What I Learned After a Month of Being Vegan - Honest Answers to Your Questions

Feb 21, 2020

If you’ve been keeping up with me on Instagram you’ll know that I officially transitioned to a vegan lifestyle at the start of 2020. There’s a lot of interest and curiosity about my choice so I’m here to be 100% honest about my experience so far!

Disclaimer: Everything I mention in this post is unbiased, unfiltered, and non-judgmental.

And to preface, I’ve eaten and loved all sorts of meats and dairy products my entire life. Not a single meal went without it. So no, I haven’t forgotten what those products taste like and I can attest to what I compare them to below.

I want to be as transparent as I always am with you! My hope is that this may be helpful or informative.

vegan food bowl foodie

Why Did I Go Vegan

Let’s start with the most popular question. I choose to live a vegan lifestyle for ethical, environmental, and health reasons. If you’re interested in any of these reasons, there are plenty of reliable resources out there! Send an Instagram DM if you want me to send anything to you.

How Does It Feel?

It feels fantastic. I have a lot more energy and I’ve stopped waking up feeling intensely groggy. I don’t feel deprived, hungry, or weak. I hardly get stomach pains or bathroom issues (TMI?). And I have fallen in love with food again! I eat far more vegetables than I ever have in my life. That's something I always wanted to do and I never actually did it until now.

Is it a Difficult Switch?

I went vegan overnight and never looked back. It might just be me, but it was not a difficult switch! Vegan substitutes are a huge help. My husband Ian, who is also now vegan, took a while to accept the change. It was not physically challenging; he was simply not willing to give up meat and cheese. But then he decided he was in charge of his life, not animal products. He hasn't had an issue since that decision.

Do you Miss Meat?

Mostly no! I get triggered when I smell certain meats, like fried chicken. But so far I have no desire to eat it.

What About Dairy?

I never liked cow’s milk. I’ve been using milk alternatives in my coffee for over 6 years. Cheese? Not an issue with the incredible vegan cheese options out there. Yes, I know very well what real cheese tastes like. Yes, vegan cheeses are impressively similar these days. There were not several years ago, but they are now. I do admit that I miss burrata, but it’s no big deal!

Where are you Getting your Protein?

I track my meals using a food diary app and I consume my daily serving of protein just fine. I get it from green vegetables, nuts, almond butter, peas, beans, chickpeas (including chickpea pasta), lentils, quinoa, seeds, tofu, tempeh, and grain bread.

Food for thought: Most Americans consume too much protein.

Is Vegan Expensive?

I’d say it’s cheaper! I’ve stopped ordering takeout altogether, which was the #1 reason why my bank account was suffering. Seriously. I was spending several hundreds of dollars in takeout and dining each month. Plant-based foods (like those mentioned in the previous section) are all dirt cheap at the grocery. If you’re asking about vegan alternatives, those are priced around the same as their non-vegan versions. The exceptions are some fancy vegan cheeses and meats, but are we forgetting that brie and wagyu aren’t cheap either?

Are you Vegan For Life?

Yep!

Do you Think Vegan is Economically Possible for Everyone?

I can’t confidently say yes because I don’t know the economic stand point for every country. Accessibility and prices range everywhere. But if you have access to affordable vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and grains, you have what you need for a vegan diet. Where I live, meat and dairy are not substantially cheaper than plant-based ingredients. And organic does not necessarily matter - frozen products work just fine.

The Hardest Part

To be completely honest… telling family/friends that I'm vegan and dealing with mockery is the hardest part. My diet is mentioned constantly, questioned constantly, ridiculed constantly. The trickiest part is that the comments come from “close ones”! At this point, I try to avoid the topic altogether. I don’t mention that I’m vegan if I don’t have to. When I’m mocked, I try to defend myself in the most polite way. And I guess it’s still a learning progress.

The Easiest Part

The easiest part about being vegan is eating good as heck food! I’ve had more delicious dishes than not while being vegan. I look forward to every single meal and savor every bite. And discovering vegan eats in NYC is a ton of fun! It’s like experiencing food all over again.

Staple Ingredients to Keep Handy

If you want to see some of my favorite recipes, I’ve posted a YouTube video here! But you definitely want to keep these on hand: tofu, beans, lentils, grains, stocks, a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs (if you can access it), and condiments. Think about your favorite foods and stock up on vegan versions of it. 

Things I’ve Learned

It’s easier than I thought.
People are more judgmental and sensitive to the word vegan than I imagined.
Fruits and vegetables are delicious.
Sauces are underutilized.
The meat and dairy industry have tricked me.
Vegan cheese has come a LONG way.
Protein deficiency is a myth. Fiber is what we need.

Should I Tell-All?

If you want to know more about the vegan lifestyle or anything I specific changes I've made in my life, please let me know! I am more than happy to share as much information as possible. If you're looking to go vegan and need help, I'm here for you. Good luck and thanks for reading!
love sarah sign off ending

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