After two years of being a vegetarian, I have decided to take the steps to becoming a gluten free vegan. For those of you who don't know, vegans do not consume anything that comes from an animal, whereas vegetarians only stop consuming the flesh. This means no eggs, cheese, yogurt, etc.; nodairy products what-so-ever. A gluten-free diet excludes foods containing gluten (obviously). Gluten is a protein found in wheat, kamut, spelt, barley, rye and triticale.
I have had people consistently tell me that being a vegetarian was just a fad that I was going through and I would constantly correct them and tell them that it's not, it's a lifestyle and a choice that I have wanted for a very long time and I have finally had the courage to go all the way after so many years of quitting. I have never tried going vegan before and it would be fairly simple here at school. The support system is wonderful, the cafeteria food is extremely supporting of both meat eaters and vegetarians/vegans. We have a bountiful backing system of students who range from vegetarians, flexitarians, pescatarians, vegans, some people who only eat chicken, etc. However, my one dilemma will be going back home and trying to cook for myself. Lately, because of financial situations, my mother does not buy the healthiest food and I'm not only worried about my own health but hers' and my sister's as well. I've already started looking at vegan/gluten free cook books that I want to order for when I go back home.
There is also my aunt who I will be staying with for the summer. She does not know that I am a vegetarian. On top of that she doesn't know that I'm trying to become a vegan. I don't want to burden her with having to cook me separate meals or anything. I'm more than happy with just eating the vegetables that would otherwise be the side dishes. Maybe if it's possible I could talk her into doing a meatless Monday while I'm there.
Any suggestions on how to make the transition from vegetarians to vegan first would be greatly helpful. I feel as if giving up dairy will be hard for me. I already don't drink milk, but other things like cheese products will be a bit difficult because I don't have money to go and buy the substitute products that I need. Thanks you guys and gals.