Unsure?

Maestiel

Newcomer
Joined
Sep 23, 2019
Reaction score
5
Age
26
Location
Hell
Lifestyle
  1. Omnivore
I'm not sure if this is the right thread for this, so I apologize.

I have been going back and forth on attempting to be vegan/vegetarian for years. I am just not sure if it's something I could do, for various reasons. I hate the idea of trying it just to fail, and due to mental health reasons I am awful with change to begin with. Every time I think about it, I honestly just get overwhelmed.

Is it a okay to just sort of, dip your toes in to vegan/vegetarianism? As in like, start trying to limit meat/animal products from my diet, maybe try to have one or two meatless days a week, but not fully commit to it at first? I'm not sure if that makes sense. I'm not in a financial place to completely change my diet currently, and I know myself well enough to know that if I try to do it overnight I would fail miserably.

I guess I'm just looking for some advice on some small things to do, and ways to make the transition smooth as possible.
 

Lou

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Reaction score
12,116
Age
67
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Is it a okay to just sort of, dip your toes in to vegan/vegetarianism?

Of course, it is.

Also, I think that is a valid question. I can understand why a person would think veganism is sort of all or nothing situation.

I think that is why there is a term vegans use: transitioning

It takes a while to become vegan. There is always a transition period. How long is totally up to you. And there is no reason you ever have to become totally vegan.

Just be as vegan as you can.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dapretz and Emma JC

Nekodaiden

Forum Legend
Banned
Joined
Dec 2, 2017
Reaction score
1,208
Age
49
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
I'm not sure if this is the right thread for this, so I apologize.

I have been going back and forth on attempting to be vegan/vegetarian for years. I am just not sure if it's something I could do, for various reasons. I hate the idea of trying it just to fail, and due to mental health reasons I am awful with change to begin with. Every time I think about it, I honestly just get overwhelmed.

Is it a okay to just sort of, dip your toes in to vegan/vegetarianism? As in like, start trying to limit meat/animal products from my diet, maybe try to have one or two meatless days a week, but not fully commit to it at first? I'm not sure if that makes sense. I'm not in a financial place to completely change my diet currently, and I know myself well enough to know that if I try to do it overnight I would fail miserably.

I guess I'm just looking for some advice on some small things to do, and ways to make the transition smooth as possible.

What do you mean "is it okay"? I think every vegan would approve of a person reducing their animal product consumption. If you must start with one or two days of no animal products and work from there, there is no one who is going to knock that. Now on the other hand if you mean "is it okay to call myself vegan" doing a limited approach like this, I'd say, no, it's not. It is transitioning, and it should not take too long.

Why shouldn't it take too long? The primary reasons concern habits and discomfort. When a person eats animal products, it feeds a certain kind of bacteria in their gut. This bacteria feeds off animal flesh and animal fat. This bacteria is antagonistic to the kind of bacteria vegans have, which feeds on fiber and resistant starch.

So what happens when you eat animal flesh for 2 or more days and then return to eating a higher fiber vegan diet? You get bloating. You'll get bloating eating high fiber until the fiber eating bacteria take hold and crowd out the flesh eating ones. Some people (I know one) never let this process complete and then complain about always being bloated as a vegan. In fact I know when I read about "long term vegans" who said they were "always bloated" I wasn't reading the comments of real vegans, but people who were flexitarian and still ate animal products here and there in appreciable quantities. Then when high fiber is re-introduced they get bloating.

So, yeah, sure - go piecemeal about it if you like. Just know that doing it this way means more discomfort for you and you can never really in truth call yourself a vegan until you give up all the animal products completely.
 
  • Like
Reactions: betiPT and Emma JC

Lou

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Reaction score
12,116
Age
67
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
@Maestiel ,

I thought Nekoldian's first paragraph was totally correct.
but after that, I think he overstated the concern.

Although bloating is a common complaint among new vegans, I think there are lots of vegans who never experience it. And even among those who report bloating, there are other causes than eating "animal flesh".

Switching from a low fiber diet to a high fiber diet is usually the cause of bloating. But it does affect people differently. Some people do everything right and still have bloating issues. I never had a problem with bloating and before I was vegan I was every kind of vegetarian at one time or another. I didn't know that much about diets back then but looking back I would say I was a flexitarian for 15 years.

So my advice is not to worry about bloating unless it occurs. And then you can come back here for some additional advice.

In the meantime, I hope you do go ahead and dip your toes in.

With that said, I would like to mention that there is a good reason to jump right in. Physical and emotional addiction. It turns out there are addictive properties to fat and salt. And a lot of meat products are loaded with those two things. but so are a lot of Plant-based products. Also fat and sugar probably help support the "antagonistic" bad bacteria as well.

Transitioning for too long can also be a type of procrastination. If you are prone to procrastination than you should keep that in mind.

There are at least two strategies for transition that I think can be employed successfully. One, which I learned from Collen Patrick Goudreau is the "meal replacement" strategy. You keep a food log for a week. and then the next week you pick out one or two meals that can be easily veganized. Sometimes you can make a meal vegan by just subtracting the meat. Like removing the ground beef from your spaghetti sauce or taco mix. Sometimes you can replace the meat. Like, replace chicken for tofu in a stir fry. And of course, there are all kinds of vegan alternatives you can sub into your recipes. In the next step, you actually replace a meal with a vegan alternative. Like instead of poached eggs on Sunday morning you have tofu scramble. Or instead of clam chowder you have split pea soup.

This is really an easy thing to do. Even if you start with a 21-meal plan, and just do one meal a week, you can fully transition in about 5 months. but also you don't necessarily have to ever fully transition. Perhaps there is one meal or one food you feel you can't give up. Then stick with that. However, I bet someday you will lose interest in that one too

The second strategy is something I call the "food elimination" strategy. (BTW this is what I did ). Anyway, I started with dairy. Then eggs. Then red meat. Then all meats but fish. The order isn't important and neither is the time frame. Maybe one food a week, or a month or a year. Whatever you are comfortable with.

One thing I would like to add is that try not to look at either of these strategies as a sacrifice or a (can't think of the right word). Instead, think of it as a challenge. Each step you take, no matter how small or how slow is one more step on the path of compassion.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: betiPT and Emma JC

nobody

Forum Legend
Joined
Jul 15, 2017
Reaction score
202
Location
U.S.
The second strategy is something I call the "food elimination" strategy. (BTW this is what I did ). Anyway, I started with dairy. Then eggs. Then red meat. Then all meats but fish. The order isn't important and neither is the time frame. Maybe one food a week, or a month or a year. Whatever you are comfortable with.

This is a good strategy. A good animal product to start with is chicken meat and broth, because this has the biggest impact as far as reducing animal suffering, due to the relative number of animals harmed. If you just gave up eating chickens, it would be kind of like "veganism light", because you would still have to check ingredient lists on products, so it would be similar in that respect, but you wouldn't have to check for and exclude as many animal products as you do when following a full vegan diet.

8973559_orig.png


 

VeganForHealth

Newcomer
Joined
Oct 26, 2019
Reaction score
0
Age
41
Location
St. Louis, MO
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan newbie
I do it for health reasons and it is vastly healthy. Like any diet people slip and one slip-up does not mean that you have to fold entirely. For a coupe years I allowed a cheat meal per month (I love hot wings and Pho. The occasional Dim Sum. Thanksgiving Turkey). I have added the occasional fish or shrimp since I really do it for health and that is what my doctor recommended based on blood tests. Do the best you can. Stick to it the best you can. Allowing a cheat meal once per month gave me something to look forward to and made me cheat less actually because when tempted I would plan to do one of my favorites and had something to look forward to.