Transitioning To Vegetarian: Black Vegetarians Offer Their Tips

Black Vegetarians Say Just Do ItThis is the final day of VeganMoFo 2014! Whew! Bloggers around the world have been posting (or at least trying to post ) every day during the month of September. I only missed 3 days out of the month. Now I am tired! You will probably not hear from me on this blog for a week! But I WILL be back to posting once or twice a week with more recipes and information you can use to support your healthy lifestyle.

Today I bring you the final installment of the Black Vegetarian survey results. In this installment our respondents offer their tips for those who are new to vegetarianism and are trying to transition to a healthier way of eating. The top three tips are 1. Educate yourself, 2. Find support, 3. Just DO it!! There is lots of wisdom in here.

To read the other posts about the survey result click here: 2014 Survey.

"Don't eat too many processed vegetarian foods." F age 47
"I suggest that they surround themselves with like-minded people."F age 81
"I would encourage it wholeheartedly. Just be cautious who you tell and how they interpret your decision." F age 54
"I tell people to research what it means to be a vegan, raw foodist or to just internally cleanse. I noticed that some people say they want it and just jump into it and then crave the old stuff. The mind is weak when it does not have a full comprehension of why certain foods must not enter our mouth but if we are not aware we are just eating for taste and give up on the healthy food. Personally, when I was changing my lifestyle I would think of decease and how doctors would lay you on a table to cut you up over things we did to ourselves such as eating large amounts of fat and over consuming sugar. I would rather eat better than to have needles and knives in me. That sounds drastic but it actually helped me do extended fasts and helped my taste buds change from my mental standpoint." M age 49
"Educate yourself, read, read, read, watch videos such as Forks over Knives, You Tube Videos and find group support if available" F age 67
"Embrace meatless Mondays-it is a great global movement, explore different foods and recipes, understand it is a journey and educate themselves" F age 40s
"Be open to a new diet and be patient during the transition" M age 25
"Don't expect perfection from yourself in regards to going 'cold turkey' vegetarian, and if you slip up, then just bring yourself back. After a while, you will see improvements. I used to be a big beef eater. Now, I have eliminated beef from my diet and I have greatly reduced the amount of chicken I eat." F age 50
"Just do it. Listen to your body and do it. Your body will tell you what works and what doesn't. Don't worry about protein and all the myths people will tell you. Also, take control. Don't tell people you "can't" eat a certain thing, tell them you DON'T and if they ask you why, be confident in your reasons and ignore the negativity. Your health will be a testimony to your decision. Oh, and don't rely on meat substitutes. Eat real food." F age 33
"Study." F age 47
"Join a group--the support one gains from like-minded souls is invaluable. Food for the Soul is an excellent website for support. It helps to keep one on track. The second most important tip is to keep a food journal. It is important to know when, what and how one eats. Problems can be identified. Solutions can be found and documented. With a food journal, one cannot fool oneself by claiming that one only ate a little bit." F age 74
"Do it, it will be the best decision ever. Find what works for you and stick to it" F age 24
"Learn about food, food sources and the impact of eating processed food. Get a good education on what it means to be vegetarian and join a support group" F age 56
"Take it one step at a time. Knowledge is power, so read anything that appears legitimate that you can find about the why. Seek counsel, support and a good doctor who agrees with your choice." F age 59
"Join food for the soul.""F age 34
"Do plenty of research." M age 41
"Don't wait! Do it yesterday! And tell your friends to join you." M age 66
"Connect with veteran vegetarians, health practitioners and nutritionist. Anything worth doing is worth doing right." F age 31
"Don't stress about what to eat, do what is comfortable for you. Don't be an ass and make others feel bad about their food choices. Educate and guide others only if they are interested." F age 50
"Dont count yourself out and assume that you can't do it because you can and your body will thank you for it. There are so many options when it comes to recipes. You actually have more variety and can be very creative when it comes to planning your meals." F age 34
"My advice would be to do as much research as you can. Research about the health benefits, the economic benefits, the animal rights, the effect it has on the environment. Research the recipes and the many different alternative options to choose from. Develop your own specific reasons and your choice to be vegetarian will have a lasting impact on you like it has with me." F age 27
"The key to success is planning." M age 54
"Transition with a plan, it's easy to fall into old lifestyle habits." F age 31
"Seek out support groups and don't get dismayed by naysayers" F age 34
"Season your food choices so you enjoy the taste and connect with like minded people. Health is the real focus so remember processed salt & sugar, animals & animal products & not drinking enough water lead to most health problems." M age 57
"Find a doctor or other health professional who can and will WANT TO guide you through a juice fast as the first step to being a raw vegan." M age 57
"Start with one thing. I started with going gluten free and eliminated all wheat/gluten products. Then I quit dairy, and finally all meats. It was a process that took me about 8 months." F age 42
"Do research and talk to long-term vegetarians." F age 52
"Listen to your body! Take steps into becoming a vegetarian/vegan. Do your research. Make it a part of your lifestyle. Know and believe in the reasons why you want to live a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle." M age 41
"Try a few meals weekly. See how you feel not being stuff with flesh. Realize the health benefit. Read about what you are putting in your body and give yourself living foods."M age 50
"Stick with it and get back on track if you revert to old habits." F age 60
"Take your time and do some research" F age 62
"Just do it!" F age 38
"start slow, adding in the fruit and veggies that are good for you first" F age 57
"Just do it!!!" M age 54
"Take it slow. Give up 1 thing at a time. Also arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible. Prepare for a drastic change. Your energy levels will shot through the roof. READ ALL INGREDIENTS ON THE FOOD YOU EAT AND RESEARCH THE WORDS YOU DO NOT KNOW. It will probable scare you to discover the crap allowed in our food."F age 45

So that's it from the Black Vegetarian survey and Vegan MoFo! (I know I said I would share who some of these folks are and their businesses, but this post is long enough as it is. I will share I promise!)

Do you have any other suggestions for veggie wanna-be's?

Ama Opare on EmailAma Opare on InstagramAma Opare on PinterestAma Opare on Twitter
Ama Opare
Lifestyle Coach, CEO at Opare Institute
Supporting you by bringing you flavorful and satisfying vegan and raw vegan recipes, inspiration and online training and one-on-one coaching to help LOVE YOUR VEGAN LIFE! I am an educator and revolutionary who has teamed up with my physician/dietitian husband, Nana Kwaku Opare, MD, MPH, CA, to address the growing health problems in the Afrikan/Black community by building a Nation of Black Vegetarians and Vegans.

4 comments on “Transitioning To Vegetarian: Black Vegetarians Offer Their Tips

  1. Hello Ama,
    Several of the comments mentioned “join a vegetarian group.” Do you know of a friendly and productive group in the South Atlanta Area?

    Thanks,
    BA Williams

    • BA Williams I recommend looking for events and activities where you can meet other vegetarians and learn about existing or newly forming groups. Check out events at Sevenanda, Tasili’s Raw Reality or look for groups on Meetup.com. Look for alternative holiday gatherings and vegetarian cooking classes or demos. Some health coaches or other wellness practitioners may have groups as well. Our group for example is for people who have participated in our classes or been patients. There are groups on Facebook as well. As you make the change, you are likely to see a change in the circle of people around you.

  2. Thanks for creating this subject on your blog, as it provides a great reference for those who are not quite sure how to go about making the change. It also provides a reference for vegans who are educating others on the lifestyle. Sometimes,people want to hear from others outside the main source that’s delivering the message.

    • It is my pleasure Charla. No matter our status, newbie, wanna-be or long timer, we all can use support. Thanks for sharing our site with others and helping to build the Food Revolution!

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