Since February, I had been completely 100% vegan until a few days ago. I loved how I was feeling, I was losing a good chunk of weight (then plateaued), and was so happy that I was making a big impact on the environment, saving the lives of animals and improving my health.
When I went vegan, I didn’t really miss any non-vegan foods after a few weeks. I thought cheese would be something I could never live without but what I realized when I changed to a vegan diet was that I had an unhealthy relationship with foods and was eating a lot of calories through large portions in a day without realizing it. I didn’t initially have any complaints with the vegan diet and loved talking to everyone about the benefits and my experience. Even now, I am still continuing to incorporate vegan meals into my meal plans and will choose a vegan option when eating out if it is available. But the bottom line is, a completely vegan diet wasn’t for me and didn’t agree with my body.
This was something that I just didn’t want to admit to. I had done so much research, spoke to my doctors and spent so much time on meal prep and planning meals to make sure I was going to be doing it right. I was Last month, I started to feel off right before my period (sorry if that is TMI) and it was really scary. I was getting lightheaded, nauseous along with other symptoms and it would come in waves. I ended up going to the Urgent Care and after numerous tests, they told me that there was no medical explanation for how I was feeling. Leaving the Urgent Care without an answer was so disheartening and I didn’t know how to feel. All I could do was hope that it would go away. Luckily, after a few days, it did and I got my period as normal and life went on.
Fast forward to a week ago, I was brushing my teeth one night after getting out of the shower and I literally almost passed out and fell on the bathroom floor. My vision got weird and I thankfully managed to hold the wall and make it back to our bedroom but I had no strength and was straddling the garbage can in fear of getting sick again. At that moment, I knew that I had to start changing my diet. For whatever reason, my body’s chemistry was not agreeing with what I was doing and my diet was the easiest thing to change to see if I could correct what was going on.
I didn’t write this post to scare you out of trying a vegan diet… as you probably know, I recently wrote a post about why I think you should give veganism a try, but it was to warn you that it may not work out for you to be 100% vegan and that is okay too. When I was trying the vegan diet, I saw so many negative voices in the space bashing others views and preaching that a vegan diet is the only way… and I never once thought that was true. I love talking to you all about recipe ideas and was so happy that a few of you reached out with questions about a vegan diet and it was such a good feeling to know that I could provide answers and support. I just want to say that if you are going to try a vegan diet, make sure that you check these things off your list before you start
- make sure that you are taking a daily vitamin that contains B12
- don’t overeat products with soy as an ingredient- too much soy is not good for you
- plan out meals so you aren’t using processed meat replacements as a crutch- if you are planning to only eat meatless nuggets, fishless fish, etc. consider not making the change because processed vegan and vegetarian foods can have things in them that are just as bad as any other processed food
- research. research. research. you are making a HUGE change to your lifestyle when you decide to go vegan and it is important to your health that you are ensuring that you are getting the nutrients that you need as well as that you have to time to make enough food to give you those nutrients- it can be tough to be creative enough to always find something that is healthily vegan (yes, you can be an unhealthy vegan) and in the abundance that you need to make up for the calorie deficit from excluding animal products
Now what does all of this mean for me? It means that I have started to incorporate some animal products back into my diet, but not at all at the scale that I was eating before. You will not see me eating a platter of fried chicken tenders at a restaurant. Being vegan taught me that portion control was a huge problem for me, as it may be for you, and it doesn’t help that when you go out to eat they give you more than double the portion you should be eating. Food is fuel for your body and the more you are moving and burning, the more you will need to fuel. I have become more conscious about what I am putting into my body and will continue to meal prep with healthy recipes.
In adding more animal products, I have decided that I am only going to limit the animal products in my diet to mostly: chicken (grilled or baked- rarely fried), cheeses, eggs, plain greek yogurt and little milk only when baked into something- I’ve always been a fan of almond milk over regular milk. I have never been a fan of seafood but I may start to experiment with some of that too! We will see how it goes- I am not a R.D.- although I do plan on seeing one soon- but I want to share what I am learning with the hope that it could really help someone in a similar situation. I have become extremely interested in finding new ways to make meals that are both healthy and filling and plan to share more food content with you in hopes of inspiring you to eat healthy and just to be more conscious about what you’re consuming.
I hope that this post was interesting for you to read. It has been a long journey since February learning all that I can about food, nutrition and what diet works for me and I am excited to share what meal ideas I come up with!
Thank you so much for reading! Let me know if you have any good recipes that you enjoy making or any requests for food related content!
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