Sometime in January, I decided to do something I've been interested in trying for a while: go vegan. We're already vegetarians, so all I had to do was cut out the eggs and dairy. There were several reasons I wanted to give this a shot. First off, part of the reason I'm a vegetarian is because of the terrible things that are put into our meat these days. I felt like by continuing to eat non-organic cheeses, dairies, and eggs, I was continuing to put these things in my body. Secondly, I'd started to feel like I was forgetting what food tasted like. Most of our meals were prepared vegan, but when it came time to eat them, they were always topped with cheese or greek yogurt. It was time for a change, so I decided I'd try it for the month of February and see what happened.
So here I am, 28 days later (and I'm not a zombie!). I feel amazing. Throughout the month, I never once felt bloated, I had way less headaches, and I even lost weight. Without trying. Don't get me wrong - it wasn't a walk in the park. There were days when I got home from work and all I wanted to do was eat cheese and crackers. But I held strong (except for that one day when I bought Oreos, which are surprisingly vegan. But so, so bad.), and I'm really glad I did. The one downside? Pizza. I haven't found a cheese replacement that I actually enjoy (and suggestions?). They all have weird smells, or textures, or just taste disgusting, which is hard for our handmade pizza Fridays.
My goal for going vegan for the month was to remember how good food tasted without dairy, and I definitely accomplished that - and more! I knew it would probably change the way I felt, but I didn't realize how much it would change. I love the way I feel, and I don't want to ever go back. I'm not sure if this is going to be a permanent lifestyle change, but I'm making the choice to keep it up for now.
My reason for writing this all up in a blog post is to encourage anyone who is contemplating trying veganism (or even just cutting back and eating a vegan diet a few days a week). I think the reason I put off trying it for so long is that I was a little intimidated. Lots of vegan recipes look very intense - lots of random expensive ingredients, lots of time spent in the kitchen, and in general hard. So here's what I want to tell you: it's not true. I didn't spend any more time preparing meals than I did before. Most of our meals included some kind of grain (rice, quinoa, couscous), beans or lentils, and as many other vegetables as we had on hand. We ate a lot of soup and chilli (thanks, winter!), and I tried a few recipes I found on pinterest. I thought I'd leave you with my favorite new recipe from the month - please let me know if you try it, or have any others you'd recommend. I'm always on the lookout for easy, healthy, delicious recipes!
(forgive my junky night time photos)
I'll be back soon with more knitting content! Happy eating!