EMBRACING THE VEGAN LIFESTYLE FROM WITHIN
I USED TO BE A HARDCORE CARNIVORE. SHOWING MY POINTY TEETH LIKE A T-REX TO A SCARED LOOKING DEAD TURKEY ON MY TABLE, AND THEN GNAWING IT SO HARD TILL PEOPLE WOULD ASK ME TO STOP EATING LIKE A SAVAGE. CRUEL TO ANIMALS INADVERTENTLY, I WASN’T REALLY AWARE OF THE DEEP MUCK I WAS IN.
I have seen it all, done it all. But now I have got on the bandwagon of vegan.
But it was a slow process. And to be completely honest, it did take me quite some time to truly master it.
But finally I have wrapped my head around it and I know everything about being a fully-fledged and devotional vegan, so much so that I am at a point I can share my experience whole heartedly and bring some enlightenment to the dark abyss of animal-barbarism.
WHY GO VEGAN?
YOU MUST BE WONDERING, WHY DID I WANNA GO VEGAN?
WHAT MADE ME WANT STARTING LOOKING AT HOW TO BECOME A VEGAN?
WHAT ON EARTH COULD POSSIBLY CHANGE THE OUTLOOK OF A HARDCORE MEAT LOVER?
Well, I will tell you everything in detail via my personal story of me going began. Just bide with me for the next few sections.
If you aren’t interested in my personal story, that is O-K – I won’t get offended. If you are after the best of vegan resources, skip down to the section below!
MY BIG TRANSFORMATION: BECOMING VEGAN
OK, when we are talking about becoming a vegan, we speak in a really honest way. If you aren’t ready to hear honesty, skip this section.
To be really honest, the vegan nail drove to my heart for the very first time I saw a ruthless slaying. Being an animal lover, I had never actually paid heed to the suffering inflicted upon poor creatures, until one day I drove to the countryside and found myself at a shop that was selling some good ole’ chicken, something that I used to love so much.
Oblivious I was, when looking at one, when suddenly the butcher came and grabbed the poor hen so badly that it made my heart melt. I decided to take a peek at the wrong time, he lacerated the helpless hen with his punishing cleaver. It was a sorry sight as I made eye contact with the hen, as if it was saying “This happened because of you!” It nearly brought tears to my eyes. I couldn’t get the image out of my head. Had I not been selfish, that poor soul would have been still alive.
It was all my decision. It was because of me. I could read its blood in my hands.
All I could see was the arrogance of mankind and I was part of it! Later the same week, a friend of mine showed me a video of a poor rabbit being skinned alive and I couldn’t believe the cruelty. Suddenly I was feeling sorry for every animal on the planet. The things we do to them, threw me into the pits of depression.
It was the day I decided to call quits on my non-vegan appetite. AND my non-vegan way of life.
IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT WHAT WE EAT, IT’S ABOUT OUR LIFESTYLE AND ENTAILS EVERY ASPECT OF HUMAN LIVING. IT’S A CHANGE OF MIND, A CHANGE OF HEART, A CHANGE OF LIFESTYLE, ALL FOR THE BETTER.
I realized animal cruelty just doesn’t cease there. We have been using animal for our entertainment and for fashion. For goodness sake, we even wrap them around our body in the form of leather. They are in our paint brushes. Animals are used everywhere, and more than you would realise from a non-vegan’s pair of eyes. I had to do something about it. Me renouncing it altogether was only a step towards it. Maybe a stride full of hope could bring in the winds of change. I kept my fingers crossed.
FROM THAT DAY, I VOWED NEVER TO GO BACK. THAT WAS 7 YEARS AGO NOW.
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO GOING VEGAN
♦ ♦ ♦
WHY ELSE ADOPT A VEGAN LIFESTYLE?
Whilst eschewing animal barbarism could be one of the biggest reasons to walk in the direction of becoming a vegan, there are plenty of other reasons too that would probably blow your minds away.
VEGAN HEALTH BENEFITS
Vegans are healthier! Above all, our health is the #1 factor why everyone needs to go vegan. Vegan diet is considered to be very healthy. A vegan is less likely to become a victim to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer. On the other hand, in meat-eaters these diseases are very common. They become vulnerable to diseases owing to the high cholesterol and saturated animal fat that tend to worsen your health.
You don’t know what the pork has really eaten or what a cow had for its breakfast, or what insects did the chicken prey on. When you chop those creatures, they are slithering in feces and no matter how hard you wash them before cooking, there is always a chance of you ingesting larvae of harmful parasites. Did you know that the pork you have been eating could give you a case of Cysticercosis?
There is no doubt about the fact that vegans are the healthiest in every respect. If you wish to find out more about how different is the health meter in case of meat-eaters and vegans.
SLIMMING DOWN/HEALTHY VEGAN DIET
Vegans have a better composed body! If you have been struggling to lose weight for a while and wish to get rid of that extra fat and flab that have been hanging around comfortably on your body, there is no better way to do it. Eat green vegetables, healthy vegan food, and you will lose weight within no time. It is a healthier way to reach your benchmark goals. According to an estimate, Vegans are comparatively more than 20 pounds lighter than meat-eaters. Rest, you can do the math. If you are looking for more information on how to start a vegan diet, you can read our eBook here.
HELPING ANIMALS OUT
Say no to animal cruelty! Popping another fact bubble here, did you know that a vegan is responsible for saving over 100 animals every year? Choosing to eat a healthy vegan diet ensures that you help more animals breathe. Say no to meat, dairy products and eggs and in the process, you will reduce the demand quotient to a great extent, thereby saving many animal lives.
SCRUMPTIOUS VEGAN FOOD
Vegan food is yummier! With people in huge numbers turning towards the Vegan lifestyle, experiments are being performed on a daily basis to make food more delicious. There are scrumptious alternatives that are being produced by big thoughtful companies that are producing vegan food even better than meat. These products are healthier to consume and taste almost the same. The best thing about embracing such a diet is that no animals get hurt in the production process.
THE DEAL WITH MEAT
If you have been consuming meat for a long time, you might not be aware of the downsides of having it. Meat is contaminated with blood and bodily fluids. Often feces of the animal remain stuck to its body which could prove lethal to you. You instantly come under the cross hairs of harmful diseases the moment you decide to say yes to meat. There are food poisoning cases that happen because of consumption of such contaminated food. A test proved that more than 90% of chicken is contaminated with a dangerous bacterium called Campylobacter which causes diseases and medical situations like diarrhoea, abdominal pain, cramping and high fever.
SAVING MOTHER EARTH
Eating meat is hurtful to the Mother Earth. It is wasteful and is one of the major causes of pollution. The Meat industry has often come under the scanner for being one of the reasons that is resulting in the climate change. Go green and help the environment. The more your consumption would be the more the supply would be made, this would result into a greener land. Mother Earth couldn’t be made more happier.
HOLLYWOOD EMBRACES VEGANISM
Big names in the Hollywood industry like Natalie Portman, Joaquin Phoenix, Tobey Maguire, Alicia Silverstone, Casey Affleck, Kristen Bell, Anne Hathaway and Carrie Underwood are doing it. You already know how cool they look and how sexy their lifestyle is. Why not accept their way of living and do some good to the nature? They are teaching us a valuable lesson by going vegan. It is our time to walk into their shoes and show them that we are their real diehard fans. If they can do something good like that, so can we.
TAKING A STAND AGAINST THE WRONG
Mankind is a crude living being. He is misusing his power to rule the mute. We can see that everywhere. Inhumanity on animals in every sector of life. It is time we say no to it. Deter and discourage those without a heart and in still in them some sense of morality towards animals.
TIPS & HACKS ON HOW TO BE VEGAN
It is said that in order to make something a habit you have to repeat the act for about 21 days to truly get a hang of it. Not ignoring the aforementioned completely, we will advise you stick to these basic tips and tricks that will help you with your goal of how to go vegan, our eBook, 21 Day Vegan is exactly that!
VEGANISM ISN’T HARD TO MASTER ALL. ANYONE CAN DO IT, WE WEREN’T BORN VEGAN, WE CHOOSE TO LIVE AS VEGANS – AS ONE WITH THE WORLD.
Seek help from experienced vegans or people that blog about being or trying to be vegan (like me, I’m here to help). No matter what you take up in your life, always start with the question why? Why are you doing a thing? Why are you following a particular way? Why you should take up something? So, if you wish to become vegan, comprehend the real purpose truly before taking a stand. Understand why you are doing it. Get your basics clear before making the plunge.
HUNT FOR VEGAN FOOD
Another great thing about walking in the vegan shoes is the fact that it makes you hunt for the awesome. There are so many undiscovered territories that I was unaware of. Choosing to become vegan let me explore all of them. The diversity available in exquisite vegetables that you didn’t even hear about will leave your palate salivating for more. It is a great time to scavenge the finest types of vegetable and improve your general knowledge about them too.
PLETHORA OF COOKING OPTIONS
I just love cooking. Vegan recipes have so many varieties that it just made things way better for me. There were unheard of recipes, food I had never encountered before. I didn’t know they existed in the first place. Going vegan just opened me up to this whole new area of possibilities that was really enthralling for me. Just bear this in mind, and If you aren’t a cooking enthusiast, don’t worry! Vegan recipes are so easy to master you that you are going to fall in love with it. Be prepared to enjoy some fine effortless cooking.
BE PREPARED TO SPEND MORE TIME IN THE KITCHEN
I remember how weird it was for me in the beginning as I wasn’t really a fan of cooking. But then with a couple of okay cooking sessions, I realized how learning was really fun. With thousands of recipes to overwhelm me, I took one step at a time, and boy was the whole process enthralling! I learned so much in such little time. The outcome was always delicious. Just bear this in mind, and be prepared to enjoy the initial learning stages that will help you master a new hobby.
Don’t forget, like I’ve mentioned in this blog post here, you can also get ideas from non-vegan and vegetarian blogs that share recipes and cuisines, such as food from this food blog that I love, and just substitute any non-vegan ingredients such as meat, eggs and dairy for vegan meat, vegan eggs (blog post coming soon!) and plant based milks! Even if it’s not vegan, all you need to do is use your vegan products as substitutes for the non-vegan ingredients eg. Instead of normal milk, use plant based milk (Only buy quality brands, these are the best ones I only recommend using here). And for eggs, if you still want to use eggs, you can buy vegan eggs (I’ll be writing a blog post about them soon!). We can find a way to adapt all the recipes to our own taste or create a new one using vegan substitutes.
Of course, if you are new to being vegan, following vegan recipes at the start is recommended so you can get the hang of ensuring your recipes are 100% vegan, but once you are accustomed to eating and cooking vegan good, by all means, expand your information source.
STAY MILES AWAY FROM CONVENIENT FOOD
I know how hard it is to say no to easily available food. Pretty much anything that is ‘ready to eat’ is not a good idea. That’s if you want to be in the most optimum health possible. That means, no canned stuff lingering in your refrigerator. No fast food, No take out, No frozen meals. All of these just aren’t real food solutions. They never have been and never will be. And if you think they are real food, you really need to educate yourself on proper nutrition. Sorry, but that is just the truth. Proper food comes from the ground, land, plants and trees and there is so much we can do with real food, there just really is no excuse. In under 5 minutes or less, you can make your own healthy snacks. And of course, adding in a few vegan tasteful substitutes are OK, just as long as they take up make up a majority of your everyday diet.
HAVE A BROAD OPEN MINDSET
Going to a place with a negative vibe kills the fun of it. Similarly, if you are trying something new, make sure you are starting with the right attitude. Trying a new thing, considering it as a punishment isn’t really going to help anyone. Make sure you are open for the habit to seep in your life, make sure you are clear in your head that you are doing the right thing, and accept it as a challenge instead of making it sound punitive.
Walking down the aisle of vegan life you will hear a lot of contempt. People will eye you with disgust and will try to change you back. To that I will say: “Never back down!” Explain to them why you are in full support of vegan lifestyle. Be prepared for a debate, but don’t let any of it get to your head. Whatever you are doing is right, just remember that!
DON’T RUSH IT
There is no need to rush it. You can take things slowly. It is better you do things properly than turn quickly. However, make sure you wrap yourself good under the vegan quilts once you get a hang of it. Remember animals are getting hurt every second for the gluttony in the world.
A VEGAN SUPPORT GROUP
Support groups always come as a welcome aid if you are trying to achieve something. With friends that do not understand why you are doing, what you are doing, it becomes really hard to follow a habit. It is advisable you search for like-minded people with whom you could rant about little achievements that you make in a day. There are vegans in every single country in the world (AND THE VEGAN MOVEMENT KEEPS GROWING!). I have also included in my resources page here on VegansFirst some sites where you can do vegan meetups and meet vegans in your country as well.
MIX IT UP
Eating one thing all the time might throw you in the pits of indifference. You don’t want your life jaded, do you? Make sure you keep changing your diet every week, and keep things interesting. The grass is indeed greener on this side. The vegan globe is filled with a gamut of options to try. So, mix your diet up with plenty of “plant-y” stuff to eat.
THE EASY TO FOLLOW VEGAN MEAL PLAN
If you are new to the Vegan club you might be really psyched as to what to consume on a daily basis. Don’t worry we have got you covered there. An awesome vegan meal plan that will lead you step by step into a better world of how to eat vegan. Get ready to give your refrigerator a proper makeover by bringing home the proper groceries. Today, I will just give you a glimpse as to what your daily vegans meal could be. Let’s divide the daily meals into a vegan breakfast, vegan breakfast, vegan lunches, vegan dinner, vegan snacks and of course, vegan desserts!
SAMPLE 1 DAY VEGAN MEAL PLAN
Start the day with something as light as Oatmeal which is a rich source of fiber and is free of gluten. It lowers your cholesterol too. Mix it up with raisins, walnuts or berries (depending on the season). You can also add shaved coconut and banana if you wish to also. For milk, ensure you buy a non-dairy vegan alternative to normal milk.
You can also make your own nut milk.
Include some exquisite fresh cut vegetables to your diet. You can allow some Pita bread or crackers as well to get yourself a mouthful or for a tofu snow peas salad. You can allow some Pita bread or crackers as well to get yourself a mouthful.
You can either go for Vegan Banana Apple chunk bread to keep your tummy cool till the dinner with this. Alternatively, you can also go for high protein banana and PB snack. They are mind-numbingly delicious.
You could go for an Asian Fusion Salad at night. Scallion pancakes to keep you company and try making some spicy sesame noodles.
Isn’t dessert the best part of your meal? Let us make it exciting with Creamy Dreamy Peppermint Patties. If you wish to find out what to eat on a daily basis, my soon-t0-be-released eBook will cover everything you will ever need to nourish yourself vegan every single day! Each day has a different menu so that you wouldn’t succumb to the doldrums of constant.
BEWARE! WHAT DO VEGANS NOT EAT?
We, as vegans, are strictly confined to eating vegan plant derived foods. So, eggs, milk products, or even honey are a strict no. It is crucial that you run a ‘background check’ on what you are consuming. What people consider as okay-to-eat could be a result of animal abuse. For example, something as puny as sugar is manufactured with the help of bone char. Don’t be disheartened if it used to be in your everyday diet. We have got a wonderful alternative: Maple syrup or agave nectar. Also, say no to candies, its shiny coating comes straight from a resin from a bug. Gross! Right? Same goes without saying for Jell-Os, marshmallows and gummy bears as they are made from animal by-products.
WHAT DOES A VEGAN GROCERY LIST LOOK LIKE?
Being a vegan = art of substitution. These vegan substitutes taste exactly the same, sometimes even better and preparing vegan food doesn’t hurt any animal in the process. This sample vegan grocery list will help you on your way of on how to be a healthy vegan.
BASIC/SAMPLE VEGAN SHOPPING LIST
Carrots / Broccoli / Cauliflower / Bell Peppers / Mushrooms / Salad Mixes / Fruits / Apples / Pears / Bananas / Cherries / Grapes / Mangoes
Almond, soy or rice milk / Earth Balance (Butter Spread) / Dalya melts (Cheese) / Tofutti
Vegetable broth / Dried mushrooms / Sun-dried tomatoes / Capers / Miso Paste / Agar Agar
For more about our vegan food list, better options and a better insight, on what your list of vegan foods is going to be like, you’ll be able to grab your copy of my soon-to-be released eBook very soon! For those in doubt this is a glimpse into what your grocery list would manifest.
VEGAN PROTEIN SOURCES
If you are wondering how you would get your protein after turning vegan, don’t worry there are plenty of vegan protein options to choose from. I have listed some excellent sources.
For a detailed version and a protein-rich food guide for vegans, sign up to receive your copy of my soon-to-be released eBook now!
Tofurkey / Tofu / Seitan / Tempeh / Beans / Chickpeas / Lentils / Quinoa
VEGAN SUPPLEMENTS FOR EXTRA NOURISHMENT
For athletes and fitness freaks and for general health and well-being, people like to take supplements. But how does a vegan take supplements? It’s easy – you can get all your supplements easily in a vegan diet.
For example, flaxseed oil is rich in dietary fibre and plant omega-3 fatty acids. It helps you into getting healthier skin, nails and hair. It also helps you with your weight loss. In a similar fashion, for fitness freaks, Creatine Monohydrate is another vegan supplement that will help you in your gym regime to put on weight whenever you are going too thin. Wish to read more about the vegan supplements? Let me know in the comments below.
I recently came across Amla and Moringa Powder. When I started reading about it and it’s health benefits I thought it’s also a good supplement to incorporate in our diet, not just for vegans but for everybody as well. I love smoothies (some yummy smoothie recipes will be coming soon!) so this will be very easy for me to incorporate into my daily routine.
VEGAN BREAKFAST RECIPE IDEAS
Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. So you need to make sure you are raking in maximum nutrients right then and there to pull you through till lunch. You can ensure you gain in healthy and proper nutrition by going for the following delicious vegan breakfast recipe ideas that I have handpicked for you.
These are my personal favorites too:
Jumbo chickpea pancake / Blueberry oatmeal waffles / Tofu omelettes / Toast with fried beans and avocado / Wholesome banana bread
These vegan breakfasts are outrageously scrumptious. Yeh been warned! These are to name just the least. If you wish to see what else is on the menu, click here
VEGAN LUNCH RECIPE IDEAS
So, for lunch what can you devour?
You want this to be heavy so that your tummies are full and it takes you through the entire day. To say that a vegan lunch has variety would be an understatement. There are options galore, and you don’t have to even repeat a diet. Giving you a peak into what’s in store for you.
4-layer Veggie Sandwich / Tabbouleh Quinoa Salad / Sweet Potato Quinoa Patty / Vegan chickpea soup / Big Burrito bowl / Tofu quiche
Are you salivating already? Click here to find out more about the best vegan lunch ideas.
Let’s keep it light with these vegan snacks. Now that you have decided to walk on the vegan path, you will want to know what vegan snacks to buy or make that you can nibble at whenever you are hungry. I have listed only the best snacks for vegans. If you are interested in more vegan snacks, read here.
Cocoa cinnamon roasted chickpeas / Chocolate Hummus / Spicy sweet potato fries / Banana strawberry muffin / Vegan Banana Apple chunk bread / High protein banana and PB snack
VEGAN DESSERT RECIPE IDEAS
Life’s incomplete without Vegan Desserts!
Don’t you just feel incomplete when you haven’t had dessert to truly finish your food? I am a big fan of dessert, and what is really awesome is the fact there are even more sumptuous options in the vegan dessert world. These desserts for vegans will leave you wanting for more.
TASTY VEGAN CHOCOLATE
The fact that chocolate is made up of cocoa beans already puts the ball in our court. As an avid chocolate fan, this was the first thing I was looking up to see what I could gorge upon. I have listed some of the best vegan chocolates that might help you in stocking up the desserts, but don’t forget to check out my favorite blog post below about the only non-dairy chocolate I recommend.
Sweetriot’s pure mini bites / Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate / Newman’s Own super dark chocolate bar / Hershey’s chocolate syrup / Endangered Species’ Natural Dark chocolate squares
SWEET AND DELIGHTFUL VEGAN ICE-CREAM
How can you ever say no to ice-cream, right? So those who were wondering if they rule out dairy products what will happen to their favorite part of the day where they used to get ice-creams, don’t lose hope. Ice-creams can be made dairy free too. The taste doesn’t change. Try it yourself to believe me. Some of the delicious ones have been jotted down below:
Fig, coconut and blueberry ice cream / Salted caramel pretzel ice cream / Avocado coconut ice cream / Vegan Cinnamon Toast Ice cream
To read about more ice cream recipes that are all vegan, click here.
DELICIOUS VEGAN CUPCAKES
Cupcake lovers you have got yourself a whole variety of options that you are gonna simply love. I have handpicked some of the great ones for you. You can read more about the.
One bowl funfetti cupcake / Raw fudge cupcake with vanilla bean frosting / Peach cupcakes / Chocolate frosted lemon cupcakes
THE FINEST VEGAN COOKBOOK
Whilst the internet is brimming with a plethora of vegan cookbooks to get the juices flowing, I would like to bring to you the best vegan cookbook that I worship the most. More so if you are at the beginning stages of how to be a vegan. This vegan cookbook is my favorite. It has more than 100 recipes to bring about the versatility in eating vegan. I have tried each one of them so far, and every vegan recipe has turned out into a mouth-watering miracle. Wish to know more about the delicacies in the cookbook? Click here
VEGAN VS VEGETARIAN
It’s important to understand from the very beginning. People often get confused between these two, vegan or vegetarian. Are they the same? What is the difference between vegan and vegetarian? What is more healthy? Is being vegan healthy?
The big difference is this: Vegans avoid every single animal product whatsoever. We say no to animal exploitation in any form. Who are we to decide the fate of a nature’s creature? Vegetarians, on the other hand, are okay with the consumption of eggs and dairy products. So, we can say vegetarianism is more of a diet choice.
But there is so much more to just either being vegan or being vegetarian. I know a lot of you have contacted me wanting more information and I will over the next few months be getting into more dietary choices so don’t worry For now, there is a few other diets that fall under the ‘vegan’ category. These include, Fruitarian, Whole Food Plant Based Vegetarians, Lacto-ovo Vegetarians and Pescatarian.
Au contraire, Veganism is an accepted way of living, a lifestyle that doesn’t entail animal cruelty in any form. We are against animal lab testing too. Just about anything that would make an animal feel the ferocity of humankind. So, if your sympathy lies with animals, and you really want to help them out, I would urge you to embrace veganism. That’s how you really take care of them. If you aren’t convinced, there is more to veganism that just all of this and there is other reasons to go vegan which you probably haven’t thought of either!
I beseech you save them by embracing a vegan lifestyle. Start with your food, and then seep it into your lifestyle gradually.
Remember animals feel too. It would be shameful to hurt them just for your benefit. Go Vegan!