Four and a half years ago I decided to do a cleanse. I had never done one before and thought it would be a great way to shed a few pounds and eat healthy, even for just a few days. I designed my cleanse based on what I had seen bouncing around on the Internet: no meat, no diary, no wheat, no alcohol, no caffeine and no soy. I decided to exclude fish and eggs as well to see how it would go.
After a week, my body felt good, maybe even a pound or two lighter, but I felt great for abstaining from any animal products. I didn’t miss them and immediately decided not to add them back into my diet.
Though I am a bit embarrassed I initially chose to go vegan for vanity reasons, after I made the switch, I started researching vegan nutrition and found it could be a very healthy diet if done correctly. What helped me stick to my new lifestyle and confirmed it was the right one for me, however, was listening to vegan podcasts and learning more about animal rights, specifically the way factory farms treat animals.
As I dedicated more of my time to researching nutrition, animal welfare, and veganism in general, I met amazing like-minded people. I attended potlucks and events like The Seed and my local Vegetarian Food Festival. I quickly learned, through my experience and that of others, that this way of life wasn’t unrealistic or extremely plagued with deprivation or sacrifice. Quite the opposite, this way of life is filled with compassion (for everyone, not just animals), amazing foods I may have never tried otherwise, and some pretty awesome people.
So how has my life changed since I’ve gone vegan? Because I am a work in progress, I am still transitioning my world to cruelty free, but with the abundance of vegan make-up and body products it’s easier than ever. I changed my career to focus on nutrition (specifically vegan and vegetarian nutrition), health, and wellness. I began writing about being a vegan. I volunteered at an animal shelter and fostered dogs for one of our local rescue groups, though my husband and I became failed foster parents since we ended up keeping one of the dogs. That’s not too bad of a fail, if you ask me.
Do I have days when I’m not perfect? Probably. Do I still have “contraband” items in my closet? Yes, I do, but they will go as they wear out and need to get replaced. If I inadvertently slip up, as it can and does happen to anyone, I don’t beat myself up about it. My journey is one of progress, not perfection.
Oh yeah, and I kept the weight off…until I discovered vegan baking.