Your motivation behind changing your diet will probably impact your experience. My experience taught me that I missed dairy more than meat, so some vegetarian middle ground might be in my future. However, it turned out that there were very few moments where I really felt like I was missing out on something. I think a lot of people shy away from making changes to their diet or lifestyle because they fear the sense of deprivation. I was surprised to notice that the shift in mentality from ‘I can’t have that’ to ‘I don’t eat that’ made a huge difference. If you are committed to a cause behind your actions, the rest falls in line more easily.
It’s okay to say “yuck”. I don’t like everything I try that’s non-vegan, so it’s a silly expectation that I should like everything under the sun that is vegan-friendly. While keeping an open mind is important, keeping it real is, too.
Have some fun and share the experience! While you’re bound to get a few stereotypical responses about “rabbit food”, let people know what you’re up to. I was surprised to learn how many people I knew already who are vegetarian, vegan or had dabbled with either, so I got some great recipes and advice. I even had people tell me they had been curious about it but were too intimidated to try it out. My mom tried to eat vegan the same week I did, just out of curiosity. The point is, it’s always easier and more fun if you have advice and people to share new experiences with.
In the end, I got to experience a lot of new food and found some new, healthy faves that will surely make their way into my routine no matter which diet I’m on. On top of all of that, I got to see some real life examples of how a diet switch can impact the way I purchase food and how much I throw away each week as a result – plus the warm fuzzy feeling I get remembering that it makes a bigger picture impact on the environment. Not too shabby for just one week!