2018 and the Vegan Lifestyle
There is something special about 2018.
This is the year that I finally decided to embrace a vegan diet.
My food choices have always been pretty healthy. I have celiac disease so I cannot eat gluten. Cheese and I have a love/ hate relationship. I LOVE it and it HATES me. As good as it was to eat, it was ALL bad to digest, so I knew I had to let it go. I have been in denial about my lactose intolerance for a long time so I would indulge in cheese very often.
Growing up, we drank milk everyday, as well as, ate sour cream, queso fresco, quesadillas, and all that good stuff. My stomach would always be messed up and adults always thought I was empachada. Truth is, I am lactose intolerant. As a teenager, my acne was BAD! Cystic acne definitely took over my face from 12 - 17 years of age. Part of it i'm sure was genetics but, now as I read more about dairy and it's effects, I am certain that it was my dairy intake +lactose intolerance.
Needless to say, I finally listened to my body and cut out dairy and meat. This was not an easy thing for me. In the past, I had seen vegan dishes prepared and I had the assumption that they were tasteless.
I was wrong!
Cooking is something I enjoy doing, so I definitely appreciate making my own food. Veganism has allowed for my food creativity to soar. No Lie, I am sometimes surprised at my own creations.
If you are considering going vegan, check out the following video, which I found to be very helpful.
Sweet Potato Soul has quickly become one of my favorite vegan bloggers/ vloggers. Her recipes are AMAZING and her videos have really helped me out in this journey. I actually pre-ordered her book and I am so excited to receive it!
Yes, it has only been 4 weeks since I embarked on this journey; however, I am definitely sticking to it. My stomach is super sensitive and, aside from when I consumed mayo on accident, my tummy feels great! My appetite has increased and I get hungry more often but it is something that I am getting a hang of.
My cousin has been vegan for a while now and she would often share with me all of the benefits of eating this way. So far, my experience has been similar. It feels good to nourished by fruits, vegetables and whole foods. My stomach has never felt better. I will keep you all updated with my findings. So far, here are my pros and cons:
- Eating more fruits and vegetables
- Getting most of my vitamins from food ( I still supplement some to make sure I get them all as I adjust).
- Higher fiber intake for healthier bowel movements
- Getting creative with my meals
- More attuned with my body
- My skin looks much better
Cons: (I'm sure these will get better as my body adjusts)
- Being hungry more often
- Waking up extremely hungry
- Difficulty finding gluten free breads that does not contain eggs
- Missing Cheese, Cheeto Puffs, Hot Cheetos, etc.
Before going vegan, I was pescatarian for a few months, so I had already cut meat out of my diet. Cutting out the dairy and eggs was the difficult piece. Little by Little, I stopped consuming eggs and purchasing cheese at the grocery store. While shopping, I would look for alternatives for food that I loved, especially cheese. I tried the Daiya brand to start off. The video below by Sweet Potato Soul was also really helpful:
There seems to be many options for vegans. There are different vegan restaurants in the Bay Area (and L.A) that make the switch so much easier. The more research that I do, the more recipes I am able to make. Even if you are not planning to make the switch, you can definitely try it for a week and see how your body feels. It has been helpful for me.
If you are in the the Los Angeles area follow @veganaexploradora on IG for different places to eat out there. For Bay Area folks, you can follow @Latinavegana on IG or check out her blog. Latina Vegana actually offers one on one coaching on your diet so make sure to look at her blog for her different services and resources. I added a few of my favorite blogs below. If you have any suggestions, please let me know!
Here are some of my favorite blogs:
Clearly, I am not trying to persuade anyone to change their diet. A vegan diet is definitely something that is working for me at the moment. I encourage you to make shifts in your life that make you feel good, physically, spiritually and emotionally. These changes can be small, such as, drinking more water, getting more sleep, eating more fruits/vegetables, cutting off toxic people, decluttering your home, journaling, going to therapy, praying, meditating, etc.
Do what feels right and what will elevate you. Do not be afraid to take care of yourself and meet your own needs, even if others question you. Do what you need to do for yourself.
We are still in the beginning of 2018,so now is a great time to begin taking care of you!