3 Easy Steps to Become Vegan

3 Easy Steps to Become Vegan

Known as Sergeant Vegan, Bill Muir left a cushy job teaching English in Japan after 9/11 to join the Army.

Despite being afraid of heights, he became a paratrooper with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, and served in Afghanistan as a combat medic. A vegan since 1992, he adhered to his plant-fueled diet throughout his rigorous training and deployment. Since his discharge, he has earned a Certificate in Vegan Culinary Arts from Atlantic Union College and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Drexel University. He now resides in Culver City, and works as an RN at the West Los Angeles Medical Center. In his free time, he enjoys weight lifting, travelling the world with The Vegan Road Trip, snowboarding, practicing his Japanese, and cooking. This blog post is excerpted from his book, Vegan Strong.

 

 

Becoming Vegan in Three Easy Steps

 

Step 1Stop eating meat. For some, this might be as easy as it sounds, and for others, this might be rather difficult. Begin by not eating cows and pigs. Once you are comfortable with not eating cows or pigs, proceed with not eating any meat at all. Work at eating more vegetables with every meal, and get excited about how you prepare them. Learn to substitute the meat in your dishes with plant-based proteins (see the cooking chapter for ideas), so you can still make the dishes you love without missing anything at all. Try to avoid eating extra dairy products or seafood in place of meat, as we will be working on eliminating those as well.

 

Step 2Stop eating seafood. Some might call this stage the beginning of being vegetarian. Continue the good eating habits from Step 1, but begin to replace seafood with more plant-based foods, and eat more vegetables! If you are worried you are going to miss eating sushi, never fear! There are many delicious vegan items on the sushi menu. In fact, I usually gravitate towards going to sushi places when I go back to Japan as a visit, as a lot of the the dishes are made quick, cheap, delicious and vegan, and don’t require making substitutions which might confuse a chef.

 

Step 3Eliminate eggs and dairy from your diet. First, congratulations on becoming a vegetarian! This is an awesome accomplishment, and you should be proud of yourself for coming this far. Being vegetarian isn’t difficult, but it does require dedication and intestinal fortitude to change, so be proud of yourself. Celebrate your transition to vegetarian, but don’t get stuck there. A lot of people find giving up dairy products difficult, because they contain chemical compounds called “casomorphins,” opiate-like molecules which makes them highly addictive. I would start by getting out of the habit of eating dairy products by themselves. If you are a milk drinker, choose a plant-milk that works for you. I like soy the best, but if that’s not your deal, you can also drink hemp milk, rice milk, coconut milk, almond milk, oat milk (big shout-out to Sweden’s Oatly), or cashew milk. There are also many different cheese alternatives now, but they might take some getting used to. Most of these taste pretty good, but there will be a transition period during which your taste buds evolve. You have been used to eating and drinking things that come out of a cow’s udder, after all, and since plants don’t taste like cows they will taste somewhat different at first to you. After you have stopped eating dairy products as is, transition away from products that contain them, and begin baking and cooking with plant-based alternatives. Change is always a little hard, but cutting things out gradually will help you ease into the transition.

 

Congratulations on becoming Vegan! Keep up the great work! The rest of this book is written to support you. I’ve got your back.