Unexpected Plant-Based Benefits

Taste the rainbow, EAT THE RAINBOW!

I’ve been trying to go in a more vegan direction since January. I haven’t told a lot of people. Mostly because I don’t want to hear that inevitable conversation that I know will happen. You know the one. The pearl-clutching gasp followed by the aghast cries of “But what about chicken?! Bacon?! Butter?!” Chill, Agnes. (That’s the old lady in this imaginary conversation) Too often, people focus on the loss rather than what there is to gain and I’ve gained so much since starting on this path. Here are some of the things I’ve noticed since the beginning of the year.

You Feel So Much Lighter

I’ve had cheese a couple times since the beginning of the year and meat as well. It’s usually just one meal and I don’t have a lot, but after eating I want to go back to plants because these things sit heavy in my stomach. Maybe they always did and I’m just noticing it. With plant-based? Not so much. Don’t read this as not feeling full. I will eat a huge meal, but I don’t feel that rock-like fullness that meat and dairy tend to bring. The itis, if you will. Instead, I feel satisfied and energetic which is awesome. 2:00 still hits me like a motherfucker though.

I Mean, You REALLY Feel Lighter

You will poop. Regularly. On schedule. Daily. Seriously. I occasionally listen to a podcast called The Friend Zone which is all about health and wellness. One episode they talked about pooping. We don’t talk about it enough. We only talk about it if something is wrong. One of the hosts said that you should go daily. I’ve always been an every other day kind of person, so I rolled my eyes a little at that one, but this bit of info stayed with me. Sometimes there was an every other day lag. Sometimes two. But now? I’m like clockwork. It luges out of me like one of those kids at the giant slide at a waterpark. Me and my dookie got this shit.

It’s A Great Creative Outlet

It’s no secret from some of the past posts and Instagram that I love to cook. Switching to a more plant-based life has made me more creative in the kitchen. Granted, it’s been a bit of a curveball at first trying to figure out some of the new ingredients that I bought, but every meal gets better. I’ve made an amazing Mac & Cheese that’s so creamy and delicious, my roommate didn’t think it was vegan. I’ve made seitan ribs. I made white queso that was a huge hit with a group of friends. I was proud to say they completely finished that one. And that’s just to name a few. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made terrible things for the sake of experimentation, but with every meal, I realize how many possibilities I have. Especially since there are more options than ever before. Speaking of that…

You’ll Try New Things

Or at least I have. I’ve never been a picky eater. When starting, I began experimenting with how to make vegan cheese sauces because I knew if I couldn’t find some kind of palatable substitute, I wasn’t going to make it. I’ve made cheese out of cashews, carrots, and potatoes. I’ve seen some recipes that call for coconut milk. I would eat these things anyway, but I would never have thought to blend them together to make a sauce. Who knew? Some of the stores near me started selling ripe jackfruit which I’d never had fresh. I’ve also tried (fresh) dragon fruit, golden kiwi, rabutan, and passion fruit. I’ve found different ways to cook tofu. I’m trying my hand at seitan. I’m experimenting with spices.

Your Tastes Change Drastically

The first month was definitely the hardest by far. If you have a uterus, you know what I mean. I was doing pretty well and then it hit me. I wanted steak. I wanted steak NOW. But for January, I was in challenge mode, damn it, and my competitive spirit wouldn’t let me cave!! I got an Impossible Burger with sweet potato tots and some dark chocolate instead. Once the insane hanger subsided I was fine. Great, actually. This past period, I didn’t want the meat, but I still wanted chocolate. I wanted curry too and more fruit. Eventually, your body adjusts. It’s the strangest thing because the meat craving just kinda stopped. It’s not a burning craving anymore.

I’m learning a lot of new recipes and a lot about myself in the process. In a way, this plant-based diet has made me realize that it’s absolutely possible to be fulfilled and still eat delicious things. We live in a time where plant milk is getting more popular and vegan junk food exists! What a time to be alive! There’s so much out there. It’s kind of intimidating if you’ve never had it, right? Fear not! Next time I’ll tell you about my favorites.

In the meantime, are any of you trying to cut out meat more? Maybe for good? How are you feeling? Sound off in the comments!

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