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photo: iStock

At some point in our lives we have come to terms with being ready for a major change.

Whether it be a haircut, learning to skateboard, or making it your mission to learn a new language, the common factor is that committing to something new can be difficult. 

However, once you've gotten over the hump of consciously choosing to embark on a new life journey, keeping up with this change can be difficult. This is true for people who want to eliminate animal-based foods from their diets. 

According to the Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG), 3 percent of the U.S. population are vegetarian and about 2.5 million people from that group are vegan. And with celebrities from Miley Cyrus to Ellen DeGeneres being vocal advocates of their choice to live a vegan life, more people might find the inspiration to give it a try too.

So if you're someone who is ready to dive into veganism, you might need these seven reminders to keep calm and carry on.

1

This is a lifestyle change, do your research.

Don't make assumptions and only read one article. Really respect your decision by talking to doctors, reading articles/books, and reaching out to others who have been vegan for a couple of years.

You'll learn tons of information that might feel overwhelming at first but will really help you understand everything this entails. 

2

Transitioning your food journey will change your tastebuds.

We're born with roughly 10,000 taste buds and they evolve as we grow older. Marcia Pelchat, a sensory psychologist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center told Bon Appétit that people prefer certain foods because of their relationship with it. “It’s their exposure to it, their motivation, their interest. It’s all cultural stuff,” she said.

3

Stock your fridge accordingly — you don't have to eat rice and veggies 24/7.

If you have the right foods around you, it'll make meals something you look forward to instead of an anxiety-fueled disaster.

4

It's easy to get frustrated in the beginning. Find other people who are trying out the vegan lifestyle and talk to them about their experiences.

With the internet at our disposal, connecting with people has never been easier. You can start off by following food blogs or Instagram accounts and reach out to the people behind the profiles to start chatting it up. 

It can feel like you're alone if none of your friends are vegan, so you have to do your part to make a network of people who are on the same journey as you.

5

It's OK to have a slip-up — don't demonize your actions.

We all make mistakes. If you ate a slice of cheese or forgot to ask the waiter what was in your meal, try your hardest to come to terms with the situation and move past it. It's one big learning experience and you're trying your best.

6

Get creative! The more active you become in trying out new recipes/foods, the easier and more exciting it'll be as each day goes on.

Make Pinterest your BFF.

7

Don't judge other people for not being vegan.

Show them the respect that they show you. Just because you don't see eye-to-eye doesn't make them any less of a human than you.