I am a 25 year old woman who has been an omnivore my entire life. I love eating and I love meat, dairy, and junk food.
Here is the reason I am making the switch to vegan:
I am overweight, constantly fatigued, and achy. At this time last year, I was hospitalized for two days for an undiagnosed intenstinal infection. Since then, my digestive system has never been the same. The worse I eat, the worse I feel. I also have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. This disease makes me more likely to be insulin resistant and a 50% chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes. It also make it much more difficult to get pregnant (which my husband and I would like to be in about two years).
After MUCH research, I have decided that veganism is the best way to improve my health. My thoughtful and healthy husband has agreed to take the plunge as well.
Finally to my question: Could anyone give me any general tips or advice? I will take any advice at all. Could you give me advice about switching from omnivore to vegan? If you have always been a vegan, general advice would be much appreciated.
I would recommend easing into it, rather than going cold turkey. I was vegetarian for four years (and even that started by easing into it - going from 1 day a week, to 2 days a week, to 3 days a week, 1 week a month, etc.). Easing into it was a lot more manageable for me. If, for whatever reason, you really want to just go cold turkey on it, I'd stock up on vegan convenience items to make the transition easier - like Gardein products, Whole Soy & Co yogurts, Amande yogurts, Coconut Bliss, etc. While they're not as great as vegan whole foods, and should ultimately end up complementing the whole foods in your diet instead of making the framework for it, they are mostly healthier than their omni counterparts and you should see some initial improvements in health and weight with them - and it will be easier to not have meat/dairy cravings if you start with these. I alos have a lot of healthy vegetarian/vegan recipes on my blog, if you want to look at the whole foods route! Good luck :)
I agree with the previous poster; you definitely want to get some good cookbooks. In addition to some solid, whole foods healthy cookbooks, you really should have some for snacks and treats as well. My favorite is Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. You should also check out your local health foods store, or a Whole Foods if you have one close by.
And there's nothing wrong with buying storebought for when you're not sure what to make! I always have Amy's frozen burritos in my freezer and several cans of soup in my pantry for when dinner didn't produce any leftovers or I was too tired to cook after work.
Yay for you! This is a choice you will stick with because you will feel the effects of a healthy diet and it will feel GOOD! And a double YAY to your wonderful hubby (who won't be sorry)
Changing your diet can be overwhelming and the last thing you want to do is give up because you feel overwhelmed.
Not many can immediately get rid of everything in their house that isn't plant-based and replace it and be done. It takes a lot of experimenting. For example, when I replaced milk, I tried all my options and so did my family. We decided on almond milk for taste and versatility (I can use it in recipes) but you may prefer rice milk.
So you may want to start with the obvious animal based products (like beef, chicken pork etc) and find subs for the meals you both like to eat for dinner. Dinner seems to be when new vegans miss meat the most as it's easy to find breakfast and lunch foods that are vegan.
I suggest picking up a "How to" book.
Two that I recommend are "The Completer Idiot's Guide to Plant-based Nutrition by Julieanna Hever MS, RD, CPT and "Living Vegan for Dummies" by Alexandra Jamieson. it's a good place to start and a good place to start learning what a healthy diet is.
This is a learning process! Don't expect to know everything overnight...enjoy the journey!
Please let me know if you have any questions, I would love to hear from you and follow your transformation. You can go to for recipes and articles on healthy living.
Please e-mail me at susan@MOON-Organics.com and let me know how you both are doing!
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