Coming from a Persian background, a meal is incomplete without a generous portion of meat. In fact, most Persians will not comprehend why someone would choose NOT to eat meat. But after struggling with digestion issues, I knew I had to make a drastic change in my lifestyle because my condition was just getting worse. My symptoms ranged from daily bloating and abdominal discomfort to severe stomachaches. I wouldn’t sleep well because of indigestion, and had low energy. I would sometimes wake up in the morning and still feel last nights’ dinner in my stomach and let me tell you, it did not feel good.
I began to do research based on my symptoms to see what I could to alleviate them. The vegan diet popped up often, and researched a lot to understand the implications and the potential risks and benefits. After reading the 22 Day Revolution, I decided that it was the right change for me, hoping that it would alleviate my symptoms.
I made sure that my meals would be balanced and provided me with the right nutrients. I felt like the book gave me a strong enough foundation that I supplemented with a few more resources. After preparing myself mentally and equipping my kitchen with the right tools and produce, I went cold turkey (pun intended) and was vegan for 21 days.
The results were incredible and almost immediate – the bloating and constant discomfort went away, my energy slowly came back, and I didn’t feel as though my body was constantly struggling to digest the food I was eating. I felt great! It wasn’t easy, especially with the meal prep and trying to find something to eat when I went to restaurants, but the end results was very positive.
Although I am not fully vegan, I have been reducing my meat intake and have taken steps into incorporating a vegan lifestyle on most days by eliminating milk products from the house, opting for soy or cashew milk in my coffee, rarely cooking meat at home, trying vegan restaurants, and discovering recipe books and blogs. I discovered a whole new world that I have really enjoyed.
I don’t advocate following trends without doing your research. I am not a nutritionist or a doctor to be able to tell you whether the vegan lifestyle is right for you. What can I tell you are the positive results as I have been eliminating animal products from my diet.
I aim to be vegetarian and/or vegan on most days, and allow myself some dairy products and meat without feeling guilty or thinking too much about it. If I listen to my body, I don’t react well to it, which is why I try to avoid it. If I’m honest, I think my body would benefit from being vegan all the time, but I am not sure that I have the courage and patience for it because it does require more planning and some sacrifices. But I also want to have a balanced lifestyle and be able to have that ice cream on a hot summer day or enjoy beautiful cheese and baguette during a picnic.
All that matters is that you find the right balance for you; that you feel good, that you’re healthy and have researched to make sure that you are eating a balanced diet. Because at the end of the day, it’s not really about what you eat, it’s about how you feel when you eat, and listening to your body and to give it what it wants so that you can feel healthy, strong, energized and not run-down and tired and bloated.
Have you ever thought of going vegan or vegetarian? What are some of your thoughts on it? Have you tried a vegan meal? What are some of your favorite vegetarian or vegan meals? Share your thoughts in the comment section below or through social media @SeppyforLove! I’m always curious to see what lifestyle choices others make and what they’ve learned!