I Went Vegan For Three Months... Here's What Happened
1.My Skin Health Increased
As someone who suffers from plaque psoriasis, eczema, and seborrheic dermatitis, the main reason behind my venture into veganism stemmed from wanting to test if my diet affected my skin condition. Although environmental factors (and my love of alcohol) also play a part in flare-ups, my skin health drastically increased while being vegan. More-so my face, it was never as clear and glowing before changing my diet. Granted, I started taking multi-vitamins and Sea Moss which I felt contributed to my skin improvement. Now that the weather is changing and I’m back eating meat, I question whether I should go back.
2. I Unintentionally Lost 15 Pounds
I’ve always been a petite, athletic-built, woman and the last thing I honestly wanted to do was lose weight. I went from 135 to 115 in a span of three months. I also occasionally walked the nearby nature trail by my apartment. The interesting part about this journey was the loss of muscle mass. I felt scrawny and frail, even my tightest jeans were loose and I felt like I ate more than ever before. I’m not a health expert, but if losing weight is a goal for yourself, I highly recommend a Vegan diet and adequate exercise. Oh, and by the way, I gained those 15 pounds back upon going back to my regular, meat-eating diet.
3. My Body Felt Amazing
I had heaping amounts of energy I’ve never felt before. As an avid coffee drinker, surprisingly, I didn’t drink an ounce of coffee during my vegan-stint and felt energized. My addiction to coffee started in graduate school and now is a bad habit whenever I’m up earlier than 9 am. I also noticed my bowel movement changes. I’m literally not kidding when I say my poop did not stink and I became regular. This is coming from someone who has “bad guts” and always had moments when I use the bathroom uncontrollably or can’t for days. I also always had problems regulating my bowel movements since I was a child… I self-diagnosed myself with IBS but never went to a doctor to confirm – I know I need to. Overall, I felt amazing being vegan and it's something I often miss thinking back on this journey.
3. No Matter How Much I Ate, I Always Felt Hungry
I literally ate 6+ times a day, huge portion sizes, and no matter what, I was always hungry! The fact that I lost weight with eating huge amounts of carbs and vegetables is still mind-bottling. When I say carbs were a huge part of my vegan diet, I mean rice or potatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On my regular meat-eating diet, a plate or two of food would suffice and I’ll be full for a while. It was the complete opposite being vegan; I found myself eating almost full meals every couple of hours, never getting the sluggish full feeling that I was so used to. Maybe my brain wasn’t computing that I was full since I never felt the full effects of “the itis”. For those who don't know what "the itis" is, it's slang for Alkaline tide – which is a condition after eating meals where your body produces hydrochloric acid and secrete bicarbonate ions, causing a temporary increase in pH in your body . Possibly, since fruits and vegetables take less time and effort on your body to digest, the amount of pH influxes in my body reduced.
4.Limited Food Options and Price
I felt like I was limited in my food options since attempting to not eat any processed foods. Luckily, this was during COVID quarantine and I didn’t face the temptations of dining out with friends. I cooked and prepared most of my food and ordered lots of Chipotle which I got tired of quickly. My lack of vegan culinary skills also impacted my overall experience. Combined with the cost of constantly buying fresh fruits, vegetables, and ingredients to make everything from scratch; I overall became frustrated with the vegan lifestyle.
Towards the end of my vegan-stint. I found myself gearing more towards processed foods, noticing that my increased soy intake created body acne which was something I wasn’t used to nor liked. I also hated all the “meat alternatives”; cauliflower and tofu will never taste like chicken, don’t let anyone tell you differently. All the alternatives just pissed me off and made me miss meat even more.
After a long three months, with constant hunger filling my body, I found myself inhaling a turkey club sandwich from the local deli – It was the best sandwich I’ve ever had in my life. It was at that moment when I realized I’ve completed my vegan journey. Would I ever go back? Probably not to be completely honest. I decided to compromise and cut out pork from my diet which I do not miss at all. I also try to reduce my processed food intake as much as possible. If I was to ever go back, I would do it in a slow transition, try to learn more recipes, and honestly buy more frozen fruit and vegetables.