The Vegan Experiment

Hi, my name is Krystal and I am a food hypocrite.

It’s true. I love learning about nutrition! In my spare time I am nerdy and do research on food and how it affects our bodies and I watch documentaries and get all excited about it. I tell my husband about the things I learn (because he LOVES hearing all about it 😉 ). And then I eat ice cream.

Apparently it’s hereditary, this food hypocrisy. Before my wedding, my mom and I decided to go on the Atkins diet (highly do not recommend). This is a conversation I had with my mom a few days into it:

Me: How are you doing on the diet, mom?
Mom: I’m doing great! Well except that I ate a slice of pizza for lunch. And had a coke with it. And had a sub last night. And ice cream… oh man, I’m not doing good at all!

See? Hereditary food hypocrisy.

The past two years I have been on a journey to better health, wanting to see if making some lifestyle changes would improve the way I feel. Anyone who knows me well knows that I am sick all.the.time. Like, every other day. I’ve had such bad sinus issues and allergies for years, and I seem to get anything and everything that goes around. My immune system seems defunct at times. But my journey has been more of a two steps forward, one step back process. I’ve been more aware of how different foods affect my body (for example, I seem to have a difficult time digesting dairy and feel much better when I don’t have it). But I have no self control and I love gluten, dairy, sugar, and soda.

More recently though, I have been more motivated to work on my health because, among a few other health issues, my cholesterol is pretty high (Oh hi there “30” thanks for welcoming me into the aging process). I’ve been intrigued by some of the health benefits of a plant based diet, including how it helps lower cholesterol. There is also a lot of cancer in both of our families unfortunately, so I have been intrigued by some studies on how animal products may play a role in that. But in order to really make such a big change in my eating habits, I would need help. I need someone to help me, who can kind of get me started, guide me along, answer questions, and I need accountability.

Enter Stacy.

Stacy is one of my best friends from college and she recently became a certified nutrition counselor. She has a really cool website (http://www.thenourishinghealth.com/) and offers some really awesome services (counseling sessions, clean sweep kitchen consultations, grocery store tours, and group sessions!). I am so excited about what she does and have loved reading her stuff and learning from her! Stacy is such a fun person and easy to be around. Her approach to food is a whole foods, plant based approach, but she it totally not judgmental about it! Her goal is to educate and help people to transition to a more plant-based diet – even if that just means moving from 10% to 30 or 50%. It doesn’t have to mean going vegan!

I’ve always watched Stacy’s plant-based lifestyle from a bit of a distance. I never really asked her much about it, and she is not one of those people who is preachy or pushy about it. So I always just chalked it up to being a little quirk about her ;). But as I started reading her website and blog posts I felt like I got a better glimpse into her plant-based life and I wanted to try it for myself. I’m just curious about how it would make me feel.

So, with Stacy’s help, I am embarking on a one month vegan experiment! Starting today until May 15 I will not eat any animal products. I am going to eat a balanced, whole foods diet. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts and legumes are my new best friends. I’m going to document this one month project here on the blog. I’ll share what the experience is like for me, how I feel, and will include tips, tricks, and recipes that Stacy helps we with, and also any mistakes I make or things I learn the hard way.

Today was the first day and I’m sure it will get harder, but so far so good! I ate:
For breakfast: overnight oats
for snack: nuts and fruit
for lunch: a salad made with mixed greens (swiss chard, spinach, kale) topped with dates, dried cranberries, cashews, apples, and a vinaigrette dressing. I had pita chips & hummus on the side.
Dinner: rice & beans (cooked with diced tomatoes, green chilies, garlic powder and cumin) topped with lime juice, cilantro, and avocado and wrapped in a whole grain tortilla.

I was surprised that I didn’t feel hungry or deprived at all today, but felt full and satisfied. I’m looking forward to working with Stacy this month and seeing what happens! Be sure to check out her beautiful website! (Also: She is not paying me to do this or write this.)


OK and now it’s time for the disclaimers:

Food is a very sensitive topic. It’s kind of up there with religion and politics. And I know this in part because I have been sensitive to it at times. For some reason it’s easy to hear someone say they are eating a _____ (Fill in the blank – Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, Gluten- Free, or sugar free diet, etc.) and take it personally. I’m not really sure why that is, but I know I have felt that before too. Maybe it’s feeling or fearing judgement? My disclaimer is that I am not making any sort of statement here about how everyone should eat. This is simply my own personal experiment that I am curious about, and I will just be sharing my own experience with it. No judging here because umm, hello I have the McDonald’s app on my phone.

Also: Please don’t be concerned about my eating. I am working with a professional. I’m not doing anything dangerous. I’ll be making sure to get all of the fat, calories, and nutrients my body needs.

Feel free to follow along with me on this journey – I will put “vegan experiment” in the category tags if you want to read along! If not, you can just ignore these posts, I will still continue to blog about other life thoughts too.

KM.

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