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Starting Your Vegan / Vegetarian / Raw Food Journey: Tips and Benefits to Keep in Mind

It was super easy for me becoming vegetarian, which is not always the case for many people. I was about 6 years old when I told my parents I didn't like the taste or texture of meat and started putting up a fight over eating animal flesh. My parents, trying to be the best they could and help me get proper nutrients, tried lying to me and told me 'chicken' was just a name and I wasn't eating the actual animal, beef and bacon just came from the factory or store. I'll always remember the one moment that everything dramatically changed.

I begged my mom for fish sticks one morning, because that was the only 'meat' I would actually eat growing up and I didn't care about what time it was. She had just put the plate in front of me and I grabbed one up and took my first bite. I was chewing when my dad came down the stairs and got all smiley then looked at me and asked 'Manny, what are you doing?' I replied that I was eating breakfast and he said 'Oh, well you know you're eating Flounder, right?' The Little Mermaid was one of my favorite Disney movies and when my father said that to me I thought I was eating my best friend aka Ariel's bff Flounder. I spit the fish stick out and started crying. I didn't want to hurt any animal so becoming 'vegetarian' to save my friends seemed like the most logical and emotionally intelligent thing to do. Thirty years later, I still use that as motivation to keep me a raw food vegan.

Save the planet, one meal at a time - go vegan!

Making the decision to switch to a vegan or vegetarian diet can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. Whether you're making the switch for ethical reasons, health concerns, or environmental reasons, it's important to have a plan in place to ensure your success. Here are some tips to help you start and sustain your vegan, vegetarian or raw food journey:

Tip #1 - Remember why you're going Vegan / Vegetarian / Raw Fooder

Whether it's for health, the environment, or animal welfare, reminding yourself of your motivation can help keep you on track and motivated. Write down your reasons and place them in a visible spot in your home.

When times get rough and you want to give up, remember your 'why' to help you get back on track!

Tip #2 - Set realistic goals

It's important to have a plan and set achievable goals for yourself. Don't try to switch to a completely plant-based diet overnight, but rather take gradual steps towards it. For example, start by removing meat from one meal a day and slowly build from there.

"Set small, realistic goals for yourself and celebrate each accomplishment. The journey is the reward." – Jenna Hymowitz, Vegan Nutritionist

Tip #3 - Educate yourself

Do your research on the nutritional needs of your new diet and learn about new foods you may not have tried before. This will not only help you meet your dietary needs, but it can also make your meals more interesting and enjoyable.

Tip #4 - Eat to live

It's important to remember that food is fuel for your body, and not just for pleasure. Shift your mindset from seeing food as a source of entertainment to seeing it as a means to nourish your body and mind.

Dialing 911 is in emergency but 811 is for your Health!

Tip #5 - Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is about being present and aware of your food choices and how they make you feel. Take time to savor each bite, chew slowly, and pay attention to how your body responds. This can help you make more intentional food choices and avoid overeating.

Join the vegan revolution and save lives, the planet and yourself!

Remember, the benefits of a plant-based diet go beyond just personal health. A vegan, vegetarian or raw food diet can help reduce your carbon footprint, decrease animal cruelty, and support a more sustainable food system. When you're feeling discouraged or unsure, keep these benefits in mind and remember that you're making a positive impact on both yourself and the world around you.

If you need further guidance and support on your vegan or vegetarian journey, consider working with a holistic health coach. Amandala.Coach offers unique approaches and guidance that can help you achieve your health goals and transform your life.

You can also join the ChicagoVeg community of vegans, vegetarians, and raw fooders for support and resources. Remember, you're not alone on this journey and there are plenty of resources available to help you thrive!

Raw Resources

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