This past July, I watched a Youtube video about a college student that decided to eat a vegan diet on $5 a week.
The Youtuber did this so she could understand what it was like to eat a vegan diet if you were in poverty. After watching the video, I realized that I too could do something like what she did.
Being in college isn't cheap, and if I could save money by changing my diet and utilizing natural foods in multiple ways, then it would be worth it.
Before adopting a veganv diet, I was a vegetarian for two years. I also didn't drink milk or eat cheese (I know, weird! But I have never, ever liked cheese), so the transition to a Vegan diet was more of an educational journey, rather than fighting cravings.
1. I experience minimal bloating.
Before eating a vegan diet, I would bloat after eating anything. I could eat carrots, broccoli, an apple, eggs, whatever it may have been, I would bloat to an uncomfortable level that I would need to lay down.
Now, my uncomfortable bloating is only contributed to my menstrual cycle. Sometimes I do bloat after eating, but it is resolved within an hour and doesn't cause me the discomfort or pain that it once did.
2. My water retention is lower.
After becoming vegan, I have noticed that I do not carry as much water weight as I did before. I believe this is because the foods I eat are natural, and typically prepared by myself, so they are not processed. The elimination of processed foods in my diet means my sodium levels are much lower than before, hence causing me to retain less water.
3. I am more lean.
My vegan diet has allowed my body to even out in ways I could never achieve with a vegetarian diet - even when I was working out consistently. My natural body shape is more obvious because of my vegan diet.
4. I don't ~need~ to exercise to stay lean.
Since August, I have probably worked out approximately 30 times. I'm a busy gal. With that being said, in the past, only 30 times within 4 months would have been the end of the world for me.
I have noticed that because of my current diet, my body weight doesn't fluctuate as much. If it does fluctuate, it is because of my hormones, rather than my diet.
5. A Vegan diet is environmentally friendly.
I know there is research done on both sides (meat eaters vs. vegetarian/vegans) arguing which diet is more beneficial for the environment.
Personally, I waste less eating a vegan diet. Mostly because 90% of the foods that I eat are are not perishable. The only foods I need to worry about wasting are fresh fruits and veggies, which are easy to eat and use up if they are looking not-so-healthy.
Also, most of the foods that I purchase come in cans or produce bags, which are easily recyclable.
6. I have clearer and healthier skin.
I have never had a problem with acne or poor skin, if anything I have redness and a few breakouts here and there. My skin is also drier, so if anything, it will peel before it will ever glow.
However, after eliminating dairy out of my diet, I have noticed that my skin is clearer, not as red, and has a glow to it.
7. I save money being a vegan.
I save money because 1) eating out is challenging. Most places do not offer vegan options as main courses, so if I do eat out, I typically eat the most basic salad on the menu. (Which is actually perfectly fine with me, I'm naturally a picky eater, so I would choose this option anyway).
I also save money because my diet consists of staple foods. When I go to the store, I usually buy black beans (no salt added, of course), plain tomato sauce, and brown rice. That alone is under $4, and I can usually get a few meals out of it. The most expensive part of my grocery shopping is the spices I buy to spice up my meals.
Spices I've also learned are a healthy and natural alternative to achieving different types of meals.
For example, if I want Italian tasting food – I can add Italian spice blend or oregano to my meal.
If I want something spicier, cayenne is a great choice.
All come with great additional health benefits.
I think people are quick to assume that a vegan diet has to be more expensive than a meat diet because of the alternatives for meat products can be expensive. This is true. If you were to only eat meat alternatives (for example, tofu, veggie bacon/sausage, almond milk yogurt, ect.) then yes, it would be more expensive.
But if you only add those things to natural staple items like beans, rice, peanut butter, bread, vegetables, fruits, nuts, ect., then it is a cheap diet.