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A Beginner’s Guide to Becoming Vegan

A Compassion for Animals Vegan Lifestyle the Easy Way

beginner's guide to becoming vegan

Part of my organic produce haul for the week

By now it is becoming apparent to many people why they should become vegan. The horrors of factory farming – which is where 99% of our meat and dairy and eggs comes from – are becoming better known. Vegans live longer. A well-rounded vegan diet eliminates or reduces many widespread health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. And a vegan diet is easier on the environment, as animal agriculture is putting a huge burden on our rainforests and oceans. The benefits to ourselves and the planet of going vegan are indisputable – and it’s a very long list of benefits.

Many people are unaware of the mental health benefits of going vegan. Meat really is murder, and thus it gives rise to unconscious guilt. Unconscious guilt leads to unconscious self-punishment. Here are a few questions for you:

* Are you one of those people who never can seem to lose those extra few pounds?

* Find yourself engaged in self-sabotaging behavior on a regular basis?

* Are you one of the millions and millions of people on this planet “covering up” your feelings with anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, self-medicating, and other “band-aids”?

Consider the possibility that deep down you know eating meat is wrong and are hurting yourself because you know you are hurting others. Sound far-fetched? It’s not. Your subconscious mind is so powerful it’s even capable of killing you so becoming aware of these deep-seated unconscious patterns is literally a matter of life or death.

So why isn’t everyone going vegan yet? Well, it’s a complex mix of being numbed out and indifferent, being imprisoned in cultural conditioning, not knowing how, and not having high enough self-esteem to do what’s in our own best interests.

Here are some of the benefits I have noticed from going first vegetarian and then vegan, although please be aware that I have combined these lifestyle changes with a daily Holistic Belief Reprogramming practice so the benefits have been obtained holistically:

ErikaHotTub1. Much clearer skin
2. More energy
3. Simpler lifestyle (for more simplicity go to http://tapsmarter.com/simplify)
4. Lost those “last few extra pounds” that I couldn’t lose since junior high (http://tapsmarter.com/losing-weight)
5. Feel better
6. Clearer conscience knowing you are no longer participating in the torture and murder of innocent animals (inner peace – please see more at http://erikaawakening.com/peace)

For those who sincerely want to go vegan and are not sure how to do it, this article is for you. This is not a comprehensive guide. It will get you started.

“I just don’t have the willpower to make this change.”

Hmmm, the fact that willpower is even being summoned here suggests the wrong frame of mind … I suggest a re-frame for this. Instead of thinking of the “sacrifice” you think you are making by eating meat, consider the very real sacrifice you are making by eating meat. Meat and processed foods crowd out of our diet all the wonderful organic produce that we could be eating. When I was still eating meat, there was barely any room in my diet for amazingly delicious foods like homemade raw pesto, homemade hummus, homemade mushroom gravy, and abundant fruit/nut/veggie smoothies that have now become staples for me. When I started eating these nutrient-dense foods instead of meat, I noticed a big and immediate improvement in my energy levels.

Giving up meat is not a sacrifice. Think of it as letting go of a burden. Meat is expensive, spoils easily, is difficult to digest, rarely tastes good unless it is heavily seasoned, and in general is a totally unnatural thing for humans to eat. So think of it as releasing yourself from a huge ball and chain. Your body, the animals, and the environment will thank you for this huge gift of liberation to yourself and everyone else.

Look, let me be very blunt here … if you don’t have the willpower to stop murdering, how are you going to make any other real changes in your life? This is where there simply is no replacement for my advanced version of EFT tapping. We have a lot of free videos here for you to get started: http://erikaawakening.com/start-here

“But eating meat is in my genes or my blood type.”

Baloney. If you need to release limiting beliefs, learn how to tap starting right now. Even if you believe in “evolution,” you are descended from vegetarian primates and were never designed to eat meat. Modern-day meat is even worse as most of it is full of antibiotics, disease, chemicals, hormones, and other crap that is slowly killing you. Modern-day meat is associated with a host of health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. You’re going to be healthier without it.

eft tapping for weight loss“I won’t be strong enough without meat.”

Baloney. If you need to release limiting beliefs, learn how to tap starting right now. Since I gave up meat, my body looks and feels healthier and stronger. I certainly was not getting these effortless muscle tone improvements before tapping and a non-meat diet. There are even a large number of highly successful vegan body-builders. So stop with the excuses and start loading up your grocery cart with organic produce – fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes. Then just see how much more easily the fitness comes to you.

Worried about getting enough protein?  Don’t be.  You can get plenty from plant-based foods.  Learn how to source protein from legumes and nuts and whole grains.  Soy is another option but not actually necessary for those who don’t like soy.  If you do use soy, be sure it is GMO-free and organic or God knows what you’re actually eating.

Also please do not underestimate how much your strength is being depleted by the guilt of eating meat, dairy, eggs, and non-organic foods.  All that death you’re contributing to is going to create unconscious guilt, and that is going to be horrible for your health.  Choose life, for yourself and our fellow beings on this planet, and be surprised how much stronger you feel.

“I won’t have high enough energy without meat.”

Again, baloney. Now if you stop eating meat and continue eating a depleted processed typical American diet, then yes you may indeed suffer a lack of energy. It has nothing to do with not eating meat, it’s the result of a holistically unbalanced lifestyle and crappy diet.

If you’re not eating meat, be sure you get enough iron, B vitamins, vitamin D, zinc, and other nutrients. If need be, you can include some supplements in your diet. I personally love this Floradix supplement (Iron + Herbs, 17 fl oz liquid), and this nutritional yeast (Nutritional Yeast Flakes) is loaded with protein and B vitamins including B12. Nutritional yeast can be used in a variety of foods for example cashew cream “cheese,” as a “cheesy” topping for popcorn, and in pesto to replace parmesan or other cheese.

Vitamin D can be obtained naturally through exposure to sunlight, or by eating mushrooms. I have heard you can even “super charge” the vitamin D content of your mushrooms by laying them gills up in the sunshine for a few hours before eating.

“I can’t afford good food.”

Look, this is more baloney. Given the disastrous health consequences of eating a crappy, unethical diet, I would suggest this be re-framed to “I can’t afford to eat anything except organic whole foods.” Do you want to invest in good health now or in catastrophic medical bills and disability later??? That’s the choice we are making here. If money is an issue, for goodness sakes How to Attract Money with EFT Tapping. It has created abundance for lots and lots of people by changing their subconscious beliefs and it happens now for a limited time to be on a sale – get it here – How to Attract Money with EFT Tapping

tapping for weight loss“How will I eat in restaurants?”

Well, most likely you’ll be eating a lot less in restaurants. Truth is, eating in restaurants is highly problematic because we do not really know what they are putting in our food. Invite people over for dinner. Start creating organic whole foods at home. This past week, I made vegan pesto, vegan mushroom gravy, vegan hummus, vegan banana whole-grain pancakes with organic maple butter, abundant smoothies, and vegan falafel with hummus and hot sauce on whole grain bread with greens. My weight is stable at about 109-110 pounds. All those health and fitness goals you had that never came true? This is the secret. Organic vegan lifestyle through home cooking, combined with my advanced version of EFT tapping.  Nothing else worked for me.  I tried everything under the sun.  This works.  And it’s effortless and delicious.

And if you must eat in restaurants, start talking to the staff. Asking the waiters and chefs what their organic vegan options are. The more of us who do this, the more these restaurants are going to get the message that they need to change their ways and start providing only wholesome ethical food on the menu.

“I’m emotionally attached to my favorite foods.”

Look, I get it.  I was a cheese-aholic and had sentimental attachment to turkey dinner for Thanksgiving and all the rest of it.  These attachments are not healthy.  They are killing you.  Again, there simply is no substitute for my advanced version of EFT tapping.  It helps to release us from unhealthy attachments.  And again, it’s easy to create new “comfort foods” so you won’t feel deprived.  I am amazed how much the non-dairy cream cheese tastes exactly like the dairy version.  I am blown away by the fact that I don’t miss cheese.  Now when I make a black bean burrito, I smear it with homemade hummus instead of cheese.  If anything it has more flavor and nutrition than it did before.

“How will I get enough calcium?”

There is more and more data out there suggesting that calcium from animal milk was never really good for us anyway.  Calcium from leafy greens like kale is more easily absorbed by the body anyway, so add kale generously to pesto and smoothies, salads and burritos.  Make sure to get enough vitamin D from mushrooms and sunlight.  And if you’re still concerned about it, stock up on vegan supplements like these from Amazon (Deva Vegan Vitamins). If I’m not sure I’m getting enough, I might throw a few tablets in my smoothie so it gets ground up with all the organic produce and is easier to swallow and digest.

“I don’t know what recipes to use”

Need inspiration? This is easy. Either use your Google search and run searches for “vegan ______” such as “vegan pesto.” Or invest in a couple of highly-rated vegan cookbooks on Amazon.  Or both.  I got these two vegan cookbooks and am very happy with them: Crazy Sexy (150 Plant-Empowered Recipes to Ignite a Mouthwatering Revolution) and Raw Vegan (400 Raw, Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipes). Not only will the cookbooks give you recipes, they will also let you know what nutrients to be aware of and which staples to stock up on in order to make cooking easy and fun.

“Cooking for myself is too time-consuming”

Yep I hear you. This one kept my eating options limited for quite a while. Then I finally got it. The key is getting a few key cooking tools and using them every single day. The first one I invested in was a blender (absolutely love this one – Breville Hemisphere Control Blender). The one I resisted forever was a really good food processor. I cannot recommend highly enough becoming friends with a good food processor ASAP. It opens up the world of homemade pesto, hummus, falafel, and much more … I only wish I’d done it sooner. I have one very similar to this and love it: Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor, Brushed Stainless Steel.

Believe it or not, by stocking your vegan kitchen with staples such as canned and/or dried garbanzo beans, sesame seeds, tahini, spices, and so forth, and learning a few simple recipes, you’ll actually find that you spend less money and time dealing with food and have more time and energy to focus on other pursuits … It’s true.

(By the way, yes the Amazon links are affiliate links, and I only recommend products that I use and love.  My total lifetime commissions on Amazon so far are $1.90 lol.  By purchasing through my links you can help to support the writing of future articles like this one – so please use the links with my thanks :) ).

Well, that’s enough myth busting to get us started here.  If you have questions or requests for further articles and information, please leave them in the comments section of this blog post.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to go feast on homemade organic buckwheat pancakes with organic pumpkin, pecans, and maple butter :)

Please do not miss these additional resources:

The 30-Day World Peace Challenge at http://erikaawakening.com/peace … it’s free and will help you become more congruent with becoming vegan

The 30-Day Eternal Youth Challenge for reinforcing life-serving beliefs at http://tapsmarter.com/eternal

The 30-Day Health & Fitness Challenge at http://tapsmarter.com/health for enhancing health, losing weight, and turning on your “health intuition” to make better choices for yourself and your body

End Guilt & Self Punishment with Our 30-Day Challenge at http://tapsmarter.com/guilt

Love,

Erika Awakening, Teaching People How to Create Everyday Miracles at TAPsmarter

Erika Awakening is one of the world’s foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and living life on your own terms.

About the Author:

Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening

If you liked this article, you will LOVE Erika's EFT tapping video products and coaching ... Get Started Now:

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Comments

  1. I really need to start eating more vegetables and raw fruits. I know that I’m heavier than I should be.

  2. Interesting and something to consider. I will be looking for nutritional yeast next time I head to the natural grocery store.

  3. Hans says:

    Are the vegan foods recommended in this blog page organic as well?

  4. I’m not vegan, but I try to eat as healthy as possible. Less red meat, more fruits and veggies, and tofu! :)

    • That’s good, because vegans live longer. Eating meat causes all kinds of preventable health problems. And consuming animal products of any kind supports unspeakable horrors and cruelty on this planet and is destroying our planet very, very quickly. So the more people who realize the immense health and conscience benefits of a vegan diet, the faster we are all going to get healed :)

  5. Melanie Roberts says:

    What a great post and totally a treasure for someone starting out… I've never been a big meat eater, so this would totally work for me… now to convince my family… thanks for sharing

  6. I’m not a vegan and I feel no guilt about not being one at all. I will say it’s great to see more options being offered out there in restaurants and stores for those that choose that lifestyle.

    • Hi Val, thanks for stopping by. I wasn’t a vegan either for many years. I just hadn’t really given any thought to the impact of my choices on other sentient beings. When I was confronted by a vegan one day over lunch, at first I was very angry and defensive that he was calling me out on this. The more I thought about it though over the next few months, the more I realized he was right. I simply could not justify participating in this horrific cruelty and violence and death and suffering to eat meat. So I stopped. Thank you again for sharing your perspective.

  7. Michele says:

    I am not vegan nor do I plan on being one. My motto is everything in moderation. Admittedly I do not eat as much red meat as I used to-or even chicken. There are times where my body craves red beef and usually that is when my body actually needs it. Humans are omnivores!

    • Hi Michele,

      Thanks for stopping by. Actually humans are descended from vegetarian primates, if you believe in evolution. Many people don’t realize that the nutrients we try to get from meat are actually better sourced from plant foods. Iron for example you can get from watermelon, hummus, nuts, seeds, prunes, and many other plant sources. The “craving” for red meat is actually a craving for a nutrient.

      Many people also don’t understand the health consequences of eating animal products. Vegans live longer by a significant number of years. It’s worth getting yourself educated on the heavy costs of eating animal products.

      cheers,
      Erika

  8. Erica says:

    I went through a period where meat completely repulsed me in any form. I really do enjoy vegetarian dishes!

    • Hi Erica, thanks for commenting. There really are some great vegetarian and vegan dishes. In fact, it’s mostly the spices that make a meal anyway. Hummus is such a fantastic meat substitute. Tasty, complete protein, and full of nutrients and fiber. I eat it nearly every day :)

  9. Theresa says:

    As an ulcerative colitis sufferer, many of these healthy options actually cause my colon to bleed. Nuts, many veggies (especially salad!) and such, my body can’t handle. If it weren’t for the white meats, like chicken and turkey, I’d probably starve or bleed myself to death. I was able to successfully switch to almond milk, which I did find that I actually love more than dairy milk. I am glad you are finding the vegan diet to work for you :)

    • Hi Theresa,

      Thanks for sharing. I don’t know if you’ve seen some of our other articles. I have seen a great many such symptoms disappear with tapping. I used to think I couldn’t type on a computer keyboard without chronic pain. Well, now I run an online business and use a computer constantly. I no longer have pain. It turned out the pain was mostly from emotional issues …

      Examples: http://erikaawakening.com/prayer-healing-strength

  10. Terry says:

    I am not vegan, but I don’t eat a lot of meat either. When I went on the candida diet, I had to learn a whole new way of eating….. no junk food for me. I kind of like the way I am eating now, although I do miss some foods every now and then.

  11. Scott says:

    I don’t think I could ever eat vegan, but we did convert to clean eating a couple years ago and saw an amazing difference in our energy levels.

    • Hi Scott, I didn’t think I could go vegan either … one of the benefits though is I eat a lot healthier. When I was eating meat and cheese and eggs, there was little room in my diet for veggies and fruits and nuts and seeds. I get a lot more fiber, micronutrients, and so forth now. Thanks for stopping by.

  12. I must admit I am not a vegan. Your posts are very interesting though and definitely make a person wonder.

  13. chrissy says:

    This is something I’d actually like to try out. I love eating meat but looking at all the advantages and health reasons to try this I really want to give it a go!

    • Hi Chrissy, thanks for stopping by … yea I have to say in general I feel much better not eating animal products … It does take a little getting used to and eating out becomes a more conscious choice for sure. I cook at home more now. Let us know how it goes :)

  14. amy says:

    No meateater can get away from this subject. Consciousness is changing, and the outcome is sure. I hope more healers begin to lead the way. They will catapult by leaps and bounds in their healing experiences. It’s a wonder we heal at all causing so much pain to others. The dairy industry alone is horrific. But then again, the outcome is sure and that’s why some of us have arrived at this awareness already. Blessings to you…

    • Erika Awakening says:

      Yep it’s horrifying that people are so oblivious to their own well-being that they don’t all stop consuming animal products immediately. It’s horrifying to me that so many so-called “healers” have no understanding of healing. In the end though, it’ll all be corrected. The outcome is indeed certain.

      • Kate says:

        Unfortunately you sound very confused. You are always so certain about things you say, but then you change your mind and begin being mean to vegans in general. Something must have happened to make you hate us so much and for that I am sorry. I pray you go back and reread your posts on veganism and eventually come back to at least a vegetarian lifestyle simply because I want what’s best for all of mankind and for this beautiful planet we call home. Blessings.

      • I’m sorry, it must be hard fighting millions of years of human evolution, so I’ll pardon your comment.

  15. amy says:

    I love this article. I became vegan “accidentally” and easily with no withdrawals at all (even I drank tons of cream daily and put cheese on everything). Spending a little time each day learning about factory farming is a great way to be an effortless vegan. In time it was impossible for me to eat or even look at meat and dairy foods without feeling an effortless distaste for them.

    However then I started feeling “guilty” that I didn’t really have the inspiration most of the time to make gorgeous vegan meals with robust flavor profiles, lol. Wilted spinach in oil and sea salt makes me salivate for example (my former meat and potatoes self is shocked by this). I got over that after reading Carla Golden’s statement, “Make your meals as simple as you’d like your life to be.” All that to say, I have been fascinated by how veganism, simplicity, better health, more energy, more focus and more peace have all come hand in hand for me.

    My background is legal research and techwriting, and I carefully researched health detriments of veganism before taking the plunge… and was floored that the research shows the exact opposite. We share 100% of important physical traits with herbivores (not omnivores!) including that we don’t even have the right pH to digest meat and it rots through the length of our guts. “Milk it does a body good” and “Beef it’s what’s for dinner” are horrific marketing ploys we’ve grown up with. The most surprising thing for me is my stomach never growls anymore and I just feel consistently great. My working theory is that since meat and dairy are allergens, the stomach growls nearing mealtime because it is begging for nutrients, not food. Once you start giving it nutrient-dense foods it doesn’t beg anymore or give you headaches or bloating or generalized aches and pains. Two other surprises are that my daily miserable dust allergies have gone away, and I now don’t need any days off between workouts because no matter how hard I feel like working out (can hardly stop myself with my new energy level), I don’t have any painful lactic acid in my muscles anymore (from dairy I assume, and meat toxins perhaps). This diet is a win-win-win-win for animals, personal health, remedying world starvation, and canceling out devastation to the environment and resources. I hope everyone googles factory farming and at least starts to learn about what they are voting for with their wallet. Thanks for posting on this topic…

    • Yep on every level … exactly … we have found the place where self-interest and other-interest have merged into one. And that is what Oneness means, though still very few so-called “healers” seem to get it yet …

      • amy says:

        So true Erika. And funny you mention that, this topic has become one of my top chances to put non-judgment into practice. At first it was terrible going into restaurants and being around so much representative suffering, with nonchalant people eating the flesh of others. Now my emotions about it have stabilized and it is easier not to judge BUT I’ll make innocent comments about my own reflections, and meateaters will sometimes tell me weeks later that it got stuck in their mind (like your blog will :). The truth never returns void. I love what you wrote above, that the sacrifice is EATING meat, NOT giving it up. What a perfect statement of the amazing suprises waiting for a person who goes vegan. Description doesn’t do it justice, it is better experienced. And with different impact on each person. Mental ruts start to clear and the whole nine yards.

  16. Sarah Jane says:

    You may be a vegan, but you certainly seem obsessed with baloney.

  17. Iztok says:

    Cool article! I like the practical and thorough approach to the matter. I listen to my body what it tells me to eat and of course it changes based on how much my mind intervenes. And the more I decondition my mind the more my body enjoys “green” foods especially superfoods. I found it interesting that when I decondition another deeper level of my mind which becomes restless for time being I tend to indulge in my addictions including meat. To me that is a great evidence that it is not natural to eat meat.

    • Erika Awakening says:

      Yep exactly … I never went on a “diet.” These changes arose organically out of the healing of my mind through tapping and of course through educating myself about the horrors of a meat-based diet. When I stopped eating these things, I went cold turkey with no withdrawal and actually when the foods were put in my face later (like meat left in my fridge or cheese), I found them totally unappetizing. This is the biggest benefit of focusing on internal healing instead of focusing on “external fixes.”

  18. Clara says:

    I’m conflicted. Morally I want to go vegan, but barbecue season in the South is no joke. Hopefully I’ll kick my meat habit in the near future.

    • Erika Awakening says:

      Hi Clara, my suggestion would be to find an emotional substitute in the transition. Veggies on the grill taste fantastic. Find some awesome marinades or vegan barbecue sauce, and stock up on your favorite organic vegetables … grilled zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, onions, with some awesome spices and sauces served on grilled whole-grain buns with some hummus and vegan chimichurri sauce … I bet you won’t even miss the meat … It never tasted good anyway. It’s the condiments that make the meal.

      • Erika Awakening says:

        Veggie burgers are another great option. I’ve tasted some based on black beans that were better than meat, sincerely.

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