Being vegetarian is one thing, but cutting out eggs, milk, butter and cheese is another, especially when you come from a large Italian family like me.
I have been contemplating the idea of going vegan for a few years now. I mostly eat vegetarian; however, I am not a full blown vegan. The idea of going vegan sounds great as I think about all of the health benefits I will gain, the more energy I may have, the better I will feel; however, there is simply one issue: I love all food.
Below, I am going to cover 5 important things you should know before going full blown vegan. This comes from my personal experience of being friends with multiple vegans, as well as living in the beautiful state of Colorado.
1.) Giving up cheese is extremely difficult.
When you grow up in an Italian family, cheese is a staple. From pasta to appetizers, it's always around. Also, when drinking wine or beer, I love to pair a good cheese. You must realize to, you are giving up pizza. Vegan pizza, as you know, isn't the same to me, as it never will be. This item would not be easy to give up just based on a few of these statements. Imagine this: Going into your Italian grandparents house and telling them that you don't eat cheese anymore; not possible.
2.) Being vegan is expensive.
Vegan will lead you down the path of consuming only what is "perfect" for your body; therefore, you will find yourself buying only organic, non-GMO, super fresh products. You will begin only buying from farmer's markets, Whole Foods, and any natural grocery store that pops up. This in turn, will lead to a much more expensive lifestyle and before you know it your grocery bills will become your entire pay check.
3.) You will make a big deal out of going vegan.
Let's face it. Once you become vegan, you will immediately start posting to social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. You will let everyone know that what you are eating is vegan. You may become pushy and start to convince friends that what they are putting into their body can be harmful. It's in our nature as humans to make everyone around us aware of our lifestyle, whether it be through words, actions, clothing, social media, the Internet, etc. Being vegan is a big deal, whether you make it out to be or not.
4.) You will impact more people than you realize.
You don't expect your friends and family to change as a result of your decision to go vegan, yet it happens. You don't set out to change anybody but yourself, yet it happens. When going out to eat with friends, suddenly you aren't included in the appetizers that everyone is sharing, nor are you included in picnics or get-to-gether dinner plans. Also, now your family has to prepare a separate meal for you, or alter their dinner plans because of your lifestyle. Trust me, when turning vegan, everyone around you is affected in some way.
5.) Be prepared to be teased.
Get used to it. We live in America, where the majority of people eat bacon any chance they get. Also, any time you grill out expect the meat jokes to pop up, because they will. Laugh them off or try and explain the importance of your diet choices; however, any bacon lover will probably just laugh in your face anyway.
In conclusion, I'm not a vegan just yet. I'm still working my way to become fully vegetarian even though it's been extremely tough for me. I'm expecting plenty of feedback so feel free to share how you feel, especially if you are vegan.