My husband, Justin, and I have been married for 1258 days (not that I have a tracking app on my phone or anything). We went vegan the summer of 2016. It all started with documentaries like Food, Inc, Cowspiracy, Earthlings, and Forks Over Knives. After watching these I went vegan overnight, but Justin did not think he could give up cheese, so he went vegetarian. A couple weeks later he went vegan after seeing some undercover investigations about culling and the cruel way calves are taken from their mothers. Then came the research phase of our decision I looked at nutrition and health, then the environment, ocean, and rainforest. One thing you can trust about me is I LOVE research, everything. Seriously, I once researched toothbrushes, turns out some are made with pig hair. Anyways, back to the point, the pro column of going vegan was huge. There was no looking back, we dove head first into a vegan way of life.
Transitioning to a vegan diet was an adventure as we set out together to the supermarket feverishly reading over the ingredient list and high-fiving when things were vegan. We found so much new and exciting stuff we were basically broke for two months. The thing is there are so many products, but we had zero vegan friends and no way to know whats worth the money. (This is where my blog is good for you because I will let you know what to buy, saving you loads of cash.) There is quite literally a vegan substitute for everything.
After a couple months we felt much healthier and dropped about 20 pounds each. We were and are not currently in any way malnourished. We do supplement with Vegan Vitamin D (which most people, including meat eaters, are deficient in) and a multivitamin. Over a year later, we feel and look better than before. We are both less tired, the bags under our eyes disappeared, my chronic pain from endometriosis is gone, no bloating or acid reflux, we sleep better, and our labs look better than ever. Listen when I tell you, if my husband can do it so can you. He was a weightlifter who ate half a dozen eggs for breakfast and meat at every single meal. He still lift weights with no issue, feels better, and needs less recovery time.
One major thing is counting caloric intake, especially in the beginning. Eating only plant-based meals means less calories. If you are not careful you will be in a caloric deficiency without even realizing it. We have to eat at least twice the amount of food than we did before, which in my opinion is awesome because I like to eat, A LOT. Just use a free tracking app like My Fitness Pal or Cronometer. Cronometer is better at reporting vitamin intake so you can see where you may be lacking. Do this until you get the hang of portion sizes and vitamin intake.
Let’s talk B-12 because this seems to be a question we get a lot. Again, track your intake and if you aren’t meeting your goal eating 3 tablespoons of Kal nutrtional yeast will keep you covered (PLUS it’s delicious). There are a couple different nutritional yeast, but let me save you some time this one tastes the best. Now that being said, the first time Justin tried it he hated it so much he couldn’t even smell it, but now he eats it every single day. I guess for some it’s an acquired taste while others (like me) love it immediately.
PROTEIN, oh yes, let’s go there. There has never been a question more despised by any vegan. Listen, plants have protein and I’ve never heard of a vegan dying from a lack of it. If you are very worried about it add an Evolve Protein Shake . This protein shake is the only one we have found that has not had a weird after taste or been super chalky. It’s smooth, delicious, and tastes like ice cream.
So that’s our journey to veganism with a couple helpful tips and products. Stayed tuned for my next post on the best vegan substitutes that we keep stocked in our home.