What it is
A vegan diet is a plant-based diet similar to vegetarian, however, vegans eliminate all dairy products from their diet and some even extend the vegan philosophy into other areas of their lives and oppose the use of animals and animal products for any purpose.
The desire to try this diet came from the same desire to try a vegetarian diet. I also was introduced to the lifestyle from a family member who adopted the diet in order to successfully lower their cholesterol without the use of medicine. Along with this success came favorable side effects such as increased energy, better skin and it seemed an overall better outlook for their health and wellness. They never counted calories and now the diet opened a whole new array of new foods to try. After being told this, I knew I had to hop on this party wagon.
Here is an example of what I would eat for any given day:
What I ate
Breakfast (8:00am): Green smoothie. Raw spinach, frozen blueberries and banana
Snack (10:00am): Raw unsalted almonds
Lunch (12:00pm) : Veggie wrap with vegan cheese
Snack (3:00pm): Fruit
Dinner (6:00pm): Salad with pickled red onions or some pasta with sautéed veggies.
I did not workout during this diet.
Although I did not set out to lose weight on this diet, if it happened to be a side effect, I would not have opposed it. On the contrary, I actually gained weight. I gained 3lbs. over the course of 3 months. Like my other diets, I did track my food and calorie consumption using MyFitnessPal. My diet consisted of approximately 70% carbohydrates, 10% protein and 20% fat. With a daily caloric intake of 1,2500.
I did adopt this diet as my primary diet for many months after, I found the diet hard to stick to because the restriction of all dairy products, in particularly cheese. I am a huge cheese lover and although I do not drink milk, found it very difficult to sustain from eating cheese, especially in social settings. It was also challenging hosting dinner parties or even cooking for my family on this diet because I was the only one following the diet at the time. I would recommend, if you are going to adopt and commit to this diet, even if it’s for a short period of time, have everyone in your household commit to the diet as well.
While some may disagree, I actually enjoyed this diet for its flexibility. I agree with the fact that the diet encourage one to explore new foods, recipes and really get creative in the kitchen.
It is also important to note that before this diet, I never really craved red meat but found an increase craving for red meat during my cycle. I would also recommend a daily B12 vitamin in order to combat this.