For those of you who follow us via our Vlogs on my YouTube channel, you have seen us talk about switching over to a vegan diet. I really don't like to talk about things that I have not personally experienced myself so I wanted to wait at least two months before talking about this diet. Honestly, I have almost seen it as a trend but there are only a few that are actually doing it for real. Just in case some people do not know what a vegan diet is, it is a diet that eliminates meat and dairy. So the big question is, what do you have left to eat? I know, that was my question too because I was a big dairy eater. I was never a big meat eater. I loved wild caught smoked salmon and besides that, I could go without eating meat. We did our research and decided that it would be a good switch for our family. I don't pretend to know everything, but every day I learn something new and it is definitely a process. I decided that this will be a good time to share a few of my thoughts in regards to this diet and hopefully give you some clarity.
1. Not A Quick Weight Loss Solution: I've noticed that majority of the people follow the crowd, so when something new comes out, everyone jumps right on it for all of the wrong reasons. Even though weight loss does come with cleaner eating, it is definitely not a quick weight loss diet. I've seen people share their vegan stories via YouTube and a lot of them emphasize on the weight that they've lost. Even though everyone feels great when they loose some weight and better about themselves, most people failed to see that it takes time. (which most people are not willing to wait on) If you are jumping into this diet thinking you will lose weight fast, you're in it for the wrong thing. Don't get me wrong, you will probably drop 10 lbs right away from eliminating meat and dairy out of your diet, which for most of us was a huge part of our diet.
2. Eating Greens Is Not the Only Option: When I heard of vegans in passing, I seriously associated them with eating only greens. I am pretty sure that is what the majority of people think as well but you will be surprised at how many incredible options you have with food when you go vegan. Both Ryan and I have said to one another that we have never eaten some much variety of good food like we are now.
3. There Are A Lot of Easy Recipes: Ever since I mentioned us being on a vegan diet, people have messaged me and asked me for recipes. Honestly, there were only a few things that we have eaten before, that I've converted to a vegan-friendly food and the rest I get from my good friend, Pinterest. lol If you are interested to see what I've pinned, click on this link and it will lead you to my Pinterest profile. Click on my 'Vegan Foods' board. Most of the items that I've pinned, I have tried to make myself and all of them turned out to be easy to make and delicious to consume. I am pretty sure that list will continue to grow.
4. You Will Have Limited Options: As far as going out, you will definitely have limited options unless you live in the vegan type of city like Asheville, NC or Portland, OR. (in that case you're blessed) I've noticed that southerners love their meat and dairy and when you go to a restaurant and ask all of the 'vegan' questions, they seem annoyed. I would recommend looking at the menu online before choosing a place to eat to see if they have any vegan options. Majority of the places actually place a 'V' beside an entry if it is vegan. (One tip to keep in mind is sometimes a 'V' stands for vegetarian not vegan which means there is dairy in the entry) This is actually a good challenge to take on because we can be a bit careless when it comes to going out to eat and at the end of the month you think to yourself, where did all of that money go. The answer is food and eating out. I've heard someone say that if you are grocery shopping you shouldn't be going out to eat and if you're eating out all of the time, you shouldn't buy groceries. Which totally makes sense. I don't like to be wasteful, so when we use to go out more than we should, the groceries that we bought would go bad, meaning that we were wasting twice the amount of money.
5. You Will Go Through Detox: Because you've had a certain eating habit for such a long time when you introduce a new diet, you will definitely go through a detox process and somewhat of withdrawals. The first few weeks we went through a major detox process because we upped our fiber intake. (TMI:) which makes you go to the bathroom more frequently) I was not a heavy meat eater so not having dairy was more of a challenge for me.
6. You Can Be Vegan and Still Be Unhealthy: Most people think that if you're vegan, you're healthy for sure. Just like with any diet, there are unhealthy ways of eating. For example, you can overeat carbs or sugary pastries when instead you need to be fueling your body by eating things like fruits, veggies, beans, lentils and etc. So you can still be vegan and unhealthy. It is all about finding a good balance.
7. You Will Get Enough Protein For Your Body: We have been told for decades that we should really focus on eating more protein by eating meat. It is hard for people to realize that you can get all of the protein that you need by eating plant based foods that are high in protein. Which by the way, is much easier for your body to digest. Be sure to do your own research instead of just doing what someone says without really seeing what exactly that food does to your body. It either fuels it or harms it.
8. Easy At Home & Hard When You're Away: We have noticed that it can be hard to be a vegan when you're not at home. Mainly because others may not be on that diet and therefore, you get served food that has meat or dairy. Because we made a firm decision, we just bring snacks with us and then go to a grocery store to pick up essential items that we need for the duration of the stay. You may end up eating a little bit more carbs than you would normally want to eat, but you will not go starving. The trick is to always plan ahead. This will also help you to track what you eat.
9. More Energy: Two months into this diet, both Ryan and I can agree that we feel more energetic even though we are still new parents and from time to time we get little sleep. You have probably heard someone say after a good barbecue or a cookout that it will be a good time for a nap. This is because meat is so heavy on your body that it actually makes you sleepy.
10. It is a LifeStyle: As I have stated in the first point, it is not something that you should be jumping in and out of, because doing so confuses your body and messes with your metabolism. It is definitely a lifestyle. You might find it challenging and from time to time you may have some meat or dairy, no one is perfect, but the goal is to always strive to eat healthier. Healthier eating habits equals to a healthy and long life.
I hope this clarifies a few thoughts for you guys. If you have any other questions about a vegan diet, comment below. I love hearing from you guys:).
Create Coleture, Be YOU