Want to reduce your meat consumption? Curious about being dairy-free? Just saw an animal abuse video and need to figure out how to change the system? Look no further, this guide is a simple, timed, step-by-step process to eat more plants, hurt fewer beings, and live a fulfilling life without sacrificing fun/going out to eat/the joy of cheese/havinf friends/whatever is holding you back
Before you take any actions cutting out animal products, try doing some research before:
1. Find your “why”
There’s no way you’ll be able to make a change without motivation, at least not authentically or long-term. Find an aspect (or a few) of being vegan that really grabs your attention, like environmental destruction, health concerns, or food equality. If you need some resources for inspiration on your “why”, check out these reasons to eat plant-based and look into vegan media that can inspire you.
Concerned about protein? Research plant-based nutrition. Not sure what you’ll be able to eat? Look into all the recipes, types of foods, and meals plans I’ve posted here. Worried about going out to a restaurant as a plant-based eater? Search for tips of eating out and a comprehensive list of vegan options at popular restaurants. Research is key to dispelling any fears, and if you still have some move on to #3…
3. Identify your weak spot
Maybe, like me, you are totally down with no steak, but chicken nuggets? That’s way harder. Or cheese is your life and you couldn’t never let that go! Repeat after me: That’s OK! Everyone had sticking points, especially as they began the journey to eating more plant-based, so don’t just throw your hands up and not try! Don’t worry about labels or judgement, if you can eat totally plant-based, but still need cheese, for now that is perfectly fine. It’s a process, not some purity test, and I guarantee you’ll make a few mistakes at first (especially when it comes to things that are surprisingly not vegan!). Don’t stress, just keep going on your journey and when you’re ready, you can begin to address your sticking point.
There are a bunch of different action plans, find the one below that works for you:
- The All-In Plan
This plan is for anyone that may already be vegetarian, reducetarian, or just ready to dive all in! You’ll start eating vegan day 1, cutting out all animal products and replacing them with more fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts, seeds, and other vegan products (like non-dairy ice cream!). The link to a 30-day guide that will bring your through the first month of this journey can be found here, free of charge. If you think this is too much, or tried to go all-in but found it overwhelming, see the next plan for an alternative.
- The Gradual Plan
Similar to the next plan, you be gradually cutting out an animal product food group each week. Starting with week one, you’ll cut out meat, week 2 dairy, then week 3 animal by-products, such as leather, silk, etc. Check out a meal plan and information with 21-day vegan kickstart.
- The Vegetarian to Vegan Plan
Personally, I was a pescatarian for a year before becoming vegetarian, then 3 years until I became vegan. It took a long time, and I think others would benefit from speeding up the process, but if you’re not even pescatarian and starting this journey, I would recommend going in that order for one week at a time, finally getting to a full plant-based diet at the end of a month. Try some of these meal plans that are not only healthy, but also frugal!
However you decide to pursue this and whatever steps you may take, know that any effort is a fantastic step in the right direction, and you are awesome!