I have now been vegan for three full months. This journey has far surpassed my expectations and here are some of my findings.
What is vegan?
A person who does not eat any food derived from animals and who typically does not use other animal products.
What was the toughest to give up?
I have tried from day 1 to not look at things as giving them up but rather at the new things I am trying and what have I gained. But – I do miss eggs. I know I can use egg-less eggs but honestly if I can’t have the real thing, I won’t have any and that has worked out just fine. I do occasionally cheat and so far it hasn’t been on eggs which leads me to understand that I really can live without them.
What is my favorite new food to eat?
Veggie sandwiches or wraps for sure. I can’t even define what kind because I love them all. Anything I have in my fridge that can go on a sandwich with avocado makes me a very happy person. I am trying to also lose weight so I do have to limit those carbs but I still allow my sandwiches and they are vegan. Prior to vegan I did not really eat cheese – never cared for it except on pizza. Now I love the dairy free cheese options.
Why do I enjoy vegan?
I transitioned to vegan for my health. For some that may be something they resent every day and staying vegan would be a challenge to maintain. But I look forward to every single meal. I have been very creative in the kitchen. I thought at first I would never be able to make elaborate recipes and believe it or not I haven’t even tried yet. What I have been doing is “winging it” and playing with my own seasonings and new foods and food combinations. I admit a couple times my concoctions ended up straight in the trash. But most times I am very happy with the result. I take a photo of every new meal that I love and save them on my phone to recreate after if I’d like. Easy peasy.
Has being vegan benefited my health?
I have four different autoimmune disorders as well as an endocrine issue and musculoskeletal issues. Yeah – I am a mess. But rather – was! Some things are still a mess – my bones will always be brittle (I think) and my tendons will always tear easily. Literally every other thing though has improved.
- Myositis aches and pains – gone and meds being reduced
- Lupus aches and pains – gone and meds being reduced
- Myosits and sclerosis skin issues – gone and meds being reduced
- Asthma – barely ever need my inhaler and when I have used it I feel it is out of habit rather than necessity
- Arthritis – no meds needed
- Blood pressure – low end of normal now rather than high
- Blood sugar – low end of normal now rather than high
- Liver issues – gone
- Surgery – prior to going vegan I tore two tendons in my right shoulder as a result of a fall. Surgery was in November and based on all my bone/joint/tendon issues I thought recovery would be horrific – so did the doctors. However, I needed no pain meds, not even Tylenol and Motrin and and way ahead of the curve with physical therapy. Usually me healing is way behind the normal curve.
What did I learn?
When people say if you start eating more healthy, you will no longer crave the unhealthy stuff – it is 100% true. Although I have had the occasional Oreos (yes they are vegan), more often than not I am grabbing an apple, pear, banana, homemade unsweetened applesauce, tomatoes, cucumbers, hummus etc… Also, I am perfectly happy drinking water and only water (except for the occasional Starbucks coffee with almond milk). I no longer drink Diet Coke, no longer drink flavored waters such as Crystal Light – water, water, and more water.
Because of my medical conditions I have blood tests every month. This makes it very easy to see statistically what changes to my body are. But I have felt the changes all along the way. Although I say I am vegan I have occasionally cheated. I won’t hurt someone else’s feelings if I can help it especially if they are trying to meet what I can eat but don’t understand it enough. Making my own food is the easiest solution to just about everything. I check my blood pressure and weight daily. Although I am trying to lose weight I am just letting it happen. I like what I like for foods and if it takes a bit longer to lose the weight that is perfectly fine as long as I am still feeling well.
If you don’t know how to cook something – add garlic powder, salt, pepper, mist with olive oil and roast, saute’, or air fry. You can’t go wrong!
Try new foods – for me the best way to do that was to sign up for MisfitsMarket.com and get a Madness box of organic produce delivered to my home weekly. It is a great deal and often I can get produce that is not easily and readily available in my area. Misfits Market saves so much money on organic produce which would otherwise be cost prohibitive.
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