12 days. I was going for 14, but it ended at 12. (I promise I had a good reason that I’ll reveal at a later date) So what made me do it? Curiosity. Interviewing people who’ve been vegan for years and swear by it. Seeing What the Health and trailers for documentaries like The Invisible Vegan. Essentially, I just wanted to finally see what it was all about.
The verdict? Vegan life is the shit. Is it hard? Yes. Giving up seafood and cheese was probably my biggest struggle, but the results superseded that. I felt lighter after eating, no matter what I ate. I was in the kitchen experimenting more than before. I recovered from my workouts quicker, drank more water, had clearer skin. It was truly amazing.
So, let’s talk about what I ate. For the most part everything the was veggie based (obviously) But, I was so surprised at the things I could do with cashews, almond milk, and seeds.
This dish above was one of my favorites because it introduced me what I can do with almond milk. I've always used heavy whipping cream for my alfredo or white sauces, so this was a light and pleasant surprise. Check out the recipe here. I added kale to mine for a personal touch.
Note: A lot of different sauces called for me to use a blender. I have a cheap $20 blender from Kroger, and it worked just fine.
Like I mentioned before, the vegan lifestyle forced me to make veggies the forefront of my dishes. That wasn't a big issue since I'm used to making veggie tacos and adding kale to everything, but I tried new things like veggie nachos with okra, and making my own pizza. There weren't really recipes involved with those two except when it came to the pizza sauce. (If you use this recipe use fresh tomatoes.) The rest was really just cutting up a bunch of veggies like bell peppers, mushrooms and whatever else I was feeling at the time, and putting them on the George Foreman grill, or in the oven on broil. Any cheese I used was from Go Veggie.
Beans were also clutch during the journey. From adding them to tacos and nachos, to mashing them into a zucchini and black bean burger, it was a great addition to make sure I not only got some protein, but also got full!
The hardest part about going vegan, in my opinion, is going out to eat. From the slim selections, to the people you're actually dining with, it can get kind of tricky. Now Dallas is no NY or LA, but they have a nice selection of spots that cater to the vegan diet.
Breakfast wasn't an issue, because I usually opted for oatmeal with fruit, or a green smoothie. But brunch was tricky. Luckily there's Spiral Diner, who has bomb pecan pancakes and even better nachos! The best part about this place is that it's 100% vegan so you don't have worry about sifting through the menu. And their milkshakes are a must!
Another gem is an authentic Mexican spot in Pleasant Grove, El Palote Panaderia. They're 100% vegan as well. And I promise you can't tell the difference.
So now the question arises, why only 12 days? Why not make it a lifestyle? To be honest, I’m not ready to give up some of the things I love to eat. Meat, cheese, ice cream — it’s all so good! Will I go vegan one day? I don’t know. Only time will tell. BUT, the vegan lifestyle has opened my eyes. And I’m making a conscious effort to eat better, while treating myself sparingly. I believe it’s all about balance.
Are you thinking of going Vegan or at least trying it out? Let me know what questions you have. And if can't answer them, hopefully I can point you in the direction of the person who can.
Want to hear more about my vegan journey? Check out this podcast with host Leah Frazier!