Hey guys! Yes, you read that correctly! It has been about three (maybe four) months since I had animal products.
In the interest of transparency, I have had dairy a handful of times in the last few months, mostly on accident as there’s a learning curve, except that I have a weakness for these cookies (you can thank me later) that I have not been able to give up yet.
Let’s start out by discussing what it means to be vegan. From my research, there are different levels of veganism. According to Wikipedia, there are dietary vegans who eat a plant-based diet and refrain from consuming meats, dairy products or any product that comes from an animal. Then you have your ethical vegan, who is essentially a dietary vegan who also carries the “no animals” philosophy into other aspects of life. For example, avoiding purchasing clothes that contain feathers, fur, leather and wool. As well as avoiding activities that exploit animals such as animals shows, fishing or hunting.
Another definition, according to the Vegan Society:
“Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. There are many ways to embrace vegan living. Yet one thing all vegans have in common is a plant-based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat (including fish, shellfish and insects), dairy, eggs and honey – as well as avoiding animal-derived materials, products tested on animals and places that use animals for entertainment.”
Now that you have a better understanding of what veganism is, you may be wondering WHY I decided to go vegan. It was quite simple – I want to eat healthier. There are many ways to eat a well-balanced, “heathy” diet without being so extreme, but it started off as a way to challenge myself to eat more fruits and veggies, and then it took off from there after I truly started to enjoy it.
Which of those categories do I fall into? Right now, I am just a dietary vegan, but that may change in the future.
You may also be wondering if I did this to lose weight. Not really. With lots of diets, you can find an unhealthy version. An example of that is with the keto diet, you can eat “dirty,” with your meals consisting of highly processed packaged foods high in fat. Yes, you can still lose weight on that diet but there are health risks associated with it. With veganism, I could eat lots of carbs such as potatoes, rice, chips and very little veggies and I would still be considered vegan; however, I have made a very conscious effort to eat wholesome foods, which has resulted in me cooking ALL of my meals, and I have truly enjoyed it.
Next question I get a lot: What do you eat? What don’t you eat? I am not a picky eater so finding things to eat has not been a problem. There are so many fruits and veggies that I would not normally pick at the grocery store that now I reach for. I have learnt a lot about recipes and foods from YouTube and a few cookbooks have been quite helpful.
The other questions I receive include, “Are you still vegan?” and “How long is this going to last?” I don’t know. I will do this until I don’t feel like doing it. There is no pressure; I am truly enjoying it at this time, so I have no plans to stop.
Some of the YouTubers I’ve been watching lately are:
- The Nigerian Vegan
- SweetPotatoSoul (Thanks to my sister for buying me her cookbook!!)
- Rachel Ama (She’s pregnant so she has not been as active on YouTube.)
- Caitlin Shoemaker
- Jaclyn Forbes
- Simply Quinoa
- Amanda Ducks
- Plantiful Kiki
I guess this post would be somewhat underwhelming if I didn’t include a before and after picture. Keep in mind I started exercising prior to the COVID-19 chronicles but I have not been all that consistent with exercising lately, although I did recently purchase a bike 😊.
Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that even though I am a health professional, you need to seek the advice of your personal medical professional before starting any kind of diet or lifestyle change. This is extremely important because our health histories will be different and what works for me may be more harmful for you.
On to the pictures, so enjoy. ( I wish I had better quality pictures but I don’t 🤪 and I don’t weigh myself, EVER)
Till next time.