Better late than never!
An afterword on my 21 day vegan challenge..
Overall, I really enjoyed it. It was a fun challenge to try cooking new foods (using recipes online mostly and sourcing inspiration through Instagram). Eating out in Dubai was a bit hard in some places. Western food places and your typical cafes don’t tend to have any interesting non meat or cheese options, except for some like health conscious new spots in town like Bestro in Galleries Lafayette that is the only place specializing in raw vegan cuisine. Asian food is very vegan friendly. Japanese, Thai and Chinese cuisine have a lot of vegetable and tofu options.
Indian cuisine has a lot of flavorsome vegetarian curry dishes. Middle eastern food is great too of course, my husband is Lebanese, and my mother-in-law cooked up the delicious traditional salads along with cauliflower and a great wheat dish.
One helpful tip? Bring snacks like nuts, fruits and dark chocolate with you if you’re out and about and might feel peckish.
Also when at a restaurant, don’t mention the alien term ‘vegan’, either they won’t know what you mean, or there is shock and/or judgement on choosing a diet that denies meat, fish and dairy; much better to simply say that you are allergic. ;)
Via Instagram I posted a lot of my food pics, both food I grabbed outdoors, and things I’d cooked myself. I shocked myself by making a delicious ‘cheesecake inspired cashew cake’! It was surprisingly easy to make, and tasted delicious! (Meat and milk loving husband devoured it!)
I also enjoyed temporarily being a part of this ‘vegan online club’. It really helped to have advice, food inspiration pictures, and see others living a heathy, inspired life, eating delicious foods that are good for your insides and outside. Speaking of which..
Inner and Outer changes?
After 1 week I felt much lighter, and turned out I had lost quite a few pounds! Also, after eating you generally feel much more satisfied, not ‘stuffed’ like you do after a meal with cheese or meat in it.
Vegans and vegetarians do tend to be slim. It’s a low fat diet if you focus on plant based natural whole foods. You do get junk vegans, however, eating fried battered vegetables and chips probably won’t give you the desired effects you’re after.
That being said, the real appeal is an overall heathy shift, clearer skin, more energy, better sleep, healthier insides. I felt some of these changes for sure. Weird but somehow I felt more peaceful? That could’ve been a placebo effect, but in general when living healthily, I do feel calmer and happier, so it makes sense. 21 days is not a very long time, I imagine the real changes would set in after 3 months or so. The first few weeks your body is probably still adjusting.
So how about now? Vegan for life?!
After the 21 days I broke my fast with some fish, and gradually added some meat and dairy back into my diet. I decided not to go all the way yet, however it’s something I would consider doing again for a time period as I did this time, and at some point I could see myself making the full switch.
Regardless I have been avoiding dairy, just eating a little cheese here and there. I have still been cooking vegan dishes, especially at home. I avoid junk food altogether, and eat meat much less, opting for organic, free range and local where possible.
I think we should all take care with nourishing ourselves with wholesome food and ‘let food be thy medicine’. It’s important too that we look into the industry of meat, fish and dairy and challenge the cruel practice of factory farming. I personally don’t have issues with humans eating animals and fish, but I think we over- farm and that it should be done locally by independent farmers with a limit on the scale of production. It just becomes disgustingly greedy and unjust to both humans and animals when one huge corporation owns and produces all in terrible conditions. The impact on local farmers, communities and the environment are catastrophic, and I really admire plant-eaters that recognize this and choose to eat consciously as a result. I don’t however have much support or sympathy with moaning vegans or vegetarians that feel the need to constantly tell everyone how morally inferior everyone else is to them, and how cruel it is to kill and eat animals for food.. Even if you are right, there is no need to spite!
Oh- one more thing – check these links out if you are thinking of trying a plant based diet out and need a bit of ammunition:
Vegan BodyBuilder Frank Medrano : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFPsvF3UOdo