I'm not a Vegan, but...
Before I get bombarded, please just hear me out! I have pretty much tried every diet under the sun. Although some have worked, granting me fast results, the traveling lifestyle has made it very difficult to reach my goals and keep the weight off. Not only that, diets like Paleo, Keto, or Atkins ALWAYS leave me with the lowest energy and pretty much sluggish to the point that I don't even want to work out. So, about a year ago, my husband suggested we do a two week cleanse without any meat or dairy. I was so reluctant! Take away my eyes, but not my cheese!! He insisted that he was feeling sluggish like animal products were poisoning our bodies and we needed to detox. So, I agreed. I prepared like crazy, did a ton of research and found recipes fit for two weeks for a whole foods plant based diet, no frozen or pre-packaged foods that simulated meat, either. We went all in! I felt amazing, with so much energy, and even lost some weight! After the cleanse period, we went back to our old habits and every couple of months we'd do the cleanse. At the beginning of the year, I started an exercise regimen and was attending classes regularly, showing results, but it was super slow and then I hit a plateau. It was discouraging. In the past, I'd immediately see results and hit my goals quickly, but this was different. I asked my trainer and she suggested to add more plant based meals. I knew what I had to do.
|Homemade Veggie Wrap with Broccoli Slaw|
After my 35th birthday, I decided to go Vegan and take it as far as I could. I watched several documentaries, including Cowspiracy and What the Health. I honestly had no idea how toxic the meat industry was and how detrimental to the environment the production was. This information was enough to support my decision, so I went in. I was firm for 2 months and lost 10 lbs, felt strong and had a healthy relationship with food. I found that there are so many restaurants that cater to Vegetarian and even Vegan lifestyles, and there are so many Veggie Friendly restaurants in San Antonio! There is definitely a movement in the city and it is so refreshing!
|Green Vegetarian Cuisine|
It hasn't been super difficult and to be honest, it's a lot cheaper. I've noticed that Veggie centric plates in restaurants are the least expensive and purchases at the grocery store, as well. I'll still cook some meat for my husband but it's not the center of our meal. I'll cook classic dishes like rice & beans with Chicken for him, but then I'll roast some Brussel Sprouts or Asparagus for myself, so it's not exactly 2 separate meals. The key is planning. I plan ahead for the week on Sundays if I can, and when I don't have the time to plan, I make sure to buy everything I need for myself when we do the groceries. It's not that hard when you have the mindset to succeed.
|Warm Veggie Salad|
Going back to my title statement... I really missed fish, and cheese. So, I've made the decision to not put myself in a box and classify myself as a Vegan, or Vegetarian or Raw, or this or that. Not even a Flexitarian, which actually fits more with my real eating habits, if we're being honest. The reason why, is because I want to succeed. I don't want to fall into a specific category and beat myself up if I "fail". I want to be able to make the right choices, enjoy myself and have a healthy relationship with food and people. I don't want to restrict myself from simple pleasures if I want to eat a piece of cheese one day and all plants the next. I want to be free of judgements from others and even from myself; the first is nearly impossible but I've gotten to the point where I feel that I don't have to justify myself to anybody, especially if I'm doing something for the greater good with a few adjustments. So, I will continue to eat mostly whole foods plant-based, because it fits in best with what I believe in and my body really loves it. And, every once in a blue moon I'll have that piece of cheese, most likely from a sustainable farm from Europe, lol.