Being a nutrition major and tbh, a world class chef, I am constantly playing with my diet and trying new recipes. This summer I decided I would try going vegan for a couple months and just see how my body reacted. Vegan means completely cutting out dairy, meat, and eggs. I didn't do it for the animals or anything, I did it to for my health and to see what effects it had on my body. Here's what I learned for those interested.
My skin was very clear
I saw some serious improvement in the skin area, especially on my back and chest. I don't have acne, but I do get breakouts and I could definitely tell my skin had cleared up and felt healthier and brighter.
I was extremely bloated
One downside of this lifestyle for me was, I got super bloated and often felt sluggish.
It took a lot for me to get full
I ate lots of veggies and complex carbs like rice, beans, lentils, etc., so it often took me longer to get full. Considering the simplest nutritional breakdown is carbs, it often results in hunger soon after eating, when not paired with a complete 9 amino acid protein.
I didn't get enough protein for my activity level
I do weight and cardio training 7 days a week, so I preform best with a higher level of protein. While being vegan it was hard to be intentional about getting protein because of the milk and meat restriction, and I often found myself in a calorie surplus trying to get enough beans, or nuts, for example, to fit my macronutrient needs.
I was in a calorie surplus
Like I said above, being intentional about macronutrient breakdowns (fats, carbs, and protein), is key to being vegan. I found myself going over my daily calorie intake trying to get enough protein or carbs, or just plain feel full.
My digestive tract was on point
Another upside to being vegan is, if you focus on eating vegetables and fruits, and beans, it definitely helps keep everything moving (sorry for the TMI).
The verdict: there were definitely benefits and downsides to the diet. I think it is a good eating pattern if that is what makes you feel at your best, and is sustainable for your lifestyle. It is definitely more beneficial, like any diet, if you eat more whole foods, fruits, veggies, etc., but if you eat fake vegan meat and cheese, it isn't going to help you see all the possible benefits. In conclusion, if you're considering going vegan, 100% try it and see how you feel! To get the most out of it , definitely go for whole foods and keep a close eye on your plant based protein intake!