Being a highly successful vegan is simple but it’s not always easy. While some of us are able to thrive on the lifestyle with minimal effort, it's not common.

The vast majority of vegans weren't raised that way and have to develop and apply effective habits in order to stay on track and overcome the challenges found every day in a non-vegan world.

Whether you're vegan or just trying to eat more healthfully, if you find it hard to maintain, don't get discouraged.

Here are 10 lifestyle principles employed by highly successful vegans to establish a healthy, colorful, vibrant life for themselves:

1. They remain open for expansion and constantly seek ways to grow.

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The key to becoming an effective plant-based eater and vegan is to gradually and continuously discover new ways to enjoy your life every day through little things, like tasting a new exotic fruit, eating out at a vegan restaurant, or practicing a new yoga style.

2. They don’t focus on ethics only (they invest in their health, too).

Raising awareness about animal and environmental abuse is a beautiful and generous cause. But it doesn’t need to be selfless.

Your well-being is crucial: The world needs you healthy and full of energy. Is a potato chip diet vegan? Yes. Is it healthy and sustainable? Definitely not.

3. They aren't too hard on themselves.

Speaking of potato chips, it’s only natural to fall off the wagon sometimes. On your journey, you may eat/wear/buy things you feel you shouldn’t have. But don’t beat yourself up. We're all imperfect and that’s OK. The sooner you accept it and embrace it, the sooner you’ll get back on track.

4. They don't judge others.

Judging and trying to "turn" others is not helpful (quite the contrary). Instead, share your best vegan tips with those who are curious and answer questions if/when asked.

Remember: You used to be on the other side of the fence, so be as kind and respectful as you’d want others to be toward you.

5. They re-empower themselves through regular mind/body exercises.

Living the vegan way has its own share of challenges. That is why it's necessary to stay in touch with our minds, bodies, and souls on a deeper level.

6. They surround themselves with people who understand and elevate them.

Your lifestyle makes you different, and some of your friends or family members may not share your vision and dietary choices. And that's OK.

Get out there and look for "your" people. Connect and tune in with like-minded peeps that will both encourage you to vibrate at the same frequency and share your enthusiasm for vegan ice cream!

7. They regularly practice self-care.

With the level of busyness and stress of our everyday lives, taking care of yourself a little bit every day is non-negotiable. Some quick meditation, a foot soak, or a new yoga pose, whichever habit you're working on, pick one at a time and be fully present.

8. They know it’s a lifestyle (not just a diet).

It's always a beautiful surprise to hear about celebs who “go vegan” by following a plant-based diet. But it’s important not to be confused — veganism goes beyond munching on greens and seeds.

It's about cutting animal products out of your kitchen, your wardrobe, and your bathroom, to the extent deemed possible.

Whether it's to cure illness, restore or maintain good health, or for the good of animals and the planet, make sure you do your research to make the most of the lifestyle.

9. They take pride in what they do.

Recognize yourself for standing up for your health and the world. It takes strength and great courage to be gentle and kind and walk the walk as you do.

Smile and pat yourself on the back: You’re amazing.

10. They have fun and treat themselves on a regular basis.

Celebrating is not only fun, it’s highly recommended!

The good news is there are plenty of ways to do that: How about savoring your favorite tea or indulging in a drool-inducing dish? (Hint, chocolate is vegan!) What are you waiting for?

Want more info on all things vegan? Start here:

Photo courtesy of the author


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