I made it… 30 days with no animal products. I think except for one bun on a veggie burger that I am sure had egg in it, I have done it; NO animal products ingested! The biggest changes I had to make to my daily routine were to cut milk from my cereal (which I had mostly done already), no more cheese as a snack when I got home from work, and no meat at lunch or dinner. The hardest of those was no cheese. There seems to be cheese in and on everything and it tastes so darn good. I did experiment with a couple vegan cheese alternatives and they started to grow on me over time.
What did I get out of it? The most noticeable difference was an increase in energy level. Immediately I was not having that afternoon crash around 2:30/3:00 and I was drinking much less coffee. I did crash one day and that day I had a huge bean and rice burrito so I think the SUPER carb heavy meal just knocked me out! This also forced me to try new foods. Except for vegan cheese which is a little “different” everything I had was great! There were also a few other changes in my body (some better than others) that came with the vegan diet. I am not going to spell them out in an attempt to not be too graphic or gross. I will caution if you make the switch, stay close to the bathroom for the first couple days. There can be a lot of fiber in vegan cuisine!
I did NOT get the weight loss I was hoping for so I am going to have to get even more serious about my diet to lose these pesky 8 pounds. I found that if there wasn’t anything readily available to eat in the house I would gladly have a bowl of cereal with coconut milk. That didn’t do me any favors.
Some lessons learned thru this were one, always be prepared. Make sure you have food available so you aren’t always eating cereal. This also involved making a casserole at the beginning of the week so I would have a couple of lunch and dinners already made. Two, restaurants will help you out if you are nice to them when explaining your dietary restrictions. I almost always looked at menus ahead of time before going to a restaurant to get an idea of what I could eat with the least amount of modification. Three, don’t restrict everyone else’s diet because you want to eat differently. But you can incorporate some of the healthier options into their meals without them even knowing it.
Where to now… I think I am going to stick with the vegan thing indefinitely for now. It really isn’t hard and it is providing me a nice framework for trying to eat more “whole foods”; something I think we all should do. I could see down the line maybe adding in eggs every once in awhile and possibly some cheese when it can’t be easily avoided. But for now I am going to keep it up. I would like to see how training for the Boston Marathon would be on a vegan diet!