By Leo Babauta
Becoming vegan, and doing this 7-Day Vegan Challenge, can be easy.
Or it can be hard. You can try to tackle a number of difficult recipes, try foods you don’t like and feel like you’re suffering the whole time. You can just eat salads and miss heartier foods. You can do a juice fast and miss solid foods. You can try raw foods and miss cooked foods.
It can be hard if you go to extremes. It can be easy if you make it easy.
Here are some ideas for making the challenge easier:
- Pick vegan versions of foods that are familiar to you. If you like spaghetti, try vegan spaghetti. If you like pizza, eat vegan pizza.
- Pick simple, enjoyable meals. Not meals you think you’ll hate, and not super-hard recipes that you will hate cooking.
- Do some shopping and cooking ahead of time. If you want to eat healthier during the challenge, cooking for yourself is recommended (assuming you have the know-how). Shopping for the entire week’s menu is a good idea, so you don’t end up hungry with nothing to eat. Cooking some meals in bulk, so that when you’re hungry you just have to heat things up, can be a good idea too.
- Convenience foods are OK. Don’t worry about eating super healthy as you’re starting your vegan experiment. You can eat some frozen vegan pizza, or eat canned vegan chili, or eat vegan deli “meats” in sandwiches, and be just fine. For long-term health (and frugality), cooking for yourself and eating whole foods is better, but for this challenge you can make things easier by eating convenience foods.
- Eating out at restaurants is OK. Lots of restaurants have vegan options, and there are lots of vegetarian and vegan restaurants out there. Start by looking on Happy Cow in the city you live in. There are plenty of fast food vegan options too.
There’s no “right way” to do this challenge. Veganism can be easy, and if you want to do it the healthy way, you can do that slowly, over time. Just have fun, and don’t think of this as suffering — it’s a great way to try some delicious food, and make choices that are less cruel to animals and better for the environment.
Just remember: veganism is love.