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Ten Things I Learned From Being Vegan

My sophomore year of college, I went vegan for a few months. It started as an experiment of curiosity, and became a really nice experience to have. It made me appreciate food a lot more, and become more adventurous with my cooking and eating. This post isn’t going to be to tell you all to go vegan, as I don’t believe in food propaganda or guilt. But it’s to share with all of you what I learned from the time that I went vegan.

I’m not vegan or vegetarian anymore (I seldom eat red meat though), but I do designate certain days of a month where I try to eat vegan or vegetarian. I know someone’s going to say something snarky, and my response is this–it’s better than nothing, right?  

I have no problem with eating vegan, I do it almost every time I eat with Lolo. I do understand that is trickier for some than others, and I understand that it can cause a few health problems for some. Me personally, I got really sick after being vegan for a while and had to revert back. It just depends on the person! Lolo has been doing it for over a year and she’s more than happy! It just depends on the person. Regardless, like I said before, it’s a personal choice.

People ask me questions about veganism quite a bit (since I share vegan recipes sometimes, and ideas), so I decided that I’d share some things I’ve learned from the experience!

  1. Don’t try to find substitutes for foods you miss. It’s not going to taste the same, and you’ll be disappointed. Instead, learn to love and appreciate vegan foods for their uniqueness and what makes them different. For example, I like vegan cheeses for different reason than real cheeses.
  2. Don’t let one bad food experience affect you. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who have tried a food once and continually think their bad experience is grounds for denouncing it. There are so many different ways to cook or prepare foods, and just because you’ve had it prepared one way and don’t enjoy it, doesn’t mean that it’s bad! I think the only thing worse is people who always voice their opinions on what foods they think sucks.
  3. Some foods you already love may already be vegan. Oreos are vegan, chips and salsa are vegan. Lots of foods are vegan already, without us even knowing it! A quick google search will clarify things!
  4. A lot of foods can be easily modified to be vegan. It’s simple to make something vegan through modifications, at most food places! For example, Taco Bell’s bean burrito can be modified to be vegan!
  5. Trying new recipes is a whole lot of fun. You might find some new favorites, and get to try new foods! Some of the recipes I made when I was vegan are still my go-to recipes today!
  6. Yelp is going to be your best friend. I think Yelp is amazing regardless, but it’s extra helpful if you have dietary restrictions. The app makes it so easy for you to find new places to dine at, or specialty food stores! (PS my vegan favorites in Chicago are The Chicago Diner, Handlebar, Dimo’s Pizza, Native Foods Cafe, Karyn’s on Green).
  7. When transitioning in or out of veganism, take it slow. I got ridiculously sick after having a burger right after being vegan for months. Take it slow, your body hasn’t digested certain foods in some time, so transition out (or in) slowly. Maybe use vegetarianism as a gateway.
  8. People are going to comment. There are always going to be people who make unsolicited remarks about how much they love meat or how they can’t do what you’re doing. It doesn’t matter, because they’re not the ones doing this, you are! It’s a personal choice and no one has the right to comment on it. One of my biggest pet peeves anytime I was vegetarian or vegan was when people would consistently tell me they thought it was stupid or that I should just give up. It’s not their place to say!
  9.  You will miss some foods. I missed cheese so badly when I was vegan. Lolo says that it’s perfectly normal and the feeling goes away once you’ve done it for a while!
  10. You will accidentally lapse. It’s inevitable. When I first went vegan I had kimchi and thought it was vegan, and was so upset when I found out it wasn’t! Don’t beat yourself up over little lapses. It’s perfectly okay.

Have you ever gone vegan? would you ever go vegan? What advice do you have?

Chrissey

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52 Comments

  1. ‘Take it slow’ – I like that, we put our bodies under a lot of stress when it comes to eating. Well I do anyway. It’s easy to think we can handle it but our reactions afterwards speak volumes. I will take that lesson away with me – take it slow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it’s always a good idea to take it slow when it comes to transitioning with foods, for the exact reason you said! Our bodies are put under a LOT of stress!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Although I was a vegetarian for roughly eight years, I never once tried to go full on vegan. It’s certainly crossed my mind before, but I would be concerned with not getting enough calcium. Plus I love yogurt! πŸ™‚

    And oh my gosh, I used to get lots of snarky and rude comments from people on my vegetarianism. I eventually just had to tune them out.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed reading this πŸ˜„. I can especially relate to your second point. I know someone who is a fussy eater, she doesn’t like a lot of things I like. If I’m eating something she doesn’t like she has to make a remark about it, ‘ughh I hate that’. I’m the one eating it, not you! πŸ˜…. I don’t want to be vegan, but I eat plant-based as much as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It happens with a lot of people, they always have to make a comment about what others are eating or doing! It’s such a pet peeve of mine! I try to eat as much plant-based foods as well, but I couldn’t go vegan again (unless it was for a short period of time).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! I definitely learned a lot when I was vegan but I think ultimately I learned to appreciate food a lot more!

      Like

  4. I so agree with number 1! I’m vegan and have been for 5 years now. I’m constantly telling people to not expect a substitute to taste exactly like the original because they will be sorely disappointed. I tell them to just think of it as a different thing as a whole and to learn how to appreciate new flavors. It’s frustrating when people say, “a veggie burger doesn’t taste like a real burger” like uuummmm no duh!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the list! I try to eat vegan at least one day a week or whenever I can! I admire people who can do it 24/7, and have some friends who are! I think it’s so important when going vegan or veg to appreciate foods for their taste and their unique characteristics. Just like you said… veggie burgers aren’t going to taste the same as meat! The Gardein Ultimate Beefless are the closest I’ve gotten to being somewhat similar to beef taste. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and input! Have a great week! πŸ’šπŸ’•

      Like

  5. Ahh, as a young vegan woman I absolutely LOVE this article. One of my biggest pet peeves are people who preach about veganism and act superior about it – veganism is daunting at first and I think everyone who even makes an effort to be aware of what they are putting in their bodies are making leaps and bounds in the right direction. I love when my non-vegan friends try it out for a day here and there, or just start to notice it more. From my point of view each body is different and veganism isn’t everyone jam, but the worst thing is just carelessly putting anything in your body without thinking about it. Thank you for making veganism feel so much more accessible, and not an all-or-nothing type of thing!! Sincerely, a super strict vegan who loves parmesan cheese πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it! I definitely think it’s something that’s personal for each and every person and everyone takes it differently so that it works with their bodies! And I love cheese!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been vegan for about 13 years now. My advice would be that for most people if you eat a good variety of fairly healthy food and eat enough calories and supplement with B12 then you will probably get all you need. πŸ™‚ People worry about protein but protein deficiency is almost unheard of in people who are eating enough calories. Most people actually eat far too much protein which is bad for us too. πŸ™‚ Also if people make a mistake, just keep going and stick with it, you don’t have to give up even if you eat something that’s not vegan. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and is definitely worth it. πŸ™‚ And some documentaries I recommend are Earthlings, Forks Over Knives, and Cowspiracy. Check out Netflix where there are quite a few documentaries about veganism and plant based diets. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I love your point about appreciating vegan foods as vegan foods and not as substitutes for the ‘real thing.’ I hate it when people slam things like vegan mac and cheese or veggie meats for not tasting like exact replicas – they are what they are on their own and they’re delicious in their own ways, but of course they’re not the same. Great read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s definitely one of my pet peeves too! I think vegan food is so creative that you definitely have to appreciate it as its own cuisine! Thank you so much and I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Ten Things I Learned From Being Vegan – SEO

  9. Hii😊 I am vegan now and took it slow. I think that is an essential way to undergone this process for our bodies and also for our mind. I thought I will miss cheese as I used to be a cheese addict, but I don’t. I love eating vegan. The hardest part I find of this lifestyle is the social part. I enjoyed reading your post.
    I have a new blog about vegan healthy eating and sports. http://www.veganfitrun.com 😊😘

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I also went vegan in my sophomore year of college (still am). I love your tip about using Yelp when going out to eat. Eating out is sometimes a struggle, so I will definitely have to try that, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Your article was very interesting. My daughter is a vegan but I eat meat. The one thing that I hate is when she tells me how bad meat is for me. We are all different and like you said, no one should tell you what or not to eat. Thank you again for your ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for taking the time to read it! I find that commenting on another’s eating habits to be something that’s so unnecessary! I’m glad you enjoyed the read!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Very interesting article! I’ve been a vegan since the beginning of 2016 and started slowly, because I still live at home and my mother doesn’t cook only vegan. But time after time, I felt that it was just the right thing for me to go “completely” vegan and I am feeling so good! I can totally recommend the app “HappyCow” for finding vegan or vegetarian places to eat all around the world and I also wrote a blogpost about vegan restaurants in Paris, if anyone is going there soon πŸ™‚
    http://www.minamarini.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m not vegan but quite a few of my everyday go to meals are vegan. There’s actually an awesome fully vegan bakery not too far from where I live and I go there all the time because all of their stuff is amazing.

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

    Liked by 1 person

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