I never in a million years thought I would attempt veganism. What's the point? Who does that? Why?! Just enjoy your life! I've become a pro at eating a low carb ketogenic lifestyle. My meals consist of eggs, cheese, meats, tuna, nuts, Cobb salads and bacon. So much Bacon. With this diet I was successfully able to lose my baby weight but it gets old. One can only have so much meat. I've been eating Keto for about a year and I feel like it's time for a change. I figure you can't go wrong with eating plant based. It's vegetables! I'm diving in head first into the land of Vegans. Do I have to stop shaving my underarms and wear Jesus sandals now? In order to preserve my sanity, I will not be watching any documentary where they show slaughterhouses and and cows being lured to their death and shot between the eyes by air guns. It's too much for my cow loving heart to bear. I know this goes on. I understand how it works when we bite into our carne asada tacos and buger patties. I'm choosing to look away and remain complicit. Don't we all?
I was inspired to go Vegan after a conversation with a friend. She raved about her clear skin and flat tummy. Veganism seems to be making a come back as the new "cool thing". Upon further research I discovered more of the benefits of Veginism. There were articles and blogs to support decreased anxiety symptoms with cutting out animal product. This was enough for me to give it a try. I've had inexplicable high anxiety for the past month. One day, the anxiety was crippling enough stop me in my tracks and cause a panic atttack in front of people at work. I will do anything to naturally cure this. Xanax is not an option for this hippie girl. I am doing this to feel better. As I get older, wellness takes precedence over appearance. I need some mental and physical zen in my life. With this experiment we are becoming overnight vegans.
I was shocked when the husband was on board for the Vegan challenge. He was 100% on board, until it was Day 1. "what? We're starting today?" "this is happening now?" "Can I still have beer?" My own heartbreak came when I went shopping for breakfast on day 1. Our grocery store had a new selection of butter. Pure, creamy, delicious French butter. Normally we have eggs doused in butter and cheese for breakfast. I am also obsessed with all things French. I sadly put the butter down and picked up the vegan margarine. This is my nightmare.
Instead of focusing on what I couldn't have, I focused on the things I could actually eat. It's been forever since I've had a potato and years since I've eaten a banana! I also found out Oreos are vegan. Knowing I can have these little chocolate devils brings reassurance. In case of emergency, eat chocolate. I knew day one, meal 1 had to be amazing in order keep hubby excited about being vegan. I put together potato and soy chorizo breakfast tacos topped with avocado and tomato salsa. We snacked on blue berry spinach smoothies, hummus and sweet potato crackers and I sipped on chamomile tea during the mornings. I meal prepped brown rice, overnight oats and potatoes for the week. For dinner we had micro greens topped with brown rice and lime. During my afternoon walks I began to have something similar to that of the "'meat sweats". I suppose this is my body detoxing of animal product? I've also had four trips to the restroom on day 1.
On day two I discovered Vegan junk food. Game over, I'll be a vegan forever. Upon further research I discovered that foods that we all know and love are surprisingly accidentally vegan. Oreos are vegan. Fritos are vegan. Skittles are vegan.The right pastas are vegan. Foods that I haven't had in years. This just became exciting. For Monday night football I was able to enjoy chips and salsa, oven roasted cauliflower and kale meatballs. The husband was able to grin and bear it when we discovered Coronas are also vegan. Apparently some beers are made with fish heads, gelatin and egg yolks.
On day 3, I discovered that eating raw bananas for breakfast makes me a vegan! So easy to do. I also discovered my favorite lunch combination, Micro Greens and brown rice with Goddess dressing, lime and Himalayan pink salt. I've had this meal a few times and the hubs even had seconds. Dinner was a home made vegan pumpkin Mac and cheese. Energy has been pretty low lately so I incorporated vitamin B12 supplement as recommended.
I noticed a decrease in my anxiety and clearer skin. I made sure to pack Vegan lunches for work to avoid temptation. I noshed on brown rice, roasted cauliflower, baby carrots and a little vegan junk food. If you've never had a complete cookie, try one. Vegan or not. They have tons of protein and fiber and good filling ingredients. This was my favorite meal when I was pregnant. Restroom trips have became very frequent, upwards of 3-4 times per day. A holistic doctor once told me that if you don't poop this many times per day you're "constipated". I remember thinking she was crazy, now I get it.
On Friday, day 6, I woke up with no appetite. I usually eat first thing in the morning, so this is odd. I normally have a cup of coffee with stevia and milk every morning. In the name of anxiety, I've also cut out all caffeine this week. I wonder if my body is finally satiated because of all the nutrients that have been going in? Is this how it works?! For dinner we had homemade brown rice and veggie rolls. Over dinner the hubs and I agreed this way of eating is not difficult. We agreed we can go another 7 days. "I'm not in dire need of a taco yet". He states. I went to bed on day 6 with zero anxiety and a belly full of vegan sushi.
Day 7, I woke up with zero anxiety, and we made it a whole week! We started the morning with green smoothies. Bananas, peanut butter, kale and almond milk. I like to blend it for an absurd period of time until it's super smooth and frothy. What kale? This is Peanut butter dream. We spent the morning at the local oriental market browsing vegan products and looking for food truck ideas. They carry products from around the world. I went home with Indian spices, jack fruit and fresh sheets of Nori for more veggie sushi. I bought two bunches of bananas and peeled and froze them with plans to make vegan Oreo ice cream.
The 7 days of veganism were a learning experience. I realized we can commit to anything when really trying. I also realized how little vegetables I was eating. The husband is planning to be more conscientious of the things he eats now and incorporate more vegan meals but he's already planning his non vegan breakfast.There's a dozen fresh organic eggs and slices of jalapeño cheese waiting for him in the refrigerator. "Maybe I'll try and be vegetarian next" he says. I really enjoyed the Vegan way of eating. I gained a pound, but I feel less swollen and bloated. My face is less red and my skin feels smoother. The most important change I noticed is the zero anxiety. Maybe it's because I cut out caffeine? Maybe it's because I added more fruits and vegetables? Either way, I'm digging it. I never thought I'd consider this way of eating permanently or at least 80/20. We toyed with the idea of eating meat maybe once a month in the future. I think any changes one makes for the benefit of good health is a good idea. Vegetables will always be a good idea. We will see what the future holds.On the way out of the oriental market, the crispy pork belly and roasted duck glistened under the warming lamps calling our names. We stood in front of them, stared, inhaled, then headed home to fresh lemon ginger shots.