My Vegan Journey
Updated: Feb 7
My journey to Vegan has had a lot of ups and downs. It took a couple of unsuccessful attempts to get where I am today. The first attempt lasted 3 days. It was 2009 and I was already Vegetarian and I really liked the idea of being Vegan because it was cool. Of course, I was going to help the animals but I was 19 and really I just wanted to be different. I was dreaming of pizza and unhappy with the vegan cheese options. There was no way I could live without cheese.
The second attempt was a bit more successful. It lasted a couple of months and if I'm honest I'm not 100% sure why it failed. I think really there were loads of factors. The biggest one was my lack of money and time. There wasn't such a wide variety of vegan products so easily available and those that were available were expensive. I was an awful cook at the time and I just didn't have the skills to be able to have a healthy diet. I also didn't really understand supplementation. I don't think I educated myself enough to be able to do it properly.
This time I came to veganism through the backdoor. I had been losing weight and was already cutting out the few animal products I still ate, mostly cheese, okay a lot of cheese. Initially I started eating vegan alternatives because they were so much lower in calories than their dairy counterparts. I then started educating myself on the health benefits of a Veganism. I started eating meals that were entirely plant based, I stopped cooking with butter and ultimately cut out all animal products. Really for me the tag of 'Vegan' was a great way to hide some incredibly disordered eating. Don't think that because of the dubious reasons I changed my diet, I didn't take Veganism seriously. I stopped buying animal products in all of my clothing, replaced cosmetics with Vegan alternatives once they ran out and began to educate myself on the animal welfare and environmental benefits of Veganism. Most importantly I taught myself to bake and alter my favourite cakes into Vegan alternatives. This was a really pivotal moment in my recovery and my resolution to stick to a Vegan diet. Thinking about a Vegan diet wasn't about what I was missing out on anymore, it was about experimenting and learning to love my favourite foods again. All that while eating a more ethical and sustainable diet.
The best advice I can give to new vegans is grab yourself a good cookbook and head to a local vegan fayre. A good cookbook can go a long way in helping you experiment with new meals. A Vegan fair will open your eyes to an amazing array of vegan products, and gives you a great 'all in one' place to find alternatives to your favourites.