If you are following me on Instagram then you know that I recently did a 30 day vegan challenge after watching the documentary "What The Health" on Netflix (if you haven’t seen it yet, definitely watch it and then please watch Okja!)
Let me start by saying I have never eaten red meat, pork or anything other than chicken, turkey and fish. My body doesn’t produce the enzyme needed to break down red meat so it would always come right back up (ew). I used to be a HUGE dairy fan. I ate cheese every single day at almost every single meal (sometimes even multiple times a day) but when I found out it was a huge contributor to my acne, I cut it out about two years ago. Suffice it to say, the transition wasn’t as difficult as it may be for some who eat all of these things on a regular basis.
As you guys know, fitness and health are a huge part of my daily life. I was always told that you need a lot of (animal) protein to reach certain fitness goals. Getting used to the idea of eating just a salad with no chicken or fish was hard for me to be okay with. I work out hard every day and I don’t want to see all that work disappear because of the wrong diet. As it is, I have a really hard time putting on muscle. I was also always told you have to eliminate carbs if you want to get defined and cut up so when you are eating animal protein that is really easy to do. I was having a hard time mentally adjusting to the idea that veggies are enough! Upon a lot of research and the fact that my trainer Simon is completely plant based and completely ripped I started listening to his guidance.
For the first week I was really good, eating tons of fruits and veggies. I was eating a lot more carbs than I was used to but I was going with it. I was literally jumping out of bed in the morning before my alarm clock (which isn’t normal for me, mornings are usually hard) I had so much energy, my skin was glowing, my mood was great, I felt amazing! I couldn't believe that all the time I spent fighting off fatigue was due to my diet. I was a healthy eater! (or so I thought)
Having watched What The Health I was so turned off of chicken and turkey and the idea of eating either grossed me out. I did however miss fish and eggs and was still craving both during this 30 day experiment but I wanted to really test this out.
We then left for Mexico and the vegan / vegetarian options were amazing! It is so much easier to find vegan options today since so many people have restrictions. My added gluten and wheat allergy makes it slightly harder but most places are very accommodating.
Everything was going great until about 2 weeks ago when I literally became a vegan junk food eater. See here’s the thing, just because it is vegan does NOT mean it’s healthy. There are a ton of unhealthy vegan options and restaurants out there. Whether is high fat, sodium, processed or fried. I started eating meals that would normally be cheat meals on the regular. I felt lethargic, bloated and my skin started breaking out again. I started gaining more body fat where I had muscle and I was not happy. I knew I wasn’t eating the right food and felt much healthier when I was eating meat. Thats because I was. I went back to my trainer Simon and he explained that I was on my way to becoming a very unhealthy vegan. Because yes, there are junk food vegans who are very unhealthy and still overweight and very out of shape. He basically guided me by saying for the next 2 weeks, if it doesn’t come from the ground or a tree, do not eat it. If it is in a package or has been in a factory, no matter what the label says, DO NOT EAT IT. Guys, if you are going to go plant based, don’t forget to eat the plants! That’s where the nutrition is! Meat substitutes are sure, healthier than animal protein but still not very good for you either.
A couple of days ago, I completely changed my diet to the way Simon suggested and I feel amazing!! It literally happens instantly! Food is medicine. Period. I truly believe that now. I am not bored with the options which I was worried about. There are tons of spices and flavors you can add to make it more appealing and like you aren't missing out on anything. When you start giving your body the nutrients it needs to function properly, you literally start craving more of it. It's incredible how the human body works. This stuff fascinates me.
The big question is am i going to stick with this lifestyle? The answer is absolutely! I will probably incorporate eggs back in from time to time because I do miss eating them. As long as I know where they are coming from and that it is from a good source. I might possibly even have some fish as well if I crave it but i can’t see myself ever going back to meat. Especially after watching Okja (tear, sniffle) My reasons for wanting to live like this are for overall health, energy, protection of animals and for our planet. I never thought I would ever be the person to say those words but guys, this is real. We are destroying our planet and we really have to be more conscious of the choices we make in life because with anything there is always cause and effect. We are unfortunately the cause.
I encourage you guys to do your own research. Read more about it, watch documentaries and make the decision that best suits you and your families. I will check back in a month from now and let you know what the result has been for me. I will also post recipes on here to help you if you are making your way in this direction. Please be sure to exercise daily, even if it's just a walk. Exercise is so important for your overall health and the way you feel.
Here is a sample menu of a good eating day where I feel amazing. (This was mostly the recommendation from my trainer, and you really get everything you need)
Oatmeal and coffee
Shake consisting of Kale, Spinach, blueberries, raspberries, frozen banana BCAA and Glutamine.
Salad with tomato, avocado, cucumber,, sugar snap peas, red and green peppers, black beans and garbanzo beans
Dressing: Olive oil, balsamic, lemon, salt, pepper nutritional yeast.
Apple and almond butter
Sautéed kale and broccoli in avocado oil and spices, quinoa, black beans.
So what do you think? Would you ever go plant based? Let me know in the comments below!