Most people will find out about your vegan lifestyle soon enough, even if you don’t broadcast it. Helping people go vegan is always exciting and sometimes challenging journey going on with someone you know.
As such, there is always the possibility that a friend, family member, coworker, or even a partner may approach you about changing their eating habits.
Since you will be considered the resident expert, they may come to you for advice.
This is an exciting prospect – it means that you have made a difference!
At the same time, it can be pretty daunting since you have to figure out how to help someone else out.
If this is a position that you find yourself in, then this is the article for you.
It will contain all the helpful tips that you need to know about guiding someone else on this journey.
Inform Them of What to Expect
There is no denying that going vegan can have a real and noticeable impact on your body. Now, quite a bit of this is positive.
You may notice your skin clearing up, your digestion improving, and you may have more energy.
At the same time, it isn’t uncommon to experience a couple of downsides as well.
For instance, while some people lose weight, others gain a couple of pounds in the beginning.
They may also not feel completely satisfied with every meal.
And then there are those tidbits that only you know. It could be specific cravings for foods that you give up.
Or, it could even be how certain people in your life reacted negatively to your choices.
Don’t forget to include your personal, real-life experiences as well.
You must cover all aspects of their new, impending lifestyle. By being completely honest, you can ensure that your friend or loved one is making this decision for the right reason.
What’s more, if some unexpected hiccups don’t blindside them, they may be less likely to quit in the beginning as well.
Understand the Need for a Tailored Approach
Perhaps the first thing that you will have to remind yourself of is that every person is different.
Repeat this statement to yourself whenever you want to help someone go vegan.
Just because you altered your diet and lifestyle in a specific way doesn’t mean that someone else will be able to follow that pattern exactly.
This is why you should always do some research before getting someone on the track to veganism.
Consider what some of their tough spots may be. It can often be as simple as someone being used to heavy meals each day.
If you try to replace it with lighter, plant-based fare, you can expect them to be hungry more often.
So, this is a problem you are going to have to nip in the bud before you change someone’s diet.
In short, take the time to listen to your friend or family member. You will learn a lot about them and their way of life.
In turn, you will find it a great deal easier to help them come up with a diet plan that suits them better.
Remember to Start Small
At this point, there is a good chance that you are a card-carrying member of the vegan community.
This means that your food, skincare, clothes, and even cleaning products would also be vegan.
However, if you look back, you will remember that it took you a while to reach this particular level.
Even if that isn’t the case, it is best to avoid overwhelming someone new to this lifestyle. So, while you may want to tell them that there is more to being vegan than just the food, don’t try to change too much.
Keep in mind, for many, simply switching up their food can be a pretty big deal.
This is something that you should do with the diet part of the journey as well.
Some people may find that going vegan all at once can be a bit of a shock. If this is the case, urge them to try vegetarianism for a while.
Once they have adapted to this lifestyle, they may find making the transition to full-on vegan a little easier.
In any case, always check with the person that wants to try veganism. Let them set the tempo for their new lifestyle.
It is up to them to change their diet or routine as they see fit. You need to be there to encourage them on, regardless of the route they want to take.
Help With Prep Work
Most omnivores tend to rely on meat rather heavily. This means that when they do switch to a plant-based diet, they often need to make a rather drastic change to their daily meals.
Since this can often be a tipping point for many converts, it is essential to help them out.
To start with, help them to create a meal plan, at least for the first few weeks. This way, they will not have to struggle over what they can cook or eat.
Furthermore, this kind of planning can also help to open people’s eyes to just how much variety there is with vegan food.
Remember to also include some useful tips about snacking. And while the primary focus should be on nourishing and healthy food, let them in on some tasty snacks and desserts.
As you are well aware, there a lot of fun aspects to being vegan – you should certainly share these.
Lend an Ear
Most people assume that you can’t complain about veganism since it is a choice. As with any other life-changing decision, you can expect some downsides.
However, your friend or loved one shouldn’t feel like they have to bottle these feelings up.
Instead, encourage them to talk about all their experiences transitioning to a vegan lifestyle.
If this means that they need to vent for a bit, then so be it. Of course, if you find that they are focusing on the negative aspects too much, it is time to intervene.
Gently remind them about all the right parts of the changes they have made.
Also, encourage them to share some positive elements or even funny elements of their newly adopted lifestyle.
Don’t Forget About Fun
It is easy to get caught up on the moral and righteous aspects of veganism.
At the same time, it is a pretty fun thing to do once you get used to it.
Make sure to let your new convert in on these too, particularly at the very beginning.
One thing that you can do together is to visit vegan restaurants, cafes, and other eateries.
Make sure to bring other vegans along so that the person can experience a sense of community.
Remind them that there are a lot of new, amazing experiences that they have to look forward to.
Now, food isn’t the only thing you can look forward to. Why not go and visit a nearby animal sanctuary?
In many cases, it can help people who are slowly becoming vegan to see the positive elements of their choices.
Not to mention, what’s better than an afternoon spent with adorable animals?
Don’t Be Disappointed in Setbacks
Your loved one or acquaintance may reveal that they have had setbacks on their journey.
They may have had a weak moment and eaten meat or met some other stumbling block.
How you react to such confessions is incredibly significant. This is especially true when it comes to how that person will continue after their misstep.
You should always be understanding and never make a fuss about their setback.
Tell them that it is entirely natural and that even veteran vegans have moments of weaknesses.
Then, help them to recommit to the choice they made.
Taking such an approach will ensure that people don’t feel ashamed or guilty about how they have backtracked.
Understand That This Lifestyle Isn’t For Everyone
Perhaps one of the hardest things you will have to do is to come to terms with the fact that some people choose to abandon their veganism.
Before you get upset, though, it is essential to realize that there may be a multitude of reasons for this.
For instance, some people do have health conditions that prevent them from adopting a vegan-only diet.
So, while you may have been able to make the transition without any trouble, they may be struggling quite a bit from a health point of view.
You should also realize that veganism may not be financially feasible for some individuals.
After all, in some areas, fresh fruit and vegetable may be rather expensive, especially since vegans have to eat a lot more to make up for the other foods that they are giving up.
Instead of being upset, though, help them find a different way to be proactive in the community.
You can encourage them to adopt a vegan or vegetarian diet for some part of the week. Perhaps you can even make it easier for them in some ways.
You can also show individuals other ways that they can be involved in the community. They can give up leather, fur, and wool.
They can also stop using products that have been tested on animals or use animal products. You can also encourage them to volunteer with rescue animals.
These are all the tips that you can use if you need to help someone become vegan.
It may not be a comfortable journey, but it could end up being quite rewarding. Even if things don’t turn out the way you expect, at least you know that you have tried your best.
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