In my last article, I speak about the thinking behind trying a vegan diet as well as tips to bear in mind if you’re considering going vegan as a beginner.
Today, I want to chat about what happens if you go vegan for a month, for the body and the mind.
Here are some of the first few things that I noticed when I tried out veganism in the first month:
Higher energy levels
Often people who are trying veganism for the first time report fatigue and weakness. I might have avoided this initial shock to the system because my dietary preferences weren’t far from a vegan one.
I have been feeling full of energy since taking the vegan plunge. Adding more fruits, vegetables, healthy carbohydrates, and cutting down on processed foods can offer a surge in energy due to better vitamin absorption and fewer energy highs and lows caused by sugary and/or processed foods.
If you are worried about fatigue, it may be an idea to check your vitamin levels before making any dietary changes. It’s equally important to make sure you’re eating enough of the right foods, i.e. not just carbs or vegan junk food, aim for a rainbow plate of fruit and vegetables, a healthy amount of protein and protein.
In sum: Veganism may lead to feeling more energized due to eating more whole foods and fewer processed foods.
Increased taste sensitivity
I don’t fully understand why this happens, scientists haven’t cracked it either, but anecdotally a high volume of people report a better sense of taste. I did too, I’m not sure if it’s cutting out certain foods such as cheese, eggs, butter, yogurt, fish but I found that everything I ate tasted so much better! This could also be connected to recently giving up smoking, but it’s hard to pinpoint what’s causing what. Either way, no complaints for everything tasting super delish.
In sum: Veganism may change your taste sensitivity, leading to a higher ability to taste your food and a change in cravings.
Better digestive function
I’m not going to go into too much detail here but you get me.
In sum: More fiber = better/faster digestive.
A plant-based diet and glowy skin go hand in hand. We spend so much time covering ourselves in lotions and ingesting various potions, but the best way to get your vitamins and minerals is through your diet. I’m not necessarily saying that you need to go vegan to get better skin, but getting enough fruit and veg each day, and the better absorption that can be found in those who are lowering the volume of meat they’re eating can lead to a faster process of detoxification in the skin, with glowy gorgeous skin as a result.
In sum: Veganism may lead to glowy healthy skin and fewer breakouts due to the increase in the consumption of fruit and vegetables.
I’m not a fan of the weighing scales, I don’t find them to be an accurate measure of good health. I do however feel much lighter, and my jeans are easy to button up. I am finally seeing faster results from the exercise that I’ve been doing for years in terms of muscle gain and toning up, and I feel like I’m zipping along on my runs. Weight loss is not a given if you decide to go vegan but it’s often a side effect.
In sum: Veganism may lead to weight loss if processed foods are replaced with whole foods. Veganism may also lead to weight loss as there are fewer grab and go vegan options available in most mainstream shops.
Increased awareness around what’s in your food
No one wants to be the person who is checking labels on everything, but you’ll be surprised by how quickly you get to terms with the buzzwords that tell you what is and isn’t vegan. Once you get into the habit of checking the ingredients of what’s in certain foods you’ll become so much more aware of what you’re eating. I have a new rule when it comes to my nutrition, and it’s something I’ll be carrying forward, whether or not I maintain my vegan diet. That rule is; if I cannot pronounce an ingredient name, I’m not eating it.
It was pretty scary to start reading the labels on some of my favourite on-the-go snacks, I wasn’t just deciphering whether or not they were vegan, I was starting to realize that they were full of sugar, saturated fats and a bunch of stabilizers.
In sum: Veganism can help increase your awareness of the ingredients in your food. Vegan foods tend to have no more than 4-5 ingredients in them, even ready meals!
What happens when you go vegan varies from person to person, for the majority of people, you can expect a lowered chance of heart disease and diabetes if you stick with it. You may also expect lowered cholesterol, higher energy, and an improved mood.
If you are unsure as to whether or not veganism is for you, make sure that you consult with your doctor before making the change because it is a substantial one, jumping into it may leave you feeling run down if it’s not thought out.
Going vegan for a month has been a positive experience for me, but it doesn’t mean that I will stick to it forever. I think nutrition and diet are one of the most personal things we have, whatever you do, don’t feel pressured to try the diet just because it’s trendy.
If you feel are considering a vegan diet, be sure to check out some of my hearty, healthy, and cheap vegan recipes that I have been cooking up during lockdown one and two!