It’s been almost 3 months since I decided to stop eating animal products. While, this is still a learning experience for me, I thought it would be useful to provide some tips on living in a split home. These are simply some things that I found helped me transition, especially when you constantly have the standard american diet floating around under your nose. And in the back of your mind tickling your every thought. I would definitely have to say, this was the hardest part for me. It was (and still is) so hard to try transitioning when you’re watching someone enjoy all of the old foods you used to like. I tried so very hard to find some tips regarding this subject….surely I am not the only one going through this??? I couldn’t find ANYTHING! Maybe I didn’t look in the correct places, who knows? Here are some tips to survive a divided home!
Research this lifestyle. Research ANY and EVERYthing! Educate, educate, educate yourself! Be ready to answer ALL questions they are going to have! Have the knowledge ready to give your significant other (or roommate) when they ask. I surprise myself so much when my s.o. begins asking questions, you might too!
Hear me when I say this….you HAVE to know why you’re doing this. Write that reason down, store it in your brain, yell it, write it on your mirror in lipstick, put it on your fridge. Listen, whatever you need to do! REMEMBER this reason(s)!! Cherish this reason(s) like you grew it in your womb for nine months and gave birth to it. I’d have to say, this is one of the bigger reasons I think I was able to do it! Your mind is a tricky thing, and once you realize how to trick your brain….WOW the things you can do! Personally, I would sometimes have to dismiss myself from the room/area/situation, so I could remember my reason. Sometimes my mind would take over, and I would get so close to biting into a “delicious” looking taco/burger. I would quickly dismiss myself, and quietly say why I didn’t really want to eat that animal. To my surprise, yes, it really is THAT simple. And once you fully catch on to that simplicity, it gets easier to say no!
- GET RID OF THE JUNK
Yes, you read that correctly. Get rid of the junk. Now, I realize this is an issue because we do have a meat eater that still likes to enjoy the junk. Simple solution! What I did – I simply picked one cabinet (this just happened to be all the space I need), and stuck to it! I moved all of my plant based options to this cabinet, and that was it! See, if i’m seeing all the junk, I’m more likely to reach for the junk. Even though I know I really don’t want it, sometimes it just happens. This is probably a key point. This is what physically helped (once i got past the mind games of course). This kept me from reaching for all of the processed junk, and I’m so so happy I heard someone mention this as an idea. (I wish I remembered where i heard this so i could give credit where it’s due, but I’m sorry I don’t!)
- Don’t punish yourself
I know we want to do well, but punishing yourself is always going to have consequences! I am not an overnight Vegan (kudos to those of you that are!), so it took PLENTY of trial and error! Mistakes happen. Mistakes happen. Mistakes happen. Mistakes happen. Mistakes happen. Mistakes happen. Mistakes happen. You get it? Don’t punish yourself because you accidentally ate something with some dairy in it. Recently, I bought some “Go Veggie” Cheese. Thinking this was completely free of animals, I began to eat it. Of course, my luck, I didn’t realize it had any dairy in it, until I was about halfway through the bag. It isn’t the best feeling to realize this, but it isn’t going to do you any good to punish yourself. What’s done is done. That’s it. There’s no turning back, and there’s no going back. Just deal with it, learn from your mistakes, and move on.
- Involve your significant other
While I believe it is very important to experience this journey on your own as your journey, it’s nice to have the person you share a life with be involved. Let them pick out some things too. Let them pick off your plate. Let them try as many sips of your smoothie they want. Let them try your sprouts, and let them yell about how your sprouts taste like literal grass. I remember after the first official shopping trip, my s.o. was so excited to pick out different types of greens. (romaine, head of lettuce, collard greens, kale, spinach, baby spinach, etc.) He loves salads, and this was something that excited him! Wanting to get at least one good meal in him, of couse I was all for this! Eventually this grew to more! This turned into him being more open to trying new things with me. After seeing how I did, this turned into him wanting to make healthier decisions. Maybe this will eventually eliminate the divided home, but until then, I support his choice (as he has supported mine), and love him no matter what.
- Focus on saying YES!
One last thought, and keep this in mind. Add to your diet before you begin taking away from your diet. A negative attitude is sure to get you down! Try focusing on all the good you’re eating, not what you won’t be eating in time. Focus on saying YES! to fruits & veggies, instead of focusing on saying no to animal products. I always gave myself the option to eat animal product if my body seriously felt the need because I was, personally, more focused on “WOW!! Look how many greens I’ve had today!!” or “WOW! I ate half a watermelon for breakfast and it was GREAT!” Think of the good you’re adding instead of the bad you’re getting rid of!
I hope these tips are helpful, even just a little! These are just a few things that I found helped me! It’s not easy to transition from a standard american diet to a plant based diet, but it’s especially hard when you live with someone who isn’t doing the transition as well. Please feel free to leave any feedback, I would definitely love to hear it! Do you have any advice for anyone that may be reading this going through the same thing? What helped you? Did you try any of these tips, if so, how did it help you? What did you do to personalize any of these tips? Let me know below! Hit that follow button, and I’ll see you soon!