By: Courtney Pool (guest)
Hello Sage Mountain Friends!
My name is Courtney, I’m a vegan nutritionist and a recent Utah-returnee living in Cottonwood Heights. It’s a funny story how I got to do a guest blog here: Lauren was my yoga teacher years ago in Park City, before either of us were vegan. When I moved back here, I found vegan roommates, one of whom knew Lauren and Sage Mountain very well. Long story short, I got to see her again for the first time in 10 years and here I am on the blog. Also an FYI: I’ll be the speaker at Sage Mountain’s Thirsty First Thursday at Zest on July 7th!
I’ve been vegan for about 10 years, and working as a nutritionist specializing in vegan nutrition, juice cleansing and overcoming overeating for about 8 years now. It’s an online-based business and I do my consultations over the phone and Skype, which is wonderful because it allows me to have, in addition to local clients, global clients. And I love talking with people about veganism all around the world!
For this blog, I wanted to share some tips from the perspective of a longtime vegan that might be helpful for others. I hope you find it helpful!
1.Eat a healthy, well-rounded diet and minimal junk food.The vast majority of people who end up with nutritional deficiencies or claim they don’t feel as good on a vegan diet are often not getting enough healthy foods and are eating too much junk food. It can also be because there is not enough variety in the diet. Make sure you’re getting a wide array of veggies, fruits, beans, seaweeds, nuts, seeds, oils, etc.
2.Amass a solid list of favorite recipes/meals. Whether you consider yourself someone who likes cooking or not, you need to invest some time trying new recipes and new meals, and figuring out what you like best. When people tell me they don’t know what to eat now that they’re vegan, that tells me they haven’t gotten any vegan recipe books, haven’t googled any vegan recipes online, and haven’t played around in the kitchen. It is a process of trial and error where we need to try a bunch of things, some of which we will like and some of which we won’t, but it will give us some staples that we can return to again and again. And if you’re not big on being in the kitchen, that’s fine–there are plenty of “simple vegan recipes” and “quick vegan meal recipes” that we can google.
3.Find community with likeminded people.Look for people who are likeminded and share a similar desire for veganism. They can be found through meetup.com in your city, or they may be found in an area-specific Facebook group. It’s lovely to find a local friend that you can frequent vegan cafes with or have over to make a meal, but don’t underestimate the power of being connected to people online. Join some forums and groups, ask questions, connect with people there. Share your fears and your insecurities about veganism, ask for tips. People love to help!
4.Learn about all aspects of veganism.I’d say there are four main categories of truth about why veganism is the ethical, loving, and moral way to live: health/well-being, animals, environment, and other welfare of other humans. If you’re only familiar with the details about one or a few of these aspects but not all of them, educate yourself on all of them. The more you know the truth about all factors, the more you receive that truth into your heart, and you can get to a place whereby because you know the truth so thoroughly, you simply can’t not be vegan.
5.Work on your people-pleasing issues.One of the biggest challenges for most people in being vegan is the pressure they often feel to be “normal” and eat like other people eat. We can be susceptible to guilt-trips from others about us being difficult or high-maintenance, or we feel we don’t want to stand up for ourselves and what we need to take care of ourselves within our veganism. This is an issue that is unavoidable to work out if we’re going to stay vegan long-term. There cannot be any circumstance, any guilt-trip, any social climate that would cause us to cave and eat animal products, and the way that we’re going to create that is by working on the emotional reasons why we care what others think of us in this particular way. Don’t people-please with your eating.
6.Examine emotions that may create cravings.It doesn’t happen for everyone, but some people who have recently gone vegan will eventually face something internally that will cause them to be tempted to eat animal products. We’ve already discussed the people-pleasing related emotions that can cause this, but be aware of other ones too. They can be fears about it being unhealthy or apathy about the importance of vegan. Allow yourself to be self-reflective of feelings that may cause you to want to eat animal products.
I hope this helps! If you’re interested in chatting with me about the possibility of coaching, please visit my website -you can email me directly there! I’m also on all social media under my name.
A comprehensive article about everything on going vegan can be found here from our friends at Positive Health Wellness.