Firstly before I begin, I just want to make it known I’m not here to preach Veganism, I have been Vegetarian most of my life and I have never preached to people about eating meat. I am just here to share my experiences in my first month of being a Vegan and I believe everyone makes their own choices in life.
“I am not here to change your mind but maybe to open your mind”
What made me become a Vegan?
Most of you who currently read my blog probably know me from the Bodybuilding lifestyle (lifting weights and eating clean). About six months ago, I really began to find the diet side hard. I have been vegetarian nearly all my life so my diet mainly consisted of egg whites, whey protein shakes and greek yoghurt in order to hit a high protein intake. Alongside this I was trying to eat moderate to low carbs and fats. Whilst I did see some progress on this diet when I was strict with it, I would constantly binge and beat myself up, really believing that I had rubbish willpower. Sometimes it would take me an hour to eat my egg whites in the morning because I just really couldn’t stomach them, so I would end up missing meals or stopping at Greggs before work for a breakfast doughnut (oops)
I moved into a new flat a month ago and I had to stock the kitchen up with lots of yummy food! I took out a notepad and pen and was ready to write my normal list of egg whites, greek yoghurt and tons of asparagus and broccolli. I hadn’t been training at this point for well over a month and had pretty much eaten whatever I wanted over the Xmas period. I had met a Vegan in my previous job and I had started to research into this because as a teenager I had always been strongly into animal rights so I guess all this research was still in my mind.
As I came to write my list, I realised that I was never going to be happy on the diet I was on, going from egg whites to dougnuts and back again. I started to write down all the food I actually enjoy eating, whether it was good or bad for me I wanted to try and come up with some kind of plan I could be consistent with and to stop being so cruel on myself when I messed up.
The list ended up being full of fruit and vegetables, beans, lentils, vegetable curry dishes and of course chocolate and doughnuts! It suddenly dawned on me that maybe trying out a Vegan diet would actually be perfect for me! As I knew that following a strict diet in the past had messed with my head, I first decided to be a Vegan 80% of the time and if for instance I was out for a meal and I couldn’t find a Vegan alternative I would eat Vegetarian the other 20% of the time. For me this was more about being mentally happy.
So I set to work on my Vegan diet. There are quite a few different ways people can eat Vegan, for example some people are known as Fruitarians and eat mostly fruit, you have the people who eat Raw till Four and then eat a cooked meal in the evening and of course it is actually possible to be a Vegan Junkie and just live off unhealthy Vegan alternatives, eg Vegan chocolate and crisps! I don’t believe I fall into a set group but I am probably closest to the Raw till 4 group. I eat plenty of fruit throughout the day and then have a cooked meal in the evening.
As soon as I made the switch, I started to research more and more and the whole 80% Vegan, 20% Vegetarian thing flew out the window. I was passionate about what I was doing and surprisingly it was easy to find meals out that were Vegan and tasty too 😀
I have always been Vegetarian for the animals but turning Vegan was more about finding a diet/lifestyle I could eat and enjoy but the more research I do, the more it really is for the animals ❤
The biggest change for me is that I am now eating tons and tons of fruit! I was always scared to eat fruit whilst on a clean diet as I thought the sugar would make me fat! I have gone from eating a diet that was around 1500 calories with high protein and low fat/carbs to eating a diet that is around 2500 calories and is very high carb (around 80% of my diet comes from carbs!). The best bit for me is I can completely eat in abundance fruit and vegetables and there is no need to even count calories!
When I moved into the flat I weighed 10stone 3lbs (yak), after a month of eating Vegan I have dropped to 9stone 9lbs and that is with no exercise ( I will get back to lifting soon!). My aim of this diet wasn’t to lose weight, just to find a diet I would enjoy and cause less cruelty to the world so this is a bonus for me 😀
My mentality around food is so much better. I am eating food which is good for me and which I really enjoy. I haven’t wanted to binge once this month and I believe this is because fruit tastes so sweet and I can eat so much of it. This might sound sad but I also really have peace of mind that I am eating a cruelty free diet too 😀
How have I found it so far?
So as you can tell the food side I have found very easy, I am guessing it is easier for a Vegetarian to turn Vegan compared to a meat eater but I do believe the more you educate yourself on how the animals are treated it is easier to change.
The hardest part for me so far has been the beauty products and household goods. I have always invested a lot in good quality skincare and I am happy to know the products I use are already Vegan. However when it comes to finding cheap shower gels, shampoos etc I am totally in shock at how many big companies test on animals! Whilst I am finding it hard to find things in supermarkets, the internet is a great tool for finding what I want!
I am totally happy with my change to becoming a Vegan and I wouldn’t change a thing apart from the fact that I wish I had done it sooner!
Dealing with negativity?
I am lucky to be surrounded by people who support me but I have had the general comments that one can expect from turning vegan. EG
Where will you get your protein from?
Isn’t that a bit extreme?
Just another phase?
You have been brain washed
Animals are bred for us to eat
I have already written so much in this blog post, I am not going to respond to all these comments apart from say a lot of this I encountered when I started eating clean, where people thought what I was doing was too extreme so I am used to that! I think in this world everyone is entitled to make their own choices about what makes them happy. By being a Vegan you are not participating in a lot of cruelty in the world and even if you do not want to become Vegan yourself, I don’t understand how people can think it is a bad thing.
Favourite recipe to date?
Just before I go I would love to share my favourite recipe so far! Basically there is a way to make healthy clean vegan ice cream! In the Vegan world, people like to call it Nice Cream and can be made my using any frozen fruit! My favourite is Banana and Date!
Blend in a food mixer:
6 chopped dates
4 chopped walnuts
Some almond milk to allow it to blend ( amount depends how thick you would like it!)
Want to find out more?