I met Mahesh Navani when we were at college together and something which he said that he always admired about my lifestyle was the fact that I was a vegan. I was raised as a vegetarian and by the time I reached the age of 16 I had decided to go full vegan, a relatively easy transition given that the only animal foods I was eating were eggs. Mahesh Navani on the other hand wanted to begin a new vegan lifestyle but he had been raised as a meat eater. I helped Mahesh transition to a vegan lifestyle, and it was quite tricky. To use the experience which Mahesh had, I wanted to offer you some tips on how you can transition from meat eater to vegan.
As someone who consumes animal products it is very easy to give your body the protein that it needs and there is an abundance of it to be found in meat, eggs and other dairy products. When you become vegan you will of course be losing all of these easy protein choices so it is important that you plan well to replace what you will be losing. You can find plenty of protein in tofu, tempeh, soy, beans and lentils, as well as some other cereals. There is plenty of protein sources out there for you, but you must be prepared to make the time to find and prepare them.
B12 is something else which vegans often lack because it is usually obtained when your body eats meat. The B12 source here comes from the grass and the feed which the animals have been eating, which you in turn digest. When you are not eating meat however there is no really great source of B12 which you can use to replace this. The perfect answer is to simply take a supplement each day, which will give you all of the B12 that you need. A B12 deficiency is very dangerous so this is something which you need to give a lot of focus and attention to.
Nobody is judging how good a vegan you are, it is a lifestyle choice which many people like Mahesh Navani make. With this in mind then it is important that you don’t beat yourself up if you are struggling, this change will not just happen overnight. Mahesh had a lot of difficulties in the first week and actually went back to a pescatarian diet for a couple of weeks after his initial attempt, in order to pay better and then try again. If you have to eat an egg or a slice of cheese because you don’t have any choice or because you haven’t quite got to grips with your new lifestyle yet, there is nothing wrong with this, as long as you learn your lesson and then try to improve the next time.
As I said to Mahesh Navani during his transition to being vegan, it is a lifestyle adjustment which isn’t easy and which must be worked on, but you will get there.