Many people assume that switching to a plant-based lifestyle is miserable, or that only some people can do it for the long run. I’m here to tell you that you were made to make it. If switching your eating/exercising habits is what you want to do, I fully believe that you can. It might be a hard process, but you can persevere and know that it will only get easier.
When people learn that I eat a vegan diet, it’s common for them to ask:
“Wow! Isn’t that hard?”
“Don’t you miss ______ and _______?”
“What about cheese?”
Today, I’m going to bust the myth that all vegans are miserable and miss the “good” foods that this world has to offer.
Since I began eating a vegan diet in November 2013, I have felt better, looked better, and performed better.
Sure, when I first started it was challenging, but I’ve always been up for a challenge. I shortly found that the sacrifice of giving up pizza (my personal favorite), chocolate, and meat was far outweighed by the many benefits that I’ve seen from a vegan diet.
You know that feeling, right after you finish a big, hearty meal? The feeling of needing to unbutton your pants, lay down, and just let it digest?
That feeling doesn’t exist for me anymore when I’m eating the foods that I know my body needs (and wants), I feel awesome after each meal not stuffed to the point of pulling out the sweats, and I’m full! AND, as you can see here, I eat my food in abundance!
For most of my life I have been active, played school sports, and eaten a healthy diet (pre-vegan). I thought that I was experiencing life at 100%. However, it wasn’t until I made the switch to try vegan that I realized, what I thought to be 100% was only 80%. I thought I was experiencing the best that I could, but now that I feel a new 100%- I will not turn back.
When you’re feeding your body to fuel it, rather than to indulge, it will thank you with physical benefits.
I’ve also noticed that my endurance has increased, and I perform better. I wake up feeling light, and energized. My running has gotten faster, and my breath has gotten easier.
Since beginning to eat plant-based, my running time and distance has increased, I have gained some gymnastics skills that I didn’t have previously, and my times on my Crossfit WODs have improved.
The foods that I eat are full of flavor, satisfying, and beneficial for the highest functioning (that I have found thus far) of my body.
In the beginning, it took a lot of discipline to maintain this lifestyle:
I craved chocolate and cheese, I had detox symptoms and felt tired, and I didn’t know how to eat socially as a vegan…
But now, I don’t even crave things that aren’t plant-based. If it were easy to begin with, wouldn’t everyone do it?
You can beat the odds though,
How can you start a healthier lifestyle and ensure that its maintainable for the long run?
1. Tell a Friend:
|| Get yourself some accountability. Talk to friends who will encourage you and follow-up with you in your healthy changes.
2. Set Clear Boundaries:
|| Don’t leave any space for a gray area. Know what your specific boundaries are, and stick to them. Are you eating “Raw till 4?” Will you allow yourself to have vegan chocolate? There are a lot of “gray areas” that can easily cause you to stumble. However, if you set clear boundaries, you are setting yourself up for a win from the beginning.
|| Exercise regularly! Not only will it make your body feel better, it will encourage you to eat clean before your workout (so you can perform better), and after your workout (so you can recover well). Nobody wants to go for a run after eating a double cheeseburger…
4. Create Variety in your Food:
|| Eliminate mundane! Who says that eating vegan has to be bland and lifeless?! Eat foods that you can get excited about! Find a new recipe, or a new way to prepare your old favorite!
Not only would I say that eating a vegan diet isn’t hard. Now, I would say that it’s my joy to eat this way, and I really couldn’t imagine eating differently. There are some foods that I used to love that I don’t eat anymore, but it has become fully worth it!
ACTUALLY, Vegan is easy!
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