We Gave Up Meat and Dairy for 30 Days, Here’s What Happened

I know it may sound crazy… no meat and no dairy?? How can I live? Lol I thought the same thing when I first considered it awhile ago. I started researching here and there and always knew there were more health benefits with moving to a plant based diet but I never thought I could do it. What made me try it?

To be honest, it was after watching the documentary What The Health, if you put aside all political factors that involve animal rights and environmentalism in the movie and keep it to health reasons (which I've always known about how much government funding impacts what we believe is healthy, I wrote a paper on it in college as a Poli Sci major haha)- it inspired me to be more conscious of what I was putting in my body and that we truly are what we eat, meaning how we feel most often comes from what we're putting into our bodies daily. I had already considered trying out a plant based diet in the past but the documentary really inspired me to simply try it out and see how I feel.

I had the most negative responses on Insta Story (from meat eaters) when I was announced I was going to try it out (it wasn't good for me, it wouldn't be worth it, you won't get all the nutrients, etc)! People can be so emotional about what type of food they choose- but to each it's own. I tuned out most of that negativity though- it's hard to hear advice from people who aren't on a plant based diet and don't plan to be- I only wanted to hear what results were like from those who had moved to a plant based diet.

So many celebs have talked about it for years, a vegan lifestyle is not a new concept but it's certainly getting more popular given all the food choices we have at our fingertips. Beyonce, Woody Harrelson, Jenifer Lopez, Liam Hemsworth, and Jared Leto to name a few all live the vegan lifestyle and they've said in interviews before how great they feel!

Anthony and I decided we had nothing to lose and to try it out!

Let me first explain a little more how each of us ate before we tried this out:

I rarely ever ate red meat or pork, it just has always grossed me out a bit so I would largely consume chicken and fish. More fish than anything, because chicken grosses me out sometimes too lol! I was also accustomed to ordering veggie burgers at restaurants when we would eat out as well (even at In n Out I would always get a grilled cheese). So meat wasn't the issue for me to give up, the main change I knew would be difficult was my love for cheese! I was drinking cows milk in my lattes each morning but other than that my dairy consumption really came from cheese, yogurt, ice cream etc.

Anthony on the other hand is a huge meat lover and would have it at least 5 days a week, (ontop of his love for cheese and dairy), so I thought if anything he would have more difficult for him than me sticking to a vegan diet for 30 days.

Anyways here's what happened:

First we researched as much as possible what were good things to swap instead of what we were already eating and went to Whole Foods to stock up on things we could eat. We also researched places around us that offered vegan options for takeout (we don't cook very much in general, as I've mentioned in a previous post) so finding quick, healthy options and recipes were ideal for me to know I could continue it.

The first thing I noticed is how many more veggies I was eating and how great my skin looked because of it, my nails were also firmer too. I always take daily vitamins so I wasn't worried about being short of any vitamins, but I was getting way more vitamins than my usual diet just from how much I amped up my veggie and leafy green intake.

I wasn't going to try a vegan diet and say “Ok cool, now I can just eat all these empty carbs just because they're “vegan”. No, my goal was to move to a plant based diet and as much raw food as possible. My digestive system was much more regular because of it and my energy was way more steady!

Anthony was the same- the way we both felt coupled with the fact he lost 10 lbs and I lost 8 lbs (without trying to lose weight) was motivation to keep it going! We also still drank throughout the process. Not a ton of course, but I still love a beer or a spicy margarita on the weekends and Anthony loves beer as well. So we decided to leave that in during the 30 days and just switch out our daily food. Which I would love to give up drinking altogether but it's such a treat for me right now I'm just keeping it as that.

I realized that most restaurants offer some type of vegan option, I just needed to swap things out, for example if I was getting a salad I would ask for no meat and use olive oil instead of a ranch dressing- but add avocado and more veggies to make it more robust. Even though we wouldn't always eat at vegan restaurants I could always find something that would work. We even went to a seafood restaurant with friends one night and I ordered a veggie curry there instead.

We also found yummy vegan options at True Foods Kitchen (Heirloom tomato pizza, kale guac, lentil soup and shiitake lettuce wraps) and Le Pain Quotidien (lentil soup, avocado toast) in Pasadena as well.

10 favorite vegan restaurants

That being said, here are my 10 favorite vegan restaurants we ate at during the process:

1. Real Food Daily– Pasadena
2. by CHLOE– Silverlake
3. Little Pine– Silverlake
4. Flore Vegan– Silverlake
5. Cruzer Pizza– Los Feliz
6. My Vegan– Los Feliz
7. Sun Café– Studio City
8. Cafe Gratitude– Art's District, DTLA
9. Gracias Madre– West Hollywood
10. Crossroads– West Hollywood, (good for a date night!)

Here's what type of food we kept at home as well in addition to the tons of veggies we were eating for salads and snacks:

Recommended Foods & Favorite Brands

Easy Snacks:

Nuts
Acai Bowls
Quinoa
Dried fruit
Legumes
Hummus
Kale chips
Seaweed
Chia seed pudding
Papa Steve's No Junk protein bars
Lara Bars
Soy Delicious Yogurt– (coconut based)

Delicious Dinners:

Daiya Fire Roasted Vegetable Pizza
Kyoto Stir Fry
Amy's Pad Thai
Super Food Pilaf from Trader Joe's

I loved these recipes: HERE

 

Diary-Free Desserts

Coconut milk based ice cream
Ben and Jerry's dairy free (omg the PB & Cookie is my fave!)
Vegan Popcorn
Daiya Non dairy cheesecake

 

I really liked the page at Whole Foods where it offers ways to make sure you're getting all your nutrients and had yummy recipes, check it out HERE

Now that our 30 day challenge has ended- going forward, I'm still eating mainly a plant based diet but I'm going to look forward to the occasional burrata as my treat, but not eating dairy multiple times a week like I used to! I have to say my cravings have changed a bit so I really look forward to getting all my veggies during the week when I never used to be like that, that's made it easier for sure!

I thought it would be much more difficult to stick with for 30 days- but both Anthony and I were surprised it wasn't as difficult as we assumed as we started to form new food choice habits, also feeling better kept us thinking it was what our bodies needed!

I won't be going back to meat though, maybe sushi for a treat- but I had so many delicious vegan sushi options over my 30 day challenge that I really didn't feel like I missed out on it.

I'm much more aware of what I put in my body than I was ever before and I really loved the positive changes I discovered from doing it! If you've ever considered a vegan diet before- I encourage you to try it for yourself and see what you find, I could only listen to other people's experience for so long before I knew I just needed to take action- and so glad I did! :)

Do any of you guys follow a plant based diet? If so, what are your results? Comment below!

xx Brittany

(Visited 3,513 times, 5 visits today)

Leave a comment

39 Comments

  1. Rena September 24, 2017 at 12:42 am

    Thanks for sharing your experiences! I believe that you feel so much better and what happened to you is again a proof that it is definitely possible to have such a diet!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    http://www.dressedwithsoul.com

    Reply
  2. Asaake September 24, 2017 at 4:20 am

    I tried a vegan diet for a week. After that week. I switch to plane based diet and hav been on it for over a month now. I absolutely love how I feel now. I feel so much more energy, I literally poop so much in a day it’s unbelievable. I sleep a lot better and easier than before. In just one month! I am super excited to keep this going. I’m more on the vegan size tho, I have not had any animal product in a month. It’s amazing.

    Reply
  3. La Bijoux Bella | by mia September 24, 2017 at 7:05 am

    I have always love ❤️ vegan foods and I think it’s a great lifestyles for those who love it. It help simplified the way we eat in foods and it also helps our health and mind in the long run. What a nice experience for you to try, and glad you did! :)

    🍂🍁LA BIJOUX BELLA 🍂🍁| By Mia | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

    Reply
  4. Keren Cuadras September 24, 2017 at 9:32 am

    thanks so much for posting this! my husband & I have been wanting to try it out, but we’re a little hesitant thinking it’ll get a little too expensive. Are we wrong?

    Reply
  5. Pili September 24, 2017 at 10:34 am

    I’ve wanting to go either vegan or vegetarian for a while now but it seems like such a challenge. I love chicken and meat, so I know I’ll struggle haha.
    I will defiantly check out some of the recipes and snacks you suggested.
    Love
    Pili
    To Read with Tea

    Reply
  6. Aurora September 24, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    I’ve been vegan for 1.5 years now and honestly it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m only 19 but the environment and my own health is super important to me and as an athlete I’ve always been conscious of my diet but never “knew” about how much the meat and dairy industrie poluted our planet and how bad meat and dairy are for my own health. I’ve noticed my enegru levels are higher, my mood is better, my body naturally lost excess fat when giving up animal fats and I’m overall more toned in areas that exercise never could tone. People allways compare us to our ancestors who ate meat, vut they didnt have another choice did they? Nope, they didnt have plant based protein around now knowledge about anything. We all have a chance to have a voice and take action, so why not move to a plantbased diet when you have options for anything these days? I’m not missing out on anything! xx

    Reply
  7. Jennifer September 24, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! I was curious about possibly doing a plant based diet but haven’t taken that leap yet. Still need to do a little research for myself.

    http://www.petiteandhungry.com

    Reply
  8. Ariadna September 24, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while now but I feel like I would find it so hard! x

    Ariadna || RAWR BOWS

    Reply
  9. Deirdre September 24, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Wow! Reading your post hits home for me – I too chose to follow a vegan diet after watching What the Health. I have been vegan for 3 weeks now and can totally relate! My digestive system has done a 360 – I struggled with IBS my entire life and now I’ve never felt better! My skin is clearer, my cravings are reduced and my energy levels are higher. There are alternatives for everything today! I do find myself eating more carbs… do you eat a lot of potatoes or sweet potatoes?

    Reply
  10. Michelle Fisher September 24, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Very Inspirational!!! Thank you for the tips!

    Reply
  11. Krystal September 24, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Like you, I rarely eat meat, but my boyfriend can’t live without it! We’ve found some decent meat-alternatives, but a lot of them are quite heavy on the soy or really processed. Dairy isn’t always my friend, but sugar is my true addiction. I can’t keep away. I know my cravings build if I don’t keep them in check (stress and exhaustion drive me to mindlessly munching on candy) so I’m constantly asking myself if I “really” want the thing I’m considering eating. I’ve found that I can’t give myself rules since I’ll eventually balk, and instead I just try to eat the best things for my body or the ones I truly want. I make my own treats, like ice cream from organic milk, and try to purchase my meat and fish from local farmers/markets to do the best I can for my body without feeling deprived.

    Reply
  12. YP September 24, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    Great to read about your experience!
    I don’t usually eat red meat or pork, and moved away from chicken and turkey in the past months, I mostly only treat myself to seafood and eggs. The plant based part has become more of a focus for me in the past few years, I became lactose intolerant when I was 22 and a few years ago started to research what I was putting into my body that was making me feel bad. Meat has really started to gross me out and admittedly even eggs today, i had too much! As a runner I read into more experience athletes moving to vegan (ehem even NFL players! ) so I fully foresee I will be 100% pescatarian and eventually vegan sometime soon. I don’t find it to be restrictive and like you, treating yourself to something once in while is ok. Everyone has their own lifestyle, and i admire those that move into the dirwction of health!
    What the Health is a great insight, as was Cowspiracy.
    Books wise Dr Fuhrman is amazing, Eat to Live

    Reply
  13. Lilly September 24, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    My husband, my two boys and I all follow a plant based diet. We’ve been doing it for a solid 3 months but even before that we were already not consuming red meats, only the occasional chicken and fish. We love the way we feel! Lots of more energy, clear skin and better digestion. We’ve found vegan alternatives for almost everything and they all are so good even the boys love them!

    Reply
    1. Angel Mathieson September 25, 2017 at 6:23 am

      Hello,
      I am having a problem switching my boys to plant based when they are addicted to carbs and sweets. Any advice?

      Reply
  14. Kelly September 24, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    Great post ! I come from a long line of meat eaters and milk drinkers, so the idea of going plant based is a little intimidating. You’ve made it look a little easier and attainable ! You should check out @jillian.harris, she makes vegan look SO GOOD 😁

    Reply
  15. Elizabeth T. September 24, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    I’ve been wanting to try for awhile now, and hearing about how you and Anthony had such positive results inspires me even more :) Thank you for sharing all of these great snacks and places to eat as well – definitely makes the whole process less daunting and scary! <3

    XO, Elizabeth
    http://clothestoyouuu.com/

    Reply
  16. Natalie Redman September 25, 2017 at 2:13 am

    I’ve heard about that documentary and everyone I’ve spoken to has converted or is trying out vegan. I don’t know whether I’d have the will power to do it.

    Reply
  17. Kendall September 25, 2017 at 3:47 am

    Very interesting! Thanks for sharing your honest opinion, and as silly as it sounds, it’s nice to hear you did it for health reasons and not political ones. I never thought I’d be able to give up meat or dairy but I’m definitely interested now.

    Kendall
    http://www.weekendall.com

    Reply
  18. Missy September 25, 2017 at 9:31 am

    I watched that documentary too and have been wanting to do the same thing..Love how you did a whole post about this and gave good restaurants as well. I will have to check them out. I can’t wait to hear more about your journey with this. Best of luck!!! xoxo

    Reply
  19. Lauren September 25, 2017 at 9:58 am

    My fiance Dan & I are halfway through our ‘month without meat,’ spurred on by watching What the Health (also) and other docs, and watching interviews with Tom Brady/Gisele on their plant-based lifestyle, which they are strong proponents of. We are still consuming seafood, which we love. Like you, we weren’t eating a ton of red meat beforehand, but really wanted to push our creativity in how many ways and how much more veggies we were incorporating into our diets. We actually haven’t missed it at all. It’s only really been a problem when Dan has had lunch catered at work, which happens a few times a week, and he just has to make sure theres a veggie option, which there usually is. I’m lactose intolerant so I do the whole almond/cashew/coconut alternatives anyways, but I’m a cheese lover since birth, so not having cows milk cheese is rough, but I deal. We do feel better and have noticed having more energy, like you’ve said. Curious to see what the results are at the end of the month! Thanks so much for sharing this article. We have similar feelings and are eager to eat more plant-based moving forward.

    Reply
  20. Lily September 25, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Hi Brittany! You mention how helpful Whole Foods was during your journey, have you heard of Thrive Market? They’re basically an online grocery store that delivers organic (vegan, gluten free, there are a ton of diet options) at wholesale prices! Shopping on the website would make your new lifestyle even more accessible and affordable :) URL below!

    Reply
  21. Nicole September 25, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    I was vegan when I was in LA, you must try Sage on Sunset. Even though I eat meat now I still have to go there and FLORE if I am ever back.

    Reply
  22. Sharan September 25, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    This is so amazing so glad to hear that others are doing this as well! My husband and I are trying this out as well after watching this same documentary!!

    xoxo
    Sharan
    http://www.MyGoldenBeauty.com

    Reply
  23. Hannah September 25, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    I had the exact same experience after watching What the Health and now on Week 2 of eating vegan! Love it :) Two amazing cookbooks I’d recommend are The Minimalist and Oh She Glows. Both 100% vegan and packed full of delicious recipes that don’t sacrifice flavor and nutrition.

    Reply
  24. Jane September 25, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    I have been off meat for a week now, I thought I would miss it that much but I really don’t, which is a good thing. I will keep going for a month, see how it goes. Thank you for sharing.

    xo,
    Jane | https://www.dailylifetalk.com/

    Reply
  25. Michelle September 27, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! I’ve been wanting to change to a plant based diet for so long, but have difficulty because I feel like I always have to make my own food or eat at home.
    I would really love to see a “what I eat in a day” video or blog post!

    Thanks for the great content and info!

    Reply
  26. Kara Aragon October 3, 2017 at 10:47 am

    I’m glad that you’re not planning to eat meat anymore & I hope that you will soon add dairy, eggs, & all animal products to that list as well. As it seems you’ve learned, there is not one single nutrient or vitamin found in animal sources that cannot also be found in plant based sources, so it’s insane when people act like you’ll die if you eat a plant-based diet. I went vegetarian over 7 years ago. I though dairy & eggs were cruelty free, but once I learned the truth I went vegan. I’ve been vegan for over 3.5 years & my biggest regret is that I didn’t go vegan sooner! I urge you to watch the documentary Earthlings. All animal exploiting industries are despicable, but if I had to pick the most disturbing it would definitely be the dairy industry. Women, especially mothers, should understand more than anyone else! Besides, it’s just crazy for adults to consume breastmilk past infancy, esp from a different species! And there’s soooooooooo much pus in dairy it’s just nasty! I hope to see you continue on a path of what’s better for not only your health but the animals, the environment, & the people of the world!

    Reply
  27. Yolanda Saenz October 12, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    I wondering did you go back to the doctor to check all your vitals? Did cholesterol improve etc?

    Reply
  28. Mafer October 13, 2017 at 6:34 am

    I have always tried to eat healthy. Healthy to me was the very common food chart – protein, carbs and vegetables. Of course I wasn’t that great at adding many vegetables at my meals, I used to eat a low amount of carbs, and just like it is taught to us “protein” is the most important thing! Oblivious me knew that protein could only come from animals. I saw your insta story recommending to watch the documentary and I saw it. And from that one I watched “Forks over knives” and “cowspiracy.” I was completely shocked and heartbroken. I cannot believe what our governments are doing to us, to actually let professionals (universities, schools, doctors, nutritionists, grocery stores, etc.) teach us and let us eat! It’s very sad and very disappointing. I’m so thankful to the people from these documentaries that are trying to alert us and thankful to YOU. Thanks to your insta story I’ve changed not only my old “healthy” habits but also my husband husband’s and son’s habits, and made them actual “healthy” habits. We’ve all felt amazing, super energetic, I feel my skin so soft as when I was a teenager, and we have also lost some weight. I feel so proud to see my 2 and a half year old boy, at a picky stage, devour his 🥕, seaweed, nuts, cucumber, gran beans, any many other vegetables more. Won’t lie to you, we do sneak a bit of prosciutto or cheese here and there, but we are definitely more conscious of what we eat. Brittany and Anthony, without you guys knowing you have changed a whole family’s life in a great, positive and healthy way! Really thank you so much for getting us into this.

    Reply
    1. Brittany October 13, 2017 at 8:18 am

      That’s so great to hear!! It has changed so much for us as well! :)

      Reply
  29. Liz November 4, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Hi! I recently decided to try a plant based diet for 30 days as well and in the first 5 days noticed an extreme improvement in my skin! Thanks for sharing this post! I love your food recommendations and informative links. I def. wanted to educate myself first (as you did) before going plant based, as I live an active lifestyle, so understanding how foods effect my body is so important! Anyway, thanks again.

    Reply

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *