I finally got a chance to write down my findings so far on our journey to a healthy vegan plant based diet.
We both are astonished with the large variety of vegan food you can make yourself that tastes delicious. Almost all my favourite dishes have their vegan alternative that are equally delicious (the secret lies in the right selection of spices/seasoning).
I prepare most of my meals. My boyfriend and I meet number of times a week to cook together and we find this so much fun. We originally relied on recipes from others e.g. The Happy Pear, The Little Green Spoon as were unfamiliar with the vegan diet. Now since we are getting to know the vegan plant based diet more we are not afraid to experiment in the kitchen and love the new tastes we are discovering.
An important point to note is that not everything that is vegan is healthy. In order to get the right nutrition, you need to make conscious choices as to what you put on your plate. I was surprised with the number of foods that most people consume which are vegan friendly e.g. Oreos, original Pringles, certain white muffins but are not necessarily healthy/nutritious.
Saying that, whilst majority of our food is plant based and wholesome it is good to know that for the odd time when we want to indulge there are so many vegan friendly options available and we did not have to sacrifice all the foods that we used to enjoy eating.
On the other hand, I believe an important point to make is that not every good food is right for you (e.g. chickpeas, peanuts do not work with me). Similarly to my boyfriend I used to get very bad cramps. This still happens to me when I eat too much beans/peas. My advice on this would be that you listen to your body and do what is right for you.
Some of the benefits of that I have experienced since going vegan are as follows:
- I feel lighter.
- I (unintentionally) lost some weight.
- My skin got smoother.
- I rarely feel bloated. As an omnivore, this was a daily ailment for me.
- I no longer experience dips in my energy levels in the afternoon. This is very common for people suffering from underactive thyroid (and I am one of them).
- I also find myself having less cravings for sweet things despite being a ‘sweet tooth’.
Some ‘cons’ include the following:
- Vegan options are not always readily available. For that reason you need to plan ahead and prepare meals/snacks that you can have on the go so you do not go hungry or grab unhealthy foods.
- Educating yourself about the food you eat (this includes reading labels) requires time. However, it is definitely worth the investment.
- You can be constantly watched by others.
- It takes time for your body to adjust to the new diet and during this period you may experience some unpleasant side effects such as cramps.
However; overall we both are loving our new lifestyle and are enthusiastic about being vegan.
The most frequently asked question is ‘But what do you eat?’ which always makes me giggle as people just do not realise the abundance of vegan plant based diet. We do not get offended by comments like that. Not too long ago our knowledge in this area was very limited so we understand where this is coming from. We hope that others will get inspired by the positive change that vegan plant based diet brought to our life and give up on the teasing comments or even better educate themselves about the foods they put in their bodies.