Want to Go Vegan? A 30-Day Plan to Make the Transition (and Make It Last)
Of all the changes I’ve made in my life over the past six years, none has had such a profoundly positive effect as the choice to become vegan.
This diet and lifestyle have changed me from the outside in: I expected the health benefits and to feel a boost in energy, and I got them. But I had no idea how the choice to put different foods into my body would improve my mindset, deepen my sense of compassion, and increase my willingness to take risks and march to the beat of my own drum. And if you’re vegan or even vegetarian, I bet you’ve experienced the same.
And if you’re not yet vegan? The very fact that you read a blog like this one makes it likely that you at least know where I’m coming from. Maybe you’d even like to become vegan, but have never quite been able to make it work.
In that case, let’s talk about what it takes to make the change — and just as importantly, to make it last.
So here are the three things I believe give you the biggest chance of succeeding in this diet change (assuming you’ve got your own compelling reasons for wanting to do so):
First, a push to go for it.
You can have every good intention to go vegan one day, but it takes a “Ready, Set, Go!” to actually put forth the effort to make it happen.
Second, it takes a plan.
Sure, you can technically “go vegan” overnight — just throw away all your animal products, right? But you can probably guess how long that usually lasts: without the intermediate steps that give you a chance to become familiar with a new type of cooking, and practice ordering from progressively smaller sections of a restaurant menu, most well-intentioned attempts (including my first) to go vegetarian or vegan fail after just a few days.
Finally, to maximize your chances of making the change last, you should know what obstacles to expect and be ready to handle them.
From awkward social situations to unfamiliar ingredients to concerns about protein, iron, and vitamin B12, unexpected pitfalls are responsible for more than their share of “I tried to go vegan for a little while but it didn’t work out.”
The thing is, none of this has to be hard. I’ve spent the last few years obsessing over the most effective ways to change habits, and I believe that going vegan and thriving in this lifestyle can be just as easy for most people as it has been for me.
But it’s a matter of being intentional, not haphazard. Planning and transitioning gradually, not just diving in because you’re excited and can’t wait. (Sure, that approach might work for a few, but I’ve just seen too many people fail that way to believe it’s best way to change anything.)
I’m really excited to see you doing this Matt, and I hope you get a great turnout. I’m sure anyone who listens in will get plenty of inspiration and helpful tips from you.
Very cool. I’m already vegan but I’m always willing to learn more.
Due to time zone, me being in Australia, is there a way to get a emailed version of the plan/webinar?
I’ve been vegetarian for 3 years and have always struggled with transitioning to vegan in the past.
Would really love your help. ?
How exciting! Best of luck with the webinar! Would you please consider doing another after this one? I can’t make this and would love to hear it!
Really excited to read this! Am alteady trying (and think i’m doing pretty well) but hope to glean more from this. If I am unable to catch it (work) will it be downloadable in the future? Thanks! B.J. (Indiana)
I was so inspired by your laid-back approach to becoming a vegetarian that I can proudly say this is my fourth week not eating meat. I can only speak for myself here but, the biggest challenge I have encountered is boredom. I like to cook and I enjoy finding creative ways to adapt meat based meals into no-meat meals. When I run out of creativity, I eat an Amy’s frozen meal. So far so good!
I have to say here that being a vegan cook has been as challenging a creative endeavor as I’ve experienced, and I make my living as an artist. I personally love Thug Kitchen and their cookbook for when I run out of ideas or if I want a dependable recipe for a party.
I hope I can make, while I’m in France, it will not be too late .
OF O can’take it for the postcast. Will it be available on the website later on?
Thanks for doing this Matt. I am desperately interested in how to make this transition. Unfortunately, as it will be 8am my time (Western Australia) I will be at work. I can only hope that maybe this webinar will be recorded and available later?
This is JUST what I need. Yay! So excited. 🙂
If I’m unable to attend the webinar Wednesday evening, will there be other opportunities to listen?
What happy timing! Last week my husband and I decided that it would be a good time to switch to veganism. The next day he brought home a double cheese pizza and said ‘what will we do about pizza?’ We have been vegetarian for seven years: we still eat cheese and eggs and rarely we eat fish with my mother. (that just seems to be easier)
I have had to change my diet four times to accomodate my increasing collection of food allergies. There are only 3 foods I still can eat from my childhood: white potatoes, cheese and eggs.
This weekend I switched my egg breakfasts with fruit smoothies with soy protein powder, ground flax, kale and almond/coconut milk. Loved it! But I craved my eggs this morning.
I don’t know how I’m going to replace the greek and organic yogourt I consume daily. The bacteria in the yogourt keeps my stomach stable and prevents me from getting sick. I’m not into fermented foods and soy yogourt doesn’t work and I’m not into consuming capsules with questionable substances and at an absurd price tag.
I also have a big plate of eggs and cheese post long run. Not sure how I’m going to replace that. I actually crave the eggs after a run. (and a beer! 🙂 )
I don’t personally know any vegans and the people I threw this at on the weekend said ‘what’s vegan?’ oh dear.
I feel it’s the right thing to do at this point. I think we’d like to be completely vegan by the end of the year.
Looking forward to Wednesday’s webinar.
Just sharing– found site w/ vegan AND gluten free recipes! Whaaat~~
it’s ohsheglows (just like that).
I would love love love to hear your webinar but I’m unable to on weds nite
any chance you’ll repeat or offer the recording at request or on your site?
thank you for offering such valuable information!
I love your site!
Ive been eating vegan for the past 6 weeks, and actually havent found it as hard as I thought. Loved the recent podcast on Things I wished I knew before I became vegan :).
Ive signed up for the webinar. Im in Denmark, so ill have to see if I can take time out from work to take part.
Thanks for being fun and inspirational.
I am not available for the webinar but would love to learn more about the 30 day challenge. Will that be available only to people on the webinar? I have been vegetarian for almost 4 years and have been trying to go vegan for about 3 and a half… I can never make it stick! Being vegetarian (let alone vegan) is VERY uncommon where I live.
hi Matt – any chance this webinar is being recorded? unfortunately, 8pm your time will be middle of the night for me, so I won’t be able to listen to it live.
I’ve been meat free for about 5 months now and am seriously considering taking that extra step, so would be very interested to hear more about this transition plan.
Couldn’t agree more when you say that “it takes a plan.” When I went to being mostly vegetarian (which I still am) a few years ago I made the mistake of not planning it out. I quickly found myself in a “uhhhhh……what am I going to eat” phase. After a few days of eating extremely boring food, such as calling a basic salad dinner every night, I challenged myself to cook a new recipe every time I as in the kitchen. It turned out there were plenty of cooking apps which have good veggie options and now I don’t struggle anymore. If I had made such a plan, in advance, I wouldn’t have had those initial struggles. Thanks for putting this webinar on for people.
It won’t let me sign up when I click the link. Am I too late? Or do you think it might be my browser or something?
Good afternoon, Matt!
Although we are not vegan, my husband & I became vegetarians 4-1/2 years ago and would NEVER think of going back. We would love becoming vegan, but have busy work/life schedules and do not cook or bake. All my vegan friends do all their own cooking & baking. We live in Staten Island, NY which is not a veggie friendly neighborhood for food shopping or restaurants. Thinking about joining your webinar to see if there is hope for us!
Also, we are totally non-competitive and would not be interested in the challenge, would it be ok to join and opt out at that time?
This is excellent. I am very interested in the lifestyle but not quite ready to commit but this is an extremely well written approach. I will be sending this to a few friends in the beginning of their journey. Thanks for the great article.
Great to see all the enthusiasm! This is new for me, and I’m much more comfortable writing than talking on camera, but we’ll see how it goes.
For everyone who has asked about a recording: Yes, one will be available for a few days after the webinar. Just sign up for the webinar through the link in the post, and then you’ll get a recording a day or later with the link to watch the recording. Thanks!
I would love to listen to this and learn.
I am a vegetarian and just don’t know how to transition to vegan, I lift weights have kids, so I need to make this work.
I will be travelling the night you put this on and cannot listen in will you have a replay?
Thanks for recording the webinar! It was great to be able to watch and process the information when it was best for me. Can’t wait to try this challenge!
I enjoyed your video very much! Thanks for posting for 48 hours as I wasn’t able to watch the live webinar. I’m so excited for the accountability factor. I’m not preachy about my veganism, it makes me uncomfortable as I don’t care for the attention drawn to me. I always eat my lunch at work in my car as I don’t care for all of the questions. I’m looking forward to the group.
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