I’m not vegan or vegetarian. I actually love meat and kalbi ribs give me life. Every year though, I give up dairy products and meat for Lent for 40 days. Being vegan is a lot easier than it sounds, and it has proven to be a lot more beneficial to my health than I would have ever anticipated. I wanted to share with you briefly what my experience of being vegan has been like and some of the benefits I noticed during my 40 days of being vegan.
The first thing you notice when you become vegan is your skin. There was a very unique glow my skin developed when I eliminated dairy and meat from my diet. To give your skin that extra boost though, don’t forget to continue to moisturize and go about your daily skincare routine as usual. The combination of a regular skincare routine and a vegan diet did miracles to my dewy skin glow. A little tip? I also introduced a reasonable amount of beta-carotene rich foods like sweet potatoes, winter squash, and carrots, during my 40 days and my skin developed a nice hint of a tan glow.
Having a 9 to 5 job in combination with blogging as well, always leaves me exhausted by end of day. My energy levels are usually really low, and all I want to do when I get home is crash on the couch. But when I switched my diet to a vegan lifestyle, my energy levels were positively impacted. During the 40 days, I relied less on coffee to boost my energy levels, I was less tired by the end of the day, and I was more active in general when it came to walking my dog, Margot. I just kind of felt like I was full of life regardless of what time of the day it was something which I hardly experience when I am eating meat.
In previous years, I was able to lose about 10 pounds in 40 days, but that was not the case this time around. In recent years, the options for vegans have become so vast that you can honestly still eat anything you wish. From imitation General Tao chicken to nondairy milk to vegan brownies, anything your heart desires you can eat. Being a vegan no longer means you are deprived from eating certain foods. The imitation General Tao chicken from Whole Foods tastes just like the real thing, except it is a much healthier choice for your body. Even though I did not lose any weight in the 40 days I was vegan, I did notice that I was no longer bloated and in general my body felt much lighter.
What No one Tells You
When you switch from a meat diet to a vegan lifestyle your body goes into a cleansing mode. What no one tells you is that your body will start to cleanse itself from all the harmful animal protein that has been stored in your body. What does this mean? The first week of being vegan, I felt extremely fatigued, more so than usual, and my bathroom trips increased drastically. My body was going through some major detox. I will shamelessly say that the bathroom was my best friend for a couple of days and overall my bathroom visits became more regular. The key though is to also decrease eating processed foods as much as possible and have a clean diet. During my 40 days of being vegan I minimized my processed food intake as much as I could. I also eliminated gluten and I opted for gluten free options. I also introduced healthy fats into my diet like avocado, coconut oil, nuts, ghee butter to name a few. Eliminating dairy and meat from your diet is just not enough on its own.
Would I Do It Again?
YES! I can only speak to my experience of being vegan for 40 days, but I honestly noticed a drastic change on my overall health. I do continue to eat meat, but I keep it to a minimum and always opt for non-meat options where possible. When you become vegan you also start to be a more mindful eater, and that is what I love the most about the experience. You become more aware of the junk you eat on a daily basis and you are able to recognize how your body is affected by it.