HI GUYS!!! Today I am attending an orientation for school. What it is about I have no idea, but hopefully it’s interesting and not boring. Anyways today I have a guest post for you, I love Kaitlyn and all of the stories she shares on The Tie Dye Files, I love coming home from work and checking up on what she’s been doing, how many green smoothies she has eaten (not to be sketchy) and so on. SO enjoy her post and check out her blog ASAP!!
Hi everyone! I’m so happy to be able to write this post while Katherine is off enjoying the world!
I’m Kaitlyn, and I blog over at The Tie Dye Files. I’m vegan, a bit of a hippie, and I like to discuss food, fitness, and fun with a little of everything else mixed in. Come say hello!
Whether people have a desire to become vegan, are newly vegan, or are just plain curious, I get a lot of questions on how I took the leap, and how I maintain the lifestyle. I thought it would be fun to post about it as advice for the curious and the newbies, and answers for the curious.
Kait’s Advice on How to Be a Healthy and Happy Vegan
1. Do your research. Decide what your reasons for becoming vegan are. Whether you’re doing so for the welfare of animals, the environment, the economy, or health, if you are armed with information and have strong convictions regarding your dietary choices, you’re likely to stick with it and able to provide answers when someone questions your motives. A few good books to start with include The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, and Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows by Melanie Joy. There are also a number of fantastic blogs, many of which have inspired me, including Gena at Choosing Raw, JL at JL Goes Vegan, and Mama Pea at Peas and Thank You (her recipeas are all to die for). These bloggers not only outline the whys and hows of veganism, but are living, breathing proof that veganism is fun and delicious!
2. Learn to cook. I cannot stress this enough. When I first went vegan, I lived in an apartment with a tiny kitchen that I shared with three other people. I never cooked, and instead I ate frozen dinners and packaged snacks. While it’s possible to live a vegan lifestyle on these foods, it’s not healthy, not delicious, and it’s expensive! Frozen dinners and packaged snacks are great for those times you just can’t bring yourself to cook, but that’s all they should be. Get creative; choose a new ingredient each week and try to create something delicious. Mama Pea and Lindsay of Happy Herbivore have great vegan cookbooks that you should try, the aforementioned blogs all have great recipes and so do many others (I’m working on my recipes page!). And if you fail, well fall back on those meals you have frozen away! You don’t have to cook every night, either. Planned leftovers are my best friends! I cook two or three times a week and have leftovers for lunch and dinner otherwise.
3. Supplement properly. It’s entirely feasible to get enough protein, iron, and other vitamins and macronutrients on a vegan diet if you eat a variety of grains, legumes, and fruits and veggies, with the possible exception of vitamin B12. This exception does not apply only to vegans, as meat-eaters are often deficient in B12 as well. Dr. Seale wrote a great post on Gena’s blog about supplementing with B12. It’s the only supplement I take, but everyone’s different so make sure you know your body and your diet well enough to understand with what you need to supplement.
4. Don’t be afraid to read labels and ask questions. Everyone has a right to know what’s in their food for whatever reason. Don’t feel bad asking a server to check ingredients at a restaurant, or asking a friend what’s in the dinner they’ve made for you. Someone with an allergy wouldn’t feel bad asking these questions or scrutinizing food labels, and, while likely not a life-or-death situation, you shouldn’t be treated any differently. Usually restaurants can accommodate vegans, even if there’s nothing inherently vegan on the menu, with a few slight changes.
5. Realize that no one’s perfect. It’s impossible to live a 100% vegan lifestyle in modern society unless you live off the grid, with no electricity or other modern conveniences, grow your own food, and spin your own fabric from cotton. If you accidentally eat something that’s not vegan or buy a non-vegan product, it’s okay. Being vegan isn’t a fad diet, it’s a lifestyle and there’s a learning process involved. A few weeks ago I ate a burrito and didn’t realize until after that the rice was cooked in chicken broth. After awhile you’ll start learning where animal products hide and what questions to ask to avoid them. Until then, do the best you can and learn from your mistakes!
I feel strongly about my vegan lifestyle, and I love educating people about how and why I do it, whether they are interested in becoming vegan themselves or just curious. If you have any questions, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or come over to my blog and drop me a comment! I hope I’ve shown you that becoming vegan is easy, fun, and healthy!
Are you vegan/vegetarian/pescetarian?
I am non of the above, but I do have a lot of appreciation for people who are. I believe you should be able to eat what ever you want and not have anyone judge you or “hate” on you for it.