I’m not here to convert you to veganism or shout at you over your love of bacon, but to take a look at my own foray into a plant-based diet … and the food revolution going on in America right now.
For my New Year’s resolution, I decided to take control of my eating habits, which had become lazy and uninspired, and try out a vegan diet. I needed to make some health-based changes that would tackle my suspected lactose intolerance (no longer suspected) and improve my general health with an eye on losing some weight.
Back at the start of 2018 when I began this food journey, I assumed I would crave the foods I was eliminating. Luckily, as someone who didn’t eat a lot of meat to start with, I found this a relatively easy transition. And once I figured out that dairy gave me
the shits digestive issues I found avoiding it a much easier willpower battle to overcome. I do, however, miss eggs. But I heard about a new egg scramble substitute from the food company, ‘Just’ that may be the answer I’m looking for.
Across America, there has been a significant growth trend in the number of people identifying as vegan – 1% in 2014 and 6% last year (2017). This might not sound like a big percentage, but it translates to around 19.5 million people, which is a large enough group to make veganism a billion dollar section of the food industry. Vegan food sales have grown by 20% in just one year (June 2017 to June 2018) making it the fastest growing food categories.
This growth is reflected in the area I live in. When I moved here in 2013 there were very few vegan options available in stores and restaurants. In the last two years alone, this has completely changed. My local grocery store now caters for vegans, vegetarians, meat eaters and anything else in-between. There are even several choices when eating out because in the last year quite a few places have popped up that cater for specialist diets. If I really wanted one, I could even get a locally made vegan doughnut!
So, have I noticed any positive changes to my own health and well-being in the 8 months I’ve been plant-based? Yes! My skin, sleep and energy levels have greatly improved. My gut is no longer causing me serious concern, and once I established a proactive routine that figured out what foods are particularly beneficial to my personal needs, I began to steadily lose weight. It took me a while to adapt my thinking, but spending the time developing a more reciprocal relationship with food has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made regarding my own health.
I’m not going to become militant about my veganism, what other people eat is entirely up to them, but I will continue to be proud of the changes I’ve made and share my experiences as I continue to find my way. I plan on doing some articles that cover the best and worst vegan substitutes/products that I’ve tried so keep an eye out for those! You can also check out my recipe page for some food inspiration!
If you have any great vegan or vegetarian recipes or general encouragement for anyone looking to make dietary changes – vegan or not – feel free to leave a comment/contact me.
Thanks for reading!