My husband and I decided to try eating vegan back in December, we did it for 30 days and on New Years Eve we treated ourselves to a steak dinner. What inspired us to try this crazy lifestyle change was our passion for food, making our footprint smaller as well as all of the documentaries on Netflix. We are huge on looking at the ingredients on everything we buy and we naturally try to stay away from packaged foods. We generally eat very healthy and live a very active lifestyle together with our two pups, but we knew that this was going to be a challenge since I LOVE steak and chicken tenders. My husband was a man who would buy chicken in bulk at Costco then go home and grill it for the week. He was eating eggs for breakfast every day, chicken based bowls for 2-3 meals a day then either chicken or turkey for dinner. This would never work right?
The first week was the easiest for me, the excitement of trying new recipes was a lot of fun for us to do together. We found some of our favorite dishes made in a vegan way which really surprised me. We made some amazing gyros with chickpeas that you would never taste a difference! It was absurd! I was very skeptical when we first started thinking that it would never work for us.
Week two was not as easy. Although I felt amazing, I had energy throughout the entire day without afternoon yawns and I felt lighter, we ran out of dishes on Pinterest that looked intriguing to us. I didn’t want to purchase a cookbook since we were only going to try this for a month and since we committed ourselves to a full 30 days so we had to figure something else out. We decided to explore some vegan restaurants across the valley and to my surprise we found quite a few hidden gems! 24 Carrots is my favorite since it is close and they have a colorful menu, but eating out gets very old very fast for us. One of our favorite things to do is to cook together.
Week three came around and this was our taco everything stage. For those of you who do not know my husband, he is known as the taco man. We even had a taco cart at our wedding! He loves everything about them and can eat the same thing every day whereas I need some more variety in my meals. We were eating a burrito for breakfast, lunch and dinner which we were able to make work for the following week as well. We both felt amazing, my migraines started to go away and I felt like a new person!
When the 30 days came to an end we went for our victory dinner to celebrate a full month with NO cheat days and we went to Firebirds Wood Fired Grill for dinner and had ourselves a feast which included a juicy, mouth watering good steak. It was crazy how terrible we felt immediately after we ate and the following day. I didn’t want to get out of bed, I felt heavy, bloated, I was in a sad/confused state of mind and it was all because of eating meat after we had eaten a plant based diet for 30 days.
Now we are coming up on a year and I feel amazing. I lost 14 pounds, I no longer feel bloated every day and I enjoy every single meal I eat. How did I get to this point? I discovered Kayla Itsines’s app called Sweat. She puts together a workout plan that I switch between her yoga and her weight lifting, but the real gold is her meal plan. She offers 6 different options, standard (a full diet including red meat), Pescetarian ( everything except red meat or poultry), Vegetarian ( includes eggs but excludes red meat, fish or poultry), Lacto-Vegetarian (same as vegetarian but excludes eggs as well), Ovo-vegetarian (includes eggs but no diary or meat), and finally Vegan (no eggs, dairy or meat). I found this very cool that you can completely customize a meal plan to your wants and needs. Also EVERY SINGLE meal that I have made has been amazing, its healthy, fresh, colorful and includes fruit and carbs! This has made staying on tract easy. We did end up switching more towards the Vegetarian lifestyle because my love for ice cream and cheese kept getting in the way. At the end of the day the way we see it is that we have majorly reduced our footprint in the world and we feel better every day. We don’t buy meat but we also don’t deprive ourselves of it if we are out and craving a burger.
I highly recommend everyone try this challenge or any challenge to be the best you that you can be.