My Story Part 2: The Switch to Veganism
When I first went vegetarian, I thought that was it. I didn’t have any intention whatsoever to give up anything more than meat. But of course, something changed. The more I discovered about this topic the more I felt like I needed to make a change.
My Greatest Influence On My Vegan Journey
My sister, Emma is one of the most influential people in my life and in my vegan journey. She is exactly the reason why I am not the aggressive vegan that has been stereotyped over the generations. She actually didn’t even force me into the diet. When I went vegetarian I followed her lead. So, because she was vegan I naturally learned the amazing benefits of this lifestyle.
I followed her lead for a full year before I made the leap. When I first went vegetarian, she was a huge shoulder to lean on. I ate whatever she did and then maybe added some cheese or some ice cream for dessert. Emma spent a full year teaching me everything she knew about eating meatless and of course, this lead to many conversations about veganism. As she taught me the ethics of her diet she shared her food with me. Emma gave me every reason to try it. So I did. I went vegan and she carried me through it. And jokes on me, I only lasted ONE week.
My First Attempt
Like when I went vegetarian, I cut out all animal products in one day. And of course, cravings hit HARD and I wasn’t committed enough. So I gave up and ate that pint of ice cream. But after I quit, something changed... again.
I cheated with ice cream; I couldn’t resist. But instantly I noticed a difference on my health. I cannot describe the experience I was feeling; genuinely the best word to describe how I felt was “cleansed”. For that one week being vegan, I was more energized, felt lighter and even happier! And after a few bites of ice cream, I instantly felt disgusting.
So I re-evaluated my life. At this point, I knew how to go vegan. Emma taught me everything I needed to know. This time though, I didn’t want anyone knowing and I didn’t want to feel any pressure of what people would say.
My Second Attempt: How I Successfully Transitioned to A Vegan Diet
I took it day by day, meal by meal and I told no one. The main influence as to why I quit on the first go around was because of my surroundings. In these times, people weren’t necessarily the most supportive when it came to a diet change like this. I got a lot of backlash for it: animal-based food shoved in my face, specific attacks and forceful attempts to eat animal products, and so on. People thought it was funny, but to me it just made it a million times more of a challenge. So, I said nothing to no one and I started with breakfast.
That’s right, breakfast.
On day one, I made sure my breakfast was entirely vegan. On day 2, I made sure both breakfast and lunch were vegan. Day 3, full day of no animal products. And on day 4, I cheated!
I continued this trend of adding more plant-based foods to my diet for about two weeks or so until I felt consistent enough. And even then, when I still had cravings, I ate vegan versions. I mean almond milk based ice cream is still pretty dang good AND it helped with the cravings A LOT. But after a while these cravings go away and I grew into having new and healthier ones instead, and well… the rest is history!
By the time people began to catch on to my new diet change I felt entirely in control of this lifestyle. From then on, I have been happier than ever. My life flipped upside down and I could not be prouder of myself for making this decision when I did. I think of this initial decision as one of the first decisions I ever made for myself, without truly any influence from others. Yes, Emma was vegan at the time and taught me a lot about her beliefs. But when I made the choice, she was there as a helping hand and never made me feel like I had to be vegan because of her.
And that’s how it all started. Ever since, I have drastically grown as a vegan and an individual.
What This Means For You
Overtime, I developed so much love for veganism on a deeper level than most do and I hope to continue sharing my story with you. I have had amazing conversations with people about my life as a vegan and seeing how others become inspired from my story has always blown me away.
I hope I inspire you in any way, shape or form. Whether you go vegan tomorrow or whether you become more conscious of your impact I hope I can inspire you to grow a new perspective on intuitive eating and more importantly, I hope it inspires you to grow as a person in general.