Hello, everyone! It's been a little bit since I last wrote an article for this site, and I wanted to get back into the swing of doing it. This idea just suddenly came to mind while I was cleaning my room a few nights ago, and I couldn't find a reason to not write it.

But before I continue on with this, let me clarify: A vegan is a person who does not eat or use animal products. This article will specifically be about the eating aspect of that, but it is also much harder to upkeep than not using inedible animal products.

If this interest you at all, keep on reading below.

___

1) Pick a good time to start the change.

bullet, calender, and calendrier image

This first step may possibly be the most important one of all. When you are starting a major change in your life such as what you will eat everyday, it is important that you pick a good time to commit. For example, if you've grown up loving turkey at Thanksgiving, it may not be a good idea to suddenly decide to become vegan (or even vegetarian) a week before that holiday. Before you actually start changing your diet, you need to be able to set a date where you can commit to the new lifestyle.

2) Become flexitarian.

meatless monday image

A flexitarian is a person that consumes a mostly plant based diet, only with the occasional addition of meat. And example of this would be, as shown in the picture above, meatless Mondays. If you can commit to two-three days a week of eating no meat, then you will be better prepared for the full transition later. Trying to quit something cold turkey is never a good way to go, so becoming flexitarian until you're fully confident with no slip ups is a great way to help yourself out.

3) Cut out the meat that you eat the least first.

sushi, food, and yummy image

Once you are able to avoid meat all together for a few days a week, then you should be ready to cut out one meat entirely. But, it's always best to not overwhelm yourself, so start by cutting out a meat that you eat the least. For example, the meat that you eat the least might be fish, so you would delete that from your diet at all times, but still eat every other meat. The trick with this tactic is to slowly cut out all of the meats you eat, starting from the least likely to the most common. But, while you are doing this, it's important to stick to your meatless day habits, that way you can keep your body in a routine.

4) Slowly go through all the meat you eat, until you no longer eat any of it.

Temporarily removed

Once you've gotten over the first meat successfully, move through all of them until you are comfortable with not eating any meat at all. This step will take some time, and it may be a little difficult, but it is possible. And remember, it's important to not stress yourself out over the fact that you still eat dairy and the little hidden meat products in items. The best way is to take this transition slow, and even though veganism is a wonderful lifestyle, it will be a challenge at first.

5) Cut out straight dairy, slowly.

coffee, illy, and milk image

The way I describe straight dairy is dairy that is just dairy, or products that are obviously mainly dairy. Examples: milk, cheese, ice cream, coffee creamer, etc. Examples of products that contain dairy but aren't straight dairy items: cheese crackers, certain soups, cookies, etc. I personally think that cutting out straight dairy is harder than the smaller and sneakier dairy, so do this step carefully. Maybe try cutting out ice cream first, then cheese, then making the full no milk decision. Whatever order works the best for you.

6) Cut out dairy products that aren't straight dairy.

Image by Ma 女力
a lot of people think that oreos are vegan, but according to the FAQ page on Oreo's website, they are not due to cross contamination with dairy.

These products may be a little harder for you to stop eating in comparison to straight dairy, but once you have gotten through the real dairy stuff, it shouldn't be too bad for you. Just remember, take your time.

7) Cut out additional non-vegan addictives.

Temporarily removed

These products are known as the little hidden things in the incredient list of food items. Some common ones to look out for are gelatin, casein, isinglass, whey, confectioner's glaze, natural flavoring (in vanilla flavored things), carmine, and natural red #4. These little biproducts are ones that you will never know are in an item unless you look for them. Some vegans aren't as strict about avoiding them, but most true vegans don't consume these little add on things. I personally don't, but it's a choice for you to make once you get to this step.

8) Enjoy your new lifestyle!

food, healthy, and fitness image

Though there are a few downsides to the vegan lifestyle and diet, it can be so rewarding if done correctly and safely. It's a healthy alternative to most eating styles, and as long as your getting enough protein and calcium from other sources, you should be great. Enjoy it!

___

So, now that I have given you my steps and recommendations, I hope that you will be able to use them in a positive way.

If you're interested, here's my most recent article:

a thirty day writing challenge different than the typical one on WHI.

And if you're on a article reading spree, here's a collection of all my favorite ones:

Now that all of that is out of the way, I hope you all have a wonderful day/night, depending on the time you're reading this :)

-Ariana x