Monday, June 9, 2014

One Year Veganniversary!

It’s amazing to me that I’ve gone a full year without eating (almost any) meat or dairy! Just a couple years ago I thought vegetarians and vegans were slightly crazy and said I’d never cut out whole food groups from my diet. I loved milk, yogurt and eggs too much. But here I am writing to you after a whole year of plant-based eating and I have no regrets whatsoever.

I also like to think that I’m not crazy either. 

I figured to celebrate my one year of vegan eating, I’d write an recap on what caused me to go vegan, how my body has been positively affected, and some of the basic cons that I’ve discovered come along with eating a plant-based diet. I won’t lie, there were definitely times (especially early on) when I thought seriously about throwing in the towel and going back to my old ways of eating and viewing food, but I’m so glad I stuck it out. Let me tell you why!

Before I get into the nitty gritty of the past year, I think it would be good to share what caused me to go vegan in the first place. One of the main, initial factors were stomach aches. I’m not sure when it started, but I know a couple of years ago I started to complain more of stomach pain after eating certain foods: mainly rich, sugar laden foods and dairy such as frozen yogurt. A while later I started to put two and two together and realize that the food I was eating could be causing my stomach pain. Duh Faith. Unfortunately I feared that declining dessert in social settings would cause people to judge me as a goodie-to-shoe-health-nut or, even worse, an anorexic. So I continued to eat the rich desserts and meet friends for frozen yogurt and…I kept complaining. 

The second key factor in my going vegan was learning more about the cons of our Western Diet and the benefits of a plant-based diet through documentaries such as Forks over Knives and books like In Defense of Food. I know there’s a lot of controversy over these sources, but they really caused me to think more about the food I was putting into my body. First of all I realized that my view of healthy (a.k.a. low-fat, low-calorie, processed diet food) wasn’t healthy at all. My eyes became opened to just how far the Western diet has come in the way we over-process our food, seek out convenience over quality, and remove certain nutrients from our foods (like the fat from yogurt to make fat-free yogurt) at the expense of having to replace those nutrients with other chemicals to get the same texture and taste. While I knew there were ways to get quality meat and dairy, finding out that I could get all the nutrients I need through plant sources made me not want to deal with the other possible, negative health affects of animal products. 


I went vegan cold-turkey. 

I’ll be honest. The first few days were hard. One night I literally had a minor panic attack thinking, “Am I really not going to eat meat or dairy anymore?!?” The fact that I was drastically changing my diet from something I’ve always known and deemed healthy was a big shock. I also realized that in order to have my new lifestyle stick, I would have to tell people - people like my friends and family - none of whom are vegan or vegetarian. I feared they would think I was crazy or uninformed. 

But I went for it and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. 

So, how has my body been affected by a plant-based diet?
  • No more stomach pains 
  • I experience a different kind of full where I'm satisfied instead of stuffed
  • I don't get sore very easily and recover from workouts faster (this is the biggest difference I noticed!)
Finally completing a half marathon after three previously failed attempts...and fueled by plants!

What are some of the cons that come along with following a plant-based diet?
  • It takes planning and prep-work
  • You have to speak up about your dietary restrictions
  • You sometimes cause people to go out of their way 

While I used to pride myself on being low-maintenance when it comes to the food I eat, especially when traveling or going to someones house, I now have to share my eating preferences with others. This is the hardest part about being vegan for me. I don't like people to go out of their way when cooking or providing me with food, but being vegan can cause people to do that sometimes. I am thankful that I'm not allergic to meat and dairy products so that if I don't have any other options I'll just eat what is set before me. What a privilege we have to be able to choose the food we eat!

On Thursday I'm sharing how a typical day of meals looks like now compared to before I went vegan. Check it out!

And please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about a vegan diet. I'd love to chat!

Eat Consciously,



  1. I love this post! I've thought a lot about going vegan. I was a vegetarian for about 4 years. I've recently added meat back into my diet because I needed more protein - but I'm picky about what kind I'll eat. It has to be raised humanely and NO preservatives! When I'm at home I tend to eat either vegan or vegetarian, but if someone is making a meal for me I won't decline if it has meat! ps those pumpkin cinnamon rolls look AMAZING!!

  2. Thanks Leigha! That's cool you've been vegetarian for 4 years! And I definitely agree that it's great to be able to appreciate whatever meal is given to us, vegan or not! And seriously, the next lazy morning you have you should make those rolls. They're amazing!


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