I’ve been wanting to switch to a plant-based diet for a long time now, but I am honestly really intimidated. I have some friends who do it and say they love it, but I’m just not sure I’m ready to give up things like cheese and meat! Do you have any advice with someone who is just starting out, and who might be a bit…overwhelmed??
Going vegan overnight can be very overwhelming! My recommendation is always to take it slow and focus on learning and enjoying the process vs making a whole calendar event out of one interest. First, try a few new things! Get some vegan cookbooks or bookmark a few recipes that you’ve wanted to try online and try them out with no expectation to change anything. Then find some alternatives to some foods you don’t want to give up and just see how you like them as a food item. Obviously vegan cheese or the Impossible burger won’t 100% taste exactly like what you’d expect from the real thing, but flavor profiles are darn similar and once expectations of them being the same are out of the way, you’re able to just enjoy them as their own food.
The next step is to learn about why other people decided to take the plunge and commit to eating plants. Watch some documentaries (Forks over Knives, Cowspiracy, and The Game Changers are my top recommendations), read a few books, or simply go on YouTube and find some “Why Vegan” videos. Choose your “why,” as it will help make your goal more concrete. Some “why” examples are: to not pay for others to kill animals, to do my part in environmental conservation, or to stay healthy for my family, friends, and future kids and grandkids.
After that, try to commit to one or two days to eating plant based (this is where experimenting in the kitchen for a few weeks prior helps!!) and see how it goes. When you leave it as an option to empower your lifestyle, it’s no longer a daunting chore, but a choice that you made to feel and live better.