So this post has been a long time coming.
I finished the challenge (well like a month ago) and am (what I consider) “doing me right now” which I will get into later.
Honestly… a vegan/plant based diet has seriously changed the game for me.
I felt amazing while eating vegan.
To make this 30 days not just a huge chunk I am going to break it down into 3 parts.
The point of this is because I think there was 3 different phases of the challenge.
Phase 1 (the 1st 10 days)
This is the easiest yet the hardest part.
For me it was the easiest because I went into the challenge all jazzed and ready to eat a vegan diet and feel fantastic.
Right off the bat (after the first few days) I felt like shit. I was going through withdrawals, massive cravings and a HUGE lack of energy.
This was definitely top 2 hardest parts of the 30 days for me.
HOWEVER after this it was almost as if I was in a fog before but never noticed it because after those few days everything was so clear and right and I wasn’t craving anything, I wasn’t having withdrawals from animal products and I had more energy.
This part was one of my favorite parts of the entire challenge because I wasn’t in this slump energy wise (I will have to get into my general stump in another post).
In this phase of the 30 days I second guessed my decision of doing the challenge. This mainly happened when I was in a low, energy wise, having cravings etc. However I stayed strong, didn’t have a full binge or anything like that.
Now I am not going to say I am perfect and tell you I didn’t stay 100% vegan the entire 30 days.
One thing that I learned over the 30 days is that things I thought were vegan, weren’t and I slipped up, fell into my cravings and regretted it immediately.
Another big part of “phase 1” was kind of keeping it quiet that I was doing this vegan challenge. I kept it between myself and my family, then slowly my friends because they would ask why I wasn’t eating cheese or ice cream whatever it was.
I did this because I didn’t know if it would be something I kept up past 30 days or not.
Also people have a tendency to stereotype vegans to crazy, restrictive people who don’t accept any other form of eating habit.
I think that is crazy for both sides but that is besides the point.
Lets go to “phase 2” (the 2nd set of 10 days).
Phase 2 was all about getting used to what makes you feel good, what foods are your staples, making sure you are getting enough calories, and figuring out what vegan means to you.
Now I do recommend watching these documentaries before the challenge to really get the most out of it.
Cowspiracy + on Netflix
Forks Over Knives + on Netflix
Also I recommend watching youtube videos (especially this one), reading blogs and following the Instagrams of vegans so you have some idea of what to eat, what not to eat, substitutions etc. Without this I would have been lost.
Listening, watching and reading really helped me get through the 30 days to make me feel meaningful and like I was actually doing some good for our environment and the animals.
What I did find hard in this phase was eating at work and working with animal products while on the job. At one of my jobs I have to prep food like smoothies that may contain milk, or sandwiches that contain egg , turkey, bacon, ham whatever you name it. So it was hard for me to work with that, not because I was tempted to step away from the challenge and eat animal products, just because after watching all these videos and documentaries I just had a hard time making other people food with them. Does that make sense?
The last part is “Phase 3” (the last 10 days).
For this part I was in Kauai so eating vegan really wasn’t hard at all because the island life has so many fruits and vegetables and options for vegans.
Phase 3 in my book is all about still feeling passionate and satisfied with how you are doing on the challenge. At this point I was feeling a little discouraged but this was just because I had a lack of accompaniment. No one was really doing the challenge with me at the time so no one was there to help me boost them up and vice versa. I would definitely recommend trying to get a family member on board so you can support each other.
So where am I now?
I am predominantly eating a vegan/vegetarian diet at the moment. I eat vegan/vegetarian as much as I possibly can but I am not drawing strict lines for myself because when I did, I had a lack of motivation and satisfaction.
What I recommend?
Besides getting someone to do the challenge with you, I would suggest easing into a vegan lifestyle before doing the challenge. Example: If you have no dietary limitations at the moment then start eating vegetarian for a bit and then slip into the challenge so you’re not shocked by what you don’t eat if you have eaten it every day for your whole life up until that point.
If you have any questions for me please leave them below and I am more than happy to help you out or answer questions about this challenge!