GUYS. I am so excited to share this blog post with you today. I’m going on two years of being vegan, and still have so much to learn. But a dear new friend of mine, Johanna, has been vegan for TEN. YEARS. Can you believe that?! You can find all kinds of fun vegan recipes, mindful encouragement, and just pretty aesthetics on her Instagram account, linked below! For those of you that have ever thought about making the change, found it difficult to stick with, or just want to ease your curious mind, keep reading! I’ll be adding commentary of course, because like, I am who I am.
Hi, my name is Johanna Roque, creator of The Soulfulone. I have been Vegan for 10 years this July. It’s been an amazing journey with lots of challenges and hurdles to get to a place of not only understanding where my food comes from but with listening to my body on how it feels and what it needs.
Here are 10 things in the past 10 years that I have learned being Vegan.
1. Pasta & Bread
Eating nothing but pasta and bread isn’t a healthy and sustainable way of eating just because it doesn’t contain any animal product in it.
YES. So many people think it’s impossible to eat nutritiously on a vegan diet because they assume pasta is the only alternative! – Al
2. Vegan ≠ Healthy
Just because it’s labeled “Vegan” doesn’t mean it’s necessarily healthier for you. Some vegan products out there contain more fat, sugar or sodium than if you were eating something that wasn’t vegan.
3. Restaurant Risk
Restaurants that cater to both non-vegan and vegan is a risk. Say you want a veggie burger at a restaurant that serves regular burgers too, you are taking a risk with cross contamination. Some restaurants are really good about having separate stations but not all of them do.
The easiest thing you can do for yourself is call ahead and check online before going. Find out what other vegans are saying about the place before you make that reservation! One of the lamest things is to show up to a place, find out you have zero options, and watch your friends eat with your hangry and annoyed. – Al
4. It’s Not Just About Food
It’s more than just the food on your plate with veganism. It’s about the fur fashion trends, leather, and much more. Thankfully, there are amazing designers such as Matt and Nat, Stella McCartney, Urban Expressions (just to name a few) that have found ways to bring you amazing designs without using innocent animals.
As consumers, there are so many things we buy that contain animal products that we aren’t even aware of. Toothpaste, deodorant, makeup, the list goes on. One of the easiest ways you can you responsibly use your purchasing power is just buying clothes from thrift stores! Trust me, I know what it’s like to ball on a budget, and it’s totally doable. Elf might not be the best makeup brand in the world, but in a bind, it’s affordable and cruelty free. – Al
5. You Need Vitamins, Vegan or Not.
Taking vitamins is key to help not become deficient. Omega-3 and Vitamin D seem to be the most common vitamin levels to be low with those who are vegan. It’s very important to supplement in conjunction with a whole food diet.
YES. You need vitamins. This becomes more obvious when you start paying attention to your diet, especially when you become vegan. Unfortunately, many who follow a traditional western diet also need supplements and usually don’t know it. – Al
6. Flavor, Above All.
Flavor, Flavor, Flavor. Most of the alternative meats don’t have any flavor in them, so being creative and using your own marinades makes dishes come to life.
And it’s so fun! You get to literally customize EVERYTHING. Too spicy? Want more oregano? You can literally make it taste EXACTLY the way you want it! – Al
7. Don’t Let Cost Stop You.
Veganism is not more expensive than a non-vegan diet. Especially when you are eating whole foods and eat in season.
The first grocery shopping trip, I noticed a spike, and that was mostly because I picked up items that have lasted me MONTHS that I had just never heard of before. But usually, when you’re buying fresh in season produce, it can actually save money. It just might not save you time. – Al
8. The Benefits
Once I started eating more whole foods versus processed vegan foods, I noticed a huge difference in my skin, energy and weight. I feel amazing.
Girl same. My skin was so much clearer and I had so much more energy! – Al
9. You Need Support
There’s such a huge platform of other people who are also vegan. A support system is great because there’s an understanding on why you chose this lifestyle and you can learn from others.
It can be so hard to be the only one in a family or friend group following a vegan lifestyle. Apart from judgements and questions, it just makes get togethers a little more complicated. I wrote a post about this actually and you can read it here! But having support around you is so important. I would not be able to manage a vegan lifestyle without the support and help of my husband. I mean, he literally does all of the cooking. – Al
10. You are Making a Difference
In the past 10 years I have saved…
4,015 gallons of water
109,500 sq. ft of forest
146,000 lbs of grains
and 73,000 lbs of C02.
You are making a difference. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or skip meat once a week, you’re making a difference. So stay encouraged! Dig into research, ask questions, we’re here to help you!