Somebody awesome challenged me to go vegan for a month. Two hamster adoptions were involved – but that’s a whole other story… Anyway, I accepted the challenge (the hamsters were not required to participate) and for the next month I will be eating a vegan-only diet, which means no animal products whatsoever, and I plan on writing a short blog series documenting my experiences, possible frustrations, and other musings. This is not a vegan manifesto and I am not Jerry Maguire screaming, “Show me the broccoli!” I am not trying to convert anyone to this lifestyle as I most likely will bring back eggs and some dairy into my diet when the month is over. The takeaway for you, the reader, is a venture into mindfulness and a fun perspective on this topic.
I have been vegan before. More than ten years ago I followed the Skinny Bitch diet for about six months. My skin glowed and I lost about 35 lbs. I struggled to maintain it after six months because I am extremely picky when it comes to food textures. What I did love was the exploration and baking and how I felt. In recent months, as I connect with clients and take to meditation and mindfulness, I find myself making more vegetarian choices simply because I feel so much more connected. Plus, I am trying to make healthier decisions for my body and treat it with more compassion. It has been four days and here are my findings so far:
- The vegan diet (as any diet does) requires mindfulness. There is such a thing as a “junk food vegan” and I do not want to carb-load or take short-cuts. I check every label, every ingredient, and if something is questionable I use the almighty power of Google to search for a product. I enjoy having to prepare things in advance and stop and think before I choose my foods and snacks.
- My face has broken out – my body is clearing itself of toxins. By next week my skin should be clear and glowing, so the break-out is actually a positive sign.
- My digestive system is working beautifully (nuff’ said).
- My blood sugar has been fantastic and spot-on.
- I feel more rested and alert and have not consumed as much sodium as I normally do with a meat based-diet.
- I feel more connected to people in my life who are vegetarian/vegan – it gives me a glimpse into their world and gives us new talking points to exchange ideas and recipes.
- Overall I am enjoying the advancements in vegan products compared to the first time I was vegan.
- As of day five I have lost FOUR POUNDS.
Over the course of the month I will share the fun and frustrations of the challenge. Feel free to join and pick a random challenge to have fun with as well!
by Annen Weber, LLPC