If you’ve ever tried to cut any bad habit cold tangerine, you know the possibility of relapsing can be quite high. We might have great intentions but our bodies and minds are so accustomed to living on the edge that the rebel inside is an expert at tempting us. However, if you’re in desperate need of a plant-based health makeover you’re really going to need to turn your good habits into a permanent lifestyle. Transitioning into a raw vegan, slowly, might be just the answer.
If you don’t eat it, you won’t crave it. Begin your journey by throwing away everything you shouldn’t be consuming. Since it might be too drastic to do it all at once, first focus on those “foods” that are absolutely void of nutrition. This list should include soda, candy, and fast food.
Why not just get rid of all of the bad stuff right away? Well, if you toss everything without a plan, you might find yourself replacing those items with much of the same. Trust me, I know.
Give yourself a time limit for doing enough research about what to eat and time to get use to the recent change. Subsequently, get rid of the next worst thing. Depending on what you are deleting from your life, the time limit might vary from days to months. But don’t give yourself too much time; this can lead to procrastination.
Side note: There are a lot of “accidentally vegan” candies, and other “edibles”, that are inherently bad for you. Being vegan means not causing intentional harm to living creatures, among other things. Guess what, you are a living creature. So get rid of the red vines and oreo cookies and don’t look back. You deserve better!
Find the nearest toxic waste facility and schedule an appointment to drop off those harmful products. But, as with food, you’ll need to find healthy alternatives so that you don’t find yourself going back to chemicals. One helpful way to transition is to get rid of any product in a container that is halfway to completely full. I know, I know… that’s like throwing away money. But you’ll actually save money in the long run when you don’t have to go to the doctor as a result of horrible side effects from harmful chemicals.
For those bottles that are half to almost completely empty, allow yourself to use the rest of the product, then vow to let that be the last you’ll ever use. Clean out the bottles and save them for the healthy alternatives you’ll end up making yourself or simply recycle them.
Side note: When looking for new products, don’t just grab containers that read “natural,” on the front. This is often a sneaky gimmick many companies use to trick the general public into thinking no further investigation is needed. Read the label on the back!
Give It Away
Bring any clothes you own that were made from animals to the nearest clothing drive or homeless shelter. Why not just throw them away? While you might not like the idea of encouraging someone else to wear fur or leather at this point in your life, simply tossing these items in the trash means the animals killed to make the clothing truly died in vain. The damage has already been done. Why not do the best you can and allow for that jacket or pair of boots to be reused by people who might not have money to buy clothing for themselves?
Another thing to realize is tossing everything in the trash would create unnecessary waste. A lot of clothing items made from animals are also lined with other materials that are not biodegradable. What’s more; these things could even end up in the ocean!
Side note: Another option is bringing these items to a rescue shelter or pet adoption agency. I once saw a flyer inviting people to donate their fur to a nearby shelter. This organization offered to take the donated fur and use it to create bedding for the animals. What a sweet idea!
If you don’t have it, you won’t use it. Ok, so you’ve tossed your old stuff but you can’t live on air! So now, you’re really going to need to concentrate on buying food and products that have simple and few ingredients, and clothing made humanely. At first, this is going to mean you are spending a bit more time at stores reading the backs of packages, bottles, and clothing labels. Don’t feel overwhelmed.
Eventually, you will find your go-to for each item you use. The laborious investigating will only be temporary and will greatly benefit you. For items you will use a lot, and that are costly, do a search online to find out what other people recommend and read the reviews. Keep in mind, however, what works for others might not work for you. Be patient. This is a jog, not a sprint. You’ll get the hang of it!
For those expensive products, if something doesn’t work, bring it to the store and get your money back. I would definitely try to limit this, however, as those products will just end up being tossed, if they have been opened.
A great way to eliminate guess work with buying packaged products is to go completely natural with as many items as you can. For example, I was a lotion fiend. A fiend! Luckily I found out coconut oil is a good substitute. It locks in my skin’s hydration and smells good, too. Additionally, it serves as a great eye make up remover and face cleanser, as well. Now, I always keep a jar at home!
What are some ways in which you’ve begun the transition?
Photo Credit: Lola O Photography