17 weeks and counting…

Seventeen weeks ago, I made a decision that turned into a lifestyle change. After being tired of the extreme bloat that accompanied any dairy meal or product I consumed, I decided to detox for a week. During this week I would only eat vegetation. I would take on a vegan diet for the entire week. This didn’t seem like a difficult task for me being that I’d done two 20-day raw vegan detoxes before. What’s a week at this point? I felt my body needed a break and this was my attempt at giving it one. Well one week turned into two. Two into three. Before you know know it, I was 8 weeks in and not missing meat AT ALL. That is, until I heard someone mention fried fish. I then decided that I’d sparingly reincorporate seafood into my diet. What does “sparingly” look like? Well for me it was eating seafood on the weekends and also if I were outside dining and decided that’s what I wanted, that is what I would have. That worked for me up until about 2 weeks ago when I decided to remove seafood from my diet again. I am now back to eating 100% plant based. Today makes 17 weeks since that first week. With this change came a lot of questions. I will answer a few.

Are you going to do this forever?

I don’t know. What I can say is, this works for me right now. As I have become more conscious in cultivating a healthier WHOLE me, this is one of the changes I’ve made.

You don’t miss meat?

Honestly, no. I mean I smell just like everyone else. So there are times when I smell something that reminds me of a particular taste, well… that’s it. lol I’m not really craving anything. I remember how good something may have tasted but I don’t feel tempted. I am completely content with my new journey.

What is the difference between being a vegan and a vegetarian?

Simply put, veganism is the more strict of the two. A vegan doesn’t eat anything that came from an animal. Thats means no cow’s milk, no cheese, no eggs, etc. And while there are different variations of vegetarianism, they basically just don’t eat meat. They won’t eat chicken, pork, beef, etc. They may however eat seafood which then makes them a pescatarian.

So… you just eat rabbit food (salad)?

lol. Not at all. This is funny because many people have a misconception that being a vegan means that you’re only eating salads all day. Yeah… that’s a no. If you know me, you know how much I enjoy food. With that being said, even as a vegan, I NEED to enjoy my food. I’ve traveled quite bit since changing to this healthier way of living and I have found some of the most AMAZING vegan restaurants! I also cook amazing meals at home so I am not sacrificing taste at all.

What changes have you noticed in your body?

This is probably of the most common questions that I get. The most obvious change that everyone else has noticed about me is that I have lost a nice amount of weight. I was around 254 earlier this year. I am now 207. No pills. Nothing but a change in diet. The biggest change for me is that I just feel better. I don’t feel so tired. I’m hardly ever bloated and I don’t feel as heavy. lol Well… maybe that’s because I’m simply not. lol Also I can eat a full meal and not have that lethargic feeling that I would have previously. My skin looks better. I look and feel amazing!

Disclaimer: I am almost 6 feet tall and pretty solid, so many people never realize how much I weigh at any given time. At 207, my mom told me that I should slow down on the “weight loss thing.”

lol I’m just eating healthy, Ma!

What would your advice be to someone who is thinking about becoming vegan? What tips would you offer?

I would say, for one, eat the things you currently love that fit into the perimeters of the diet. If you love broccoli, make sure you keep that and any other vegetable, fruit or nuts that you enjoy. Next, I’d say look for comparables. I love burgers, so black bean burgers are a staple in my home. I love rice and beans so I kept that. Also I love chicken wings! Who knew that cauliflower could turn into a very similar menu item. There are all sorts of groups and pages across social media that can help you with this. Also, take a scroll down the aisles of your favorite grocery stores and discover new things, Most importantly, keep an open mind. If you don’t like something, you never have to eat it again. If you do like it, you may have a staple for your new way forward!

Here are a few dishes that I have made during this journey that turned out really good! To follow my journey a little more closely, follow my vegan journey page one Instagram (@her.vegan.journey). I will soon share many of the restaurants that I have tried locally as well as through my travels. Also different products that I keep in the fridge!

As I head to the kitchen to figure out tonight’s dinner, I’d leave you with these.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

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