate a lot more green in your diet!
If you’ve missed the beginning of the challenge, don’t worry, it’s not too late! It is never too late really, you can start any time of the year.
My path to veganism
I’ve talked about this before, but it seems fitting here to write it again: It took me years to become vegan and I’m not even always 100%. I know I’m not perfect.
Strictly talking about food, I started by cutting out red meat, and later other types of meat, then fish, then cheese. It should take years really but for a long time, I was ok with being a vegetarian.
The circumstances in which in cut out cheese from my diet are quite funny. I was in London and had to take the bus to the grocery store. On one trip I just couldn’t buy cheese because I didn’t have enough arms to carry all the grocery. And there after, I didn’t eat cheese for a couple days and soon realized I felt so much better! I realized cheese had such a negative impact on my body, that I needed to cut it out. It was truly mind-blowing.
I’m not a ‘perfect’ vegan, no need to flog me for it!
There are things I consume intentionally and others, just because I don’t know.
For example, I still consume honey and propolis when I’m sick. I much rather take these to heal from a sore throat or a cold, than medication that have been tested on animals.
Then again, if I must, I will take medication.
In the category of things I consume because I don’t know better, there is wine! I’m French and I drink wine… No, not every day! However I’ve only recently found out about the fining process and that wine is often not considered vegan. Darn! I’m not going to throw away the bottles I still have, but will buy more vegan ones in the future.
Not perfect, you see! And I think the wine example is a good one, to show why becoming vegan is a process and why it is so confusing, to many.
So, should you quit consuming meat ‘cold turkey’ or slowly?
I love the idea behind Veganuary. Anything that promotes not hurting animals is a good idea!
But I think that when starting your vegan journey, you shouldn’t beat yourself up for taking it slow and making mistakes.
One month is a short time to completely transform your habits and find what works for you.
I also believe that when changing our diet too fast, we often create more issues in the process. It’s like being a couch potatoes and suddenly going to the gym to lift unreasonable amount of weight. You are more likely to hurt yourself, than look like Superman.
So if you are thinking of trying, here are my tips to help you.
A few tips to help you start ‘Veganuary’ at your own pace
Take it slow! Switch to one vegan meal per day the first week, a couple more the next one…
Take notes. How do you feel after lunch? after diner? Do you feel great? Do you feel bloated? If so what did you eat…
Based on your notes, adapt what’s in your next plates. You need to find a balance, one day at a time, maybe even one meal at a time!
Watch your poop! Yes, this is really important.
Be mindful of the ‘hidden meat’. People do not seem to count pepperoni on a pizza as meat, I’m not even kidding. They forget the little bits hidden in their carbonara or else.
Do not replace your meat by 200% of carbs but do not cut carbs from your diet.
Explore alternatives. Not talking about fake meats, sorry not sorry! Talking about legumes, beans and all the plants that you probably don’t usually consume. Some are simply fabulous to keep you full and provide vitamins & nutrients.
Do have some vegan snacks at hand but don’t over compensate!
Find vegan restaurants and have a couple vegan recipes at hand so you do not lack inspiration.
Enjoy the seasons! Seasonal veggies and fruits are so much better.
Don’t beat yourself up if you realize too late something isn’t vegan. You will improve along the way.
Give yourself time to transition. Your body may need to adapt. Learn about yourself.
Have fun and enjoy! Vegan food is not boring contrary to popular believes, it is actually super filling, colorful and full of wonders.
It is never too late to change and improve your diet. You may not want to be vegan but surely you could benefit from eating more greens and expanding your culinary horizons. Go try!