These are the top 3 mistakes I did when I became vegan more than a year ago.
It was honestly the best decision I have ever made. I watched multiple documentaries on the health benefits and the aspect of animal agriculture. I knew there was no way of going back anymore. It was the best decision that was not only going to impact my health positively, but also have positive impacts on the environment. And most importantly I could help safe many animals and hopefully inspire others to do the same.
But coming back from a background with a disordered view on food (and health), I didn’t have a real plan on how to best approach a vegan diet. I have done some mistakes during my transition, from which I have learned from. I would like to share these mistakes with you, in case you are at the start of transitioning into veganism or you are considering it, which is already awesome!
#1 I believed everything I heard, read and saw
I became vegan, because of the internet. It showed me things I didn’t know about and it taught me a lot about myself as well, this I am grateful for.
At the same time, unfortunately, there is also a lot of misinformation out there and literally everyone can put up videos, which might show content showing and saying things that are not necessarily always correct.
One thing that has really given me a false image of veganism was people showing a very restricted diet, such as the fruitarian diet. Maybe for some people this will work, but for the average transitioning vegan, this is a very big shift, and can come with a lot of confusion as well as health issues, when not applied correctly.
And so this was me, I believed everything I saw, which confused me a lot.
#2 I overate. On everything
I believed everything influencers said. Such as: “eat as much as you want and loose weight”.
And because of this type of misinformation, I started consuming a lot more calories than my body actually needed, which also lead to a lot of digestive issues. Again, for people like me, coming from a distorted body image and an unhealthy mindset about food, these kind of statements can get very confusing.
At that time I was living in Barcelona, where vegan junk food is available every where. And here we are, I was over-excited and I started trying it all, from vegan burgers, to pizzas, to ice-creams and cakes. I forgot that these foods are full of sugars and added oils, something, I was avoiding before at any cost, as I was always very health cautious.
Don’t get me wrong, it is okay to consume these foods once in a while. But not to such an extent where you feel low on energy, you have digestive issues and you gain weight. And that was me. Even though I was working out every single day, I was gaining weight and I didn’t understand why.
As an upcoming vegan nutritionist, my main focus is on health, physically as well as mentally. As these 2 go hand in hand. It is also important to understand how we can fuel our body in order to feel like our best selfs. This includes indulging on convenient foods once in a while. As in the long run these foods will not make you feel good.
Also, I believe that mock meats and convenient foods are great for those of you who are currently transitioning into a vegan diet, as this will help you ease the process.
#3 I didn’t do enough research
There is never enough research you can do. And I think that this point ties in with my previous two points.
Before I went vegan I always considered my diet as healthy. You know, the lean chicken and eggs for protein kinda diet. Well, so by cutting out those animal foods, I was left with “almost nothing” and a little confused as what to eat. I always thought carbs are the enemy, as they can make you “gain weight”. So my diet consisted of almost no carbs at all (excluding fruit). And all of a sudden I am vegan, where there is carbs in everything.
So obviously I didn’t know enough research as to what I can substitute these foods with. I also didn’t know that carbs, the complex ones such as grains, beans, etc. do NOT make you fat. Grains should be a staple of your diet.
So I am sharing these things I did with you, as I would like your transitioning to be easier. With time I learned how tasteful, healthy and good vegan/plant based food is. Also, it is funny how I used to hate cooking. Since I am vegan though, I really enjoy it, as you can be really creative in the kitchen.
As a conclusion, it is important to find what is best for oneself, as every body is different and everyone reacts differently to each food. Therefore I can only suggest changing it up once in a while and seeing what works best.
In case of any questions or advice, you can always reach out to me.