Tips For a New Vegan

A friend of mine has recently cut dairy and eggs out of her diet and I'm so happy for her!! She's trying it for health reasons, but I'm hoping I can convert her once she learns of all the other reasons :) Her and her boyfriend watched Forks Over Knives the other night and she was so surprised that he wanted to eat more plant-based meals! 

My friend has SO many questions, and it made me remember how little I knew when I first went vegan...so here are my top 3 tips for new vegans.

1. Watch Movies.

The three movies below will round out your vegan education (and the first 2 are available on Netflix!). 

  •  Forks Over Knives (for your health).
  • I originally went vegan for health reasons and this is the movie that sold me. I remember the day so clearly - my meat-loving boyfriend was napping on the couch and was completely uninterested in watching this. He actually got up and started to heat up left-over pepperoni pizza as it was playing. As the movie progressed he became more and more interested, and when his pizza was finally ready he looked at it and said "I can't eat this". He threw out the pizza and he's been vegan ever since.

 

  • Cowspiracy (for the environment).
  • Produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, this is a documentary that focuses solely on the environment impact that animal agriculture is having on the world. Before watching this I said that I didn't care about the environment. I thought it didn't mater, and that it wasn't even that bad. This movie is SHOCKING, and I know an entire family who watched this and went vegan because of the unnecessary damage that animal agriculture is doing to our planet. 

 

  • Earthlings (for the animals).
  • To be completely honest, I've only seen the first three minutes of this documentary. It's brutal, and it's saddening, and it's real. I was already sold on the vegan-movement, and because of that I felt that I didn't needed to watch this. I did, however, promise myself that if I ever wanted to not be a vegan anymore that I would watch this documentary first. I firmly believe that everyone should have to watch this film before making the decision to eat animal products or not. It's so easy to pretend that it's not happening, but it IS happening - and people need to stop paying for cruelty. 

 

2. Eat Out. Check out my previous blog posts on my favourite healthy and unhealthy restaurants in Toronto).

  • Healthy Restaurants
  • Go to healthy restaurants and get ideas for things to make at home. Most of us are used to meals looking a certain way, with meat being at the centre of it all. So get out there and get ideas! So often when I go to restaurants I'll take pictures of certain menu items so that I can remember to recreate later at home.

 

  • Unhealthy Restaurants
  • So many people think that being vegan means eating salad all day - and while fruits and veggies are awesome for you, vegan junk food exists! (And you should eat it!) Sometimes you need a burger, or mac and cheese, or pizza - and that's ok. Don't deprive yourself, or you'll eventually cave and eat an actual burger.

 

3. Get Inspired.

  • Follow Vegan Instagrammers
  • I get SO inspired by all the vegan instagrammers out there. Follow anyone and everyone that inspires you. My favourite is Bonny Rebecca.

 

  • Read Vegan Blogs
  • Keep educating yourself! There are so many blogs out there. Find your favourites and let them inspire you with recipe and lifestyle ideas. 

 

  • Go To Speciality Grocery Stores.
  • Almost every Sunday you can find me wandering the isles of Whole Foods. Do I buy all my food from there? Of course not (#expensive), but I get SO inspired just looking at l the great vegan products that exist.