Just about a month and a half ago, Greg I decided to give up all meat, dairy, eggs and any other food that came from an animal for six week.
See these cute little piggies? We didn’t eat any of them.
Okay, maybe that was in poor taste….
Six weeks later, I’m feeling good! Time really flew by, and I could easily go for another six weeks. Heck, I think that I could continue with a vegan diet… but I’m not going to 100%. Here are some of my thoughts on the six weeks of the vegan experiment:
VARIETY: I think I was just in a real food rut. Before the experiment, I was making the same meals over and over again, and by cooking vegan, I created many new recipes!
THOUGHT: I wasn’t putting a whole lot of thought into exactly what I was cooking with. Eliminating entire food groups really made me focus more on the ingredients that I was using and how to substitute for animal-based products that I had been eating before.
CREATIVITY: I am much more creative when I cook without any meat, because it’s really important to me to cook meals that taste good. For me, it’s not that easy to just throw together a vegan meal that actually tastes great, and I discovered a lot of new (to me) ingredients that I will continue to cook with.
MONEY SAVED: Buying a block of tofu for $1.99 that will serve as the protein for at least two meals is a lot cheaper than the same weight of organic meat. I also cooked a lot with legumes, which I buy dried, and are dirt cheap.
CLEAR SKIN: My skin did clear up quite a bit over the last six weeks. My hair seems a lot shinier too… but I’m not sure if that has anything to do with eating a vegan diet… I’ll have to look that one up.
LESS IMPULSE SNACKING: I’m the type of gal that never passes up a free sample at Whole Foods or my local organic grocer. However, I’ve had to look at the ingredients on everything, which often contain milk. And if I think something may have milk or butter, I just assume it does, and pass it up. This has (sadly) kept me from sampling many baked goods and sweet treats!
TIME: It did take a lot more time and effort to prepare meals. Like I mentioned above- it’s really important to me that food tastes good, and that just requires more effort!
EATING OUT: It really wasn’t that hard, but there were a few times (like at the airport) where there weren’t ANY vegan options, so I had to bring my own food and/or have a back-up plan. I know that this was a huge issue for Greg, because he goes out to eat much more than I do. Luckily, the bulk of my eating out was in Colorado, and it was super easy to find vegan food there!
FEELING FULL: I didn’t have a huge problem with this, but I know that Greg did. He said the he felt hungry all the time. He was always a huge meat eater, and the bulk of his calories came from that. It wasn’t as easy for him to replace those calories with plant-based foods.
I feel really good about doing this 6 week experiment overall. And I have mixed feelings about “how” I’m going to be eating from here on out. I know that I don’t have to put a label on anything and what I eat is completely my own business, but I admit- I am struggling with it a bit. Part of me would be completely happy eating a vegan diet forever, but there’s a larger part that would just rather eat less meat and dairy and focus more on plant-based foods. As of right now, I really don’t miss meat or dairy. Eggs? That’s another story. I do miss eggs…. and plan on eating one today.
As far as buying meat (for either Greg or me), I’m going to be a lot more conscious of exactly where it comes from, how the animals were raised, and if they were treated in a humane way (prior to being slaughtered, of course…). Luckily, there are a lot of local farms that sell chicken, pork and beef (that aren’t “factory farms”) and the animals are raised in good conditions. Sure, I may eat a meat at a restaurant some time, and I may not know where it came from, but that’s my choice and I’ll have to live with that. In all honesty, I’m a bit conflicted.
Honestly, I feel a little weird about eating meat again after not having it for so long. It’s hard to explain, but it just feels “strange.”
The game plan for now is to continue a (mostly) plant-based diet with a little bit of meat/eggs thrown in the mix. I want to stay away from dairy a little bit longer, because I think it may have caused my stomach to be upset quite often. I’ll add it back in later on and see if it was the culprit.
I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite vegan recipes from the last 6 weeks:
ONE MORE THING!
The smoothie recipes listed in the comments section of the PlantFusion Giveaway post are SO AWESOME. If you haven’t checked them out, please do! The winner of the giveaway is…
#1!! How about that. Michelle, please send shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and mailing address! CONGRATS!
Have a great Monday!
Do you put a “label” on how/what you eat? If so, what is it?