A little more than a year ago, Nate and I decided to try out a vegan diet. Our deal was that we would try eating no animal products for one month and then go back to our normal diet after that, since we assumed we would hate it. This month long experiment was inspired by a college class, multiple documentaries, and parents who had recently changed to a strict plant based diet.
Y’all, we thought we weren’t going to survive. We had no idea what we were doing. We made the worst recipes and we were simply not eating enough. During that week, I really could not understand why anyone would live this way, or HOW they could live this way.
About midway into week two, things starting getting better. We found better recipes and started to adjust to cooking without animal products.
By the end of the month, we decided to stick it out for longer. We didn’t know how long we would keep up this way of eating, we just knew we were starting to feel better – physically and mentally.
Six months in, and we were loving our new lifestyle! We occasionally would cheat with cheese pizza (ESPECIALLY cheese pizza) or when we would visit family and friends, as to not put them out. Our acne was basically gone, we were more energized than ever, and we actually loved the food we were eating. We thought we ate fairly healthy before starting the diet, but looking back we couldn’t believe how much worse it had been. We didn’t realize how bad animal products and processed foods were making us feel until we stopped eating them.
A little over a year after the start, we have decided to stop even the occasional cheating and jump fully into a plant-based lifestyle. Not only have we stopped eating animal products, but we also limit the amount of preservative and processed foods we eat.
Physically, my face is clearer, I’m 13 pounds lighter, and chronic illnesses that I struggled with before have greatly improved. Looking better is nice, but feeling whole and having a clear mind are the biggest benefits for me. I feel like I am more free to enjoy my life to the fullest. No longer do I worry about getting a migraine once a week or a headache once a day. No longer do I have to take medicine with scary side effects and that may not even work. No longer do I worry about catching every cold that I come into contact with. Instead of feeling sluggish and tired after meals, I feel energized and free. I also feel a stronger connection to non-human animals and firmly believe that a vegan diet is better for the environment as a whole (see Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows by Melanie Joy).
All of this to say that if you are considering going vegan (partially or fully), you CAN do it! You may have your own reasons why you want to try a plant based diet or maybe you connect to some of the reasons I listed above. If you are interested in some great recipes, feel free to message me or follow my Instagram account (charlieoliviagrantham). I share meals and recipes on my story often. I love helping people live healthier and would love to share my experience and knowledge with you!