Start with what you know - and love!
I decided to go vegan on a Monday night around 8pm. Yes, I remember the exact date and time that I made the switch. The first thing that happened? I was hungry, worried and curious. I didn't know where to begin, and the only thing that came to mind was lettuce. So I got out the only two cookbooks I own and the little yellow post-it notes and went through every recipe looking for, and marking every dish that was vegan or could be made vegan. I admit, I didn't think I'd find much, if any - but I was pleasantly surprised!
Next up - I went to the kitchen and looked through everything I had. There are so many things to be excited about when you first go vegan. Some of my favourite foods were already vegan, I had just never thought about it before. Peanut butter, pistachios, pastas, blueberries, bread, bananas, avocados - ALCOHOL. Ever been on a diet where you can't have carbs? Torture. No bread, pasta or beer? Get me out of here! A Vegan diet on the other hand, is not as limiting as you might first guess. Having a fiesta? Chips and salsa - VEGAN. Having a BBQ? Vegie Delight sausages, corn on the cob, bread rolls and salads - VEGAN. Movie night? Salted popcorn with melted Nuttelex - VEGAN. Sweet tooth? Australian OREOS ARE VEGAN. Middle-Eastern tapas? Hummos, falafel, tabouli, grape leaves - VEGAN. Amen. The point is, once you recognise how much of your diet is plant based and delicious, the easier it seems. Focus on what you already love, and eat a lot more of it in the beginning.
One of the best bits of advice I've heard for starting out, is don't limit yourself in the beginning. Instead, add to your diet. Add more fruits and veggies, add nuts and grains, add pastas and rice - and soon there won't be any need (or any room) for animal products!
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