Updated: Aug 9, 2018
It seems like only yesterday that my sister Brigit and I sat down after Christmas dinner to decide that we were officially cutting out egg and dairy products. We'd stopped eating meat a year before and decided it was time to transition from vegetarian to vegan.
It's now been seven months and during this relatively short period of time, it feels like so much has changed!
The first few weeks were the hardest. Having to remember to ask for plant-milk when ordering a coffee and finding something to replace my scrambled eggs in the morning (tip: oatmeal for the win!).
These things took some time, but with every passing day it got easier as I began to create new routines and experimented with new replacements and recipes.
I've always tried to live what I consider to be a healthy lifestyle, and I've found this to be very easy as a vegan. Although there are tons of restaurants that offer vegan food and vegan replacements, I still tend to eat out rarely and instead cook most of my meals at home, which I find is also much cheaper. I mainly stick to whole food ingredients like leafy greens, root vegetables, beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, nuts and seeds, which are packed with iron, protein and fibre.
However, I do occasionally love to incorporate meat replacements like 'meatballs' and 'chickenless fingers' from companies like Gardein and Beyond Meat into dishes and try out cheese replacements from Chao and Earth Island. There are tons of amazing vegan treats out there, living as a vegan can be as healthy or as unhealthy as you choose to make it.
I can tell you with certainty that this is by far the best I've felt, both mentally and physically. I workout 6 to 8 times a week, doing a range of activities like weight training, spin classes, running, yoga and I've seen an improvement in both my energy levels and my preformance over the last few months. I've experienced less brain fog, I've been sleeping better and I haven't been sick with a cold or fever once since January. I obviously can't be certain that all these positive changes can be attributed solely to my diet, but these changes line up with research and other vegan's experiences as well!
I'm grateful for all the support and positive reactions I've had from the people around me, especially my close family. Going vegan has truly been the best decision I've ever made. I'm really excited to continue meeting people in the community in the coming years and making lots more delicious food. If you'd like more information or access to any resources you can feel free to contact me. Happy cooking!
Edited by Julia Moran