In the last few days I have looked at different things I do in order to save time, be happier and generally make my life easier. I hope these tips will help you out too!
- Keep your space positive: I feel that as a vegan it is very easy to get overwhelmed by negativity: videos/articles/pictures of animal suffering filling your digital space; people criticizing and judging your decisions and looking at your everyday choices like if it were their business; and even self-doubt sometimes.
- I became vegan because I love animals, and I do not want to passively or actively participate in their suffering. Seeing animal cruelty videos does not reinforce this resolve: it makes me sick, sad and depressed. I’m not saying that this type of information is not relevant. A lot of vegans made their choice after being exposed to such information, and people should know what it going on. But in my case, the images stay in my brain and create a negative blur that prevents me from focusing, creating and feel good. So, I have taken the habit of systematically blocking groups that diffuse this type of information. It doesn’t mean that I don’t see any of it, but a lot less. I prefer to focus on the positive things about being a vegan.
- With time, I found out that trying to justify my veganism was not a good strategy when faced with people ignorantly and aggressively judging it. When faced with such situations (and it happens), I usually say that being vegan is my personal choice, that each person is different and that this suits me. The discussion usually ends there because I try not to fuel the debate. Over time, I find that this strategy and being a positive example of a healthy vegan helps people not feel threatened and encourages them to be curious, in a more respectful way.
- Self-doubt is normal! I find that every time I do anything, from changing coat to becoming vegan, a fair amount of self-doubt is involved. And it’s healthy too! Without self-doubt, how could we evolve? When this feeling is pulling me down, I look at my cat and think of all the reasons why I became vegan in the first place. This usually does the trick!
- Take the time to meal plan: Sitting down with my cook books once a week and selecting recipes that I want to try out has two advantages:
- I get to really use my cookbooks. It also keeps the meals interesting as I try out new recipes regularly.
- I make a shopping list with only what I need for the week. Like this, I avoid over-buying and waste.
- Buy legumes in bulk and dry: This is less expensive, and it usually involves less packaging: good for your wallet and the planet!
- Prepare legumes ahead: As a vegan, a good portion of my proteins comes from legumes. A good idea is to mix a variety of dried legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas for example) in a big bowl and let them soak overnight before cooking them for an hour or so. It is important to mix them to make sure you have the full spectrum of amino acids everyday: each legume type usually contains only a partial number of amino acids. By combining them you have a greater variety of amino acids which makes your body happy! I store a big batch of these in the fridge so that I can add them to everything all week long.
I hope these are helpful! Let me know if you have tips of your own: I’m always on the lookout for ways to make my life easier!