Everyday Laurali Star

Life As a Solitary Green Witch!

Laurali
Hi, I'm Laurali! I live in a tiny, seaside fishing village in Florida where I nurture my plants, go hiking in the woodland, and wear flowers in my hair.

Vegan Starter Kit By Everyday Laurali Star

Illustration of woman daydreaming about being a vegan + plant-based eater with fruits and veggies and whole foods all around her

Congratulations!  You're on the road to being a vegan or maybe you already are one.  Either way, getting started with a plant-based lifestyle is easier than you think.

A lot of times, people think that being a vegan is hard, difficult, and trying.  To be honest, I used to be one of those people until I changed my mindset.

Before I go into how I changed my mindset and took a leap of faith into the world of vegan, let's talk about all the reasons why you might like to go vegan!  There are so many.

The number one reason why I decided to return to veganism may surprise you.  For me, the number one reason is the environment!

Most vegans will answer this question differently.  They will tell you it's all about the animals and of course, I feel the same way.  I want to end animals suffering and abuse just as much as anyone else.

However, we've got to come up with our own reasons for doing things and for me it was all about the environment.  Did you know that the vegan diet has the lowest carbon footprint in the world?  That alone is reason enough to take the leap!

The first thing you should do is come up with your own reason for becoming a vegan.  Maybe you saw a video about animal abuse in the dairy industry that rocked your world!  Maybe you want to do it for health reasons.

Maybe you're just like me and you feel a strong kinship with the environment.  Whatever your reasons are, they have to be okay with you.  Don't let other people tell you how you are supposed to feel or what to believe in.

If you do want to become a vegan, great!  If you are still on the fence, know that is okay too.  We are all on different journeys that will eventually lead to the same place.

That being said, let me tell you about my journey into veganism and how it became a rocky road along the way.  In a way, I feel that me going through pitfalls, setbacks, and failures might help you avoid missteps along the way.

Before I begin my story, the first thing I want you to do right now is to take a deep breath in and accept where you are right now in your journey.  Whether you're a meat-eater, a pescatarian, or a vegetarian.  Just breathe in your acceptance!

We all got to start somewhere, right?  Not to mention, after you read my story, you'll see how sometimes our story changes according to the world around us and our limiting beliefs.

I used to think that being a vegan was hard.  Therefore, the universe delivered it as hard, difficult, and not a fun experience for me.  This eventually lead me to convert back to vegetarianism.  This isn't in and of itself a bad thing but it didn't feel like the person I was supposed to be.

If you're considering becoming a vegan, here are some of the wonderful things that you need to know about it.  Never let another person influence your decision.  Do it for yourself, first and foremost!

Reasons to Become a Vegan:

  • It's a spiritual experience.  The cleaner your diet or lifestyle, the closer to the God or Goddess within!
  • It's better for the environment.  Being a vegan has the lowest carbon footprint.  Second in place is being a vegetarian.
  • Ending animal abuse and suffering.  Let's face it: There are some inhumane practices in factories and farming that we need to be put an end to.  There's definitely an ethical side to being a vegan that plays into both the spiritual aspect, as well as the environmental impact.
  • It's better for your health.  It's been proven time and again that a plant-based diet prevents cancer and other dietary-related diseases by a mile!
  • You'll live longer!  Vegans and vegetarians have a higher chance of living longer due to getting more plants in their diet.  Plants are plum-full of rich, vitamins and minerals, not to mention good vibes!  That's right.  Plants are high-vibration foods!
  • You might lose weight!  When you switch to a plant-based diet, you'll naturally shed extra pounds and fat percentage on the body.  If you're already at your ideal weight, becoming a vegan will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight. 
  • You'll feel better.  This goes back to the spiritual aspect of switching to a vegan diet and a plant-based lifestyle.  Eating plants keep you spiritually connected to mother nature while simultaneously healing you on a deep, emotional level.  In addition to that, plant-based foods are on a high-vibration which means you'll feel happy, healthy, and strong!
  • You'll feel accomplished!  Imagine reaching a goal that you never in your life thought you could do.  How amazing would that feel?  
  • You'll become an amazing cook!  When you become a vegan, you are forced to cook or uncook foods within a niche.  In turn, this forces you to be more creative, innovative, and groundbreaking in your vegan dishes.  
  • You'll make the world a better place!  If you've always wanted to do something to help the world in some way but didn't know how becoming a vegan is the ultimate step towards that.  One person can make a difference!  Make it your mantra today.
  • You'll become wise and knowledgeable.  People will look to you for information and guidance when it comes to making dietary and lifestyle changes.  You'll become the go-to girl (or guy) for all things vegan!
  • You'll become a living, breathing example.  Okay, maybe you didn't ask to be a role model or maybe you don't want to shove your beliefs down people's throats.  Guess what?  You don't have to.  The best way to be a role model is to be a living, breathing example of the truth and nothing more than that.  
  • You'll become an environmentalist.  It's funny how one thing can lead to other things.  It's the same when you become a vegan.  You'll start learning about more things you can do to help the environment that has absolutely nothing to do with your diet.  You'll become an advocate for the planet!
  • You'll become part of the elite!  It will be like joining a club where everyone is like-minded, spiritual people like you.  Yes, there are always a few sour apples but not everyone is like that.  There are a lot of really good, laid-back vegans out there who will support you on your journey.  
These are some of the top reasons for becoming a vegan but like I said before, find your own reasons for doing it.  Otherwise, you're less likely to stick with it.  Find out what matters to you the most and look within for your truth.

My Vegan Journey:

Let me tell you a little story about how I became a vegan and what my journey has been like so far.  First of all, I haven't eaten meat in over eight years.  Wow!  Someday, that could be you.

However, there have definitely been some pitfalls on my journey, all starting with my own mindset of self-defeat.  This is another reason I advocate for you to be one hundred percent sure and ready before beginning your journey into plant-based living.

Otherwise, you are going to struggle with resistance and self-acceptance and that's no bueno.  You need to think about your vegan journey in a positive light, which can become easy once you change your mindset and know what you are up against.  

Back in 2012, I was overweight and didn't feel good about myself for the first time in my life.  That January I went to a close friend's wedding and like any wedding party, we took pictures.  The next day, my friend posted those wedding pictures on Facebook.  

When I saw myself, I saw someone I didn't like.  I looked frumpy, chubby, and terribly unhappy.  This was a situation where a wedding picture sparked my weight loss!

That very day, I called my niece and told her that I wanted to lose weight and asked her what should I do.  She told me all about juicing and how a friend of hers lost over a hundred pounds on a juice fast for weight loss.  

I knew it was a sign from the universe!  I didn't waste any time and I started juicing that very day.  Even my niece was impressed with how fast I took inspired action!

Long story short, I lost all the weight and then some.  Within a week, something spiritual shifted within me and I knew at that moment that I could live without meat.  I became a vegetarian.  

A year later, after losing all the weight, I made the choice to become a vegan.  Looking back, I can see that I wasn't fully ready for it but I moved forward with it anyways.

The next year, I tried being a vegetarian for a couple months.  When I say vegetarian, I went all in.  I had eggs, milk, and dairy galore.  Still, I went back to being vegan because of the guilt I felt over my taking a few steps back in my journey.

This time I stuck with it for five long years.  I say long because I struggled with it.  I'll be honest, I struggled with it a lot.  

The best I ever did was when I lived in Sedona, Arizona because I had the support of my niece who was also vegan.  Both my daughter and her daughter were vegetarians so planning plant-based meals and sticking with it was easy.

As soon as I moved back to Florida and spent time with my family, I fell back on my old ways and beliefs.  For some reason, my immediate family has always been a trigger for me.  I'd start by occasionally eating an ice cream cone that was made from dairy and things like that.

This power struggle and the internal conflict went on until 2018 when I finally hit my boiling point.  I hit a stage in my life where I was poor and it became easier and easier to justify eating non-vegan things.  

I will give myself credit for never eating meat, though I've never had the desire to go back to that.  That was my bottom line.  

So, for the past couple of years, I've struggled with acceptance.  I struggled with being the person I am versus the person I want to be.  The person I always knew I wanted to be was vegan.  

Present-day:  I am now in a place in my life again where I'm no longer living in poverty.  When this happened, I felt rich and abundant in all ways, and that included food.  

I could no longer let the ends justify the means.  While I no longer judge the person I felt I had to be for a while (vegetarian), I am finally in a place where I can let go and be fully me again through a vegan lifestyle and plant-based diet.

Just to be clear, I would never judge someone else for being a meat-eater or vegetarian or whatever.  Everyone is at different places in their life's journey.  My judgment has always been that I expect more out of myself and I didn't live up to my own expectations.  

Here's the thing:  It all started with my mindset!  Before this, I have always seen being a vegan as hard, difficult, and something where I got to feel excluded from the rest of the world.  

This perception of it kept me from living up to my full potential as a vegan!  So, I'm going to share with you the steps I took to shift into a positive mindset about being vegan.  

Before you begin your journey, you are going to want to shift into a vegan mindset first!  This will take writing out affirmations and living in the end, which is where you are fully vegan and it's as easy and natural to you as breathing.

While this isn't required for becoming a vegan, it's going to help tremendously!  It will help you to acknowledge and avoid the pitfalls that can go along with being a vegan queen.  

The Pitfalls of Being a Vegan and How to Avoid Them:
  1. Eating Out and Dining Experiences - It can be really difficult, especially at first, to navigate restaurants and dining out experiences.  This includes dates, vacations, and road trips.
  2. Family Get-Togethers - Sometimes, family just don't understand why you would want to become vegan, no matter how many times you try to explain to them.  This can be especially true of older generations and die-hard carnivores.  
  3. Grocery Stores, Medications, and Toiletries - You might be surprised to learn that gelatin (made from animal bones and skin) is in many of your medications and foods.  You might find hidden dairy in everything.  Even some of your shampoos and conditioners are tested on animals. 
  4. Clothing and Accessories - They probably aren't all vegan.  Many of the things you have in your wardrobe will not be vegan.  Don't worry though!  I got you covered.  I'll work to help you handle it in a way that works best for you.  Remember that it's all about mindset and sustainability.
  5. Cheese addiction - Cheese addiction is a real thing!  When you first make the switch, don't be surprised to find yourself having a more difficult time giving up cheese versus meat.  This was certainly the case for me.
  6. Dealing With Tough Questions - When you become a vegan, you become a target for ignorant people.  I hate to say this but it's true.  Only answer questions or give information out if you want to.  Just because you are a vegan doesn't mean you have to be an advocate for everyone in the world or defend your choices.  You have the right to live how you want to, as long as it's not hurting anyone else.  Luckily for you, this is where my vegan affirmations will come in handy!  
  7. Expensive Items - Whether it be grocery shopping or searching for vegan clothing or makeup, you will undoubtedly encounter a price increase.  It's something that a lot of new vegans don't allow for.  While some things are normally priced, just eating more plant-based foods with USDA organic will increase your expenses.  It's a hard pill to swallow but eating healthier is rewarded with being forced to spend more money.  On the upside, your visits to the doctor will decrease since you'll be getting sick less and avoiding diseases.
Okay, now that we've got those out of the way, let's turn those beliefs on their heads!  While all of these things are absolutely true, we can avoid these pitfalls by changing our beliefs about them.  

We want to be able to think about being vegan as a positive thing.  This is what really helped me to turn things around and return to my natural state of being vegan.  

If you are somewhere on the fence right now, consider starting with the vegetarian diet.  I was vegetarian for a year before I ever became a tried and true vegan.  Plus, you can avoid all of the mistakes that I've made along the way and have a positive experience with the vegan lifestyle.  

Again, it's all about changing that pesky mindset of limiting beliefs.  The world tells you something is going to be hard, then you accept that belief as true, and the universe delivers every time.  Why can't the same be true for positive beliefs?

So, I'm here to tell you that if you choose vegan then you are in for a real treat!  You will have a rich, positive vegan journey that will leave you glowing in delight.  Everything will come to you easily and effortlessly!

Why?  Because you will believe it to be true!  I also don't recommend starting until it feels like an inspired action for you.  It should feel like a natural next step in your life.  

That's why getting down these positive beliefs are so important.  You want a vegan lifestyle that is easy and sustainable to keep.

Homework Assignment: 

Write down every fear, worry, or doubt you have about becoming a vegan.  You can use my pitfall list above or create a list of your own.  Now, take each one of your statements and flip them into a positive intention or affirmation.

The point of this exercise is to address all of your fears by getting them all out on paper.  It's only natural to have fears when you are stepping out of your comfort zone and trying on a new lifestyle.

Now, take those fears and beliefs and transform them into positive affirmations and intentions.  I recommend doing this for a few minutes every day for at least a week until you feel like you've addressed every issue head-on.

Becoming a vegan is not for the faint of heart.  It is a commitment but consider this: You don't have to become a vegan all in one day!

You can work on it over time, allowing your mindset to evolve, as you slowly transition into it.  In other words, you don't have to be perfect.

There are some truly perfect vegans out there.  They are called strict vegans.  That doesn't have to be you.

Some people do better with an all or nothing attitude while others need to slowly transition into this new lifestyle.  Both ways of being are perfectly okay.  Simply do what feels best for you.

It's the same thing with the zero-waste lifestyle.  Most of the time, it's a long, slow transition because it's a lifestyle change.  You don't have to be a rock star vegan overnight and no one expects you to!

The other thing you're going to have to adapt to is learning acceptance.  Accept that you're going to mess up sometimes, especially in the beginning.  There's a lot more than a diet that goes into being a vegan powerhouse than the food on your plate.

As far as obstacles, your main obstacle will always be your own mindset.  Don't look at changing your life as something that has to be difficult.  Find ways to make becoming a vegan fun and easy!

Homework Assignment:

Write out a list of vegan lifestyle intentions and positive affirmations and carry them with you wherever you go!  Write things down like, "I intend for being vegan to be easy and fun!"

This works because it seeps into your subconscious mind, transforming your experience into something that is fun, easy, and positive!  If you feel like something is going to be easy, then it will be.  If you perceive it to be difficult, then that's what the universe will show you.

Since I've been writing out intentions and morning affirmations daily, it's truly changed my perspective on how going vegan has to be.  Before this, I had a chip on my shoulder.

I felt like family and friends weren't supportive, so the universe delivered.  I thought that strangers would make me feel like crap about being a plant-based eater, therefore that's what showed up in my life.  Once I changed my perspective on it, things have been running more smoothly on my journey into veganism.

I feel like a lot of time, we jump into things because we have good hearts and feel compelled to.  But, it's helpful to really set up a positive mindset first and foremost, so that we're less likely to fail.  I feel like this can apply to other areas of our life too!

Another thing that can really be helpful when converting to a vegan diet is to leave the label out of it.  Instead of calling yourself a vegan, tell people that you're living a plant-based lifestyle.  It sounds confusing but there is a difference!

Vegan Versus Plant-Based Lifestyle:

The difference between being vegan and a plant-based lifestyle is that a vegan doesn't consume any animal-based products whatsoever, including outside of their vegan diets.  This includes clothing, makeup, and bath products.  It goes far beyond planning vegan meals.

The plant-based diet is almost the same as vegan, pushing whole vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains, while not necessarily living a completely vegan lifestyle.  This includes staying away from processed foods as much as possible.

While many plant-based herbivores adhere pretty closely to the vegan camp, they are not considered vegan because of their overall lifestyle.  It's a more pure yet flexible diet with fewer restrictions.  To be perfectly honest, this is the camp that I fall into.

I consider myself more of a plant-based eater but also try to live as close to veganism as possible, without the label.  The label can sometimes do more harm than good for some people while others need the label to stay in their lane, so to speak.

In this case, I recommend feeling it out and finding what works best for you!  If you want to be a plant-based eater and live as vegan as possible without the restriction of calling yourself a vegan, then plant-based might be fun to try on for size!

You'll still be helping the planet almost as much as a full-time vegan would based on your diet and habits alone.  Not only that but you'll be able to take your time with your conversion to becoming a strict vegan if that's your aim.

I'm a big believer in taking small but great steps to change the world we live in one person at a time.  Follow your heart!

I've read many vegan bloggers that decided to lose the vegan label (and still live the same vegan lifestyle) based on the vegan community.  In this case, these people felt better using the plant-based label to describe their lifestyle design blueprint.

This is because there are a lot of diehard vegans out there that will attack you if you are not living a strict vegan lifestyle.  Most people in the vegan community aren't like that but they do exist.  You've got to find the right group for you.

I'm a big believer in following your heart!  If you want to live as close to a vegan lifestyle as you can get without the restrictions, plant-based eating might be the way to go for you.

I'm going to eventually create a plant-based living starter kit too!  In the meantime, I wanted to open the doors of opportunity up for people that feel ready, willing, and able to go full-time vegan!

I highly recommend doing your research before jumping into it.  Years ago, I regret doing very little research before committing to my super-sweet vegan life.

You can also refer to my pitfalls list when you need to look things up to get more information on how to handle the restaurant experience as a vegan or on places to shop for finding vegan items. I plan on creating some great shopping lists for vegan clothing, slower fashions, and vegan beauty products very soon!

Whether you label yourself vegan or plant-based, you can still try to live as cruelty-free as possible!  You can choose vintage over fast fashions.  You can choose never leather over that leather purse you've been ogling.  It's the little things that make a huge difference!

Living a cruelty-free lifestyle gets easier over time.  You don't have to go into your closet and throw everything out at once.  In fact, I wouldn't recommend doing that all, unless it resonates with you.

Instead, spend some time thinking about what this vegan lifestyle is all about and what it really means to you.  It's about the ethical treatment of animals and living a more sustainable lifestyle.

Use that for self-reflection.  Is it really good for the planet to throw away a perfectly good pair of vintage leather shoes that have been in rotation since the 1960s?  Maybe not.

Pass it on to someone you love or donate it to a thrift store or goodwill.  I would never want to know that an animal died in vain or that I'm throwing away a perfectly good sustainable product.  See the difference?

I used to own a vintage clothing store on Etsy.  I sold a lot of vintage leather purses, wallets, and accessories.  Once I became vegan. it didn't sit right with me.

Instead of throwing the items away, I repurposed them as gifts to family members and friends that Christmas.  I didn't feel right selling them, using them, or having them in my closet.  However, it didn't feel right to just simply throw them away either.

I felt it was best to pass them on to live up to my role as an environmentalist.  You might have a different take on this.  The point is that you have to find it in your heart to do what feels right for you.

This is one of the beautiful things about becoming a vegan.  You'll be making a lot of heartfelt, ethical decisions along the way.  You should always follow your heart when faced with ethical decisions of what you feel is right or wrong.

I always try to keep in mind three things: Slow living, nature, and sustainability.  In fact, this is at the heart of everything I do on this blog.  Obviously, protecting the environment and the animals that live in it is a big part of that for me.

Find your vegan ethos.  Make a small mission statement of three words or phrases that matter to you.  You can use mine as a template to get started.  This will help you make decisions on the clothing you wear, the beauty products you use, and the food you eat.

I hope you enjoyed my vegan starter kit!  I wanted to share something with you that would really motivate and inspire you to make small tweaks and changes before jumping into making a lifelong commitment to veganism.

There are many resources on what it takes to become a vegan, as well as restaurant guides and shopping lists.  Since sustainability is at the heart of everything I do, you'll definitely be getting more sustainable kits and guides in the nearby future.

In the meantime, I wanted to get to the heart of being a vegan herbivore from a different angle.  I feel a lot of people would really like to go vegan but don't have the right mindset to make it happen.  I know because I've been there myself.

There's a lot of pressure to go full-on vegan and for some that works and that's wonderful!  For others, it may take us a bit to get there.  There are also a few of us that hate labels and do better with fewer restrictions in our diet or lifestyle.

I thought it be good to throw out some possibilities and starting points for aspiring vegans.  Something that makes becoming a vegan fun, easy, and lighthearted!  It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

Each day is a chance to make little tweaks and changes to your diet and lifestyle.  You can start with one piece of slow fashion, one cruelty-free lipstick, or a waste-free bar of soap.

The animals will thank you and the planet will be over the moon for you.  Being vegan is a mindset and a state of mind.  Is it right for you?  The only one that can decide that is you!

If you're still on the fence, which is perfectly okay, consider the following options:
  • Plant-Based Lifestyle
  • Vegetarian
  • Pescatarian
Remember, you can always take a leap of faith and upgrade to the next level at a later time!  I have faith in you, my friend.  Make this process fun, easy-going, and lighthearted and before you know it, you might just become a fully-fledged vegan.  Best of luck!

Vegan Resources + Sustainability Gems:
  1. Seasonal Eating: The Magic of the Roughage Diet and Vegan Comfort Foods
  2. Making Friends With Animals With the Vegan Lifestyle and PLant-Based Living
  3. Green Living With the Fairies + Eco-Friendly Tips
  4. The Greener the Better: Zero-Waste and Plant-Based Living
  5. How to Work With Botanicals to Create Flat Lays, Vegan Beauty, and Improve Your Well-Being
If you have any questions or comments about going vegan, plant-based, or vegetarian, feel free to leave it in the comments.  I'd love to hear where you're at on your journey and what works best for you!

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