Hey guys, here’s an update on my past 3 months as a vegan! Hopefully it will inspire some of you out there to adopt some more plant-based foods into your own diet! 🙂
Why did I decide to try veganism?
My mum had been struggling with health issues for years, meanwhile my dad had a huge boost in health that sent him searching for the optimum high-nutrient diet. This lead him to Dr Joel Furhman’s book, Eat to Live, who proposes a plant-based diet of:
nutrients / calorie
Getting the most out of each bite! This lead to amazing improvements in my mum and dad’s health, and my mum’s commitment to her new vegan diet inspired me to try it out too.
My style of veganism
Reading Furhman’s book and researching veganism, I discovered much more about the nutrient content of vegetables. It entirely changed my outlook on what a proper meal should be. All my life I’ve hastily scattered chunks of chicken, microwaved some frozen meatballs, or added a glass of milk to meals because I thought a meal needed meat or dairy (PRO TIP: It’s absolutely doesn’t! :P)
**I’m not going to try and be informative here; there’s so much great writing and research out there…so, if you’re considering veganism, research what interests you!**
I do not eat 100% vegan. Though I am absolutely doing this to have less of an impact on animals and the environment, I am motivated more by my personal health. My ultimate goal is to become more conscious of my body and its needs. Eat well, and simply eat when I’m hungry. Here’s what I’ve found makes me happiest:
My Vegan Diet
-no added salt or sugar
-cooking without oils
-whole food items (ie. rice instead of breads)
Benefits of veganism
- highly correlated with increased lifespan (of about 10 years!)
- For example, a study at Massachusetts General Hospital found that every 3% increase in calories from plant protein reduces risk of death by 10%1
- reduced impact on environment
- protest animal cruelty
- prevent and counteract chronic disease2
Best Things About Going Vegan
- Vegetables taste AMAZING.
- About two weeks in, I noticed something incredible. I started tasting vegetables extremely clearly– and they are delicious! After cutting out a lot of sugar and refined carbs from my life, I started noticing how flavourful each vegetable is! A pretentious chef lives inside my head, pointing out the different features.
- My energy and mood are a lot more constant.
- Since I’ve cut all added sugars from my style of eating and paid more attention to getting all my nutrients, I’ve stopped crashing at 3pm daily and my mood seems a lot more consistent.
- Cooking & food variety.
- I recognize this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I love cooking and experimenting with recipes. Going vegan has forced me to focus on making creative and delicious meals from basic ingredients!
Worst Things About Going Vegan
- Longer prep time.
- Since you can’t just eat out anywhere anymore, you do have to plan and prepare your meals ahead of time. When we first got started, my family would have Prep Day every Sunday, where we’d chop veggies and make several dishes for the week. Check out some awesome YouTube vids on vegan meal prep.
- Need to be cautious of deficiencies.
- When you start, it can be hard to eat enough veggies to get all the calories and nutrients you need! Instead of eating a little side bowl of salad, you’ll need a full serving bowl for yourself. You can also get some serious nutrient deficiencies (which lots of meat-eaters have too!!) if you don’t eat a large enough range of veggies.
- Harder to find chocolate!
- Yep, it is harder to find vegan chocolate. But not impossible– and the search is probably worth it, since I understand there are some pretty awful practices in the cacao bean business, and vegan brands tend to emphasize fair trade more.
**MYTH: Vegans cannot get enough protein. Do some research on leafy greens, hemp seeds, lentils, and tofu.
**MYTH: Vegans cannot get enough calcium. Do some research on fortified soys, collard greens, kale, etc.
Favourite Vegan Meals
Here are some of my favourite, delicious vegan meals. All are made with simple ingredients and have no salt, sugar or oil added! P.S. all the photos featured in these articles are vegan meals I’ve made in the past!
- Breakfast Smoothie
- frozen berries
- spinach/baby kale
- flax seed
- almond/soy milk
- Bag lunch- throw it all in a freezer bag (with dressing separate) and it won’t get soggy!
- spinach/baby kale
- canned black beans
- canned chick peas
- cherry tomatoes
- little tofu chunks as “cheese”
- raspberry or apple cider vinegar as dressing!
- Tofu scramble
- red bell peppers
- ground pepper
- crumble tofu into pan and it cooks just like eggs!
- Sweet Potato Fries (MY ABSOLUTE FAVE)
- preheat oven to 425
- chop sweet potatoes/regular potatoes into fries
- curry powder
- nutritional yeast
- chilli powder
- dried basil
- splash of lemon juice
- bake for 15-25 mins
- Quinoa bowls
- cooked rice/quinoa
- grated apple/beets
- roasted sweet potato
- kidney beans
- tahini sauce
Favourite Vegan Resources
- Youtuber Caitlin Shoemaker
- recipe tutorials
- beautiful food prep
- student & vegan lifestyle
- Straight Up Food Blog
- hearty recipes
- cooking materials advice
- Oh She Glows Blog/Book
- easy, tasty, kid-friendly recipes
- recipe book
So I hope you all enjoyed my 3 month update! If you’re reading this article, you’re probably at least slightly interested in trying veganism yourself 🙂 Find what attracts you and try planting some plants in your diet!