Hey everyone! Today I’m sharing a personal story with you on how easy (or challenging) it is to be vegan. I’m going to open up to you about my personal experiences with being vegan-ish, and the ins and outs of everything from finding recipes, to self doubt, to motivation and hopefully, inspiration!
Since starting this plant-based journey, I can’t tell you how many questions I’ve been asked and how many conversations it’s started. Everything from, why? To, are you sure this isn’t just a fad? To, so what are you going to eat now, strictly plants?!
The questions and conversations haven’t been ALL bad, and a lot of the journey’s been pretty educational and adventurous for me. I’ve tried new foods, new recipes, new restaurants, but the one question that keeps getting asked is:
How easy is being vegan, really?!
Answer: the real struggle comes in the learning curve of completely changing the way you approach food.
While I really am enjoying my newfound plant-based lifestyle… continuously finding creative and delicious vegan recipes CAN BE challenging.
I’m not sure about you, but I sure wasn’t raised on a vegan or plant-based diet. I ate baby food for the first two years of my life, different types of meat for the subsequent 22 years, I was a vegetarian for one year, and only now am I dabbling in being vegan.
Think about it, 24:1… The ratio is far outweighed by eating meat. And growing up, I learned how to COOK meat, not plant-based meals.
So, is becoming vegan difficult?! Well, it may be, given that you have to learn entirely new recipes and ways of cooking.
For the year that I was a vegetarian, I started off SO motivated. It was for personal reasons, my friends thought I was crazy, but I was self-driven.
I ate a salad for lunch almost every day, which was fine I guess. I mean, there ARE endless types of salads you can make, with different dressings, ingredients, seasonings etc. etc. The dinners were tough, though.
How many warm & tasty dinners would I have to give up in lieu of salads and lentils?!
Winter is what really killed me. I wanted hot meals, comfort food and substantial portions to keep me full.
Once I started thinking about it, I couldn’t stop. The year-end was approaching, and all I could think about were the meals I was giving up; roasts, warm chicken sandwiches, beef wellington. The meals I grew up on.
I was in the best shape of my life when I was a vegetarian.
What kept me going, was seeing how physically fit I became. My skin was cleaner, my muscles leaner and I woke up energized every single morning. I slept better at night, and wasn’t sluggish in the afternoons.
Granted, I was somewhat overly thin, far below the average weight for my height, but I was healthy. Almost all my meals were plant-based, and I got all the vitamins and nutrients my body needed.
So why did I stop being a vegetarian?!
A: I didn’t have a playbook of recipes that I could whip out whenever I wanted. I got lazy.
I ended up taking the easy way out and just gave up.
Being a vegetarian was so hard, what were you thinking Nick?
Well, you did it for year, congrats. You can just say it was a new year’s resolution for the year, so technically… you did it!
Fast forward to today.
Yeah man! Seriously. I’m going to do this.
While the struggle’s been reehhhlllllll these last few months, I’m in a way better place today, than I was five years ago. Now I’ve got recipes, books even! And I’m always so excited to see how accommodating restaurants are, offering more and more vegan options.
Some of my favourite cookbooks that have seriously awesome plant-based recipes are:
- It’s All Easy – by Gwyneth Paltrow (vegan and non-vegan options)
- Thug Kitchen
- Minimalist Baker Everyday Cooking
- Oh She Glows – by Angela Liddon
For anyone who’s considering going full vegan, or just testing the waters…
You can do it! It’s easier than you think. Remember, you weren’t born with the knowledge on plant-based diets, none of us were. There’s a learning curve. Do the right thing for YOU, not for anyone else. Do what makes your body FEEL good. You are what you eat!
BYE FRIENDS! 🙂