In the spirit of Veganuary I have been sharing a whole host of vegan related content. I personally am thriving living a mostly plant based lifestyle. However I am more than aware that this approach is not suitable for everyone and I want to address that. Here are 4 situations where I don’t think it is sensible for you to go vegan:
You haven’t got a good relationship with food
If you’re suffering from an eating disorder or are in the process of recovering from one, I strongly recommend that you take time to focus on yourself and healing your relationship with food before even considering changing your lifestyle. Veganism is incredible and I personally don’t find it restrictive but admittedly, it does remove a large amount of food groups. If you’re struggling with feelings of restriction, than putting a ban on animal products is not going to benefit your mental health, in fact it may be detrimental. Instead, focus first on healing yourself. Then you can look to the world around you.
You’re viewing it as a way to lose weight
Similar to the above. Veganism is a lifestyle, not a fad diet which you use to lose weight in the short term. The reasons for going vegan extend far beyond physical health, into issues surrounding the environment and animal welfare. If you’re viewing veganism as a fat loss solution then please reconsider. Instead of trying to cut out food groups in an attempt to change your appearance, focus on looking after, loving and nourishing your body. Feel free to check out the resources page on my website to find out other reasons why a plant based lifestyle is beneficial, outside of weight loss.
You aren’t passionate
Veganism is worlds apart from then traditional western diet. It is a huge change, one which takes time, research, determination and consideration. Veganism isn’t the norm, yet. There will be challenges, tribulations and awkward situations. If you are not passionate about veganism and adopting a more plant based lifestyle, you will not have the motivation to face up to these moments and overcome them.There are so many incredible reasons to adopt this lifestyle but if you’re just doing it because it is a trend, you aren’t going to stick with it. Make sure you find your own personal “why”. If you need help with this, check out my resources page and my “beginners guide to eating vegan” video.
You don’t have time
As I said, adopting a plant based lifestyle is a substantial change and can be a challenge. You need to have a reason and a purpose for making the shift. You need the time to research the lifestyle and ensure you’re doing it safely i.e. supplementing correctly, ensuring you get all essential amino acids, ensuring you eat enough calories for your energy needs and finding new wholesome recipes to make. This can feel overwhelming. So instead of going vegan overnight, I encourage you to take it slowly and research along the way. Perhaps start with meat free Mondays or switching your breakfasts to plant based options, and then go from there. It isn’t a race. If you want more ideas and judgement-free support then join my facebook group the Living Conscious Crew.
Remember – Veganism Just Might Not Be For You:
If a more plant based lifestyle is not for you, don’t sweat it and please don’t feel guilty. There are so many other ways you can live more consciously, from learning about fast fashion, switching to eco-friendly cleaning products and reducing your plastic consumption; there is something everyone can do to contribute to positive change. You can learn about these in my Facebook group The Living Consciously Crew.
But if you do want to look into it:
Take the pressure off. When adopting a more plant based lifestyle there can be a lot of pressure to do it overnight and miraculously wake up as a perfect vegan. This just isn’t realistic. Instead, take it slow and steady. Educate yourself. Read, watch, learn. Experiment in the kitchen. Rope in your minds or your partner. Set yourself mini goals such as making two new vegan recipes a week. Remember, you don’t need to go 100% plant based to make a difference. Just incorporating a few more vegetarian and vegan meals into your lifestyle will contribute to positive change. If everyone did that, huge shifts would begin to happen.
And please, do not be hard on yourself. No one is perfect and a 100% vegan lifestyle isn’t for everyone. Do what works for you and avoid putting a label on yourself if it helps. I personally call myself “mostly plant based” as it allows me to keep a flexible mindset so that I never feel any guilt for my food choices, whether they are 100% vegan or not.