Thank goodness this whole no meat and dairy bull shi* is finally done and over with! And damn you leap year for extending my torture for one more never-ending day……….. ha ha just kidding! If you haven’t already noticed, I’m kind of digging this vegan lifestyle and don’t think I’m ready to call it quits just quite yet. I’ve experienced so many benefits and have learned so much this past month that the thought of ending it all now seems kind of silly. So no, you probably won’t find me chowing down on a cheeseburger anytime soon, but I probably will venture off the vegan path every now and again. My new goal is to try and stay vegan at home and then be a little less strict when I’m out of the house. I have a few trips coming up, so I’ve decided to loosen the reigns a little while I’m gone and not be so restrictive on steering clear of all meat and dairy. If there happens to be some sushi, salmon, or cheesecake calling my name……. I’m probably going to eat it!
Here are some of the changes I’ve noticed since going vegan:
- Increased energy: This has probably been the biggest benefit I’ve experienced so far. Now don’t get me wrong; I still love my sleep, but I’ve noticed I need a lot less of it lately. I’m no longer begging for an afternoon cat nap or an extra cup of coffee, nor am I fighting to stay awake at 8pm (well most nights at least), and I’m still able to wake up and feel refreshed before my alarm clock goes off in the mornings. I feel like my days are not as “sluggish” as they were before, and I am able to get so much more accomplished.
- Quicker muscle recovery: I’ve noticed my recovery period after workouts and long runs has greatly sped up. My muscles have been a lot less sore, which has allowed me to tackle my next workout with a lot more enthusiasm and a lot less pain.
- Better skin: My skin HATES winter. Normally, I need heaps and heaps of lotion and about 20 tubes of chap stick to combat dry skin, but I’ve noticed myself needing less and less this past month. I feel like my skin has gotten a lot softer and my complexion more clear.
- And my favorite: just an overall sense of feeling HAPPIER and HEALTHIER!
- On a less selfish note, this challenge has opened my eyes and made me more aware of issues other than my own. I am obviously not really able to see these changes with my own eyes, but I am glad to know that I have helped at least a little bit in the ethical and environmental aspects of veganism.
- A few people have asked me if I have lost any weight, and to tell you the truth, I am not really sure. Weight loss was never my intention going into this challenge, although following a vegan diet can result in weight loss for some. I am not sure what my pre and post vegan weights are, but I feel like I have neither gained nor lost this past month; I just mainly feel a whole lot stronger and healthier!
- As far as expenses go, I really haven’t seen too much of a difference between my pre and post vegan grocery bill. I feel like going vegan can be expensive, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Some of the vegan-labled foods and organic products are often times more expensive than other items, but I feel like this evens out when meat and dairy are eliminated from the grocery cart. I have cooked almost all of my own meals, which has definitely decreased costs, and I have found buying in bulk and stocking up when things are on sale is key. If there’s a deal on fresh fruits or veggies, I will often buy a bunch and freeze whatever I don’t use before it goes bad. Then at a later time, I can throw these ingredients into smoothies, stir fries, soups, etc. I have discovered you can even freeze avocados-who knew? Just peal them- take out the pit- and throw them in a zip-lock baggie! They work really well in smoothies-
- I am no chef, but I have really been enjoying experimenting with new foods and recipes this past month. Cooking all of my own meals has made me appreciate my food so much more and has allowed me to know exactly what I am putting into my body.
Here are some of the things I have been cooking up this past week:
Breakfast time is my favorite- lots of smoothie bowls and steel-cut oatmeal.
I took a stab at vegan baking and tried out these delicious mixed berry and banana chocolate chip mini muffins.
My friend Alyson came over and we cooked up some Fluffy Chickpea Pancakes with Vegetables and Avocado Sauce…soo good!!!
I had some deep thoughts about sushi the other day, so I thought I’d try to make some myself for a little snack….these guys definitely satisfied my craving!
(Lettuce, carrots, avocado, and ginger rolled in rice paper and this dipping sauce)
My original intention was to write one last post about my thoughts on veganism, but since I am not ready to throw in the towel, I think I may try to check back in every once in awhile to give a quick update, and share any new thoughts/insights that I have and/or any new recipes that I’ve tried. I am hoping to check back in a few weeks to share how my trips went and let you know whether or not I was able to stick to a mainly vegan diet. Thanks for reading!
Did you know?
Here is a list of some vegans that may surprise you:
- Bill Clinton
- Al Gore
- Mike Tyson
- Russell Simmons
- Pamela Anderson
- Natalie Portman
- Ellen Degeneres
- Portia De Rossi
- Ellen Page
- Rooney Mara
- Carrie Underwood
- Jared Leto
- Ariana Grande
- Alicia Silverstone
- Jenna Dewann-Tatum
- Ellie Goulding
- Michelle Pfeiffer
- Kristen Bell
- Dax Shepard
- Tobey Maguire
- Christy Brinkley
- Lea Michele
- Betty White
- Woody Harrelson
- Russell Brand
- Leonardo Da Vinci
- Albert Einstein
- Mohandas Gandhi