When I first decided to become vegetarian I was 19 years old, living in San Francisco while I attended a Culinary Art Program Course. My roommates and friends at the time were vegetarian and inspired me to try a vegetarian diet. When I switched to vegetarianism I promised myself that I would do it for two weeks. Funny enough, I had just started Culinary Arts Program and there was A LOT OF TEMPTATIONS EVERYWHERE!
So how did I make it through these tough two weeks?
1. Fortunately – as I mentioned before I had a SUPPORT system that backed me up – which is very important to have when you want to start a new habit or something new into your life. Accountability – is key, because it is motivation, momentum and keeping your words true. It is easy to tell ourselves a goal for an example “I am not going to eat cheese this week…” 30 minutes later passes by – you start to eat cheese for a snack and then we tell ourselves “It's ok, l will start tomorrow.” How many times have we all done that before & not fully completed our goal? HOWEVER if we team up with a friend to help keep each other accountable - that friend will help us attain our goal because anytime when we feel the urge to pick up the cheese- she will be in our head saying DON'T DO IT! There is a part of human psychology where if we do eat the cheese – we will feel ashamed or guilty because we let our friend down by not staying true to our word. That is how I was able to go through those two weeks because I had two friends who were on the same page as I was and we kept each other accountable.
2. Seeking out HELP is OK! Since I was in a Culinary Arts Program, I felt lost of what to eat and what I could NOT eat – I ended up realizing that the food I was eating wasn’t healthy and I was exploring new ingredients, new recipes and I was fortunate that I had the space to explore the world of veganism. I wanted to learn more about the whole spectrum of veganism – so I started to work at a vegan raw restaurant in San Francisco called Café Gratitude, which created PROXIMITY = POWER. If we surround ourselves with people who are on the same wavelength as you – we will be attracting the same energy. For an example, if we want to learn how to transition into plant based/vegan– HANG OUT WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE VEGAN! Just like if we want to be successful in your life – be with people who are successful and inspiring to keep us motivated and heading towards that direction.
3. Discipline- My old self used to despise that word, because I am such a free-spirited person and if you tell me NO – I will do the opposite and do my own thing.
During those two weeks, I made a realistic goal for myself (two weeks) that I knew was attainable and I told all my classmates that I was vegetarian so if I was a caught sneaking eating meat, I knew I would’ve been judged so I instead I set myself up for greatness. At school I would research vegetarian and vegan recipes and created those instead for everyone else to try so they can enjoy it with me! I also went to the farmers market and loaded myself with fresh vegetables and fruits for home, so whenever I felt tempted – all I had were healthy choices and not meat.
4. Consistency is a MUST! Having a routine helps and setting mini goals along the way per day, per week, per month etc.… To lose weight or simply maintaining a healthy lifestyle – doesn’t just come overnight – it’s a PROCESS- so please be patient with yourself. It takes MINIMUM of 6 weeks to imprint a new habit and 6 months to MAINTAIN the habit. It is ok if we are not perfect and we cheat a couple times but do not give up – keep going, every moment counts so pick a new moment and keep reaching towards that goal!
5. Mindset is a powerful tool to attain and even more powerful when we put into practice in our daily life. Mindset is a daily practice – moment to moment. One of the ways I create a positive vibration is writing affirmations on my mirror in my bedroom that says, “I am beautiful!” …“I am strong” because every morning I would wake up to that and feel that energy, absorb it and BELIEVE IT!
My first vegan raw restaurant that I worked at was called Cafe Gratitude and on their menu - all of the meals were affirmations so whenever a customer would order they would have to say “I am abundant” or “I am Magical” - Cafe Gratitude gave me that perception of “I AM” and how powerful it was to say it out loud and what it meant.
As I mentioned earlier – SURROUND YOURSELF who you want to be! Surround yourself with that energy because think of humans are magnets – so what you attract – it will attract you.
There is no magic pill or a fairy wand to lose 10lbs or completely attain a plant-based lifestyle overnight, (trust me I use to pray and wish that when I was in high school) – It is a BEAUTIFUL journey that starts with the first step, from seed to flower to fruit.Through consistency,discipline and self determination we are able to achieve our desired outcome.
After those first two weeks I knew I couldn't go back and I continued on the journey, thus far it has now been almost 9 years! I utilised all the tools that I mentioned previously, to achieve a vegetarian to vegan to plant-based lifestyle. There will be trial and error through the process but this is what we call growth and learning what our body desires of nutrition and energy. Learning to listen to our body is the most powerful gift we can give ourselves. Be intuitive, be patient and just simply be. We are already enough as it is <3