It’s been just over one month since I quit being vegan. I listened to my cravings, dropped the labels and adopted a vegetarian-but-not-labeling-it-just-in-case-I-one-day-want-to-eat-meat diet.
Since then a lot of people have been asking how I feel since the change. You all were so supportive of the change so I thought I’d share how the shift has been.
Seven Changes Since Saying Goodbye to Vegan
1. I feel stronger. Maybe it’s that I’m eating so much more protein with eggs? (I really, really love eggs.) I’m not sure why but I feel stronger- faster on my runs and able to lift more at CrossFit. I feel like my muscles are getting more defined, too.
2. My belly feels better. As a vegan I ate more soy and beans which I’ve now replaced with eggs and some dairy. I’ve learned that soy and beans cause gas, bloat and pain. Eggs and dairy don’t. Hello, non-bloated tummy!
3. I am satiated. When I’m finished eating, I feel full. And I stay full until I should be hungry again. I’m eating less snacks and enjoying that satiated feel.
4. I’m sleepy. Dairy makes me sleepy. I noticed this when I went vegan and had so much more energy, and less energy now that I consume dairy again. It’s okay; I love sleep.
5. I feel morally conflicted and often guilty. At home all animal products are organic (or “from happy animals” as I like to say) when possible, but the frozen yogurt we had last month and the bagel I had yesterday are made with products from animals that are probably suffering. That breaks my heart. So I try to think of the big picture, remember I can only control so much and find balance.
6. Life is easier and eating is fun. This is the biggest one! I can go out to eat with my family and not plan. I can stop by the French bakery and that cool New York-style pizzeria and explode my taste buds without having to worry about if they have vegan options (they don’t).
7. I feel less healthy. I feel like I’ve been eating less nutritious foods and more sweets, carbs and cheesy foods. I attribute part of this to the attractiveness of being able to eat all the things I’ve turned down for for years. I’m giving myself the freedom to eat those guilty pleasures and hope I’ll balance out naturally.
My weight hasn’t changed. Moving forward I’d like to eat less dairy, but I’m giving my body time on that one. I’m also surprised how often I still lean toward vegan options- skipping cheese on my salads, preferring my vegan protein powders and companies, etc.
How have your dietary changes affected you?