I only realized a couple of days ago, that I have never let you know how it went on with my 6 week vegan challenge. Since today is World Vegan Day I thought this a good opportunity to catch up.
Pete and I have managed to not eat any animal related products through our challenge. In London new vegan restaurants and groceries are popping up all the time, which made it quite easy for us to work through the six weeks. However, to avoid relapses we planned our meals well ahead. Which is not a bad thing as this is usually healthier than just grabbing something on the go.
So what happened when I gave up any animal related products?
Within only one week I felt I had a lot more energy. At first I thought this is only my imagination so I didn’t even mention it to Pete who started the challenge with me at the same time. However around that time he decided to go for a run as he FELT like it even though he hasn’t exercised in months. Following his run he stated to have a lot more energy and it was a lot easier for him, as it usually was when he had a longer break.
It wasn’t my intention but I’ve lost 3kg. Pete even lost 8kg within that time. And this by only stopping to eat animal related products and not by eating healthy! In fact, I felt we ate even more junk food than usual from Oreo cookies (a vegan’s staple) to crisps, vegan chocolate etc. I have no idea why this is the case, but pretty much every person who goes vegan seems to have the same experience.
Our digestion improved. This is not a surprise to me as I know that plant based products are just easier to digest for us, usually within the same day or latest the next day. In comparison – it takes up to 4 days until meat is out of your system… urgh.
Clearly the digestive system needs a lot of energy to digest meat. This is likely also the case with other animal related products as I have been a vegetarian since 4 years and still felt a boost in my energy levels. Which means there is a lot more energy for other things.
Unfortunately both of us were too busy to have a before and after blood test taken. Neither did I have one made when I stopped eating meat 4 years ago. But since then no Doctor ever mentioned any deficits. So much to, “we need to take supplements when we stop eating meat.”
Even though the UK has a lot of vegan groceries, the choice of vegan food is limited. It was/is very frustrating for me that for no apparent reason, 99,9% of the groceries contain milk powder. Most flavoured crisps, bread even pizza dough were off limit because of this.
London is pretty good and has a variety of vegan food to offer. However in restaurants there was often only a vegetarian option and we ended up eating only side dishes, meaning we left the restaurant still feeling hungry and getting a vegan sandwich from somewhere else.
During our challenge I found people who eat meat can be very judgmental towards people who have decided to go vegan. I can’t even count the times I had to explain myself and was made to look stupid. I really don’t understand why! I kept thinking to myself rather than asking me why I decided to try this vegan challenge, they should ask themselves why they don’t give it a try. Because, if you think about it, being against the vegan way of living is to be pro animal cruelty. Not to mention the effects the animal industry has on our environment, as it is the main contributor to the greenhouse effect.
Some people were in shock, when I mentioned that I’m on a vegan challenge, stating that it’s not healthy. However, after all the research I’ve done I’m convinced that the opposite is the case and that animal related products are not healthy for us (especially when I think about the way animals are kept. This includes any free range farming) and also are not meant for us.
I will not go into detail about this now as there is so much information out there and if someone is ready to take the leap, lots of information can be found on the internet. Just make sure, when you do get the information BE WARY AND JUDGEMENTAL as to who has put the information out there and who’s interests are behind it and also use common sense and to not only see what we want to see just because it is easier and we don’t have to change our habits.
We managed to not eat any animal related products for six weeks and even longer. However, I have to admit that consistently staying vegan is pretty though. Especially when you are invited to someone’s home and you pretty much can’t each anything that is served.
So are we still vegan?
The best outcome of this challenge is, that Pete has stopped eating meat completely. He states to not even be tempted anymore, even though he used to be a huge meat lover.
I would say our diet is 95% vegan. Still my biggest challenges are ice cream and chocolate. Especially Milka chocolate and Daim cake. I even seem to crave these things more than before and I feel by completely restricting myself from it will make it worse. So every couple of weeks, I may eat something that contains an animal related product, simply because there is not that much choice out there YET.
I’ve always respected someone’s choice to follow a plant based diet. After this challenge I respect this decision even more because it seems our society simply is not ready yet. I understand that even to go vegetarian is tough. But if all would at least start to be more conscious about what they are eating and how often they are eating meat or animal related products, it would make a big difference. Maybe it helps, if you think about how cheap meat is these days and that vegetables are almost as expensive. So then, how healthy can meat actually be? Anyways, I feel there is a huge movement towards veganism happening at the moment particularly in the UK.
Who knows, maybe in some future it will be hard for new generations to believe that we once ate animal related products not to speak of actually eating meat. Because if you think about it, it really is barbaric and does not fit together with our so called highly civilized generation/society. The suffering that the animals go through to provide us with milk and eggs is horrendous and I will never be able to get the pictures I have seen out of my mind.
“People eat meat and think they will become strong as an ox, forgetting that the ox eats grass.” – Pino Caruso
“I could never go vegan -said almost every vegan (before going vegan)”.