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  • Writer's pictureJenni Foshey

How to Transition to Veganism

Updated: Dec 1, 2019

I became a vegetarian at the end of my freshman year in high school (spring 2015). Simply put, I did not eat meat. Period. No meat. No fish or other sea animals. It was easy. I would have the basic salads, sandwiches, pasta, cheese and crackers, mac n’ cheese, and more (more detailed food info coming in a later blog post). I tried synthetic meat products such as veggie burgers, chick’n nuggets, hot dogs, brats, and tofu. So instead of cutting out these things I used to eat, I just supplemented them with something else. The only “hard” thing about this was to find which brands I liked. Each brand tastes different from the next one. So, if you try hot dogs of one brand and end up not liking it, don’t give up and think you just hate vegetarian hot dogs. Try a different brand (my favorite vegetarian and vegan brands will be in a future blog post- stay tuned). 



Once you have the vegetarian diet down for a few months or even a year or two (the timing is up to you, whenever you feel ready), try cutting out animal by-products one by one to slowly transition over to a vegan diet. 


This is what I did my senior year of high school (2017):  First I cut out milk from my diet and replaced it with plant-based milks (soy, almond, cashew, etc.). If milk was an ingredient in a cookie, granola bar, bread, or other item I would eat it. I just didn’t have a glass of milk or use it in cereal. Shortly after, I cut out eggs. Similar to milk, I did not have eggs for breakfast, but if eggs were an ingredient in something it would be okay (for now). Every few months I chose a different animal by-product to cut out. Eventually I replaced butter with vegan butter and coconut oil, eliminated honey (I didn’t consume it that much to begin with), replaced cheese with vegan cheese, and cut out jello (which has gelatin in it, a protein derived from boiling body parts (such as skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones) typically from cows and pigs).



Before I went vegetarian my freshman year of high school (2015), I was a vegetarian for a little bit in middle school. I didn’t stick to it, though. I found myself “cheating”. There are many factors that go into why I wasn’t 100% committed. 


1. My Motives: At this point, my motive was simply animal cruelty I was avoiding. 

2. Resources: At this time (8 years ago) there were not as many meat-free options available. 

3. Poor Food Choices: Since I didn’t have many motives or resources, I cut out food that I used to eat instead of finding replacements. 


The point of this blog article is to prove a point that in order to maintain a vegan diet, you must transition. Start simple and go slow. So many people I have met and talked to have failed at a vegan (or even vegetarian) diet because they do not find replacements for food they currently eat, do not find brands they like, and do not have reasons and are not passionate for why they chose this diet and lifestyle.

 

With any questions or comments, be sure to contact me at: journey.jenni@gmail.com


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