January 1st, my new years "resolution" was to become a "Vegan", which means no longer eating animal based products.
Those of you who know me, know I have been vegetarian for some time. I would say 12 years or longer. So you can imagine that becoming vegan hasn't been nearly the challenge it would be for someone who has not restricted their intake of animal products before!
The truth is, it is difficult to answer the question of "Why have you done this." For me, anyhow. Maybe other vegetarians and vegans out there can advise me on tactics. But the reason for this difficulty is because I have to ...almost... speak poorly of animal based products to those who are eating them gladly and happily. I have many inspirations for choosing to do this, some of them being: Forks Over Knives, The Kind Diet, Food Inc., Eating Animals, The China Study, and The End of the Line. (To name a few). And my easiest response is "Read/Watch (one of the above) and you will understand". And although it is tough for me to explain it to others, I wanted to share with you here some of my health changes, challenges, and things I am thankful for.
Some of the changes I have seen in my health.
Pre-christmas (all of December) I allowed myself to eat anything and everything I wanted. No meat- but anything else really (lots of sugar and dairy). I made a little notebook and listed how I felt. Here are just a few of the things that I wrote:
- Stuffy nose
- "Brain fog"
- Ringing in my ears
- Gained weight
I was also neglecting my nutritional supplements with the idea that if I'm not being healthy, I shouldn't waste them on me right now (bad idea..).
So, today has been one month, 31 days of being vegan. I have not had meat, fish, or dairy (except maybe some hidden ingredients!), and have also greatly reduced my refined sugar and flour intake. I have been to 2 raw vegan potlucks (Conscious Eating Niagara! You should go), and have incorporated some of the amazing Superfoods that I learned about in the Food Matters Mastery videos. These are some of the words to describe how I feel now:
- No more brain fog
- Sleeping well
- Breathing well
- Feeling good!
Each day I take my Health Pak multi-vitamin (which includes calcium), 2000 I.U of vitamin D, a probiotic every other day, and B12 every few days. I also add Optomega Omega Oils to my salads, oatmeal, or shakes every day. My favourite superfoods so far are Cacao powder, Cacao nibs, Goji berries, Chlorella, Chia Seeds, and Hemp Hearts.
Some of the Challenges.
My toughest challenge is when asked "why are you doing this." Again, any advice would be appreciated! But another difficult situation is when gifted food- especially home made food- that has dairy and refined sugar and flour in it. If I accept then they never know that I am now choosing this lifestyle, but if I don't accept I feel rude and have to explain the whole "why" story (which almost feels like I am insulting their cooking/baking). Another challenge is finding surprise sources of dairy products. Some of my most favourite bars and easy on-the-go foods contain milk ingredients. And I have even found eating out to be a bit of a challenge at times. On 2 occasions now I have been out to eat and found literally no options available to me. Of course if you just ask they will make you something (and I have found saying "I have a dairy allergy and I don't eat meat or fish" to work well). Definitely dodging the questions of "where do you get your protein/calcium" has been easy enough since I have been vegetarian for so long, but a good book that walks you through the science of it all is one called "Becoming Vegan".
I am Thankful For...
My loving hubby who supports me and will eat plant-based with me at any time (but still enjoys a Steak when he gets ahold of one!).
Twitter! Some of my best recipes have come from there- this image here is from The First Mess- Carrot Cake Pancakes with Lime Cashew Cream- delicious! There are some amazing, strong and beautiful people there who advocate a plant based lifestyle and they are very motivating that this is possible and fun.
I am grateful for easy access to Health Food Stores and Veggie Friendly Restaurants. Some of those being The Peanut Mill, Mahtay Cafe, Rise Above, and even the organics section of Zehrs!
My family and friends. It is much easier with those around you supporting this lifestyle. Some of my best friends don't even get it (I think they think I'm crazy) But they will eat vegan with me, go with me to Raw Vegan Potlucks, and buy me vegan cupcakes ;) <3
You Can Do It Too.
If you are considering the idea, give it a try. Even one day a week will allow you to feel better and help make a difference to the world.
And please feel free to post any questions, comments or suggestions here! :)
Thanks for listening!
I love to share health information, wealth building tips, entrepreneurial ideas, and travel experiences! Talk about a range! But doing what I love has truly paid off and I hope to help inspire you to do the same!