My body failed me… That is all I could think of this past Sunday afternoon as I laid across the couch in pain. A few weeks ago after watching the documentary “What the Health,” my husband and I decided we were going to go vegan. Just like that… The astonishing statistics that were spouted off by the filmmaker Kip Anderson along with the graphic pictures of pigs being poked and puss oozing out had us scared to eat anything that came from animals.
Effective immediately, we were “vegans.” I meal planned for the week and grocery shopped making sure to have plenty of healthy choices around the house.
I even went so far as to pack Brooklyn’s lunch for daycare and told her daycare about the change we were making so they could enforce it as well. We were doing great. No meat, no dairy, no eggs until we craved fish. Fish wasn’t bad right? They did not mention much about fish in the documentary so surely we could add fish back into the diet. So we did just that. Rather than being vegan, we became “pescatarians.” As I am writing this, I am laughing to myself. The labels is what makes me laugh because it really doesn’t matter does it?
Everything was going well until it the third week. I met with a fellow blogger at a local coffee shop and was starving. For the past three weeks, I had been prepared making sure to eat balanced meals and snacks and if I was going out, I would look at the restaurant’s menu to ensure there was something that was accommodating to my new dietary changes. My mistake this particular day was I did not plan. When I got to the coffee shop, there was not much for me to choose from. If it did not have dairy, it had large amounts of sugar and that was something else I was trying to avoid. I decided to go with a vegetarian quiche. If you did not know, there is a HUGE difference between vegetarians and vegans, Vegetarians and vegans do not eat animal flesh however, vegetarians eat dairy and other animal by products while vegans do not. With that being said, my quiche contained both milk and cheese which was something I had taken completely out of my diet. I figured it would be ok for once but boy was I wrong. By the time I made it home, my stomach was cramping and it felt as though I was going to be sick. The following day (Sunday) was much worse. I had chills and body aches as though I had the flu and could not do much more than lay across the couch for over half of the day. Mario seemed to think my problems were stemming from not eating meat and felt I needed to eat meat immediately in order to gain my strength back. I denied it until around two he asked what I wanted to eat and I begged for chicken. I know what you are thinking, she has no self-control. Well, you’re right! LOL. Totally joking. I do have self-control I just decided to listen to my husband’s advice 😉
So to rewind to the beginning of our vegan journey, we did not think about it, we just threw ourselves into it and there really is not a right or wrong way to do it. Everyone’s journey is different. Anytime you begin working out or decide to make a big change in your eating habits, it is wise to consult your physician to ensure you are making the correct decision that is suitable for you as well as create a plan that you will get the best benefits. I did not do that and many people do not.
When we made the switch, on a typical day, I would start with a serving of fruit accompanied by oatmeal for breakfast. For lunch, I had a salad or avocado toast and for dinner, I would have rice and a veggie or two with two healthy snacks in between.
Looking back, I realized I was not getting enough fiber or protein and that contributed to the weakness I was feeling. One important fact is, I have been off and on iron deficient which started when I got pregnant with my second. This means I need to take supplements or tremendously increase my intake of iron rich food. I do not like taking medicine so that option does not work great and apparently I am not able to get enough in my diet. This only escalated with my attempt at veganism.
As of Sunday, July 23rd, we are back to eating meat, at least once a day until further notice…
If you have switched your eating lifestyle to vegan or vegetarian, please comment below and share your thoughts on what worked for you. I am interested to see how others made the change. Until next time…