What started out as curiosity and ambition has morphed into realisation and understanding.
With just 3 days left of the 30 day vegan challenge, I believe I have started to lay some new foundations which I really look forward to building upon.
In my first post about this endeavour, I mentioned that it wasn’t so much a challenge but more a new perspective on eating/living…I can proudly say that this mindset hasn’t changed. And I find myself reflecting on whether I will continue on, or finish it satisfied I learnt something new. Perhaps even a bit of both?
To rewind quickly, I decided to try and transition to a vegan diet for health and ethical reasons but mainly as a test, 30 days is what they say is needed to make/break a habit, and also to see how my body would go…flourish or fail? For those of you who aren’t 100% sure, vegans avoid eating foods that are from animals or animal products, such as meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, eggs, honey etc.
It has been 27 days well spent though. Here are a few things I’ve learnt so far…
- To be increasingly more aware of where food comes from. I had to forgo some of the usual suspects on my plate due to ingredients that were not animal friendly.
- That it’s ok to make mistakes, and that it really is a learning process, so move on and learn for next time. i.e. accidentally eating something unintentionally non-vegan.
- That there is a lot of unhealthy, heavily processed vegan foods on the shelves with little nutritional value, or taste
- On the flip side, that there is also plenty of good, healthy, vegan and cruelty free options available if you take the time to plan and prep.
- I have become more creative in the kitchen and have enjoyed playing with recipe ideas with a little more pizzaz and fresh whole foods.
- Planning and preparation is key. I usually cook up a batch of quinoa, grain free granola, and shop for fruits and veggies (and the odd vegan choc!) to set myself up for the week ahead.
- I have become a lot more sensitive to images and stories of mistreatment towards animals, particularly animal exploitation.
- That there are a lot of health benefits to reducing meat intake. Compared to those on a plant based diet, meat eaters have a higher risk of heart disease, and generally eat more calories and fat.
- There is a very positive movement taking shape across the globe. For example, seeing almond milk become available at some cafes is proof of the changing habits!
- Have healthy snacks readily available, in the office, in the car, on the go, so that you don’t ever have to go without. Zip lock bags have become my saving grace. Think nuts, seeds, goji berries and bliss balls.
- Due to my knee injury I haven’t been able to do any strenuous exercise, but earlier on Yoga was helping to get the blood flowing, and I wasn’t feeling dizzy or lacking energy.
Ultimately, I have realised that this lifestyle can be sustained, but you can’t be lazy. If you want to flourish and take advantage of all it has to offer, which includes eating an abundance of fresh whole foods and beverages, there should be no issue. That said, time is key. Time and food prepping to ensure you do not fall flat on your veggie stuffed face mid week! 😉
I will be back to report on the completion of the 30 days and wrap up with more of my thoughts on Veganism. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, watch this interesting debate from credible sources on USA’s ‘Intelligence Squared’ program