In recent times, there's always a new diet or fad taking over pop culture. Whether it's the paleo diet, cutting out processed foods, or juice cleansing, it seems like something new is always popping up.A combination of factors influenced me to make this change in my diet. I had always had a bit of a feeling that I was lactose intolerant, and I never really ate all that much meat, anyway. As for gluten, my mom is gluten intolerant, and I figured that I may as well give that a try as well.
Here's what happened:
1. Cutting out bread, meat, and dairy really is not all that hard.
I know what you're thinking. "I love pizza! I need cheese like I need air. Chicken nuggets! How could I possibly do this?" Believe me, I was there, too. But listen to me, it can be done. Just don't put all this crazy pressure on yourself, and reassure yourself of the reasons you're making this change, whether it be nutritional, moral, or environmental. Whatever it is, you can do it.
2. There are gluten free/vegan versions of EVERYTHING.
Seriously. Everything. I went grocery shopping and I was able to get vegan and gluten free bread, pizza dough, pasta, yogurt, cheese, soup, and ice cream.
And you know what else...
3. It actually tastes good!
Yes. It's true. As a genuine New York City Food Snob™, I can confirm that gluten free and vegan grilled cheese really does taste as good as the normal thing. Just gotta get the right brands, especially of the cheese. Pro tip - it tastes even better with some hot sauce!
4. You will get enough protein.
Beans. Leafy greens. Nuts. Tofu. Honestly, the whole myth that you can't get enough protein while eating vegan is just crazy. And even going gluten free, you can have quinoa or chickpea pasta, which is my personal favorite, which is LOADED with natural, plant-based protein! Also, nutritional yeast. The stuff is like instant-umami flavor-blast powder! Also, it's totally packed with protein!
5. I've honestly never felt better!
Of course, eating this way isn't for everyone. Nothing in life is one-size-fits-all. For me, though, my body is running so much more smoothly, and I feel healthier and cleaner than I ever have before. I'm eating less, I'm hungry less often, I'm sleeping better, and I have far fewer headaches. I'm most definitely going to keep eating like this for as long as I can keep it up.
If you're interested in making a change like this, do your research and find a lifestyle that will work for you. Not every type of diet is for everyone, so make sure you transition into and out of things slowly and easily. You never know just how worth it it could be!