As of today, I’ve been vegan for one month with literally no slip-ups (that I know of….does anyone *really* know what’s in restaurant food — let’s be real here). I thought I would share some thoughts on how it’s been going for me, in absolutely no logical order whatsoever.
- The variety has been spectacular. One of the most common responses when I say I’m vegan is “you must really get sick of salads.” Seriously, I’ve had maybe 5 salads total in the last month. Instead I’ve been making all sorts of amazing recipes, eating new foods that I don’t normally eat much of (cauliflower, edamame, sprouts), and trying as many vegan restaurants in San Diego as possible. I’ve had delicious potato pizza at Zia Pizza in Normal Heights, I’ve eaten a mock meatball sub, I’ve had thai food, I’ve drank a vegan boba milk tea. I’ve had amazing vegan donuts from both Dark Horse Coffee and Fonuts. I’ve eaten acai bowls, tasty rice & quinoa bowls. I’ve had an all-vegan burrito at Ranchos, along with a horchata. I’ve had almond milk in my coffee, made a homemade milkshake, eaten almond/coconut ice cream, and went to an organic farm stand and realized I could eat literally everything there (and basically bought it all). I haven’t even come close to being bored with food, and it blows my mind that people think that not being able to have animal products is going to limit them in some way. I don’t feel limited at all – I feel creative and inspired.
- It’s very easy. I haven’t even been remotely tempted by anything. It reminds me of when I quit soda cold turkey last year — I was just plain done with it. There was never any cravings to fight, I just decided that I wasn’t going to waste money on something with absolutely no nutritional value anymore. With veganism, once I decided to go for it, I haven’t even considered looking back. While it’s great that my husband is supporting me and doing the vegan thing too, I know that even if he wasn’t I’d still have no problems with this. It’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s enjoyable. It’s brought my love affair with food to a whole new level. And it’s made me so resolute with sticking with it — if I’m finding it easy and enjoyable and it’s better for the environment, healthy for me, and no animals are dying as a result of my food preferences? That’s a big freaking win!
- I feel great. I’m working out 4-5 times per week (mostly spinning & pilates) and have more energy than I’ve had in my life. Ironic considering a number one argument against being vegetarian/vegan is that you might not get enough protein. I’ve lost 5 pounds without even trying. I mean, yes, I’m working out. But I’m actually not working out because I want to lose weight — I’m working out because I need to do something with this extra energy I have. But I’m not tracking calories, I’m not logging things in MyFitnessPal. I’m just eating whole unprocessed foods, avoiding procesesd sugar (I do have the occasional sugary Starbucks drink though), and trying to not eat things that come out of a box. Lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains — that’s it. Listening to my body, eating when I’m hungry but giving myself nutritional food.
- I love vegan cooking! While my husband has always enjoyed cooking meat, I’ve always preferred the vegetables. I love that I can eat everything before it’s cooked, so I can taste it while it’s cooking without worrying that it’s underdone. I love chopping veggies. I love looking at all the pretty colors that natural foods make (the oranges, bright greens, purples, reds, yellows) and I think my dishes look photogenic and pretty (which is why my Instagram is full of pictures of my food – sorry FB friends!)
- The TMI stuff. The gas is bad for me, but I think it’s the edamame or the chickpeas. Or maybe both. However, my digestive system is a lot more regular (read: poop) and I feel less bloated and ‘heavy’, which is totally a feeling that I always felt while on keto.
Things I’m Loving:
- Recipes from OhSheGlows and VeganRicha. Basically all their recipes are super awesome, and they’ve made this transition fun and delicious.
- My new salad spinner! It’s great to store salad in the fridge in it and it dries out my fresh greens so well after washing it. I love it.
- My julienne peeler. I basically make noodles out of everything, so it’s been a real life saver.
- This amazing guide to creating salads that make a real meal. Seriously, read it. It’s changed my salad life forever.
- Overnight oats. The hype is not a lie – they’re quick and easy and perfect for a hearty breakfast that keeps me full all day long. Related to this, I love my new blue mason jars!
- Spin class! I love burning 500-600 calories in a 50 minute workout. My legs are already feeling stronger and I can tell my endurance is getting better by the day.
- The r/vegan Reddit group, and the San Diego Vegans Facebook Group. Both are so awesome and helpful and inspirational.
So, there you have it. If you can’t tell, I’ve really embraced this change and I’m wholly enjoying the whole experience. Would I recommend it to everyone? No, because I try to not dictate what other people should be eating. If someone doesn’t truly want to be vegan, it will be difficult. But if someone has read books/articles or watched movies about where meat & dairy comes from and they’re no longer 100% comfortable with consuming animal products for ethical, environmental, or health reasons — try going vegan. Get yourself a good cookbook, check out some vegan recipe websites and start experimenting and trying things. Don’t look at it as closing the door on foods you used to love, instead view it as giving you the opportunity to be more creative with food choices.---------------
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