Vegan Update #1 - How's the dang diet going?
So, I just checked and I've been vegan for about 3 months.
3 months without animal products. 3 months without meat, dairy, or eggs (for the most part).
To quote fellow vegan Miley Cyrus, "I'd never have believed you if you had told me 3 years ago I'd be here, writing this [blog post]." (Can you tell this is my 2017 summer jam?)
To be honest, these past 3 months have kind of flown by. I guess because I have a new job and it's summer and summer always seems to fly by. I didn't even realize I've been vegan for 3 months until about 5 minutes ago. Geez.
So, have I noticed any differences these past few months?
Yes, let me list the things.
#1 We're experimenting with food again!
When I was an omnivore, we ate pretty boring foods. Restaurants were always pretty much the same and not really special - we'd go to WhiteSpot or whatever. Since I went vegan, C and I have gone to so many cool vegan restaurants around Vancouver. Hell, this weekend we're heading out to a new vegan ice cream parlour...just to try it out! Beyond that, we'll try new recipes at home. Our spice cupboard is overflowing and we're always trading cool new recipes. C has learned to make a damn good hummus and I've learned how to perfectly bake tofu. I'm actually excited to eat because....everything is new and exciting. It's pretty dope.
#2 My hip has gotten better
Now, don't roll your eyes and close the browser. I know, I know, it sounds insane. I had chronic pain in my hip....to the point where I was walking with a limp. Since going vegan, my hip pain has decreased substantially and I can go for walks and runs again. I will add to this that at my current job, I'm sitting a lot more than I was before and that might have something to do with it - but the pain does seem to have decreased and I'm still keeping active. My recovery time as far as running has improved, too. I'm not sure if this has something to do with endometriosis or just less inflammation from not eating dairy. Either way, I'll take it.
#3 My periods are.....easy?
Before I was vegan, I was pretty much down and out for the first day or two of my period. I would get dizzy, bleed cups and cups and cups of blood (no, really, it was bad), have cramps where I'd have to lie in bed with a hot water bottle, and the week before I'd have the worst PMS ever. The past 2 months, I have had mild cramps and haven't bled all that much at all. My moods have been more stable. I finally feel like I know what it feels like to have normal periods and I find this mind-blowing.
#4 I'm generally happier
I feel like my morals align with my choices and that feels -really- good. I feel like I'm doing the least amount of harm I can for both the animals and the environment and that puts a big smile on my face. I've also stopped obsessing about good and bad foods (and generally think less about food). I feel like my life is a lot more balanced now that I've gone vegan....as weird as that may sound. This could also be a product of cutting out meat/dairy and not having that chronic inflammation bumming me out that I had beforehand - I'm sure it's probably been a bit of both. Chronic pain is just soul-sucking in the worst way possible. So yes, I'd say my moods have definitely improved.
#5 I'm more aware of BS marketing
Someone on r/vegan said that they feel like they were in the movie "The Matrix" before they became vegan. I feel the exact same way. It's like, once you become vegan you can't go back. You can't "unsee" the inherent suffering caused from animal products. It angers me when I'm on the bus and I see an advertisement from the dairy industry talking abut osteoporosis and how milk can help prevent that. It annoys me when I see smiling chickens on menus at restaurants. I realize that I'd never really given a thought to these things before, but now I'm insulted. Happy cows? C'mon...
#6 Having "those" conversations
I've had a few pretty awkward conversations with people about my veganism. I'm lucky in that I've surrounded myself with very understanding people who don't question me too much. Regardless, I've still had to have that convo with new folks, which has been interesting. For the most part, people have been respectful of my choices and I haven't had any major issues. I'll often get follow-up questions which is great...but also a little awkward. I don't want to be a "pushy" vegan and I hate making other people feel uncomfortable so I try to stay away from that as much as possible and I'd attribute that to veganism.
#7 I'm more compassionate
I used to squish spiders and I never really considered volunteering or anything of the sort. Now things have changed. I'm actively looking for a place to volunteer and I catch and release spids on the daily. I listen to podcasts about animal-rights and human-rights. I try to educate myself about the things going on in the world. I'm thinking of going zero-waste as much as possible. I try not to buy things unnecessarily. I look more into the companies I support. I buy local whenever possible. I feel like I -care- more than I did before...and that started with veganism.
So, I'd say that veganism is working for me. As of 3 months in, I still feel healthy and happy and I haven't died of protein deficiency yet. I think that I'll probably eat this way for the rest of my life, honestly. I can't ever see myself going back to eating animals or animal products ever again. It's weird to type that out....and it's weirder still knowing that I may have eaten my last steak or chicken legs or omelette. But, to be honest, I don't miss any of it at all. I'm excited for all of the other cool things I can eat, and I'm excited to finally feel healthy.
Of course, this is just the first update. If I'm still vegan 6 months in, I'll write another post with my 6 month vegan revelations. I'm excited to see what changes in that time - or if anything does at all. :)
So, until then friends, keep on keepin' on. And keep eating plants. They're pretty awesome.
(Photo by Jamie Street)