Yup. 9 whole months.
I genuinely never thought I’d see the day that I’d actually go vegan and stick to it. I remember my first measly attempt of going vegetarian for one day back in 2016. I lasted 5 whole hours then caved and ate chicken wings when my blood sugar got too low.
It took me about a year to go from full meat eater to the day I decided to go full vegan in September 2017. I cut out things gradually and replaced them with alternatives which made it pretty easy. I’ve educated myself a lot about plant based diets over the last year and learned that I don’t need animal products to make tasty meals.
Since I get a lot of questions and comments from friends/family, I thought it would be fun to write about what life has been like since going vegan. Here’s what I’ve found so far…
My skin has cleared up
At least about 95%. And it definitely didn’t happen straight away either- I’d say it took about 7 months. I still get a few spots here and there but I NEVER get any cystic acne like I used to have. It’s mostly just scarring on my face now so I’m very happy with that.
(Some) people who eat meat are defensive
Vegan shaming is a thing. I have lost count of the amount of times someone has attacked me about veganism while I’m just sitting minding my own business. And I’ve also had someone I don’t even know mock me in my absence for being vegan (weird). I’ve never once lectured anyone about eating animal products or told them what they should or shouldn’t be eating. Yet soo many people feel the need to tell me “veganism is unhealthy”, “vegans are hypocrites” or “humans have been eating meat for hundreds of years”. For some reason, some people get really defensive and angry about what I am (or am not) putting into MY body. And if I’m not getting lectured I’m being made fun of (jokingly but it’s still annoying). Please can everyone just calm down, do your research and mind ya business.
I recover faster at the gym
I used to train my legs once a week and wouldn’t be able to walk for 5 or 6 days after. Sometimes I’d flinch if someone even touched my leg because it was so painful. Over the last two months or so, I’ve had almost 0 pain after the gym. In fact- I’m able to train my legs 3 times a week even though the intensity of my workouts is the same as before. Fun fact: my nurse recently told me that her son is in the GB paddling team and they have to go vegan while training for competitions because it helps build better quality muscle.
I’m more in touch with myself and my surroundings
Ok here comes the hippy stuff…
I feel more at ease and at peace with myself. Maybe because I subconsciously felt guilty about eating animal products or maybe because I’m eating a lot more fruit and veggies (“alive foods”). Over the last few months I’ve felt way more in touch with my intuition and my emotions. I’ve thought about and had dreams about stuff that’s happened the next day, predicted things without meaning to and thought about something just for someone else to say it at the exact same time. So many times. Kind of creepy but also kind of cool.
Maybe that has nothing to do with being vegan but I feel like being at peace with what I’m eating has helped a lot.
My periods are no longer hell
My periods have always been horrible since they begun. Every month, I broke out like crazy and could barely move due to the pain (no exaggeration). And let’s not forget the time I almost considered suicide due to pre-menstrual depression…
Now, my skin barely breaks out and the pain has decreased each month. My last period was ABSOLUTELY painless. I’ve never, ever in my life had such an easy period. An unexpected but very welcome side effect of my diet.
Somebody needs to invent some good vegan cheese
Everything else you can possibly imagine can be replaced with a delicious vegan alternative. But vegan cheese? Absolutely disgusting. Luckily I was never one of those people who was madly in love with cheese so I don’t miss it that much. I did used to eat vegan cheese but now when I get the odd craving, I’d honestly rather just go without instead of subject myself to that weird coconut oil stuff.
My blood sugar is way better
I still get hypoglycemic attacks now and then when I go too long without eating but my body has got way better at handling carbs. Every single time I used to eat something really sugary like cake, I’d get blurry vision followed by the shakes and extreme fatigue, sometimes feeling like I was going to faint. And I’d get mad breakouts the next day. (I got tested for diabetes which came back negative so I have no idea why that happened, I just knew it was something to do with high and low blood sugar.) But now I can pretty much go crazy with the carbs and sugar without those side effects. I recently realised I’ve been eating about 250-300g of carbs a day which is unheard of for me. And no, that hasn’t made me obese.
Going vegan has taught me to question everything
When I stopped eating meat, I realised how weird it is that I ever did. I would never kill or harm an animal myself so I find it intriguing that I never questioned my eating habits. The idea is disturbing to me now and I think I only ate meat because I’ve always been told we’re supposed to.
That led me to look at the other things I was doing just because “I should”. This year I’ve been really thinking about the long-term consequences of my actions/habits which led me to quit social media, quit binge drinking and quit buying material items I don’t actually need.
I remember meeting a girl while travelling who told me going vegan “completely changed her life”. I thought she was being dramatic but I understand what she meant now.
Supplementing is important!
A lot of people like to paint veganism as this cure-all thing. But it doesn’t come without its flaws. Actually, it’s impossible to get some nutrients through a vegan diet without supplements or fortified foods. Mainly B12, vitamin D and some omega 3 fatty acids. I currently supplement with a B complex and algal oil. Algal oil has been amazing at lifting and balancing my mood when chia and flaxseeds weren’t cutting it. In the winter I’ll start supplementing vitamin D again but as the weather’s been pretty nice, I’m just making sure to get in the sun every day.
That was a pretty jumbled up list of things but I hope you enjoyed reading!
I’m currently in the process of starting up a completely new blog (recipes) which is why I haven’t been posting as much lately. It should be ready to go in a month or two and I’ll post an update here for anyone who is interested.