My Week As A Vegan
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My little sister recently moved back home from Colorado Springs, and being that she's a vegan, she suggested that I try out this lifestyle that she's always talking about. Being vegan means that you don’t eat any animal or animal byproducts, and that practically means anything good you ever ate in your life. Being vegan meant that I wouldn’t be able to eat menudo on Sundays after church, or enjoy Taco Tuesdays. I knew by deciding to become a vegan that it would mean giving up that which I love so much: meat. I didn’t expect it to be very fun or interesting. The vegan food I started to put into my body no longer gave me that, “I feel like I just ate a whole cow." No matter how much I ate, I never seemed to get that full feeling. I enjoyed learning how to cook the different meals that my sister taught me. I even noticed that my health was beginning to change. I found myself eating healthier and it started to show on my skin and on my physical appearance. Of course, I encountered both ups and downs over the course of my week as a vegan and even though it was hard at times, I never gave up because I knew that the only person that could ever talk me out of doing this was myself. Psychologically, I had to tell myself to "just keep swimming."

To begin the week, my sister took me to our local health food store to pick up some groceries to make vegan meals. As we walked around the store, she started to place products like Persian cucumbers, zucchini, hummus, couscous, pearl onions and more in our cart. I saw all of the strange items and I was actually excited. My first time shopping at the local whole food store was when I was in college, and living on my own. I made healthier changes because the "Freshman 15" was no joke, so shopping with my sister was a somewhat familiar experience. One thing that was for sure was that there were no meat products or anything that had animal byproducts in our cart, so there was no turning back. The food my sister made was really delicious and I learned that there are so many health benefits to eating like this that I had been completely unaware of.

The first thing my sister taught me how to make was chick pea curry, on top of brown jasmine rice with zucchini noodles on the side. This was so delicious that it’s something I will try to make once a week if I can. The one thing I couldn’t get enough of no matter what, was the zucchini noodles. l could eat those every day because they were so flavorful. I ate more fruits and vegetables and products that were very high in protein. I love fruits and vegetables, so making dishes with mainly vegetables and different kinds of beans was amazing. I never thought I would say this, but I didn’t miss eating meat or all of the bad food I was so used to. I took the initiative and looked up my own recipes to make healthy meals on my own. Yes, my sister taught me how to make amazing dishes, but I knew that I would have to learn on my own if I wanted to continue with this lifestyle.

At the beginning of this lifestyle change, I was irritated because I was basically detoxing from all the bad, but oh so good, food. For me, making an attempt to be vegan meant no more junk food or Mexican food on Sundays, and that anywhere I went or ate, I would need to find places that offered vegan dishes. One of the good things about this lifestyle is that a lot of restaurants are starting to make healthier dishes. I will say that this transition was not easy. I had to push through many mental and physical barriers, but my itch for junk food eventually passed and I found myself eating more and more fruits and vegetables. I will say the hardest part was eventually eating something that wasn't vegan. When I started to eat regular food again, my stomach would hurt and start to cramp up. I had gotten used to putting all this healthy and beneficial food in me. Once I started eating food that was less than ideal, my stomach would turn upside down. Going back to regular food proved to be even more of a challenge than committing to a week of the vegan lifestyle.

My week as a vegan was interesting. Now that I've incorporated regular food back into my diet, I’ve decided that I am going to transition into a vegan lifestyle on a full time basis. During my time as a vegan, my body felt clean and I didn’t have random mood swings or major headaches. For someone like me, who takes care of myself, it’s a lot cheaper than I thought to eat healthier. I was having more fruits and vegetables and beans in just about everything I made. I will say it’s not for everyone, because you do give up a lot of food that you consume on a daily basis. Being a vegan for that one week helped me to understand the importance of good nutrition versus poor nutrition and all the benefits committing to a vegan lifestyle has to offer.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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