I’ve been teaching people how to go vegan for 30 years and I absolutely love it! And over the years, I’ve noticed a few common things that can trip people up as they transition to veganism. So here they are, along with how to avoid them.
1. Feeling Pain Instead of Joy
When people think about going vegan, they often focus on how hard they think it will be. They focus on the foods they’ll be giving up, instead of all the new foods they’ll be adding on. They worry about being different than their family and friends, instead of the beauty of their own personal transformation. In other words, they fixate on deprivation, instead of abundance.
To avoid this mistake, shift your mindset. My mantra is “Liberate Your Mind and Your Mouth Will Follow.” So view going vegan as an exciting new journey that you’ll enjoy. Embrace the adventure of this new path you’re taking and keep an open mind and heart.
2. Comparing Instead of Inspiring
Do you know how long it’s going to take you to go vegan? The answer is, however long it takes you! I tell people all the time that it’s not a race or a competition. Your vegan journey is your own. It’s great to read the vegan transition stories of other people for inspiration. But there’s a big difference between inspiration and comparison or competition.
Inspiration can make you feel excited and motivated that you can do it, too. Comparison or competition can make you feel deflated and doubtful that you can do it. It’s not necessary to feel bad to grow. So be kind and gracious with yourself, and seek encouragement and support from folks that will lift you up.
3. Giving Up When You Slip Up
This one is key. When you’re transitioning to vegan foods, it can be common to take one step forward and two steps backward. So you might be doing great one day by eating all vegan food, then the next day or two, you might slip up by eating meat and dairy. Understand that this is usually part of the transition process. So don’t beat yourself up and don’t give up. Just start again the next day.
And at the same time, continue to read vegan books and blogs, watch vegan cooking videos and documentaries, and get support from others. So that even on those days when you slip up, know that all the things you’re doing are still working together in the background to help you mentally and physically transition. Keep your eyes on the prize and know that you are in the process of going vegan and you will do it.