I hope you’re enjoying the small changes made here and there on this blog. I know I am! I’m in New York for the whole month of June, with only 6 hours of class per week – Special thanks to my parents who are letting me do this, they really are the best –
Because of that, I have a lot of free time to try to out different recipes, exercise all day err-day, and really take care of myself. Through doing this, I thought I would also spend some extra time on this blog and try to reach some sort of acceptable standard. We’ll see just how high my standards are or simply how lazy I am throughout the course of this month together!
I realize not many people have the chance to completely unwind and focus on themselves, that’s why I want to push myself to “my full potential”. I’m trying to be very conscious of what I put in my body, how I spend my days and the energy I put out to the world.
My very first task : A week of veganism and a strict plant based diet. What other better way to be conscious of myself and the world around me, than by trying out to eat in a way that harms no other being.
I feel like it might seem as if I’m trying to sound more spiritual or however you want to call it, than what I actually am. But, I truly believe that this is what veganism is about. At least for me, it’s about being aware of what you put into your body, both in regards to what’s best for you and what is best for the planet.
Of course vegan does not mean healthy, because (fortunately) french fries are vegan too! Nonetheless, plant based usually means healthy. And that’s what I tried to do this week. Read on to see what I learned in a week of being vegan.
If you’d like to see a “What I Eat in a Vegan Day” let me know, and I’ll be happy to make this for you.
-What I learned about myself:
You probably don’t know this, but in April 2016 I went vegetarian from one day to the next without looking back. I haven’t had a piece of meat or fish since the 23rd of April 2016, not even a bite off of my friends plates! Now, you have to understand, that though for some people it’s easy, for me it’s quite hard, as I used to love meat and fish in all forms. Small example, if, or rather when, I went to a steak house, I ordered my meat rare… ANYWAY, taking that into account, it’s quite hard to understand why it’s so impossible for me to stop binge eating cereal or chocolate, or why I can’t stop from eating the dessert in front of me.
This week, I finally cracked the code: I am far more principled, than I have will power. This means that being on a diet restricts me in no way for having that tiiiiny slice of cheesecake, which will really not affect my calorie intake for the day because it’s just a tiny slice right..? But, being vegan and having it against my principles made it impossible to eat that small cheesecake bite, as well as plenty of other little “bites” here and there.
Funnily enough, being vegan helped me keep up with my diet because even though I live in New York and access to vegan foods is quite easily achievable, the average restaurant won’t have a vegan dessert option, just like the average ice cream shop will not cater to my diet. As a result, I noticed that I ended up having a lot more fruit that usual, even though I already have plenty of fruits throughout my day, and my appreciation for fruits went up. If you think about it, it’s quite amazing how nature produces something so sweet and refreshing while at the same time having so many vitamins and antioxidants.
If you’re anything like me: more or less principled but struggling to keep a diet, make your meals into more than just an addition of calories. Try to understand why you eat why you eat, have an opinion on it and push yourself to care about issues bigger than your weight, like your health, the environment and others.
-What I realized about veganism and the environment:
Many people go vegan for their health, because they believe a plant based diet to be the healthiest alternative for their bodies. Many others go vegan because of the horrible industry that is the meat and dairy industry. Lastly, a huge chunk of vegans went vegan because of the environmental implications that a non-vegan diet impose on our planet.
Be that as it may, it might come as a shock to many of us when we realize that eating a vegan diet doesn’t always mean we have a sustainable diet for our planet. In fact, I would like to point to the fact that avocados, for example, require huge amounts of water to grow and are actually causing quite a bit of harm through their plantations in South America. I would advise you to do some research of your own before you start having your avo toast every single day.
Of course, I would never tell you to never have this amazing fruit(?), but not having an excess of it is crucial.
Thus, when we try to be more mindful of what we put in our bodies, we must understand that a vegan diet is not the be all and end all of sustainable living and that further research and consciousness is a necessity for the most eco-friendly diet.
-What I encountered within the vegan community:
It’s been quite a few years that I’ve been watching vegan videos on youtube, following vegan activist blogs, listening to their opinions, reading quite a few books on veganism or watching documentaries and though I tend to agree with most opinions shared on these platforms I am reluctant when it comes to vegan activists who try to push their dietary preferences, such as High Carb Low Fat craze, on all their viewers.
One thing that has shocked me, which quite a few had in common, was the promise of an extremely healthy and slim body, only possible by adhering to the HCLF vegan diet. Though it is largely true and will forever be true that a diet based around many vegetables, healthy legumes and foods that encompass a wide variety of nutrients is definitely the healthiest, it doesn’t follow that solely adhering to a vegan diet will magically solve all issues regarding health and fitness.
What should be said more is that the vegan diet activists are pushing their audiences to adopt are whole foods, plant-based diets that have little to no unprocessed foods.
When it comes to my experience on the vegan diet, I do see I lost weight, the usual bloating I have was largely reduced but I cannot only give credit to my veganism. A large part of this has to be attributed to lots of exercise and eating predominantly nutrient and not calorie dense meals.
Well.. that’s all for now!
Overall, I had a great experience and it wasn’t too hard for me to transition for a week.
I have to admit that I felt very good throughout the week in many aspects of my life: my mood, my sleep schedule, my energy levels and my spiritual wellbeing.
This may not be true for everyone, but at least for me, it felt great to be a part of a movement that truly tries to better the world as a whole and fight for values such as compassion to all beings.
Maybe something of the sort can make you feel good about yourself on a whole new level.