“How I Started Going Vegan And Stuck With A Vegan Diet”
Going vegan can be a big change for some people’s diets. But as YouTuber Lauren Toyota knows, it is possible. Here is how she did it.
Going vegan might seem too strict – if you look at it that way
Making the decision for going vegan can seem daunting. Especially if you think about what you can’t eat, as opposed to what you can eat. But for YouTube celeb and blogger Lauren Toyota of Hot For Food, it was something she just had to do. It was her #BHmoment.
“The biggest health goal I’ve achieved was switching to a vegan diet and lifestyle,” says Toyota, about her life-changing moment eight years ago.” Toyota was also one of YouTube’s Women To Watch. “I spent a lot of my life being tormented by what to eat and never feeling good after eating food. I also wanted to achieve a healthier balance with my eating habits and going vegan is what made this possible.” She tells Best Health exactly how she did it.
It’s all about making steps toward your goal
“The key steps were just slowly transitioning animal-based foods out of my diet, starting with ones I relied on heavily like cheese and eggs,” says Toyota. “I started with one meal a day and gradually moved forward from there. By January 1, 2010 I was eating a pretty strict plant-based diet. At the beginning, I wasn’t 100 per cent […] because I was still learning about less obvious ingredients but it eventually evolved to being an entire vegan lifestyle that I adopted in all facets.”
How changing your diet can be eye-opening
“I learned that I was really an unconscious eater and I wasn’t listening to my body,” she says about her pre-vegan diet. “Why would I eat things if they continued to make me feel sick? I think a lot of us are guilty of indulging, giving into cravings, and being impulsive with food rather than being mindful and really honing into the messages from the body.”
Why we have to lighten up about going vegan
“Veganism is an ever-evolving journey and you have to be easy on yourself,” says Toyota. “Even if you just want to eat more plant-based but can’t wrap your head around being entirely vegan just yet, that’s OK. You can still follow a steady transition and be open to learning new things along the way.”
Her Best Health advice
“Just starting somewhere,” she says matter-of-factly. “Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to do everything all at once or trying to strive to some perfect version of what you think being a vegan is. Any small change helps in a bigger way so you just have to be easy on yourself.”
Her next #BHmoment
“My cookbook comes out Feb 27, 2018. It’s called Vegan Comfort Classics: 101 Recipes to Feed Your Face. And you can pre-order it now.”