How am I going vegan? Well, here's my checklist!
1. Eliminate soda
- I gave up soda about three to four months ago. That wasn't too difficult to give up. Except for ginger ale, soda has always made me feel sick after drinking it.
2. Eliminate meat
- This was more difficult. I grew up eating meat. I loved chicken, turkey, lamb...you name it (except hot dogs, gross!). Chicken was the last meat I had difficulty giving up. I'd go a couple weeks without eating it and then I'd crave it. I think I need to make sure I'm getting enough protein, vitamin B12, iron, and other nutrients I could be lacking.
3. Eliminate artificial sweeteners and reduce sugar intake
- Right now I'm focusing on eliminating corn syrup (if you're wondering why, check out my previous post called Corn Syrup: Friend or Foe). I will focus on other artificial sweeteners afterward. After I eliminate all artificial sweeteners, my sugar intake will dramatically be reduced.
4. Eliminate eggs, including in baked goods
- I added "including baked goods" because that's the only egg I need to focus on eliminating. I stopped eating eggs when I gave up soda.
5. Eliminate dairy products
- I have never been a fan of milk. So switching to soy/almond/dairy-free milk was not a problem for me. It's more making sure it's not in something I'm eating. I discovered Earth Balance vegan butter during college. I've been a fan for years. That was another easy switch. My problem is giving up ice cream/frozen yogurt and cheese. However, now that I've tried vegan ice cream, I don't want to go back to dairy ice cream. I am currently working at a frozen yogurt store, so I need to figure out how to do my job without eating the product. I've been working there for nearly a year. It's getting easier to say no since I've already tasted majority of the flavors. I still need to look into Daiya cheese products.
6. Eliminate processed foods
- I put this last because it would be a clean up. Double checking products and eliminating any last odds and ends. There are some vegan processed foods that I like to eat when I'm in a pinch. Otherwise, I'd recommend eating fresh, unprocessed plant-based food.
There's my checklist. This is how I'm doing it. As you can see, I'm not there yet. I'm focusing on little things at a time. I predict that I will be 100% vegan by my 25 birthday on Halloween.
Do one thing at a time. Even if you don't want to go full vegan but want to choose a healthier lifestyle, choose one thing to eliminate or change. It will make a huge difference.
"Keep Moving Forward"