June will make one year since I have been vegan and if I am being honest, I wouldn't go back to eating meat or dairy products. I am still easing my way into veganism as a whole but veganism is as easy or as hard as you make it. And keep in mind that if you choose to go vegan, it is your own path. You cannot let people dictate your path for you, yes, even with a new lifestyle change regarding food.
Here are nine things to keep in mind if you are thinking of going vegan:
1. Everyone says they can never go vegan
I said it and the other vegan you know said it too. We have all been there. I knew six months before I went vegan that I was going to have to go vegan for my health and no part of me wanted to do it. Not until the time came did I just pick up and get rid of everything in my apartment that wasn't vegan, and it was honestly that easy. "No" becomes so easy after that.
2. Ease into it
One thing that people don't understand is veganism can either be a long process or just an easy clean cut, but either one is fine. I still find myself eating cupcakes that someone has made or certain types of breads, knowing that neither are vegan. I know people who never had a problem with saying "no" to certain foods that contained animal product but I also know people who spent years trying to do that. Take your time, there is no need to rush. It's your life.
3. Not all vegans are "preachy"
But we do talk about it a lot. And no, you don't have to tell people you are vegan. I am starting to learn that, "I am allergic to that" is a little bit easier. It saves you so much time and effort for those who do not and cannot understand.
4. B12 and Vitamin D
Don't forget these supplements for you will have a difficult time finding them in a vegan diet. Unless you eat dirt and get enough sunlight.
I, as well as every other vegan, cannot stress this enough. You do not need all that protein and the protein that you do need can be found in so many vegan items.
6. Do your research
Nothing I hate more than vegans who do not research anything. I am probably biased because a year in and I still research things every day, but research is so important. Find out where your "fake" meat is coming from, find out why you do not need all the protein people push down you, and then find out ways to argue your side on why you do not need a lot of protein.
7. Not all products in the "vegan" section of your store are vegan
GOVEGGIE CHEESE IS NOT VEGAN. Casein is important to keep your eye on and definitely read labels. Don't think you know it all because you don't.
8. You will hear so much shit about it
Honestly, I have never gotten as much shit about anything than I do about being vegan. From family members, from friends, and definitely from strangers. Whether it's about them not wanting to go vegan (but no one asked?), my protein intake, me dying anyway, or about how plants have feelings, you will legit hear it all. And no, I have no idea why people are so against a lifestyle difference.
9. Limit soy Intake
When you are fresh into veganism, your first thought is to buy tofu and soymilk. You will find numerous articles about how soy is good for you or reasons soy is bad but that sounds a little sketchy. Processed soy is worse than unprocessed soy, but either way, both should be limited.
Soy affects your estrogen levels and not in a healthy way, especially women who suffer from any hormonal imbalances (and no, soy is bad for men too). I have read my fair share of studies and have talked to a nutritionist about eating soy products, and it's just safer for you to stay away. Do your research!