I Tried Eating Vegan| Healthy Eating

I don't claim to be a health expert, but I wanted to share my personal experience with changing my diet.

Vegan eating or eating a plant-based diet is a very healthy and natural way to eat. I have met numerous people who are eating a plant-based diet and feel like they are finally living their most healthy and balanced lives. After meeting so many people and seeing a few documentaries and apps for living and eating in this way, I decided to try it.

Armed with meal plans and an app of recipes, I set out to go from a typical South Texas diet (including a mix of Tex-Mex and Barbeque) to a plant-based diet. I was successful - for a weekend. For four days, I managed to only eat things that were plant-based and unprocessed. Here is what I learned from that time.

Positives: I had no pain. My period happened to start on the second day of this eating plan, so before starting the diet, I had tell-tale PMS cramps. After a full day of eating all plants or plant-based items, the PMS cramps went away completely, tricking me into thinking that my period would be delayed. It came anyway, with my first full day (which is usually the worst cramps day) having no cramps. I could also tell that my blood pressure was lower (no sound of a pulse in my ears while lying down) and some of the usual pain-sensations that I'll get through the day randomly went away as well.

Negatives: While I had no pain, I felt myself losing general feeling. Eating something was more of a thing to do because I knew I had to, not because I wanted to. My appetite disappeared and I was leaving meals half-finished. Because I wasn't eating enough, I had no energy. Paired with my period symptoms, I felt like I had no energy at all and felt like a fragile being.

What I learned: I like fresh fruits and vegetables. I can't stand cooked ones very well, even steamed or cut up to go over a hot food item. This is good because they say that fresh or raw fruits and vegetables have the most nutrients since some are lost in the cooking process. I also found that I like almond milk more than cow's milk and tomatoes are surprisingly good. (I never liked them before.)

I also learned that a vegan diet is not for me. After the fourth day, I got up on the fifth day, had a vegan breakfast, got to work, and was nearly falling asleep at my desk. I was dreading lunchtime since I had packed a whole wheat pasta, basil oil-free pesto, with white beans. Instead, what I really wanted was a salad. Specifically, a salad from chick fil a around the corner. So that's what I got. After eating that salad, for lack of a better way to describe what happened, I felt the life come back to me. The next day, my appetite returned.

Now I am clean-eating. I know that doesn't include chick fil a salad on the menu, but it still includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and little amounts of clean meat and dairy. I'm staying away from dairy for the most part, as well as sugar and processed foods. This plan is working out much better for me, and who knows? Maybe one day I can try to eat wholly plant-based again since it will be a smaller, less drastic jump for me to stick to.

(all my own opinions. not sponsored. I am not a health expert and I welcome tips in the comments.)

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