Is Being Vegan Hard?

When you decide to go vegan you are obviously going against the grain of what’s ‘normal’.

With that, comes questions..

Surprisingly I’ve only had one person ask me where I get protein from or if I’m getting enough.

The question I’ve been getting most is is it’s hard to be vegan.

When you decide to go vegan you are obviously going against the grain of what’s considered ‘normal’.
I don’t walk around announcing my veganism lifestyle but it comes up, of course, and people almost always have a question or two. 
I’m surprised I haven’t had ANY questions at all about where I get my protein from. 
The biggest question is about how hard it is to be vegan and what do I eat. 
I’m not big on cooking. I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I’m more than happy to pay for conveniences that save me time and effort. 
When I went vegetarian in January of 2019 I didn’t want to have to THINK about how to make up for food nutrients that I might end up missing out on by removing meat from my diet.

So I searched around (Google) for meal delivery in my area that fit my new vegetarian life and discovered Green Zebra Kitchen. This made it SO easy for me! Around that same time I decided I didn’t need to be eating so many meals per day. I started onto smoothies fairly regularly so one delicious smoothie per day, one feast on GZK per day and a few snacks and I was done. That was easy! 

If you’d love to try out Green Zebra I’ve scored you a deal of $15 off your first order. 
Here’s the link: $15 off first order of Vegan Meal Delivery at Green Zebra Kitchen

I’ve continued to order from Green Zebra and also I’m pretty frequently buying food from local vegan places. This has made it pretty easy but not overly “cheap”. I felt the choice I was making was more important than the cost and so I gave myself grace as I learned easier ways to navigate the vegan lifestyle and feed myself.

Overall I’m so very THRILLED with my decision to go Vegan. 

The feeling of not allowing any suffering of any creature in order to feed myself was a really important one once it was triggered in me. I remember after watching one documentary, driving around in my car and crying and thinking “not for me”, “don’t kill or abuse one more animal for ME”.

That’s what make being vegan SO EASY for me.

It wasn’t about whether or not I could have cheese (which I actually didn’t want after the documentary I watched that told me about how much puss was allowed in cheese – literally GAGGING when I was thinking about it as food after that).

It wasn’t about how tasty a burger was and I didn’t know if I could go without. 

It was a simple choice of no more suffering, no more killing and anything that falls into THAT is a hard stop no for me. 

I WISH every decision in life were so easy! 

There are, however, challenging parts of veganism. 

Here are some of the things I found challenging and how I handled them:

1. Coffee

I was a pretty die-hard coffee addict before I became vegan. Veganism changed my coffee habits entirely. My hubby, Matt, used to always buy me a coffee from Tim Horton’s when he would get one, which is often, and I’d drink it up with my half and half cream inside. 

Once I became vegan I immediately stopped the cream, of course. So now my coffee was BLACK. I couldn’t hack it. I didn’t like it black, especially from Tim’s. 

So this allowed me to cut down on coffee, which I now realize was such a good thing. I was starting to get heart palipatations and panic attacks and I now think that was linked to coffee and stress. I no longer get them. 
I’ve converted mostly now to herbal teas with many lovely and beneficial ingredients and I LOVE the experience of tea! 

My favorite right now is Lemon Lily which you can get locally here in Ontario (maybe other places) and also order online here

2. Other People’s Food

While I haven’t had too much flack about my veganism lifestyle, some people are non-accepting of the choice and so it’s a little bit of a situation where I’ve been in a couple of situations where I was offered food that was a bit questionable to my choices. I had to choose between what I would feel like was being rude (and say “no I’m not eating the dinner you invited us to”) or compromise my choices and eat something that didn’t fit my standard of what I’d eat (ie. gravy made from the meat of an animal). 

In these situations I’ve learned to do a few things that can really help:

  • Ask what’s being served so you can decide how to prepare to attend.
  • Bring a dish or two. 
  • Bring condiments. So for any breads or maybe a baked potato, etc, you can bring your own butter or mayo that will compliment the dish and keep you vegan. 

Vegan Potato Salad and Banana Oat-Cookies I brought to my Sister-in-Laws new years family gathering – so yummy and non-vegans loved them too!

3. Changing Relationships and Ideals

There are some people in your life, usually the closest people, who may not understand why you went vegan. They may also be concerned that now that you are vegan you’ll want to convert them to do the same. 

Of course we want this for our loved ones but I’ve found that pushing is not a good idea. 

I have to remind myself that I ate meat and loved dairy for 43 years of my life and no one ever pushed or shamed me to change anything about my diet and I need to give others that same respect.

If someone I love wants to come around the vegan lifestyle they have to decide that on their own and I’ll certainly be there to support them every step of the way if they do!

3. Eating on the Go / Traveling While Vegan

Basically all they have at McDonald’s Canada for vegans is french fries and that’s probably a good thing, lol. 

Even since I’ve become vegan in June of last year (2019), I’ve seen so many new options coming out for vegans on the go, which is awesome. Off the top of my head I know that A&W has a burger and now chicken nuggets, Tim Horton’s brought in a Beyond Sausage option,Subway has a Beyond Beef meatball and I think there are also others I’m forgetting. I know in the us KFC has a vegan “chicken” sandwich and McDonald’s has a Beyond Beef burger. 

4. Shopping for OTHER Products

OH – this is actually one of the BIGGEST challenges. 

You don’t realize how many things have animal by-products in them until you go vegan. 

Makeup, Skin Care, Hair Care, Clothes, Furniture and just about anything and everything need to be checked to determine if they are made from animals.

Just the other day I went off determined to get myself some vegan foundation and I did that – then I told the lady at Shopper’s Drug Mart I needed a brush and cleaners – without even THINKING that THEY needed to be vegan, too! 

So I had to go online and research my purchases to realize the one cleaner had lanolin in it, which is derived from an animal (sheep I believe) and the other has castor oil in it which COULD be derived from animals and you have to check with the company to be sure. So back to the store I went with those! 

4. Sweet treats
Last but not least for those who have a sweet tooth like myself, are finding vegan treats. 
It was actually GREAT when I first became vegan that I couldn’t grab my regular donuts or treats and so I started losing weight just from removing them from my diet. 

But then I discovered vegan treats from the grocery store and it then became a challenge not to become a “Junk Food Vegan”. 

I started buying all the vegan things, all the vegan PROCESSED things, and that’s not good. So when discovering the vegan lifestyle, beware, just because it says vegan that doesn’t mean it’s healthy! 

I’ve given myself a challenge to go as much whole foods in January as possible to really solidify my habit of eating well as a vegan. I’m not being deprived. Just look at these “treats” from this week:

Peanut Butter Cups from Green Zebra Kitchen:

Vegan “Pudding” and fruit. Pudding made from Coconut Kefir, Peanut Butter & Maple Syrup:

So to answer the question “Is Being Vegan Hard?” …. It can be, sure, but like anything in life worth doing you just handle the challenges as they come up, figure out what works best and keep on going. Then you celebrate that you worked out that challenge! 

When I look at life like this even if something is hard that can be a GOOD thing. Imagine how boring things would be if we were never challenged. 😉 

I hope YOU have some wonderful challenges that you overcome like a BOSS and come out on the other side for the better… isn’t that what life’s all about?

Talk soon! 

🙏❤🌱 Angela Wills

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