I know it’s been a long while since I’ve posted. And I never really posted a final evaluation of the whole vegan diet. Well, here it goes:
As I said before, even a year ago, if you told me I would have tried going vegan for a whole month, I would have said you were tripping. However, after my wife suggested it, with here doey eyes, I had to say yes.
I was curious to see what effects it would have on me, good and bad. Moreover, with all the bad things I’ve heard and seen about the meat industry, paired with intriguing studies supporting plant-based diets as a healthy and sustainable way of life, it was worth a deeper look. My biggest concern in the past was the inability to get a fully nutritious diet, especially with complete proteins/aminos. I did my research and found a lot of positive findings on the vegan lifestyle which addressed my concerns. However, as with all studies, I took it with a grain of salt. Obviously most of these studies have been funded/conducted by those with an agenda that is strengthened by results of these studies.
In the end, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try this. I mean, I’ve done so much to my body in the past, knowing that the effects on my body were definitely bad. So wifey and I embarked on the 30 day experiment together (it definitely makes it much easier if everyone is on board).
At home, It was easy, even fun. We tried new recipes and made note of what we liked, disliked or were indifferent to. There was a lot of new foods we tried. I especially enjoyed experimenting with making seitan. My wife seemed to enjoy finding good desserts, like cakes in cups.
Outside of the house was a little harder. Work doesn’t provide many options. Restaurants only really have salads, because practically everything they offer as “vegetarian” has at least cheese in it (which in many cases are not even vegetarian friendly, using rennet, which is calf stomach lining in the cheese making process). In Lausanne and pretty much Switzerland as a whole, it’s pretty hard for a vegan, though it is getting better. Actually, this part of Europe in general doesn’t make it easy (as we found out going to Marseille last weekend). Some still believe fish is not meat over here! We found that falafel sandwiches or tabouli at any kebab place are an easy go-to when out.
I’m not sure I felt many obvious effects physically in the 1 month I was on the diet. I did lose about 3 kilos (6.75 lbs) in the month without trying. I still stuffed myself at dinner time if the food was good (which was a lot of the time), I snacked, and I kept the same workout regimen. I did feel less tired and was sleeping better. My skin seemed to get better, but then towards the end I had a minor flare up of my seborrheic dermatitis. I didn’t really see much of a difference in the gym, no strength gains, but definite improvement in cardio. I think the biggest difference was the fact that I wasn’t getting tired in the afternoon and seemed to have more energy throughout the day without having to rely too much on caffeine.
So, in the end, I do find the vegan diet to be beneficial, but not exactly life changing. A more prolonged time on the diet may see increased benefits, but that remains in question. After the 30 days, I’ve basically gone to a 80-90% vegan diet. At home, I am vegetarian because I basically eat whatever my wife (vegetarian) makes. At work I stick mostly to the vegan meal replacement shake, but do have a tuna or roast beef sandwich on occasion. When eating out, I will eat whatever I find most inviting, which will be non-vegan about 80% of the time. I’m not 100% vegan, but still feel like the serious reduction in animal products is benefitting my overall health.
Ok, onto a new subject:
I thought I would be done with this blog after the initial 30 days. However, I’m now thinking about a new project. I’m currently reading Thrive Fitness: The Vegan-Based Training Program for Maximum Strength, Health, and Fitness, and am probably going to follow the 6-week program set forth in this book. I will possibly make a few modifications to the diet, as it’s comprised solely of raw foods, which I don’t think I’m ready for. Once I’m done reading the book, I’ll lay out my plan and go at it for 6 weeks. I will write a weekly post (as the daily is just too tedious and uninteresting for this subject matter), updating on progress and overall feelings of the program. Has anyone reading done this program? If so, any thoughts or words of advice/caution? I’d love to hear from you.
Next post coming when/if I start…till then!