5 Things I wish I Knew Before Going Plant Based
Plant based eating has become a widespread epidemic across the states. People all around now have “Vegan” or “Plant-based” hash tagged in their bios and are telling everyone who will listen. I can proudly say that I have been vegetarian for over a year now. February of last year I embarked on a vegan 30 day challenge which turned in a lifestyle shift.
What made me do it? Last year, one of my words were self-disciplined and what better way to test your self discipline than cutting out all animal by-products? Going vegan was something that I put on my vision board year after year and I just never accomplished it. I had slowly started cutting out different animal products since I was a kid so, I figured it was time to go all the way. There were alot of things that I was not prepared for when transitioning so I am here to tell you the things you should consider before you take the leap.
When I first made my transition the sleepiness I felt was indescribable. People love to preach how much energy you have when you go plant based but I did not find that to be true. For me personally, the first few weeks of this dietary change was tragic. I had absolutely no energy to do anything but lay in the bed. After my body adjusted, I did feel a lot more energized but, even to this day there are some days where I feel really fatigued and I believe it's due to things lacking in my diet. How I have combated this is by making sure to take a multivitamin and to take b12. Always ask your doctor before trying these things.
Makes eating with others difficult
So, I pretty much just made things more complicated when trying to eat with friends and family. At first, I would always have to make my own food and bring it. My family now is really good at making sure to not contaminate dishes with their animal flesh so that my daughter and I can have something to eat. Even for thanksgiving my family made complete separate vegetarian dishes for me to indulge in and I thought that was really thoughtful. However, not everyone is so thoughtful and you may end up hungry at events or parties.
Difficult to find menu items
A lot of my favorite restaurants, are no longer my favorite. You would think that in 2019 more restaurants would be plant based friendly, but they are not. I find it difficult to find menus that offer plant based items (not just salads where you ask for no meat) and items for non-plant based people to eat. I usually just stick to hibachi at this point as it offers something for everyone. Most places you can alter the menu items to fit your diet but I have found that doesn't mean they alter the price. For me, this has been really annoying as I don’t want to pay $10 for a bowl of lettuce.
If done correctly, plant based living can actually be a lot cheaper. When I first went vegan, I was spending a ton of money but that was because I didn't know what I was doing. Plus, there were a lot of start up cost with the lifestyle. Meaning, buying different seasonings, sauces, flour, etc. I now do not buy those things as frequently. I usually spend around $50 on groceries to last my child and I one week. The key to keeping this diet friendly on the wallet is finding things that you like and keeping things simple. Most things you can make at home because those vegan chocolate chip cookies are going to be triple the cost when prepackaged.
Meals can get boring
I am a simple women and I hate cooking. I don’t have the patience to stand in the kitchen for hours meal prepping all of these elegant pinterest worthy vegetarian meals. I often opp for whatever is the quickest and most nutritional option. This leads me to eating the same thing all the time. I am also a picky eater so I usually repeat my purchases at the grocery store. If you have the time and energy to cook nice meals I do believe there are good creations out there you can try to keep things interesting.
After being a veggie lover for the last year, I do not foresee myself ever transitioning back. Since making this change, my relationship with food and eating has drastically changed. I do not feel stressed when it comes to eat and I actually enjoy it. There are so many benefits to not only our bodies but to the environment. I know this isn't a lifestyle change that everyone is capable of but I do think at least one meatless day could make a huge difference in your life.
What are your thoughts on plant based diets? Could you do it? Do you want to try? What’s holding you back?