If you look at my social media you might be wondering, “Why is this yoga teacher posting so much about vegan food? What does vegan food have to do with yoga?!”
Well, let me tell ya, a lot actually! Both my yoga and vegan journey have been intertwined from the very beginning.
My Vegan Story
As a little 14-year-old teenager, I was mainly going to yoga for one thing: the yoga booty. In 2005 the yoga booty was coveted and I was sure that I was going to solve all my problems when I finally achieved that perfect yoga booty.
At that time, my efforts were entirely superficial. I wanted to achieve my best body and that was pretty much it.
As I continued my yoga journey, I did receive some of the physical benefits but then noticed something surprising. My mind was changing, my attitude on life was changing. I was more positive and optimistic about the future. I was solving problems more easily and making better choices.
Part of this was also because I was very lucky to have found such a positive and supportive yoga community in the studio of my neighborhood. This community was very self-aware and constantly promoted evaluating one’s actions with self-compassion.
One example the community would talk about was the practice of ahimsa, non-violence. Examples of ahimsa could be not physically hurting people or making sure you speak in a calm tone to those around you. Then there were other extensions of this practice like not harming the earth or other creatures on earth.
People spoke about the waste and destruction that was happening from eating even just one hamburger not to mention the suffering involved in the whole process from the animals, the people working in the industry, and the people eating them.
When I was first exposed to these ideas I found them very radical and extreme which made me curious about where these claims were coming from. I wanted to find the holes in their arguments and be able to defend the eating habits I grew up with.
I researched further and was amazed at what I discovered. In short, the entire process of industrial meat production is total destruction and outright violence. Not just to the animals, but also to the people working in this kind of industry.
After learning all of this, I made a decision to begin the journey of removing myself from this cycle of violence as much as possible. Since then, I couldn’t be happier with all the joys I receive from practicing a vegan lifestyle.
So, how can going vegan impact YOUR life?
Going vegan has countless benefits: from improving various bodily functions, giving you more energy, and saving the planet - you can bet on the fact that making this dietary change will benefit you and the world around you in more ways than you can imagine.
However, this change can be incredibly difficult, especially if you were planning on quitting cold turkey (both metaphorically and literally - sorry, I had to!). If you’re looking for some guidance, you have come to the right place.
Throughout this blog post, I’m going to give you a few tips to make this dramatic shift in diet as easy as possible.
Step One: Take baby steps! Start out by simply going vegetarian or even just cut out red meat from your diet.
Most of the time, failed attempts at going vegan are from drastic and immediate cuts from your diet. To avoid this from happening, taking baby steps and making smaller changes in your diet can make this shift to becoming fully vegan much more attainable.
Step Two: Find vegan foods you love! Explore new recipes, try out vegan junk food, and attempt ordering vegan dishes at restaurants!
If you are excited about the foods that you are eating, quitting meat and dairy will be soooo much easier. My favorite vegan foods are buffalo cauliflower and vegan Laduree macaroons. YUM!
Step Three: Figure out your reason. This is a super important step towards becoming successfully vegan!
My reason is to practice non-violence in my everyday choices. Whether yours is the same as mine or completely different, it can be a game-changer to determine what you want to accomplish by becoming vegan.
Step Four: Learn what your “cheat” foods are, and find vegan substitutes!
There are vegan options for pretty much any junk food or common “cheat” foods out there - so don’t get too caught up on the fact that you can never eat your favorite foods again! Plenty of vegan treats exist that taste just as great as the “real” stuff.
Step Five: Seek support when you need help.
If you know someone who is vegan (like me for example!), don’t hesitate to reach out to them and ask for advice whenever you need any. It can be tough to be vulnerable, but it can make you feel so much better.
Going vegan doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think it might be! By following these tips, you might find that being vegan can be a super easy shift in your lifestyle.
If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to leave those in the comments. As always, my inbox is always open for your questions or concerns, so feel free to email me as well! (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I hope this guide was helpful, regardless of where you’re at in your vegan journey. Namaste.