My Vegan Experiment
If you have been following my health journey you know it’s been a bit of a roller coaster. First I had Graves disease and was insulin resistant, then no insulin resistance but still Graves and now no Graves but I have Hashimotos. It’s been a mess. But since day one of (mis)diagnoses one thing has been consistent, my diet.
When I was told I had Graves Disease I dove head first into the research of what kinds of things could help, I read over and over about how important diet was. I read testimonies of people who were diagnosed with Graves and found it impossible to manage with medication until they eliminated animal products from there diet.
I had played with a vegan diet once in college. I lasted a month but really enjoyed the added energy I had when eating a plant based diet. However, trying to prep vegan meals in a college dorm room didn’t last long and I fell off the wagon and went back to eating fried corn dogs and dutch crunch donuts.
This time around was going to be different. My first month of veganism flew by. I wasn’t tempted by food I once found delicious because I thought my health depended on it. Once my diagnoses changed and I was told my disease could be controlled with medication alone, I thought about adding animal products and meats back into my diet but I didn’t have a taste for them. And I was enjoying my new found energy so much I didn’t want to mess with it.
Here are my takeaways four months into my vegan experiment:
- I’ve never answered more questions about what I eat. It cracks me up how many times my husband and I have been asked “So what do you eat?” It doesn’t upset me so if you have been guilty of asking us this question, it’s okay! It makes us laugh. The American diet is so saturated in animal products, people can’t imagine what food is left once you remove it. I also never know how to answer this question. Do I list all the things I have consumed in the last couple of days? Should I make up a song about all the foods that aren’t animal products? I’m always tempted to just say “If it poops or came from something that poops, I don’t eat it.” I also love then when people start going through a list of the things they love to eat and ask if it fits in our diet. “Can you eat cheese?” “What about ice cream?” It’s inevitably all animal products so my answer is always no. It’s just funny how predictable this conversation is once you tell someone you are vegan. Any other vegans experience this? Please tell me I’m not the only one!
- Our bodies were made for clean energy. I have never been more convinced that our bodies are the equivalent to an electric car and someone has convinced us to fill it with unleaded fuel. I didn’t realize how crappy I felt until I stopped eating crap foods. It’s a simple equation. Fill your body with good foods, feel good. And this is why I will continue being vegan.
- Eating well doesn’t have to be more expensive. I hear all the time that eating healthy is so expensive that people just can’t afford to do it. I am super strict on our grocery budget, I was before vegan and I am now. What I have learned in the switch is it’s not more expensive as long as you eat all the food you buy. Before we went vegan and we were just trying to eat healthier, I would buy health foods for meals but when the time came to cook and eat that meal we would opt for Bdubs instead and the food would go to waste. Now that we actually eat all the produce that I buy, our grocery bill is less than when we were eating more processed foods. And grocery shopping is much faster when you are limited to the produce section!
- Eating healthy can be isolating. It can’t all be amazing. Being vegan has been a bit disconnecting. We have to take food with us to family dinners and going out to eat with friends has been made more difficult since we eat such a limited number of things. It was really discouraging at first to see how much we missed out on. But now see it as a way to make us more intentional. We don’t eat out as frequently so when we do it’s with people who want to spend time with us and who are make a bit of a sacrifice to eat somewhere that has vegan options. We SO value those people.
Overall, our vegan lifestyle has been an awesome change. I have more energy, more clarity, and more boundaries to help me stay healthy! I am caring for my body better and the reward has been great!
If you have questions or want tips on how to make a shift to a more plant heavy diet please let me know!