In a world full of meat eaters, staying on a plant-based track can sometimes be a challenge. This is especially true when you’ve recently started this non-violent eating practice, and the habit has not yet settled in. At first, it feels like your sole decision is enough to keep you going, but once the speed of life catches with you, you start considering going the easier way. Having these slip-ups is completely natural and ok, but can be a real burden when people around you start pulling your back. One thing is guaranteed, it will happen, and it will be served by the closest people around you.
So, what should you do? Going back to the old ways is definitely a defeat, and won’t help. But there are some things you can practice to keep you on the right track. Read below what we suggest you utilize, as your staying vegan strategy.
1. Keep reminding yourself of why you chose the path in the first place
Sometimes we simply forget what was our primary reason for walking the path of non-violent eating. Whenever you feel like giving up, try your best to remind yourself of why you decided to live this way. Was it because of the health? Or was it because of ethics? Either way, find here some very useful reminder material on why you have started your vegan diet.
At times, just seeing a good documentary would help a lot.
2. Get a new cookbook
Struggling with what to cook is the second most common reason why people give up. They just run out of ideas and go for the shortcut. There are various cookbooks with this type of diet that can be very helpful and where you can find simple recipes for delicious meals, and make the whole experience exciting again.
3. Include supplements to maintain energy levels
Some people give up because of being afraid that something bad will happen due to the lack of vital vitamins and minerals. This happens because we are constantly bombed by questions about where we get our B12 from if we don’t consume meat. The fact is that this has nothing to do with common sense, but the fear still rocks your foundation. As a result, it may happen that you feel a lack of energy in your daily work. The solution is simple, just go for the dietary supplements, to ease your mind.
4. Try an alternative recipe
When you think of your favorite dish that you can no longer afford because you will be breaking the vegan diet, it might be helpful to make an alternative recipe that will resemble the original and thus give yourself comfort. For example, if you like macaroni and cheese, instead of the original, try the following: make the sauce from unsweetened soy milk, which you heat and add cornstarch to.
Then add salt, smoked paprika, and mustard powder. It may not be as delicious as macaroni and cheese, but it is similar. As a result, you’ll be very proud that what you cooked is super delicious, almost the same as the meal your mother used to make, but is cruelty-free. Like this, you can find a substitute for almost any comfort food you once loved to eat.
5. Treat yourself to a vegan restaurant every now and then
Sometimes it’s the lack of inspiration about what to eat, combined with not having time to cook that pulls us back to our old ways. Even if you are an occasional vegan, what can help you on your way is to treat yourself to meals from restaurants. It’s exciting when you try some new food or a version of a dish with ingredients you would never choose, and it will turn going to lunch into an adventure.
6. Don’t torture yourself
Be kind to yourself. Do not expose yourself to any kind of crisis. If you find it very hard to stay vegan, then continue your transformation moderately, with one meal a day or one day of vegan cuisine during the week. It will be easier to “get hooked” if you don’t make it difficult for yourself to adapt from the very beginning.
7. Listen to your body
One thing you should pay attention to when eating like this is how your body feels. Be aware of this, and maybe even write it down. How your body feels should be your guiding light. When practicing a diet like this, the body feels lite. As soon as you start going back, you’ll see how this lightness is gone, and you feel heavy. Remind yourself of this, and once you enter the crisis, it will be easier to make a conscious choice on what to do.
8. Find alternatives to dairy products
Did you know that cheese causes addiction? If you’ve just turned vegan, then you know what we’re writing about, and how difficult it is to keep away from dairy. If you crave the taste of cheese, you can try edible yeast flakes, which have a taste that closely resembles this dairy food.
When it comes to milk, there are many options. There is soy, coconut, walnut, and hemp milk. Still, oat milk may taste the most similar to what you’re used to and is relatively easy to switch to.
And, remember, it takes time to break a habit, but persistence will be your most valuable tool. Your life will definitely not become easier, but the fact that you are contributing to the greater good will be a very rewarding feeling.
As time passes you’ll seize to miss your old ways because you’ve made room for the new ones. New flavors, new perspectives, new lifestyle. And there was a very good reason you decided to do so, all you need to do is remind yourself of it, every time a crisis kicks in.