Hearing people say “I want to become a Vegan” is pretty common these days. Since this is a trending topic, let’s see how we can make that possible for the people who do not know where to start.
If you are anything like me, you were born into the meat eating scene. For most of us, it was never an option. We simply ate what our parents fed us.
Now as an adult, we have the option to choose an alternative food source. The problem is, after all of the years of eating meat, we have grown addicted, accustomed and dependent upon it. Many people including myself couldn’t fathom, not having a meal without some sort of meat product in it. That goes to show exactly how close minded most of us are.
Nevertheless, here are 10 Mind Blowing Tips to help you kick those meat products to the curb.
Tips 1. What’s your WHY?
First of foremost, you will have to decide WHY you are doing this.
Is it for religious purposes?
Is it because your love for animals has grown so much that you can’t see yourself causing harm to them any more?
Is it to help improve our environment?
Is it because you have discovered the severe health effects from consuming meat products?
Is it for weight loss or due to digestive problems?
Or is it a combination of 2 or 3 of them?
This is absolutely necessary in order to be successful during this life style change.
Tip 2. Remember your WHY?
Regardless of which reason convinced you, once you have decided to become a Vegan or a Vegetarian , it’s extremely important to remember your WHY during your moments of weakness. Oh yes, there will be plenty of times when you will be ready to throw in the towel and just order a double cheese burger with extra bacon.
You can do this by surrounding yourself with constant reminders. Do this until the thought of eating a meat product grosses you out.
Note: Until you have reached this point, you have work to do. If you are not grossed out with the thought of eating meat, that means you are still vulnerable. Which means your WHY is not strong enough, yet.
Tip 3. Educate yourself.
The more you know, the stronger your WHY will be. When someone offers you a hot dog, it easy to say, “sure why not?” when you don’t actually know what a hot dog consists of. Your ignorance and doubt is what will keep you eating and enjoying it. However, if someone actually broke down the process of creating a hot dog from the beginning stages, you may have a change of heart.
To give you an example, There’s a scene out of the movie “Snow Piercer” that should give you a good perspective.The movie is about a post-apocalyptic ice age, that forces humanity’s last survivors aboard a globe-spanning super train.
When they first boarded the train there wasn’t any food. Eventually, fights broke out and cannibalism became the new thing. One day, all of the fighting stopped when these brown gelatin looking bars began to appear. Although, the bars were different and odd to say the least, people began to eat them. Eventually, everyone began eating the mystery bars and they learned to love them.
Finally, there were no more starving people. Problem solved!
Later on in the movie, there was a revolt between the poor side of the train and the rich side of the train.
A mob of poor people managed to fight and bum-rush their way through the doors of the other train cars. Eventually, they all passed through the kitchen area where the brown bars were made. One man climbed to the top of the huge mixing bowl to see what were some of the ingredients used to create the brown bars. To his surprise, the mixing bowl was filled with thousand and thousands of roaches. The look on the man’s face was priceless when he discovered the main ingredient of the bars were roaches.
With that story in mind, think about your famous hot dog. Is it really that much different than those brown bars I just mentioned?
I’ll let you ponder on that.
Also educate yourself on the many different food options that are available to you, besides meat.
I wrote a post on Facebook a few months ago about this. Here’s what I wrote:
When someone ask you……..
“If you don’t eat meat, then what do you eat?”
Give them a simple answer……..
Pig, Cow, Chicken, Turkey, Duck, Deer, Bison, Rabbit, Goat, Lamb and Fish.
That’s 11 common types, but most people only eat 3-4 of those regularly.
There’s approximately 20,000 different edible plants.
And that’s not including Nuts, Seeds and Grains.
Who do you think has more variety?
With the right information, you can make a better decision. First it starts with education.
Lastly, educate yourself on the cost comparisons between shopping for meat products and shopping for plant based products.The common theory is that it’s too expensive to eat healthy.
Is that true? Have you ever tried not purchasing a single meat product and used all of your meat money on lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and so on?
Here’s a section from an article written in PETA:
“Comparison Shopping: Meat vs. Veggies
Why spend your life savings on animal products when you can eat healthy, humane, and inexpensive vegan foods? Some of the most versatile vegan foods; including beans, rice, vegetables, tofu, and pasta; cost relatively little compared to animal products. According to a 2007 MSN MoneyCentral article, the cheapest cuts of beef, such as ground round, average $3 per pound; boneless chicken breasts cost $3.40 per pound; and canned tuna costs around $2 per pound. In comparison, dried beans and lentils cost less than $1 per pound, and rice is cheaper than $1 per pound. Tofu usually costs less than $2 per pound. Even vegans who buy costlier products like soy sausage and nondairy ice cream can still spend less than people who load up on beef, chicken, and fish.“
I’ve read another article on time.com that states:
“New research suggests vegetarians can save at least $750 more than meat eaters per year.“
This point was not brought up to glorify the saving that are involved when eating plant based foods. It’s merely to show you that by switching your diet to a healthier one, you won’t increase your monthly expenses.
Tip 4. Baby steps.
Become a Vegan or a Vegetarian gradually. No one said you have to do it cold turkey. If you still truly enjoy eating meat, begin by removing 1 or 2 types of meat from your diet at a time. For example, When I began the process, I told myself that I would not eat pork anymore. Then eventually I removed everything else except for fish. And after about a year of not eating meat, fish was no longer needed to satisfy me. I began to grow tired of it and my love for different plant based foods grew.
Which bring me to my next point, taste.
Tip 5. Change your taste buds.
This can be done by eating new types of foods. Eat them regularly, until you have acquired a liking for them. Eventually, not only will you grow to enjoy the new foods, but after a few months of doing this, if you ever try going back to your old diet, you will notice that your body will reject the old foods that you once loved. Which in return, will make it easier to remain, meat free.
Tip 6. Get everyone in your home on board.
I’m not going to lie, this one tip is probably the hardest one to apply. It’s one thing to change yourself, but to change other people requires a lot more tenacity.
Honesty, I believe it would be easier to change your own eating habits first and then lead by example. However, if you have the power to influence the other people who live in your home, go for it. If they agree, it will make this process so much easier for you.
For example, if you love bacon, but you’re trying to stop eating it, it will be a lot harder for you to resist temptation if you wake up twice a week to the smell of bacon being cooked inside of your house. The more you’re around it, the harder it will be. Which brings me to my next point.
Tip 7. Don’t buy it or have it stored in your home.
The next time you’re food shopping, avoid the meat section. Now I know this will be difficult if you live with other people who still eat meat, but think about it if you don’t buy it they’re less likely to eat it. I mean you can’t cook what you don’t have. Right?
Honestly, this step will work well with your children, but when it comes to pleasing a hungry spouse who is stuck in there ways, well that’s another story.
I know I gave my wife hell, when she first tried pulling that number on me.
Tip 8. Cook with Passion.
This has to be one of the most important tips of them all. Cook with passion. Prepare your meals like you’re getting paid to do it.
When you think about meat eaters, they really only focus on chicken, beef and pork. Yes there are others, but in my opinion those types get a lot more attention.
Anyways, I mention them to say that even though they focus on just 3 groups of meats, they make thousands of different types of meals out of them.
This reminds me of the classic film “Forrest Gump”. Remember the famous scene with his best friend Bubba, when they were talking about shrimp? Bubba said and I quote:
“Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. There’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp Creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that’s about it.”
With that in mind try cooking your vegetables the same way as you cook your meat. Spice it up. Don’t just boil them, sprinkle salt and pepper and call it a wrap!
Go out of your way and try something new. Prepare them with love. Nobody ever told you, that you had to half ass it on the vegetables. The problem is, most of us pay so much attention towards the preparation of the meat that we forget about everything else.
So the next time you’re in the kitchen cooking vegetables add some damn seasoning to them, because Ivan said so 😉
Tip 9. Map out the restaurants that you can eat at.
As I mention in my other posts, successful people make plans. This process is no different. Since we all know, that this world caters to meat eaters, you can expect to find hundreds of restaurants that serve meat. Unfortunately, when it comes to Vegan and Vegetarian meals, your options are extremely limited. Sure, most restaurants will offer a simple salad or a bean burger if you’re lucky, but what I’m talking about are CHOICES. The same amount of choices that meat eater get. Sadly, selections like that are only available, in vegan restaurants.
This is where the problem lies. When we are out of the house and get hungry what do we do? Well in most cases, we look for the nearest restaurant and order some food. Aside from being hungry, many of us do this, mainly because it’s convenient and we don’t have the time to travel aross town for a vegan meal.
Since vegan restaurants are so scarce, we are now in a tough spot. We have put ourselves in a vulnerable position. When you’re just starting out with this new life style, you do not want to have these type of moments.
Aid yourself by mapping out all of the vegan friendly locations in your area before leaving the house. This way, you will know exactly where to go and how long you have to wait before getting some healthy eats.
Another option is to simply, pack your own food. Unfortunately, this requires discipline, but if you can do it more power to you.
Tip 10. Replace the words
Some how we got used to using fancy names like prosciutto ham instead of the word, pig. Veal instead of the words, baby cow. Venison instead of the word, deer.
I’m sure this process was created by either a brilliant meat distributor, marketer or a meat salesman.
It’s an easy way for us to forget about the fact that not only are we consuming animals, but it’s the same animals over and over.
For example, when we think about a pig, we don’t stop at the use of the word, pork. We have created names such as: baby back ribs, bacon, sausage, pork chop, country style spare ribs, picnic ham, pork shoulder, sirloin, rear hock, front hock, pork belly, Trotters, and gammon. There are plenty of other names for pig parts, but you get the point.
Anyway, to rid yourself from your meat eating habits, try replacing the word meat with the word FLESH or Pig Flesh. This grosses me out this writing this, which just affirms my theory.
Look at it this way, you’re not lying to yourself. Call a spade a spade.
By simply swapping out the words, you’ll be surprised how quickly your thought process begins to change.
Try this: Read this post once more, except the next time you read it, replace each “meat” word with the word “flesh” and you tell me if you don’t feel a little different at the end of that assignment.
Trust me, if you do this long enough it will work.
Let the brain washing begin.
Well, that’s all I got for you.
I didn’t expect this post to be this long, but if it can help you on your journey towards becoming a vegan, then it was well worth my time.
If you have another way to help someone stop eating FLESH 😉 please share your answer in the comment section below.
Written by Ivan Maldonado
Author of Head Start to Riches
Edited by Mrs. Alicia Maldonado
Author of Ugli Fruit