Before I share how did my month of veganism go I’d just like to point out how bloody proud of me I am. *background clapping* I know I’m not exactly Greta Thunberg here but for a girl who’d eat bacon cheeseburgers at least twice a week this is a massive, MASSIVE achievement.
So let’s get into this.
Hiiiiii, my name is Barbara and I always like to make my life hell by complicating things. But also, hello! My name is Barbara and I am a 25-year-old who is fucking terrified about our planet and my own future.
Yes, I am very conscious about the fact that the production of plant-based foods is a more efficient use of our resources, as it requires less energy from fossil fuels as well as less land and water. But I am more aware of the fact that vegans typically have lower levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, a lower body mass index, and reduced risk of death from heart disease and cancer. SO, I very selfishly started this because of my own health. And due to my personal reasons (mostly bank balance) I didn’t go full on vegan and got rid of all my stuff (bags, shoes, belts etc) that are cruelty free (but will definitely not buy or support brands that aren’t) but my diet was vegan or plant based if you wish.
This plant based diet is something I’ve had on mind for months. I’ve done lots of research before I kicked off so I didn’t just dive unprepared.
I kept a little photo diary throughout September (you can have a look at some unappealing dishes on my Insta profile highlights under Vegember) and a food log on myfitnesspal app.
So here’s how eating a plant based diet worked out for me.
*I messed up ok? I had 3 non vegan meals (out of approx. 100) but that pizza, tiramisu and cheeseburger were worth it so genuinely no regrets!
Day 1 started great. It was Sunday so that allowed me to be in control of my meals and to plan for coming up week. I literally watched youtube videos for 3 hours to give me some inspo and read about million articles on why will my heart thank me after going vegan. I had takeaway vegan pizza from Franco Manca and spent a day on a sofa.
I meal prepped for next two days, booked few workouts and positively stepped into the week.
Day 2-6 were easy because I work 12 hours a day and I mainly needed to prep for lunches the day before to stay on track. (Day 5 is when normal cheese on veggie pizza and tiramisu happened which was always on agenda as it was L’s birthday dinner).
Day 7 and 8 is when I started to feel some sort of change really. I’d wake up before my alarm in the mornings and wouldn’t drop dead in the evenings. I felt like I had an extra boost of some sort of energy and frankly I didn’t know if it was me desperately wanting this to work and make me feel better in my body or was it genuinely because of the diet.
Day 9-15 is when I started feeling better than great. My skin was beaming, I could hold focus for longer than usual 20 minutes, I wasn’t bloated at all and for once in a long time I could actually say that I ate all the carbs without putting on any weight. (Day 15 is also the day when my lunch was a cheeseburger, potatoes with aioli and cheese fritters with tons of alcohol which obvs wasn’t planned but life fucking happens.)
Day 16-22 were my best days. I started cooking more and experiment with new foods, I also worked out 9 times that week and just felt AMAZEBALLS.
Days 23-27 were my worst days of the month but nonetheless I didn’t go rogue. I spent few days in bed, yes. Had few takeaways, yes. Were they vegan? YES. Were they healthy? Maybe yes, definitely no. But that’s what I needed really.
Days 27-30 was me back on track with healthier options and just continued feeling good in my skin.
Day 31. Um I have no need to eat differently than last 30 days. SAY WHAT?
Now here’s my issue. I thought that being vegan automatically means you’re healthy, OH BOY WAS I DELUSIONAL. Because IT DOES NOT. (my Ben & Jerry’s tub screaming in my freezer) You still get tp make healthy and less healthier options only now you don’t contribute to animal cruelty and global warning.
What I really wanted to do is vegan whole foods, where you eat more raw and unprocessed food which I can’t say I didn’t eat but I have to admit I ate rather a lot of bought meals. Now, instead of re-writing my whole food log here I’ve decided to write down my most eaten meals to maybe help you incorporate more plant based meals into your diet.
For most breakfast I ate: avocado on toast (on mornings with extra few minutes I’d add grilled mushrooms), granola with soy vanilla yogurt and berries plus handful of nuts, peanut butter with jam on a bagel
Most common lunches were: loaded salads (usually nuts, greens, falafels, hummus, etc), pasta with either tomato or pesto, sweet potato with grilled veggies and vegan sausages
Dinner were usually: curries, stir frys, grilled veggies, risottos or pizzas, jacket potatoes, soy
Snacks: Greggs vegan sausage rolls, crisps, hummus, fruit (mostly apples, grapes and mangos), nuts and protein shakes
I also drank loads of cold press juices, mostly to boost my immune system but also to increase my veggie and fruit intake.
So overall how was it? Surprisingly NOT as hard as I thought it would be. Actually not hard at all. Mainly because I live in London and there are countless vegan options for every occasion. But I wasn’t overthinking this either (probs for the first time in my life). I was easy and made a decision not to be to hard on myself if I screw it up. I ate simple meals until I get the courage and willingness to cook/prepare more complex ones and YEAH, I still hate cooking but just a little bit less than before. I feel abso-fucking-lutely great and don’t think I’m missing out on anything or that my body is missing anything. I lost few pounds but I was never, ever, ever hungry. I am yet to do some blood work to determine how exactly this lifestyle affected my physical health but I have a good feeling.
AM I STAYING VEGAN? Umm actually I might. Like I miss eggs so fucking much. And seafood. And nice cheese. But that’s about it. I think I’ll try to eat as much plant based as I can with occasional vegetarianism dips. But you never know with me. I go with the flow. Do what feels good. Eat what I crave. And just enjoy life.