When I decided to go plant-based, I planned on quitting meat products cold turkey. I am typically really good about maintaining self-control so even if I miss a certain meal, I can refuse to partake and be just fine if it’s what I’ve made up my mind to do. When I actually went plant-based however, there were a few key things I feel that I would have handled differently had I known about them prior to making the switch.
That brings me to this post! If you are planning on eating a plant-based diet or even just thinking about it, this is my little letter to you! It may be able to better prepare you for what is to come and make your transition just a tad bit smoother.
My Appetite Would Increase
In my first week I was constantly snacking on popcorn, chips, grapes and pretty much any vegan snack I could find in the moment. If you don’t feel hungrier than normal in that initial first week, you may feel it pretty soon. Although it won’t seem like it at first, this newfound hunger can be a good thing as long as you are choosing all of the right snacks (something I wasn’t doing at all). Just because a food item says “Vegan” on the label does not automatically make it healthy, so please choose wisely.
Here are a few healthy snacks that help you to feel fuller:
- Kale Chips
- Hummus and Pita Bread
- Guacamole on Toast (lightly seasoned with black pepper and salt makes this SO delish!)
- a LARA Bar
- Smoothies! (I’ve found that adding spinach to the mix makes any smoothie way more filling)
My Skin Would React
I don’t know if it was because of all of the snacking or diet change in itself, but for the first few weeks I felt like I was 13 again, just constantly waking up to new break-outs. It wasn’t anything major, in fact it was very minor but it was abnormal for me. Especially with the skin care regime I’ve kept up with (which by the way, doesn’t consist of any of the products in the photo above).
It is perfectly normal for the skin to go through a short purge stage when you change your diet, so it is nothing to worry about. Just be sure that you are sticking to a skin care regimen and drinking lots of water to help flush all of the toxins- that your body is already trying to get rid of- out.
I Would Have to Meal Plan
The picture you see up above is of a vegan pizza from one of the VERY FEW vegan restaurants I’ve come to know of in my area. What is my point in placing it here?
I can’t just order delivery pizza anymore (and i’m not going to lie, I do miss that small little interaction with the pizza delivery people when they give you your pizza…sigh…). I can’t just realize that I’m hungry and wait a few minutes until my microwavable meal is ready. I can’t just be out and about and stop by McDonald’s for a full meal (that ISN’T a salad..). I actually have to account for what my breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be.
Now don’t get me wrong, since I have been vegan I have discovered quick microwaveable meals and have actually ordered vegan food from a few drive-through places (french fries count, right?) and restaurants. Like I mentioned when talking about the increase in appetite, not everything with “vegan” stamped on it is healthy. I try to stay away from these foods to stay cost effective, but also to keep from becoming dependant on these kinds of preservative-packed meals because honestly, it is so stinking hard not to.
My Advice to Those Considering Going Plant-Based
If you are considering adopting a plant-based diet, first off I want to congratulate you! You are already taking a positive and extremely beneficial step towards a healthier and happier life! That’s pretty noteworthy!
Secondly, please don’t get easily discouraged. I think often times, with any kind of lifestyle adjustment, it is easy for us to become so overwhelmed with having to get used to the change that instead of toughing it out, we end up going back to our “norm”. In order for something to become your new norm however, you have to develop consistency and stick to it. It is only as hard as you make it! You got this!!
Lastly, for all of my fellow picky eaters out there, don’t compare the vegan foods to the meat foods. You will be doing a great disservice to yourself, trust me. For the first few months, you’re going to have to change the way you view eating in that you eat because you have to- not because you want to. Acknowledging that the food you eat may not always meet your expectations is a huge part to sticking to the diet. In my opinion, homemade vegan meals often taste better and fresher, but you may have to mentally prepare yourself for the change in texture and sometimes in taste. If you remember that we eat to nourish our bodies and not to satisfy our palettes than you will be just fine! (:
If You Are Considering Adopting a Vegan Lifestyle…
I’ve got you covered in the beauty department (;
I have partnered up with Siobhan, a lovely blogger friend of mine, to help you guys out in the make-up department if you’re interested in finding really good vegan/cruelty-free make-up products! Check out her super helpful post here.
If you have any questions about switching to a plant-based diet, feel free to ask below! I’d be more than happy to answer your questions and others might be able to help you as well(: