Happy New Year!

It’s New Year’s Eve and everyone is making resolutions to improve their lives in some way, shape, or form. For most people, these resolutions will be forgotten in a few short weeks of slaving away at the gym or after one mini purge of junk filling up their apartment. I didn’t really understand the point of a New Year’s resolution until this last year, but after dedicating my entire year to keeping up my resolution I feel really, really great about it! I decided to go vegan last year just to ‘see if I could do it’ and, well, I did it! There were some bumps along the way. For example, my official Veganniversary is January 3rd because, well, I forgot that I was vegan on day 2! But here I am, more passionate about this cause than I ever thought I could be.

So I have four resolutions this year:

  1. Stay away from processed foods and junk, opting for fresh, whole foods instead
  2. Make a weekly blog post
  3. Focus on physical fitness and nutrition
  4. Get outside more!

After a year being vegan I’ve learned a lot! I know more about basic nutrition, how food gets from farm to table, I’ve upped my cooking game, and I’ve learned just how amazing my body feels eating healthier food. I’m more aware of the large scale suffering in the world and I’m still learning to cope with this knowledge I’ve acquired. I am trying to get better at being tolerant and controlling my emotions, but I also recognize that I’m human and sometimes that’s easier said than done.

I’m still learning but I’m also teaching others (I think, I hope). I’ve noticed tremendous changes in people around me and my friends and family have surprised me with their consideration. The first time I visited home as a vegan, my family was a little unsure how to approach the topic. This past holiday season, my entire family ate vegan on Christmas, my sister just made the switch, and my mom is going vegan for a 3 week test run. It’s crazy how much things change in a year! Corey’s family has also been incredibly welcoming to the change I’ve made and I rarely, if ever, feel like a burden to them. I feel very lucky to have surrounded myself with such great people, regardless of their vegan-status.

So here I am, moving on up to a level 2 vegan. I honestly, can’t see a future where I’m not vegan and that feels fantastic!

The New Year is a great time to go vegan! Veganuary is a great place to start. I think after day 10 you’ll realize just how easy it is to actually be vegan and you’ll wonder why you never did it sooner. I know I felt that way!

I strongly believe that the future is green and vibrant and vegan. After learning all this information about agriculture I know that change, in one way or another, is inevitable. Compared to other diets, interest in veganism is rapidly growing- look at the Google trends! Just looking at  Videos like VEGAN 2015 make me feel soooo great about where the world is going. The future is leafy, green, and full of sunshine. I’m sure of it!

But how do you start?

It’s easy for me to say that going vegan was easy because, well, I had thought about it for an entire year before actually doing it.

Here are some easy, peasy replacements that you can do on your next shopping trip:

  • Buy a non-dairy milk instead of milk from a cow
  • Get some ground flax seed and/or bananas to replace your eggs in baked goods
  • Replace ground beef with a healthier (and cheaper!) plant-based option like brown lentils or beans
  • Try a non-dairy ice cream like So Delicious cashew-based ice cream (my fav is the salted caramel!) because you rock for wanting to go vegan and you deserve a treat!

Those are the first things that come to mind. I know many people have been successful cutting things out in the following order: nothing with four legs (beef, pork, venison, etc), nothing with feathers (chicken, turkey, duck, etc), nothing with fins (fish and other seafood), no dairy or eggs, and no ‘hidden’ ingredients (like eggs baked goods or processed foods).  Personally, I just learned some good vegan recipes and gradually phased out my non-vegan meals by working them into my weekly routine more and more. That worked for me, but everyone is different and there’s nothing wrong with some good ‘ol’ trial and error!

I will go more in depth with things like my typical grocery shopping list and weekly meal plan in the near future! I am focusing on how to go vegan for the month of January!

xmascorey

I have no recipe today, just good wishes and the promise of a vegan pizza from Panago being delivered to my house in 20 minutes. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year, everyone!

-J

 

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