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Three Things They Don't Tell You About Going Vegan
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Three Things They Don't Tell You About Going Vegan

I am the younger daughter of two, so my sister had already moved out when my parents decided to up and go vegan. I grew up in an unusual home food wise- my mother's passion is food and the best way to eat it- so I thought I was prepared for the leap to being vegan.

No big deal.

I was wrong.

The First Thing They Don't Tell You:

You will crave dairy. Some people also have processed meat cravings, but primarily, you will hunger for mozzarella sticks, cream in your coffee, whoopie pies, deep dish pizza... the list goes on. For me, these cravings lasted four whole months. My mom's cravings stopped around month two of being vegan, but my poor dad still struggles with his urge for cheese burgers.

The Second Thing They Don't Tell You:

You are surrounded by people who aren't vegan and who also crare about you. This is a terrible group of people to have around when you are struggling to stay vegan. They will go out of their way to offer you pizza, burgers, cake- without a second thought to what you actually want, just wanting to either make you happy or stop your griping about how much you want it.

These people are enablers- they aren't trying to be bad friends or family, they just don't understand because they have never tried to deny themselves any kind of food.

The Third Thing They Don't Tell You:

Let me be perfectly clear- you can get all your nutritional needs satisfied on a vegan regimen. The key is eating tons and tons of green veggies and plenty of fruit.

That being said, it is very easy in today's modern age to be an unhealthy vegan. Empty calories like bread, potato chips, french fries, carrot cake, bagels, popsicles, pasta (there's a carb heavy pattern here) are often vegan and also not particularly wholesome. In moderation, any of these things can be a fine addition to those veggies and fruits, but if you let them become the core of your daily intake, you run the risk of not getting enough important vitamins and minerals (like iron).

Okay, have I been ominous enough?

Veteran vegans don't tell newbies about these hurdles when they evangelize the magnificence that is the vegan lifestyle, because they don't wanto scare any one off. What is forgotten is that being vegan is great- its wholesome, and delicious and not that hard, really, nowadays. 

Just remember, as these things come up in your vegan life, that everyone who ever began being vegan had to deal with them too!

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Leave a Comment

  1. Ocean
    As your "Nutrition Specialist" mother, I appreciate your article about going vegan. It was never my intent to make your life more difficult. I've just been on my own food journey for many years, looking for the right way to eat, and I've finally found it. Eating plants is the way. Thank you for all your love and patience with me over the years. Your mama loves you! <3
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    1. Jessica Waller
      Jessica Waller
      Oh Momma, if you made my life difficult, you also prepared me for many other, more difficult things later in life! I love you and am always grateful for your guidance!
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  2. SnakeWitch
    I ALWAYS tell non-vegans and newbie-vegans about the downsides of trying it out, BUT, with advice on how to do it so that it is as easy as possible. Since I fully understand what you are going through - and all that talk about not understanding how the smell of meat is now disgusting for me, and so on and so forth - I don't pretend that going vegan is a piece of cake. I spell it out. And I am glad you are, too.
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    1. Jessica Waller
      Jessica Waller
      Thank you for the support!
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  3. Lana Bahumes
    Lana Bahumes
    When I did do Vegan I was constantly hungry and hd pins and needles feeling in my body. :O( Vitamin B Complex helped but being hungry all the time was tough. You need to eat veggies all the time through out the day and grain vegan breads. I am still trying to be more Vegan instead of Vegetarian. Not easy... :O(
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    1. Jessica Waller
      Jessica Waller
      Keep it up! A trick that my family learned is to cook simple foods in very large amounts, so that you can eat and eat and eat (and its all good for you stuff- like kale!) and there will STILL be leftovers. Leftovers make eating vegan a little easier- if I learn any other helpful things, I'll make sure to post them!
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      1. Lana Bahumes
        Lana Bahumes
        Thanks for the tip! :O)
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      2. The Flaming Vegan Crew
        The Flaming Vegan Crew
        Kale? Remind us to share the (deep echoing voice): "Best Kale recipe ever...er...er....er...er"
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        1. Jessica Waller
          Jessica Waller
          How exciting! Kale is my FAVORITE green veggie! Actually, probably just my favorite veggie anywhere!
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          1. The Flaming Vegan Crew
            The Flaming Vegan Crew
            Sometimes The Flaming Vegan Crew replays "Super Freak" in their heads but replaces "Freak" with "Food" and is thinking of Kale the whole time: It's a Super Food, Super Food It's Super-Foody, Yow Super Food, Super Food Hmmmm....Kale
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          2. Lana Bahumes
            Lana Bahumes
            Baked Kale Chips are excellent! :O)
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            1. The Flaming Vegan Crew
              The Flaming Vegan Crew
              We call them "Crispy Kale" and that's the recipe we want to be reminded to post when we have the time :-)
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              1. Lana Bahumes
                Lana Bahumes
                Will be waiting for recipe... :O)
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    2. SnakeWitch
      A lot of protein helps, too. Eat nuts as much as you can, and make sure to have plenty of legumes in your meals. I've surpassed that time and believe me, you'll be glad to have done it!
      Log in to reply.
      1. Lana Bahumes
        Lana Bahumes
        Thanks! I hv added black beans and lentils to my meals and this helps a lot. I also added cooked grains to keep full. And I need to have Vegan grain bread every day. :O)
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        1. SnakeWitch
          Have you tried cooking with nuts? It's fantastic! Oh, and I love whole-grain bread, too. Just don't overdo it, as it could make you gain unwanted pounds.
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          1. Lana Bahumes
            Lana Bahumes
            No not yet. I need to try and like u said not to over do it. I know that Almonds and Pistachio r best for Nutrition but many recipes call for Walnut. I will research recipes w Nuts. :O) Thanks. :O)
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  4. Akanksha
    Akanksha
    I absolutely loved your post Jessica, you seem to know about food and nutrition. I would love to read more of your posts!
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    1. Jessica Waller
      Jessica Waller
      Thank you so much!
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  5. Shawna
    Shawna
    I really enjoyed your article and look forward to reading more.
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    1. Jessica Waller
      Jessica Waller
      thank you! I will update often!
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  6. Rob  Rubin
    Rob Rubin
    When we switched to veganism, my wife craved dairy all the time. I was perfectly happy using Daiya cheese, but she desperately needed a big ol block of Mozzarella.
    Log in to reply.
    1. Lana Bahumes
      Lana Bahumes
      "Teese" cheese is also very gd for substitute... :O) I liked the Nacho Cheese flavor the best. Even my husband who is not Vegan cd nt taste the diff....
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  7. jankristin
    As a long time vegetarian (15 years), but new vegan (7 weeks), I also was surprised that it was harder than expected. However, it definitely has gotten easier, and I know now that it is livable lifestyle. The Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary helped me with the comment "you will realize that cheese is not a food.". I don't crave pizza anymore, but am now dealing with learning the hidden dairy in store-bought foods and other products. Although my family and friends are supportive, I am finding my greatest strength comes from communities like this one. I look forward to learning more.
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  8. Willow Heart Star
    Great Great Great Can I Say Great Again!!!! Thank you for writing this article, i was starting to feel like i was the only vegetarian with those cravings! You have helped me more then you know!!! Thanks again!:-)
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    1. SnakeWitch
      Hang in here. It's only at first. You'll see that it gets easier with time. Most vegetarians, after a while, start hating the smell of meat. I do, and I'm sure that you will get to know that feeling.
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  9. amnevers
    I loved your article. I have been a vegetarian for a while but have recently tried following a more vegan lifestyle. The hardest part I found is dealing with other people's response to my diet choice. Many people become almost confrontational when I politely decline food. I don't preach my beliefs but I do find I constantly need to defend them, especially when in regards to the health of my vegetarian son. Who by the way is extremely healthy but is just very slim.
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