Now I’m firmly in my mid-twenties I’ve seen a very obvious shift in what I put into my body. I used to be the junk food queen, I had an insatiable sweet tooth for pick n mix and although I ate veggies and healthy meals I’ll be honest I found it a bit of a chore. I’d see all these health freaks and thought ‘I could never be like that’, but these days my friends would probably call me a clean freak. Don’t get me wrong I still eat crap every now and then – the other day I ate half a pack of Oreos in one sitting and had to physically remove the rest of the packet from my apartment to prevent myself from eating it, but generally, I’m very aware of what I eat and I’ve documented here on my blog before about my attempt to clean eat. You can read all about that here.
Over the last couple of months that has developed more and more, with some good and some not so good weeks, but I’ve got to the point where I’ve now eaten purely plant based for the last 12 weeks. I thought I would give an update as I continue on this journey as I’ve seen a shift in the blog community and people are much more interested than they ever have been about what exactly we are all eating. This isn’t a preachy post or ‘this is how you should eat’ lecture, this is just what works for me and the journey I’m on at the moment, we’re all on our own journey and this is a judgement free zone.
The last 12 weeks have been an interesting time. I’ve learnt so much. I’ve bought new cupboard essentials I’ve never heard of before, I’ve tried new dishes (both successful and unsuccessful), I’ve dealt with eating out and eating at people’s houses, I’ve dealt with the ‘awkwardness’ associated with eating this way and I’ve also had a weekend away in Berlin and managed to stick to plant based everything. I think the fact that I’ve managed it this far has given me to drive to keep going. I don’t know whether this is a permanent thing, just a phase or something I’ll manage to do for a while, I’m kind of taking each week as it comes and so far I am loving the results.
Those of you who have followed my blog for a while will know I started trying to eat and unprocessed ‘clean’ diet due to IBS kind of ruling my life. Last June I started trying to eat ‘clean’, that meant no processed or packet foods and cooking everything from scratch with natural ingredients but my diet still contained meat and dairy. I generally stuck to that until Christmas, with the odd off day or treat meal (everything is about balance people!).
Then after going on holiday in January (where my IBS was totally fine and didn’t flare up once due to being so relaxed) I decided to try and eat plant based. Over the last couple of months towards the end of the year I was gradually seeing less meat in my diet without any sort of conscious decision to do so.
I successfully ate plant based for 3 weeks before then having to do Jury Service for 2 weeks which totally threw me off due to the weird times in the day I could actually eat!! Since February I have been pretty relaxed but generally have stuck to plant based during the week and little more relaxed at weekend e.g. milk in tea or eggs with breakfast etc.
Then at the beginning of March I decided to take it a bit more seriously again as a sort of cleanse. My body was starting to complain again and I was feeling lethargic so decided to really go for it with the plant based – that meant no ‘cheating’ at weekends and fully going for it. I didn’t put any sort of time stamp on it, I just wanted to get a bit stricter.
This time round however I’ve done much more research into meals and snack and plant based ‘junk food’ that I can treat myself with (e.g. Oreos!), and I’ve found it much easier to embrace. I feel full of energy, I’m sleeping amazingly and feel totally refreshed in the morning, my stomach feels flatter and I’ve lost a little bit of weight (not that that was a goal).
The downsides I would say have been the slight social awkwardness i.e. going round people’s houses for food and probably coming across as insanely awkward only eating plants – I’ve normally offered to eat first or bring a contribution or something I can eat. It’s just one of those things – I’m doing this for reasons that are important to me, so I have no problem defending that position. I’ve found cooking and eating plant based/vegan pretty easy, but I think until you’re in that mind set and have some recipes at your finger tips, it can seem like the person can eat NOTHING but lettuce. Believe me, I’m a foodie and I LOVE food and I’ve been amazed at how much of my diet (and probably yours too) is already categorised as ‘vegan’.
The other downside has been that my skin has definitely been in a transitional period and wasn’t as clear as normal for about the first 8 weeks – however that is pretty normal during a cleanse or detox.
I’ve also been watching lots of YouTube videos to give me inspiration and guidance – my two favourites this month are hotforfood (and Lauren’s other channel ‘Lauren Toyota’, and without all of her recipe inspiration I probably wouldn’t have got as far as I have! And from a lifestyle perspective and trying insane vegan foods, Kalel Kitten is just hilarious – I highly recommend checking them out, even if you’re not plant based/vegan or remotely interested in the topic!
And that’s basically my update. That’s where I’m at and I don’t know which way it will go, but I feel amazing in myself and I haven’t at any point felt like I was limiting myself or having to use in sane willpower to keep going. I’m able to eat more than I would before without piling on weight as your metabolism adjusts and becomes much faster.
I’ll probably check back in a few months to give you any updates or answer any questions you might have!