I thought a Q & A would be best for this post since many people on my Instagram had lots of questions for me.
Why Vegan for a week?
Long story short, I have been battling with some health issues for the last 11 years. I have had two surgeries to correct it with my last surgery being about 3 months ago. Today, my symptoms are back and it’s evident that my surgery didn’t work as we hoped. This made me very frustrated and pushed me to find alternative treatment options. Many of the resources I found online recommended eating a plant based diet.
I was certain that the next time I see my specialist and get a scan to review everything, having another surgery will be an option on the table. So I figured I’d try this as best as I can while I await my next appointment with my specialist which is in about 3 months. I wanted to try being vegan for a week as a challenge to see if it’s something I could see myself doing.
Also, my skin started acting out when I added milk to my diet so I knew I had to cut it out.
How did my body handle the change?
I challenge myself to eat as much as I wanted and it helped me. What I found to be weird was how I didn’t feel stuffed over time as a result of overeating.
TMI ALERT: One thing I noticed was how frequently I had to use the bathroom. LOL, I had to go at least once every day. No hard stools, no constipation, everything was expelled easily and frequently. It actually made me feel good.
How difficult was the transition?
It was not difficult for me at all as I am pretty determined. So when I decided I would eat vegan for a week, I was determined. I already figured the kinds of things I would eat so it was easy to grab whatever I wanted when I was hungry and not feel like I was depriving myself.
One of my biggest fears was where my protein will come from. We are all obsessed with proteins. I quickly learned that there’s protein in almost everything. Spinach, cauliflower, quinoa, protein is everywhere! So do not even worry about being protein deficient. You will not be.
What does a day in my vegan for a week diet look like?
Wow thinking about this question made me realize that I didn’t cook much in this one week. Honestly, I stuck to the basics for this one.
Breakfast: OATMEAL. I normally eat oatmeal every morning so this was fairly easy. My oatmeal recipe varies depending on what I’m craving but it typically includes. Rolled oats, blueberries, coconut flakes, Almond butter (for extra protein), raisins for sweetening (which is also great for antioxidants), almond milk & cinnamon.
Lunch: Salad with homemade avocado cream. Snacking on veggies also filled me up fairly easily. Peppers and cucumbers with almond butter were my go to lunch snack.
Dinner: Stewed beans with baked sweet potatoes.
Favourite vegan recipe?
My current favorite is stewed beans. It’s like making chili but with garam masala spice instead of chili and cumin. Lately, I have been loving garbanzo beans which I include in pretty much every meal.
Have I noticed any difference in my skin?
It’s hard to say because I have been using some great skincare products as well. But I feel like my skin does look healthier overall. I am not going to attribute it 100% to vegan for a week tho. Ask me again when I hit the one month mark.
Did I have any craving? If so how did I deal with it?
I did not have any craving for meat or animal product. The only thing I was concerned about was what I would do with my meats and fishes when I do decide to do this long term. I was pretty determined to make it through the seven-day challenge. I wished to have Chipotle or Chic-Fil-A but it wasn’t really a craving per say.
What was the hardest part?
I was initially worried about getting enough nutrients and unsure if I was eating enough protein. This worry eased out after two days when I read about how many grams of proteins are in veggies and other foods other than meat.
What was the best part?
Soon enough, I realized that I could eat whatever I wanted as long as it didn’t contain animal products. I didn’t feel deprived. I felt like I was eating a LOOOOT of food but the calorie intake was still low. When I ate and was full, I didn’t feel gagged and drowsy from overeating. It’s a very weird feeling for someone who attributes the feeling of being stuffed to satiety.
Any Change in Weight?
Even though I promised not to weigh myself anymore and wrote about Why I will stop weighing myself, I knew this would come up. I did lose 3 lbs and a few inches off my body but do keep in mind that I also workout at least 4 times a week. But yes, I do attribute a huge portion of my weight loss success to the healthy plant based diet. I had so much energy to workout and throughout the day, it was insane!
Is it more expensive to eat Vegan?
No, no, no, no, no, no! I saved more and actually bought more food with the same amount of money I spend eating animal products. I mean, my salmon alone was $29/3 lbs. LOL. It is definitely more affordable depending on where you shop of course.
The challenge is over, now what?
Something interesting happened after day 7. I felt so uneasy with the thought of eating meats again. The thought of eating meat felt like jeopardizing the hard work I had put in. I did eat meat and drank milk on day 9. After which, I legit felt like trash (I kid not).
So going forward, I have reverted back to a plant based diet and will be doing this long term now. I am making the switch to eating only plant based diet. However, I am allowing myself the freedom to eat meat (suya) should someone make it for me. My goal is to eat >96% plant based with the remaining 4% being the freedom I am giving myself to eat animal product on rare occasions (like at family gatherings or events etc).
I do not plan to shop for meats and dairy etc, I will not intentionally seek out meat but I also will not freak out if someone offered them to me. What started out as a challenge is becoming my lifestyle.
*Update 11/15/17: I wrote about My vegan Journey + 10 Tips For New Vegans
Let’s chat below. Would you consider going vegan for a week? Forever? Why or why not? What’s your biggest concern about going vegan?
Lots of Love, Asaake ♥