Whether you’re a long-term vegan / vegetarian / raw foodie or just trying it out, I’m sure you will find some of these tips useful. Don’t make these mistakes:
You’re eating junk vegan food
Most people assume that by becoming vegan, you automatically become “healthier”. This is totally wrong – it all depends on the types of food you’re consuming. If you’re a meat eater who consumes organic meat with a side of steamed vegetables, you’re probably healthier than a vegan who eats microwave vegan pizza every day.
Variety is important, and so is eating as many fresh ingredients as possible. Processed foods do little good for us nutritionally and barely keep our bodies functioning. Raw food or cooked vegetarian food that hasn’t been processed will give you many more essential nutrients that you require.
That doesn’t mean that you have to just chew on raw kale salad though, but you can try a few simple ways of minimising your processed food intake. For example:
- Substitute your store-bought sauces for some home-made ones, or buy good quality organic ones.
- Try putting your veggies in the oven instead of frying them.
- Don’t like the taste of salad but want to get those greens in? Get a good blender and make green smoothies instead. If you’re into food supplements, this would be a good way to add those to your diet.
- Do you rely on frozen food because you don’t have time to cook? Make a large batch over the weekend and freeze it instead of buying it (if waking up early to cook is out of the question).
- Is “cooking properly” too slow? There are always hacks! Soak your oats/beans/certain grains over night to make them faster to make the next day.
You’re being a preachy vegan
Are you going out with your friends or family who eat meat? Do you look down on them and make sarcastic comments if someone offers you a dish you don’t eat? Do you openly attack them about their choice of diet?
First of all, everyone has the right to choose what they want to eat, it is absolutely none of your business. Be it your lover, child, friend or colleague. You are not better than them for being vegan/vegetarian. I know plenty of people who are total saints and yet they eat meat.
Secondly, you probably say stuff like that because you care and because you want them to stop eating meat too, right? In which case, the worst way to do that is to force them into it or make them feel terrible about their diet and giving the impression that veganism is some kind of a snobbish and preachy cult.
So next time someone asks if you’d like a prawn cocktail, don’t say: “ew, I don’t eat that kind of stuff”, instead just say: “no, thank you”.
P.S. on that note, don’t be an asshole to fellow vegans too. Some people eat honey and meat alternatives, some don’t. Some do it for the animals, others do it for their health. We’re all different and need to stop judging others, you have no idea what stage they’re at in their life. Maybe they’re just starting out and could use your guidance and support instead of sarcastic remarks.
You’re not adaptive or flexible
Got invited for dinner? Friend having a party? Travelling? There are many situations in life where you will need to learn how to adapt and be flexible.
Don’t be afraid of going out to eat and don’t cancel your plans just because you’re worried about not finding vegetarian or vegan food. I managed to survive 5 years of being 100% raw whilst I travelled the entire world and came across hundreds of situations where I thought it would be impossible to do so, so if I can do it, you can too.
This is exactly why I wrote my book, “How To Be A Raw Foodie” – to help guide you through all kinds of social scenarios, from dealing with family to going on a date. It’s also got 121 delicious recipes, check it out here.
You’re not getting the support you need from fellow vegans
Support from like-minded individuals is essential whether you’re just starting your vegetarian journey or even if you’ve been meat-free for years. Building a community around you with similar interests helps you stay motivated, encourages you to be more confident about your lifestyle choices, allows you to make new friends and inspires new ideas.
But how do you find other vegans? It’s not like they have a group on Facebook! Well…yes they do, hundreds of them! And it’s not that uncommon for people to post “hey, I’m a new vegan, looking for vegan friends in my area”. You can also try going to foodie events, check out Meetup, for example.
Another option is to hire a nutritional coach if really want to know how to get the most from your diet (e.g. why are you always bloated, or what is food combination all about?) or have a specific goal in mind. For example, I have a lot of clients who are looking to lose weight and even though many of them have heard that going vegan or raw helps them achieve the desired weight loss, they struggle and sometimes even end up putting on more weight.
Fellow vegans can also give you great advice on how to live this lifestyle, like in this article here.
You’re not drinking enough water
Yes, yes, we’ve all heard this one before. But did you know that it’s even more important to drink lots of water being a vegetarian/vegan?
Why? Because of fibre.
Drinking water is important for vegans because it can help fibre move through the digestive tract and prevent issues like gas, bloating and constipation.
And that’s all I’ve got for you today, hope you enjoyed this post, and remember to drink lots of water – I hear it does wonders for your skin too. And remember to use glass or BPA-free plastic bottles and drink natural spring water whenever possible!