First and foremost, one does not simply become a vegan overnight.
Unless you’re a freak of nature, with extreme self control, and a personal chef it’s a little more tricky then it seems. I did it steadily for about three months, then made my way back to being a vegetarian, then to occasionally eating meat.
Let’s start with the basics. When becoming a vegan, you must do your research. Not all of our bodies are the same, some of us require more of the different types of nutrients. I think, one of the most common misconceptions about being a vegan is that you become malnourished. Although, this is true in many cases, I believe this is because these particular people have done it the “easy way”, and just dove right in without knowing the facts or doing the proper research. They probably ate a ton of bread, fried starches, etc. to feel full, and satisfied, but nothing that really replenished, and sustained their nutrients. When becoming a vegan, you must first discover what type of foods your body craves. For instance, I am more susceptible to being iron deficient, so I need foods that are high in iron, (dark leafy greens, spinach, broccoli, lentils, beans etc.) When I was a vegan, I made sure I included these foods in my diet almost every day. I also took a multivitamin, but it doesn’t stop there. In order to be a healthy, functioning, human vegan, we also need to make sure we are getting things like protein, essential fats, vitamins and minerals. Combine that with traveling, making sure you have enough time to cook, budgeting, eating the food that took you forever to cook, workout, work, and live your life. Doesn’t sound so easy anymore does it? Don’t let this discourage you, there is always a way.
Find what vegan recipes you like the most, what’s easiest to cook for you, and plan your grocery shopping accordingly. Also meal prep!Theres nothing better then being a hungry vegan, and coming home after a long day of small snacks, to a hearty, full blown vegan meal. As a vegan, you’re hungry 90% of the time and most restaurants are not vegan friendly. Make sure you always have a snack on hand… oh, so that means yes, you will need a cute, (preferably waterproof) book bag to carry around your vegan treats.
However, here are some things I noticed as I allowed dairy and meat back into my life. Especially meat.
While I was a vegan, my digestion was healthy, easy, and consistent. When I say digestion, I mean poop. There’s nothing worse then not pooping, and let’s face it, if you’re not pooping, you’re not living. It’s a sign that your body is properly disposing of all the waste it doesn’t need.
I noticed I started to feel bloated again, I was constipated, gassy, and not only that, I even noticed a change in my menstrual cycle. The more I ate meat, and dairy, the worse my period symptoms became. Cramps and bloating were extreme, late periods, changes in my mood, sex drive, and more.
Listen, I’m not saying you have to be a full blown vegan, but it does pay to be a bit more conscious of what you are putting in your body, and how often you’re putting it there. I’m not fully vegan now, but I would call myself a “conscious eater” meaning, I try to avoid meat and dairy as much as possible. Even now, writing this article, I have inspired myself to try and fully commit to being a vegan again. I’m not making any promises, I am currently in Europe, and it’s pretty damn hard to resist the ice cream and cheeses here…I’ll let you know how it works out. In the end the animals and most importantly our bodies will thank us because of it. Good luck!
I would love to hear your experience of going vegan, feel free to message me and let me know what you think!