Becoming a Vegan.
Vegan: a person who does not eat or use animal products.
Becoming a vegan has been one of the greatest things I’ve done thus far. Not only do I look and feel internally healthier but I also feel better mind, body, and soul. It all started one day my boyfriend and I were discussing our eating habits, our health, and how he had followed a plant based diet prior to meeting me, for about 5 years. We’re both athletes, as he is a runner and I am a trainer, so it made sense to us to follow a vegan diet or at least try it. At first, I was all in without realizing what I had actually signed up to do. For him it came easy because he had followed a plant based diet before. It made sense to me to become vegan because my family has a history of diabetes and cancer to name a few and also all I ever heard were great things about being vegan.
Of course when I told everyone I was vegan they all turned into a nutritionist and had something to say. I told my mother first, she gave me that “yeah okay” look, in disbelief. Told my friends second. This was funny because they all had different reactions. At first they didn’t understand, one even said “eww you don’t eat meat, what do you eat then?” as if eating meat was the only option. Another one said, “you still eat meat though” being a perv lol. I don’t blame them for thinking this way because at one point I thought the same. Some family members, well their thoughts and opinions are funny and ignorant at times. Some think I’m “bougie” lol. Others commend me for choosing this healthier lifestyle, and others just don’t care. The older folks like my grandma, don’t really understand. Which is perfectly fine because I’m not doing this for anyone’s approval. Another funny response I’ve gotten was, “girl don’t stop living your life to follow a diet”, that one was the icing on the cake because to me it is not a diet but a lifestyle. I won’t lie and say it was all good and dandy at first because I definitely struggled but what helped me was having a partner that also made the decision to follow this “diet” as well.
Now with changing your lifestyle comes a few obstacles especially when you come from a circle of people that are hardcore carnivores and are set in their ways. It was rough at first because I was straying away from the "norm". I didn't know what to eat and what had the nutrients I needed to survive. Boy it was tough! Like I mentioned before I did fuck up once or twice. First time being with my friend Rosa. We were out with our partners celebrating her marriage. We went to this Mexican spot around the way. We were all drinking and socializing with each other when rosa had ordered a chicken quesadilla. At first I was hesitant to take some but hunger won that battle and I ended up taking a little piece of her quesadilla. I never really been a fan of quesadillas so immediately after I regretted it. That and my stomach hated me after. (It’s crazy how our body adjusts to things so quickly.) This happened maybe like a month after I made the transition. My second fuck up was late August. Oh man.. I wanted some snow crabs so badly. The craving for it was killing me and I couldn’t resist any longer. I gave in, they were so good but I felt so bad after and not like sick bad but like damn I messed up bad. I swore after that to resist no matter what. In that moment I realized I no longer was vegan because of health reasons, it now became about the animals as well.
Veganism has taught me many things. I have to be more cautious now with eating out and buying groceries. I no longer can go out to eat with friends unless it’s a vegan restaurant or a vegan friendly one. I choose not to drink unless I know the ingredients.(Luckily this dope vegan chef I follow on social media put up a website where you can insert the liquor brands and it’ll let you know if it’s vegan friendly or not). I do miss dinner dates though. I have to do a lot of reading as far as ingredients go. It’s baffling how many things have dairy or some type of animal in them. Quite scary if you ask me. Now fast forward to almost a year of no animal products. I feel amazing. I have more energy. I'm more active. I haven't gotten sick. I'm all around a better person inside and out. Do I miss chicken and pernil and ribs and all that delicious stuff that is cooked during the holidays.. HELL YEA, but do I regret giving it up, HECK NO. I am fully functional without chicken, pernil, beef and dairy. I am in love with the way I feel and the way I look to ever go back. And like the old saying says "once you know better you do better".