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
I loved these recipes: HERE
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!