Pros and Cons of a Vegan Diet

Celebrating my 1 year “vegan-versary” I wanted to touch on some of the pros and cons of switching and maintaining this new, beautiful lifestyle. Now, these aren’t crazy, exaggerated examples I’m giving you. It was honestly hard to find enough cons, and way too many pros to put on the script!
My journey is one in my own, here are my experienced pros and cons~

CONS 👎🏾

Finding Food At Restaurants

This isn’t so bad actually, I promise. Though I do admit it was overwhelming for me at first. All I saw on the menu was the chicken and the pizza I used to gorge myself on. It was no longer accessible to me and for a time, I was spiteful. Jealous that everyone was so considerate of the meat-eaters and the vegetarians, but not the vegans. Most of the time I ate out, I opted for french fries. I was so wary that no one could make my food right. There’s cheese and milk included in everything and I never noticed until I started looking! Luckily, you don’t have to be as stressed as I was. There are lots of different websites for this situation, you’ve just gotta look! Websites like this have a whole bunch of restaurants listed with their modified vegan menu! My personal favorite fast food joint is Chipotle. Somehow my burrito ends up being bigger than everyone else’s 😉 #plantpowered

Fitting In

We all know the scene in the movie where a kid gets bullied for bringing his own lunch. Everyone around him is eating french fries and deep fried nuggets while he silently chews on his homemade lettuce/tomato sandwich. That’s basically me– and hell, I’m proud. Most of the time I end up with more money, more variety, and more food! It’s okay to be a loner sometimes and to have experiences that change you as a person. Change is constant; there’s always room to grow. Something else I noticed was I started straying away from those that didn’t respect my new life style. It’s not a diet. It is a whole, brand new way of looking at your life. Respecting your body and what’s on your plate comes to you like a new skill. Understand that energy from food goes right into you, and changes you.

Food Addiction

I started to realize how much everyone talks about food. It’s everywhere too; roads, radio, papers, even in the gym I have to watch greasy burger commercials on tv. Ever since I started eating plant-based I noticed how obsessed some people can be about meat. A few conversations about how “Cheese is the new god” left me shook. We’re living in a hungry, addicted world and we don’t even realize it. We glorify it all, lusting after food. Though, some say it’s not really food we’re after, it’s the memory that accompanies it. Ask yourself every time: What type of food am I eating and how does it serve my body.?

Okay, now, let’s get into the good stuff!!!

PROS 👍🏾

Food is always exciting

I cannot tell you the number of times I have thrown some random veggies and spices together. Seems like something that’s not so exciting, but the taste alone of some plants has definitely surprised me. I always like to tell people “you’ll never get bored with plants” & I mean that! If you eat chickens, pigs, and cows all day you can definitely indulge yourself on the very large variety of fruits and veggies. Calorie count all you want, but eating plants only has benefits– there are no hidden cost. Even if you decide you don’t want that much variety, I promise, you’ll try things you never dreamed, and fall in love! Once you find what you like, make it a staple food! There are so many benefits, not to mention the herbs & spices that took my food to a whole new level! I have a collection of beautiful spices, when before, I was just a salt & pepper gal.

Guilt

A pro of this lifestyle a LOT of people would agree on is: less guilt. When I decided to go vegan, I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders. I didn’t realize I was carrying so much stress, guilt, and disease just by MY food choices. Day by day my real, true self peeks through just a little more. My food is my choice. No one can handle the fork for me and that is quite empowering. What you put in your mouth becomes a part of you. Eating animals is a personal choice, but personally, I see what’s going on and I’m choosing not to be a part of it. Having that choice is something that is freeing in a world that’s so locked in it’s ways.

Listening to the body

Poptarts used to totally be my jam!! Even though they are technically vegan, I just can’t stomach it anymore. I grew up gorging on sugary cereal, salty chips, and fatty animal flesh. I thought about it all the time. “What’s next to eat? Should I go out? Oh gosh, I really want a burger and fries!” I wasn’t even hungry; this was my mind on drugs, literally, food was my choice drug and it is for millions of others. It’s a public escape hidden right in front of us all. I still consider myself about 20% junk-food-vegan. I still eat processed foods high in salt, and fat. Sometimes I’ll dwell too much on the past and find myself with a pack of Oreos. The difference between now and then is that I have such a profound physical reaction, I can barely stomach the foods. That’s my body basically saying “You must be crazy if you think we’re going back to that crap”. I couldn’t agree more, I listen to what my body needs and nothing else


~Tips for starting Veg Life. One: Learn to read & love labels. They contain all the information you need, we’re lucky to have em. Most of the information you want is in bold under the ingredients. ‘Contains milk, egg, soy, wheat’ etc. Steer clear of: milk and egg, it’s just that simple.
~Tip two, at a restaurant ALWAYS look at the menu ahead of time– if avalible. If not, the sides and salads are your best friends but there’s always room for creativity! Ask the waiter if it’s: it’s dairy free (no butter,milk,eggs) they should know becuase they’re common alergans. To avoid this all, just trying going somewhere known to be veg-friendly. Don’t think you’re asking too much or doing extra; you only deserve the best.

1 thought on “Pros and Cons of a Vegan Diet

  1. Emerald, this is another FANTASTIC blog entry! I’m just now getting around to reading it, but it is so powerful and true to the person I know you have become on your journey. I love hearing how your vegan life empowers you in so many different ways, and how it has expanded your life (while decreasing your waist size!). It truly is more than a “diet” for you, and each choice you make is a step closer to being your authentic self. Nicely done. 🙂

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