I’ve been practicing a plant based or a vegan diet for just about a month now. Beforehand I got a bit annoyed with some of the vegans preaching about their lifestyle. I generally don’t like being told what to do. A great stubbornness is in my nature, more often to my own detriment than benefit. Hence I’m not going to tell anyone how they should live their lives, instead I’m just going to talk about my own experience. If it promotes veganism and pushes someone to give this lifestyle a go then great. If not, that is also totally fine.
Why I decided to try going vegan?
I first decided to try and eat more plant based meals after watching the documentary Vegucated. I was in a bit of a shock after watching that one. Not that I didnt know that animal farms are horrific establishments. It is somehow easier to choose to ignore it on a day to day basis whilst filling your shopping trolley with bacon and sausages. After watching Vegucated I went on a documentary binge – watched all TED Talks on vegan lifestyle, diet and sustainable living. The more I found out the more sense it made. The amounts of resources that are wasted just on producing a burger are insane. This planet will be drained very soon. I am not saying that I got into it because I feel bad for animals, that too of course. However I don’t totally condemn eating meat just for the sake of it. Also you know, other animals eat animals, that’s just the way it is, but the cruelty of animal farms is just over the top. And the recources required – the amount of water spent on producing one burger is insane. 2500 litres. on just one burger! I cannot even imagine the impact of that on the environment.
Another huge benefit of a vegan diet is its effect on your health. It has been proven over and over that our western diet is killing us. Finally even WHO decided to admit that meat is behind our illnesses. Of course there’s a huge industry behind it and they don’t want stuff like this to be revealed. The huge businesses that are manipulating the world don’t care about people’s health. In the US a corporation in legal terms is a person. And it only works in its own interest. Its only goal is to make profit. Doesn’t matter what the consequences. I need to at this point say that I am not a conspiracy theorist. But the fact is that things have massively gotten out of hand. It’s not as bad in my little home country of Estonia but then again it is a lot smaller than the mighty America. Even here we see ridiculous things like the dairy companies paying for campaigns by the health board promoting the benefits of milk. Another eye opening, shocking and a saddening documentary I recommend watching is Cowspiracy.
And now furthermore why I have decided to cut animal protein from my diet is simply because I don’t fancy cancer and other gross diseases very much. Another great documentary that gives great facts on this topic is Forks over Knives. I was a bit sceptical at first. Mainly I was concerned that the amount of milk would reduce – I currently breastfeeding my baby boy. I consulted a friend of mine. Kaarel Sisask, a personal trainer and CEO of Planthlete. He put together a meal plan for me. I decided to still have some fish and cheese at first just to make sure I don’t run out of breastmilk, which was already very low for some reason. After just a few days this happened – instead of running out of milk I suddenly produced lots more. And I started feeling great. I did have the occasional toast with smoked salmon and some feta cheese. Not because I felt malnourished or craved it intensely. I simply had it in the fridge and didn’t wan’t to just throw it away.
Was it difficult?
I thought going vegan would be harder than it has been. In fact it hasn’t been hard at all. I don’t miss or crave any meat or dairy products. Not even slightly. And I am having a lot of fun experimenting with different vegan recipes. I love to cook and this is a new world for me. Cooking vegan foods isn’t dull or unsatisfying. About a year ago I had an image of a vegan’s dinner in my mind – a sad man eating raw carrots and celery. Don’t know where I got this retarded idea from in the first place. The reason why I’m not craving anything is that I am not missing any nutrients. Why do we crave things? This is our body telling us we are lacking something. When we are hungry and go shopping we often end up buying tons of crap like crisps, chocolates and other unheathy snacks. Because they would quickly give us some calories. Now that I am conciously planning what to eat and when I seem to be having a different issue when going food shopping – I have no idea what to buy as I don’t really crave anything. Instead I plan my meals ahead and end up saving money and making healthier choices.
How do I feel?
I feel great. Seriously. I am absolutely astonished by it. I have two little children, I thought feeling tired and drained was just something that was normal. In the mornings I actually sometimes thought that I would rather die than get up. Little children, although so wonderful, need a lot of attention. The lack of sleep was almost unbearable for me. I was sometimes so tired in the morning that I actually wanted to cry. It didn’t get much better as the day went on. My mental capacities had also diminished into nothingness – constant ringing in the ears and being unable to finish my sentences because I was so exhausted was my life for the last six months. I thought that this was totally normal and would stop when I got a decent night’s sleep. Just in less than a week of following my vegan meal plan this had gone away. I now wake up at 6 am full of energy. I get my toddler ready for kindergarten, then do 30 minutes of exercise and have breakfast with my little boy. I am able to do a lot more.
I work from home so being exhausted whilst trying to juggle work and two little ones was just so hard. It didn’t have to be. I can get a lot more done now. I am so grateful for this change. I am a better parent thanks to it and also more productive workwise. Even my partner has decided to give it a go. He is a typical Brit who loves his meat and cheese. When I met him he was eating mainly fast food on a daily basis. Even he is loving my vegan meals. He still occasionally has meat and cheese but not every day and admits that he’s feeling a lot better.
Why go vegan? I would say mainly because you’ll feel better. In my eyes life is all about feeling good. And whilst feeling good you can help create a sustainable planet and take some profits away from evil corporations. Seems like a good idea to me.
A big thank you to Netflix for suggesting these documentaries and to Kaarel for giving me the nutritional advice I needed!
Let me know in the comments about your thoughts on a plant based diet.