Saturday, June 03, 2006

Tips for Going Vegan

I just posted my story on how I went vegan, but here are some hints and tips that you may find helpful!

1) Overnight it best
Its much easier to go vegan overnight. If you try to eliminate items one by one, it can tease your taste buds and only make you crave what you want to give up. Make a date, like the first of the month, or your birthday, New Year's, etc, that will be your official date. If you just pick a day without planning first (see tip 2), you will probably be hungry, or not know what to do.

2) Go slow
No, I'm not contradicting my 1st tip! About 2 weeks before you go vegan officially (see tip 1), stop buying non-vegan foods and finish the ones you already have. By keeping them in the house AFTER your cut-off date, you will only tease yourself and not know what to do with them.
3) Be able to cook veganly
This is pretty common; You go vegan, buy vegan foods, but dont know what to do with them!
Before you go vegan, learn to cook some simple dishes, and have some recipes (Either a cookbook or from online). You cant survive off frozen and canned goods. They are too high in sodium, and are mighty expensive. Check out the Recipe Archives on the Sidebar!
4) Learn how to make desserts, or at least be able to find them
Unless you are going vegan for health reasons, you should be able to do some desserts. You will go crazy otherwise. When you go vegan, you will want to eat animal foods (not just desserts), and if you can indulge in some dessert, it helps you feel better (trust me!). Locate the Soy Delicious and Tofutti Cuties in your co-op or supermarket. Also, check out some recipes online (Again, check out my Recipe Archives. The Tofu Chocolate Pie is awesome!)
5) Stick with it
This may seem harsh, but dont let yourself break down! If you make a mistake, thats okay. But dont give in! In the movie Supersize Me!, Morgan Spurlock compares eating fast food to qutting smoking. He says that once you get over the "3-day hump", you are fine. I am NOT suggesting you eat at McD's :)

What I'm saying is that if you stick with it for a week or so, you will get used to it. Your body will eventually lose its cravings for animal products, and you can satisfy your tastes with vegan goodness!

Books always tell you to not make a big deal of breaking down. You shouldn't break down! I'm not being a bitch, I'm telling you the truth. If you're quitting smoking, you dont go and have a ciggarette because giving them up is so hard!

Eating animal products is the same thing. If you stick with it, you can conquer it. Mistakes happen. Unintentional mistakes WILL happen to everybody. Those are a-okay. I've ordered soups that the waiter swore were vegan, only to find a chicken bone in it. Just keep rolling.
Here's the unofficial tip number 6. It happens to deal with number 2, and I'm not talking about the second tip!
You might want to wear Depends when you first go vegan. Vegan diets are extremely high in fiber... And we all know what that does to you. Even if you are a vegetarian going vegan, you might get a little surprise (I know this from first-hand experience)

Most americans dont even get 1 bowel movement a day. Unless you are elderly or have some other ailment, you should be getting at least 2. I'm not the healthiest vegan (but I'm not unhealthy either), and I get about 3 a day (You all wanted to know this, didnt you?)

After 2 or 3 weeks your body will get used to it. But runny poo and emergencies are not uncommon!

(I'm only telling you this for your own wellbeing!)
I hope all of these tips help you on your way to becoming vegan! Good luck!

36 comments:

Cindy said...

Nice post. Those are helpful hints for anyone thinking about going vegan. I would add, not only learn to cook, but learn to experiment with cooking. I have found that to be one of my greatest joys in going vegan, was teaching myself how to cook. Be willing to step outside of the box and experiment with your food.

Anonymous said...

Good suggestions! I was a vegetarian for 21 years and the runny pooh caught me by surprise. I thought that my body was used to large quantities of fiber. I also experienced acne for the first time. I hope that it is my body getting rid of dairy and eggs. Is this common?

Sexy Vegan Chick said...

Acne? normally dairy causes acne.

any change in diet can cause other changes, so i would assume its normal

Anonymous said...

Have you checked out Compassionate Cooks' podcast? I think you'd love it. I'm 16 and vegan and have found it IMMENSELY helpful in learning about all things vegan, but it's inspiring, too! It's called Vegetarian Food for Thought, and you can find the individual files at http://feeds.feedburner.com/VegetarianFoodForThought.

GOOD LUCK!

Anonymous said...

I think your tips are very valid but I would like to say just one thing. I, personally, would NOT recommend quitting meat overnight - especially during a season when a certain ailment is common (i.e. flu season). This is because quitting meat abruptly can put the body into shock and cause more than just 3 or more bowel movements a day. It can make you ill. This advice is grounded on personal experience. However, if you've been vegetarian for a while and wish to take the extra step toward a vegan diet, overnight is a good option. It's just the abrupt abstinence of meat that you have to watch out for. Of course this has a lot to do with your previous dietary habits.

Anonymous said...

After watching some PETA videos my freshman year of college, I went from eating an unhealthy diet of maybe more meat than the average person to being vegan overnight. I didn't have any problems...

For those who might be affected by the bathroom thing, maybe rather than giving foods up gradually, just start eating things on the low end of the fiber range and do a fairly gradual increase for that. I seriously doubt it would be too hard on one's body to go from being an omnivore to maybe having cereal for breakfast, a veggie sandwich for lunch, and say, pasta for dinner. That's not *all* that different from what an omni might occasionally eat anyway, except that they would have added meatballs to the pasta sauce and a few slices of meat/cheese on the sandwich.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I've gotta add to that last comment. My husband also went vegan all at once. The day that I went vegan, he and I talked about it and watched more of those disturbing videos, and he decided that he had to go vegan with me. He didn't have any problems either.

Also, when I'm at home visiting my family, they go from being heavily dependent on fast food to eating mostly vegan stuff, and I've only heard good things. My dad stops having acid reflux (which he normally has about all the time). Last time I was home, he kept raving about how he wishes he could eat that way all the time. And my mom stops having to take her blood pressure medication. That's a good thing, but it's also actually the only danger I can think of... People on medications related to an unhealthy diet (blood pressure medication, cholesterol lowering medications, etc) should be monitoring that stuff constantly when they go vegan. In my mom's case, it just took about a day or maybe two of vegan food before her blood pressure was normal without the medication. It can happen that fast.

luvnsmartbeauty@yahoo.com said...

I had been progressively becoming vegetarian over the last year or two, increasing vegetarian meals over the course of this time- while also including instinctive fasts when needed too (veg juices, broths, raw fruits and veggies).

On my last fast 3 months ago, I didn't add back meat when coming off of it.

To make a long story short, I am now ovo-vegetarian after this 3 month transition over the summer, since that fast, listening to my body instinctually, and additional information I am now aware of too.

I never had any problems with bathroom emergencies. At first I didn't have any solid elimination, and at one point very little liquid either. Then, shortly after things worked again, and I was so relieved. It sure beat the clogged up painful feeling I used to feel so often before. Of course, I credit the abstinence of dairy products more then I do meat, since I was vegetarian with dairy and elimination was next to nil despite the fiber. As soon as I stopped dairy, just about, elimination was sooo much more improved and much more effective- like clockwork.

Oh, I have learned from experience that a disturbance in sleep does definitely affect this too.

I have more changes posted, and will be updated as time progresses too.

http://livingjoys.blogspot.com

veganlove23 said...

Thank you for these tips, I just started out as a vegan, I overnighted it as you'd say.
I am finding it a little bit difficult, if you could give me any help I'd love to talk to you!! thanks :)

Anonymous said...

hi i just went vegan recently and I find your tips to be the most realistic and encouraging. thanks!!!

Lola said...

hey found this site and its great! i was vegetarian for 2 years but vegan for 3months now, it took a while (kept craving chocolate) but my chocolate craving has gone away or i feed it with lovely homemade vegan chocolate!

I must agree with the first comment; me and my sister have found so much joy in cooking vegan foods and creating our own recipes. Im 17 and shes 18; we hope to spend the rest of our lives supporting animal rights!

I couldn't imagine myself ever eating animal by products again.
and i enjoy having a body free of many chemicals etc.

Nice to know there are more moral people out there and nice to know that you can be vegan and still enjoy food if not more than before :D

Molly said...

I became a vegetarian overnight and I recently decided to go all the way and be a vegan. I was very nervous about this, but these tips are very helpful. Thank you so much!!!

Anonymous said...

i just found this site, about a month or so after going vegan. i had decided i needed a big change. i did experience the poo thing, but my skin cleared up extremely! i also lost 20 pounds in 4 weeks, yes i did start eating a strict vegan diet to lose weight, but not that much that quickly. i eat all the time, and i have noticed that one of the questions people ask me is what type of foods i get to eat and if the dishes i eat are boring. thank you very much for this blog!

Anonymous said...

I'm going for it! Good-bye dariy, hello Tofu!!!! Thanks for the tips and stuff, very helpful!

Anonymous said...

Super post, but didn't you just copy and paste it from another site? I feel like I read this on PETA's site maybe? Just consider giving proper acknowledgment, as your own disclaimer asks.

Allie said...

Excuse me? I think you are most certainly mistaken, this is absolutely not copied and pasted. I wrote the entire article by myself from my own experiences without even looking at what PETA's site may say. Any similarities are entirely coincidental.

Anonymous said...

Cool. I've just never been to your site before and I'm pretty sure I've read this elsewhere. I'll try to find the link for you b/c I think someone is copying and pasting from you. No big deal. Just thought I'd ask.

Jagt said...

My friend and me decided to go vegan together.

Ive been vegetarian for 2 years, and I'm finally deciding to change my ways. Its been two days, and it's not super easy, but it's not as hard as you'd think either.

She's diabetic, type 1, and she decided to go vegan for the animals and to lower her a1c. Her blood sugar is always normal now, and it's only been 3 days.

Going vegan is great for you and the animals!

Betty Ann said...

These don't really help a kid thats 12. I love animals and hate eating them, but you always get that craving for mic Donald's and everything there is meet...almost. i can do without steaks, ham, ribs honey and garlic ribs. and a few other things. but some chicken will always slip through... and it doesn't help when everyone else in your family is a meat eater. It helps me when i go for a walk before supper, and drink lot's of water... when supper comes buy then i'm not that hunry, i hope i stick up with it till my cravings are gone. :) : )



Jessica

Darren said...

Interesting post about Tips for Going Vegan, in these days illness of any kind is very common and people have to try to be careful with their health, for example I unfortunately buy viagra only because I need it and well Im close to be a senior citizen.

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Emma said...

Got a question about eggs. I'm not a vegan, just an ovo-lacto vegetarian-in-training, but the stuff i've read about chickens (and what i've seen for myself eww) even if they're free range definitely bothers me. But here's the thing-my family has owned our own chickens, raised from birth, since as long as i've been alive (17 years) and they lay their eggs (which we eat) of their own accord. We get maybe one egg a day, which is enough since we don't eat eggs on a regular basis. I'm just curious, would these technically be considered organic, cruelty-free eggs since we don't coax them or feed them weird stuff and even let them forage outside?
Btw, thanks for the Depends tip. It might come in handy someday lol. Reply to me at: http://www. wordstorm7.blogspot.com/ in the comments section if you would please. I'm really REALLY curious. =)

Emma said...

Thanks for replying to me. Cool u have chickies too! Part of me can't STAND eating their kind since i grew up with fluffy little ones for pets. <3 I'll def be checking out ur blog in the future!

Anonymous said...

Hello! Am hoping to go vegan as of this week, have ordered a lovely cookbook by Sarah Kramer and am hopping straight in there. I hope to "overnight it" and have found these tips most helpful, many thanks!

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Olivia said...

Hey, I just wanted to say thanks SO much for this post! I am 15 and I have been a vegetarian for almost 4 months and I didn't think I needed to go vegan, I didn't think that going vegan would really help anything, until I read some articles from the internet and this little agenda I bought (made by PETA) and that had some interesting facts in it, so I decided I would try to be vegan for a few weeks, and hopefully I could make it a life long decision, but when I realized how many things contained animal-based products I was terribly discouraged, but after looking online and on this page, I have found some amazing tips. It is good to hear from someone who has actually gone through this and has some realistic tips. I used to beat myself up every time I made a mistake (like at this restaurant I LOVE I used to get a salad with yellow rice in it, only to find out that they cook the yellow rice in chicken stock) but now I have learned to except things I can't change. I really hope to not make so many mistakes, but if I do I'll just learn from it and move on. Thanks again!

Emma said...

Hello i was wondering if you have any advice about tofu. I've made it a few times but i have this thing where if I know its tofu or meat sub it mentally makes me not able to eat it. I fantasize that it tastes weird lol. Idk if im not cooking/seasoning it right, but i was just wondering if you ever had this issue and/or how to combat it. Reply to me at: http://www. wordstorm7.blogspot.com/ in the comments section. (Yes this is Emma again lol)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm 13 years old and would like to become a vegan during this summer (I will be 14) I would like to go vegan for about 2 weeks to test it out and see if I like it. Is this a bad idea because I'm a growing teenager and need extra protein and other nutrients I can get from foods that are not vegan? I'm also not a vegetarian, should I become that before I go vegan? Also will going vegan for 2 weeks make me sick?
Thank you.

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Be a raw vegan it's very difficult now days with all these artificial stuff around the restaurants.

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I know when a vegetarian is checked by a physician, say, for an annual physical exam, the doctor will say that the person is healthy. :-)
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Karen said...

There are a lot of ways to go vegan! Check out some recipes and tips at Four Green Steps website http://www.fourgreensteps.com/

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