Today makes 42 days since I went vegan for Lent (the longest Lent ever). Overall it’s been a good change. The last few weeks I’ve been about 90-95% vegan and the biggest change that I love, is simply that I feel good. Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it’s not. Here are a few thoughts/challenges/reflections:
- Physically I feel lighter and not weighed down after a meal and I know that my body has an easier time processing veggies and grains over heavy meats.
- I’ve added a ton of great foods like dates and pumpkin seeds to my diet. I’ve been stocking up on lentils, beans and quinoa (did you know quinoa can be made in a rice maker?).
- Eating out can be tough. For example, before visiting a new restaurant I looked at the menu online and found a vegan dish, but once I got there the menu changed and the dish was not on the menu. My friend offered for us to leave and find a new restaurant but I ended up choosing something with dairy for that meal. Eating out is totally hit and miss.
- Dairy and egg are in nearly EVERYTHING. Seriously, it’s shocking how reliant my diet is on foods with dairy and egg. I spent a few years pescotarian and thought it was difficult to eat then but clearly I had way more options.
- Soy, almond and coconut milk lattes are not the same but you can get use to them.
- If you don’t plan ahead, it can suck. Not all the time, but like any diet change, when you’re hungry and need food, like now, it it can be hard, but I guess this is like any diet.
- I was surprised at how many people were supportive. Going vegan is definitely becoming more mainstream and I found most friends and family to be really supportive.
- I’ve learned what true friendship is. When I needed a cupcake, a friend made sure to rip off the ingredient list to “make” them vegan. Hey I’m not perfect, but that cupcake was.
The biggest thing that I love about eating vegan is that I feel good about eating this way. I realize that there are so many health benefits to eating this way, but mostly it just sits right with my heart. I won’t go into details about the terrible way animals are treated before they hit our plates because most have heard but I feel at peace when I avoid meat.
I’ve been asked at least a dozen times, when Lent is over will I stay vegan? To which I say, I will continue to eat about 80% vegan. When I was pecsotarian, the biggest problem I had was eating out in social settings. I started to dread eating out. The vegetarian options were usually heavy pasta dishes with zero nutritional value and made you feel like crap after eating it. So I wouldn’t eat and then after I’d be mad and hungry. When I’d complain my husband would say, why didn’t you eat at the restaurant? The truth was I’d feel guilty if I strayed from my declared diet of pescotarianism. But guilt shouldn’t have a place in your diet when you are doing you’re best. Now, I realize that like yoga, being vegan, vegetarian or pescotarian is not a religion it’s a lifestyle practice. Everyone can practice in a different way and shouldn’t feel guilty because it’s their practice. I don’t feel guilty because I can’t stand in Warrior III in hot yoga for an hour. I’m just not there yet. And that’s why I say about 80% vegan/mostly vegetarian because I think that is doable for my life right now. And because that means I can still have a cupcake.
And a few of my new faves…
Figs or dates, or whatever
Vegan Kale Chips (OMG amazing)
And one more picture because he’s cute…