My whole life was inundated with meaty meals, dairy and the knowledge that if you don’t eat meat with every meal you won’t be getting enough protein. When I was younger I went vegetarian for a couple of years, but because I wasn’t eating the right things it had a negative impact on my health and I eventually went back to meat. 2 years ago the guilt of contributing to the world of animal cruelty in meat and dairy production got the better of me and I went pescatarian.
Along comes 2020 and I still wasn’t feeling good about my choices so I decided to go vegan. I am acutely aware of what I am putting into my body and it’s showing some serious benefits.
Here are 6 things I’ve noticed since I cut out animal product from my diet:
My sense of smell has always been abnormally good. I can smell everything anywhere, like a bloodhound. I could probably track a person who hasn’t showered in a week about 8 block away.
So the increased sense of smell is not completely a bonus for me, when I smell people cooking meat it is not the the best smell in the world.
On the other hand, my taste buds have received a super charge. I use less salt and I can taste hints of flavour I used to be oblivious to. This is pretty amazing and I have developed a new appreciation for all spices and the delicate flavours of herbs. This can have a slight drawback though, because if you give someone a taste of something you’re eating they loudly exclaim that there is no flavour. So in summary I have to season for myself but if I will be feeding other people, I need to compensate for their sense of taste.
2. PEOPLE ARE CONFUSED BY YOUR NEW WAY OF LIFE
Where are you getting your protein?? How can you eat that??
Things I have heard in abundance since I “turned”. I think the one thing any vegan needs to get used to is that fact that now everyone you meet will have opinions on your diet, usually quite um.. I don’t want to say ignorant because that comes off pretty negative. I’m going to say unfounded(?) I guess.
So here are a couple sources where I get my protein (and lots of it!). Lentils, chickpeas, oats, plant based milk, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, rice, nut butter, peas, pretty much all beans and nutritional yeast.
Protein for days! It is definitely not something I am in short supply of.
3. “I woke up like this” skin changes
On the whole, my skin has cleared up a whole lot. Apart from the occasional sneaky spot while I am knee deep in the red tide, my skin has never been this good. I have had multiple compliments on my skin and how I’m glowing etc. All completely welcome, who doesn’t LOVE being complimented!
4. SKINNY BITCH
Okay well I am far from skinny. I have always been a chunky lady, but since the transition I have been steadily losing weight. I feel like I am eating constantly and yet the weight is still slowly coming down. I was always told that to lose weight I needed to have a greater amount of meat protein in my diet, now I am pretty sure that’s what was keeping me fat.
5. IT’S SO MUCH EASIER THAN YOU’D THINK
Abandoning meat and dairy at first seemed like a monumental task. I loved cheese, always had a dash of milk in my coffee and had meat with almost every meal. I thought I would miss things like that, but strangely I do not.
I have to be incredibly conscious about what I put in my body and with that realisation, the food I am making has become varied and plentiful. My meals have heaps of flavour, loads of different ingredients and an exciting adventure every day.
I use plant-based milk everyday. In my smoothies, in my coffee and in my cooking and baking. I always have a bit of vegan cheese in my fridge for cheesy days.
Eating out is always a bit difficult, especially in my area where it’s still in the blossoming phase of vegan-friendly. On the other hand I always research a menu of a restaurant before I go, and you’d be surprised about how much there is available for vegans. I have one or two favourite places that are incredibly vegan friendly. The main one being Col ‘Cacchios. On the weekends if I go out, that is currently my favourite place. They are super vegan-friendly and and the vegan pizza is better than any non-vegan pizza I’ve ever had. Guuuuuurrrll and their vegan dessert is heavenly.
6. GUILT-FREE LIVING
I mentioned briefly that I was suffering from severe guilt because of my contribution to animal cruelty. This stemmed from meat and dairy, skin and hair care products that were not animal cruelty free, make-up that was tested on animals.
I now only use cruelty free products and my go to website is Cruelty Free Kitty where I check on all my purchases. If I can’t find something I just do a Google search and will have my answer within minutes. You will find that the amount of reading about product is greatly increased, especially while grocery shopping. So get your reading glasses out and add extra time to your allocated shopping excursion!
Some things I have not yet chucked out are my leather accessories because I got them before the change. This is a bit of a touchy subject because some vegans feel wearing leather encourages other people to use it. Other people of the opposite opinion believe that if you are not contributing to the trade and have things from before, it should be accepted. I think each person should develop their own opinion.
These were just a couple of things I have noticed during my change to vegan, and there are many more. It has been an absolute pleasure so far and I only expect things to get better and better. Happy vegan trails my friends!
Thanks for reading,