I will start by saying, I didn’t go vegan to save the animals or save the world (although those are a bonus). But I went vegan for ME! For several years, I recognized that my body took a long time to digest meat, dairy and gluten – but I continued to eat it all because it tastes so darn good, and I could never see myself giving it all up.
Well, never say never… I am Cara, and I have been vegan for 105 days, and I haven’t looked back.
Why did I decide to become vegan?
As I mentioned earlier, I knew that meat and dairy didn’t do great things for my body. But that still wasn’t enough for me to go vegan – I was willing to continue to suffer for the deliciousness!
However, that all changed after my husband decided to go vegan in November 2019. He watched the acclaimed Netflix documentaries What The Health and The Game Changers and insisted that I also watch them and get better informed on why eating a plant-based diet was better for me.
I put it off for a few weeks, as I really wasn’t trying to be vegan or give up any of the food I loved. But, at the end of November, I finally watched What The Health. It was an eye-opening documentary focusing on debunking some of the things that we have been told about the benefits of dairy and meat. It also highlights how the large consumer packaged goods companies and pharmaceutical companies work together to suppress the research that highlights the health risks associated with eating meat and dairy in large quantities. However, even after watching the documentary, I still wasn’t 100% sold on this lifestyle. It was coming up on Christmas and I wanted to enjoy all the food I loved (do you notice the reoccurring theme – I LOVE FOOD).
I made the decision in December that I would go vegan on January 1, 2020. Most of my friends thought I was crazy (I kind of did too). But I knew that in the end, this decision would likely solve some of my digestive issues, and I was willing to give it a try.
How did I do it?
Anyone that knows me knows that once I put my mind to something, it will happen. I will do the pre-work to ensure that I am set-up for success and going vegan was no different.
So, once I decided that I was going to go vegan in 2020, I spent the month before researching the benefits, meal plans, vegan bloggers, and reading a few books on plant-based eating. One of the books, I found it very helpful for understanding the health benefits was Beauty Detox Solution, by Kimberly Snyder, her book was a part of my recent “what I am reading” list. She provided some very eye-opening stats and science behind the benefits. Also, there are some great meal plans to get you started, including the glowing green smoothie recipe (which I drink almost every day).
What do I eat?
I think the biggest misconception about going vegan is that all you can eat is beans and lettuce. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I do eat beans and chickpeas, but not a ton – they don’t digest well for me (a.k.a. very gassy Cara). I mostly eat lots of fruit, veggies, nuts, whole grains and the occasional pasta dish. I also take vitamins and supplements every day to ensure I am getting all the nutrients required. Included below is a sample day of what I may eat on any given day:
Pre-breakfast: Hot water and lemon, followed by a probiotic and apple cider vinegar gummy (I love the Goli brand)
Breakfast: Green smoothie with apple, spinach, celery, banana, lettuce, pear, lemon and ginger) or a berry bowl with granola, coconut yogurt and hemp seeds
Lunch: Avocado, cucumber and tomato salad (I sometimes have this with a piece of naan and vegan parmesan on top), followed by a plant-based digestive enzyme, calcium and vitamin D.
Dinner: Green salad with veggie stir fry over quinoa, followed by a plant-based digestive enzyme.
Before bed: Probiotic and magnesium
I try not to snack in between meals very often. But when I do – my go-to is cashews, raisins, and almonds.
How do I feel?
I feel great! The first week was a bit hard for me as my body adjusted to eating A LOT more veggies. This may be TMI, but I use the bathroom so much more regularly than before, almost like clockwork LOL. I also have so much more energy, which I didn’t think I would because of the lack of protein. But, I have realized that you can actually get a ton of amino acids (which are used to contrast protein our bodies need) from eating a wide variety of plant foods and other plant-based proteins, like hemp seeds and chlorella.
Will I ever eat meat again?
I will never say never. But, I honestly can’t see myself eating meat for the foreseeable future. However, I could see myself introducing fish is small quantities at some point because I love a good ceviche! But, I am trying to go without for as long as possible.
I recognize plant-based eating isn’t for everyone, and I am not trying to convert anyone to veganism. But, if your body feels off or you’re looking to try something new. Give vegan a try even for two weeks and see if you notice a difference in the way you feel. Whatever you decide to do. Do it for you!