My Vegan Experience

My first month of veganism far exceeded my expectations, and in the best possible ways. I have felt healthier, happier, and more energetic than I can ever remember feeling before. Some effects were immediate, some I noticed for the first time only a few days ago. Here are some of the things I’ve observed in myself and my behavior in the past month:

  • Animal Products: My desire for meats and animal products is waning. I definitely expected this would happen, but I thought I would have had more cravings. Even when I was in Chicago (Jan 14), watching my family eat a beautiful deep dish pizza, I noticed that part of me really wanted to take a bite, but a new part of me just wanted a plate full of fresh vegetables.
  • Grains and Sweets: My desire for grains and sweets is less. I didn’t think this would happen. I would have thought that giving up animal products would result in a stronger desire for comfort foods, like sugar, starch foods, chips, etc. But more and more I just want vegetables, fruits, and nuts, the raw-er, the better. I’m even tempted to eliminate things from my diet that I wasn’t planning to eliminate until later in the year, like caffeine, alcohol, wheat, etc. Weird, but I like the feeling.
  • Slumber: I sleep better, I wake up easier, and I wake up feeling more rested. On nights when I definitely don’t get enough sleep (thanks, Skyrim), instead of dropping to almost zero energy and falling asleep at my desk, I would operate quite happily at ~50% energy until I could get home to take a nap. And even my nap would feel better, more effective, more rejuvenating.
  • Energy: I have loads of energy. I’ve noticed that I feel better and more energetic, even when I don’t drink coffee. One of my favorite juices for the morning is carrots, clementines, lemon, and ginger, and it gives me crazy amounts of energy for the first hour or two of my day. I even find that when I eat sugary fruits, I can feel the effects, I tingle with increased energy within seconds of consuming the fruit. And it feels awesome. And if cutting coffee isn’t appealing, how about this: coffee is somehow more effective now. I can feel the energizing effects sooner, longer, and more powerfully. Bonus!
  • Exciting Foods: I’m actually excited about nuts, fruits, and vegetables in a way I never was before. I’ve never felt this way about any kind of food before. I almost feel high when I’m shopping for food in the produce section of the grocery. How awesome is that?
  • Sports: My volleyball team noticed immediately that my mood and manner had changed. I was more talkative. I was diving and going for the ball more. I could react faster and hit more accurately than I ever had before. Definitely an advantage during volleyball!
  • Happiness: I am ludicrously happy sometimes. I will spontaneously start laughing or dancing or loudly proclaiming my love of people, vegetables, homemade juice, etc. It’s a great feeling, but bordering on making me concerned for my own sanity.
  • Weight Loss: Nothing surprising here, as I wasn’t eating super healthy before and have now switched to mostly raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts. But I have lost 10 pound this first month, and I expect I will lose many more.
A typical shopping cart these days. Mostly fruits and veg!

It almost seems unreal. How could my vegan experience be this good? How could other people not be shouting from the rooftops about this? How come no one has ever told me before how good it would feel to go vegan, how little I would miss meat, and how easy it can be?

Well, I did experience one small hiccup, though. At a meeting at work, I found that the food we had ordered was most definitely not vegan, and there was little for me to eat. I survived it, and appreciate the hilarity of the situation. But I did not get my fill of food.
Everyone else ate delicious Davanni’s noodles, bread, and salad. Note the salad (with cheddar cheese and ranch dressing).
My meal – a bottle of water and a few pieces of lettuce and broccoli I managed to clear the cheese from before I got bored with the task.
I can understand that not everyone’s experience will be the same as mine. But if even 5-10% of people experience what I am experiencing, wouldn’t it be worth it to try it? And that doesn’t even include many of the other touted benefits of raw vegan diets, like possible reduction, elimination, or reversal of various diseases, extended lifespan, clearer and healthier skin and hair, etc. (see this website for a brief and informal review of the pros and cons of a raw food diet; also: this guy, who probably represents the perfect storm of good genes, good diet, and luck, but his story is amazing nonetheless – he is 111 years old, and appears to be more active than most Americans).
My Bahn Mi sandwich from Hard Times Cafe – so good! One of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had, really hits the spot for carbs, umami, salty pickled veggies, etc.
Anyway, the first month has been amazing and wonderful and fills me with hope and excitement for the future. I could hardly have believed it would have been this great. I love my life.

5 responses to “My Vegan Experience

  1. Fantastic! I’m only in my fifth month of Veganism but I am well and truly converted and only wish I had tried it sooner. Two of my friends have recently turned vegan because they said I was glowing and they wanted to feel like I felt. Hurray! 🙂

  2. I stumbled on your blog b/c you shopping cart reminded me of a pic on blog…a cart full of colorful veggies:). I’m glad to hear the vegan experiment is turning out well…I hope you stick with it. And having been vegan for 10+ years I definitely have experienced the work/social setting where all I’ve had to eat was broccoli. But really Veganism is so much more widespread now that it’s definitely easier now than 10 yrs ago.

  3. I Love SMB – practical, crazy, smart. What you share is rare!
    So glad you have passion for the good life.

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