Man, time flies. I've been at this for 6 months now but it feels like I've just started. I remember the first day I went Vegan. I said, and I quote, "I'm just going to try it for a month and see what happens." I had found something online about a one month "Vegan Cleanse." I'm into all of those weird "cleanse" things so I didn't really think anything of it. Then August 1st came and I didn't want to go back. I had worked so hard that entire month that it seemed counterproductive to give it up. I said "One more month and then I'l go back when I get to college." Well here we are, six months later, and I'm still going strong. It's crazy for me because it's not even something I think about anymore. There is no part of me that wants to go back. There is no part of me that wants to give up. This is just an update on what's changed for me so far.
This is the most significant change. I am seriously just a giant ball of energy. It's actually quite terrible because where there is energy, it's obvious when there is a lack thereof. When I don't get enough iron and protein in a day, I can tell. I feel weak and will usually have problems getting out of bed the next day. It's only happened a handful of times when I didn't get enough iron the day before. I just eat something with iron/protein in it as soon as I wake up. It's an easy fix. When I do get it right though, it's insane. I have so much natural energy, which is odd for me since I'm a coffee addict. I'm definitely less sluggish and never really get tired. All of the fruits and vegetables I eat directly turn into raw energy. Having this much energy definitely comes in handy when you have 8 am classes.
I'm not one to brag, but my skin is awesome now. In high school I used to have so many issues with my skin and I've finally found the cure. Who needs Proactive when you can go Vegan? After going Vegan, I realized that I was allergic to dairy products so it was making my skin even worse. Throughout the last six months, I've barely had any problems. I'm no dermatologist, but the only explanation I have for this is cutting out animal products.
I was so worried about going to college as a Vegan. I thought it was going to be nearly impossible to survive as a broke college student, surrounded by people who eat normally. I'm not going to lie, it's hard. My friends are always hosting the 2 am pizza sessions and late night ice cream runs. There's only so much will-power a person can have. I've cheated 5 times and every time I put a tally in my notebook, just to keep track. I feel like my mini cheats, strangely enough, help me stay Vegan. That one slice of pizza I had in the first month of school is not going to ruin everything I've worked so hard for. I'd say 5 out of 186 days is pretty decent. Since I've been at school, I've only met one other Vegan. We actually have a Vegan Club, called Food For Thought, on campus but I've never made it to any of the meetings. That's one of my goals for this upcoming semester.
What I've Learned
The main thing I learned is that I don't have to survive on grass. As Veganism gets more popular, more and more companies are developing replacements for average foods. I can still eat all of the same things I ate before. But, to be honest, I don't even want to. I don't need to replace all of the foods I used to eat because I've found so many better options. I like eating raw organic food. I don't need to have fake cheese and tofu all the time. While it's nice to have that stuff once in a while, I would much rather just eat plants. I know that sounds weird, but it's true.
Veganism is not nearly as easy as I expected. Being a Vegetarian is more widely accepted in comparison to being a Vegan. When I went Vegetarian, it was easier to find replacements. People understand that you don't need meat to survive. But cutting out eggs, milk, gelatin, food colorings, etc; It sounds insane to some. It sounds unnecessary and pointless. It's difficult to explain to other people that have grown up on all of this. How do you tell people to change something they've been doing for years? That is the only difficult part: getting people to accept this. In all, I am way happier than I was 6 months ago. I have way more energy and am naturally healthier. Strangely enough, I want to say life is easier. Honestly, I couldn't imagine going back to the way things were before.
Animals are friends, not food.
Jasmine Millner :)