Our 30 day vegan challenge...
Going vegan was never something I wanted to check off my bucket list. I ate chicken once a day, if not twice, and cheddar cheese gave me all the feels. Well, after diving into a ton of research, listening to vegan podcasts and hearing from well-known doctors, I learned that a plant-based diet not only reverses heart disease (our country’s leading cause of death) but also improves overall health tremendously. Did you know that some of the world’s most successful athletes have gone “plant-based” and have seen a huge increase in their energy, stamina and performance? This shocked me. It was an intriguing concept because throughout my entire life I was taught (by my parents, the government and society) that meat was an essential source of protein and energy. Jokes on me because after going 30 days of eating vegan, my energy has been more stable and consistent than ever. This is just one of the many benefits I’ve noticed from our diet change.
I am happy to share that our 30-day “vegan challenge” turned into a lifestyle change, for the better. I truly believe that reducing my meat and dairy intake will continue improving all the factors I discuss below. It’s been over 35 days, and I’ve yet to enter meat or dairy back into my diet and I feel like a new person.
Now it’s time to share our journey with you by breaking down our TOP 10 takeaways from going vegan. My hope is not scare you into going vegan but to encourage you to introduce more plant-based foods into your diet while doing your own research about this type of lifestyle. How can you reduce the amount of meat and dairy while also diversifying your diet with plants and veggies? I also hope to create mindfulness around the types of meat you eat and the source of which you get it from. Go for it...
TOP 10 “VEGAN CHALLENGE” TAKEAWAYS
- Improved energy—I’ve been shocked at the increase in my energy. It continues to improve, as we’ve gotten further in this plant-based journey. I no longer have an afternoon slump and have been waking up feeling refreshed and ready to go.
- Veganism isn’t more expensive—I’ve heard from multiple sources that they don’t want to go vegan because it’s more expensive. WRONG. We’ve actually saved a lot of money by choosing fruits, veggies and vegan alternatives at the grocery. Meat, seafood and dairy products are some of the most expensive items out there… by avoiding these, we actually saved money on our grocery trips.
- You don’t have to sacrifice taste—With so many vegan options out there today you don’t have to sacrifice the taste of your favorite foods. The cheeses made from nuts and the plant sourced burgers hit the spot just as much as the real stuff. We tried to stay away from soy as much as possible and still had plenty delicious options to work with.
- Expanding culinary expertise—This challenge encouraged us to cook outside of our comfort zone. We had so much fun trying new recipes, using new foods and being more innovative in the kitchen. We learned so much about new vegetables, fruits and non-dairy products and how to implement them in delicious meals.
- Losing stubborn belly fat—Both of us lost some weight. My clothes fit a little better (I don’t weight myself) but James dropped around 7 lbs of belly fat from cutting out all the meat and dairy.
- Nutrition label and ingredient awareness— We had to be WAY more conscious of ingredient labels in the food we were eating which taught us a lot about all the extra chemicals and unnecessary additions in foods today. This made us both more mindful about what we were putting into our bodies.
- Regularity & less bloating—This may be TMI, but we both felt that we became more regular and our digestive systems were thankful for the detox. I definitely noticed less bloating throughout the month and felt like everything digested more easily. As most of you know, I have tremendous digestive issues, our new diet improved this almost 100%.
- Clearer skin—My skin complexion improved tremendously. I’ve noticed not only clearer skin, but also a softer and more radiant glow. I feel so much more comfortable not wearing makeup because my skin has a truly beautiful complexion.
- Reduce long-term health problems—Although we may have not felt this immediately, all of the results above have in turn made us realize that our health overall has improved. Meat is proven to link to heart disease and although we were eating healthy meats, we were eating a lot of it. Cutting back has already made huge improvements on my body and I can't imagine what will happen if I continue the process. We are thankful to be more aware of how our long-term health can be affected by what we eat.
- A good-mood feeling—This one is more of a feeling that I can't really explain. I felt happier, more nourished and healthy. We just continued to feel positive about the foods we ate which in turn, made us happier people.