Our Vegan Journey: 6 Month Update

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Hello all and happy Monday! Today I thought it would be a good idea to give you guys a little glimpse inside my head to see how I’ve been feeling about our recent lifestyle change.

For those of you who don’t know, my husband and I made the decision last December to completely change our entire way of thinking by adapting to a 100% vegan lifestyle. Although it has definitely had its challenges, it didn’t take us long to discover that it really isn’t that difficult to live this way.

Physical Changes

Now, in trying to be completely honest, I have to say that the first couple months sucked. It was right after the holidays, I was six months postpartum, and if I had to rate my energy level on a scale of 1-10, I would say I was about a… -346. I was incredibly munchy and severely moody (this also could have to do with hormonal imbalances, but we’ll get to that later). 

Back then, I was stuck in this mindset that had me believe that anything that didn’t contain animal products was fair game and that was that. Essentially, all I had done was cut out meat and dairy, but I hadn’t really changed the way that I ate. I still ate all the cookies and ice cream and crap that I ate before, but just the veganized versions of them.

It wasn’t until a couple months ago that I really started to think about what I was putting into my body and how I could satisfy my cravings in more natural and healthy ways. And now, I can comfortably say that I crave healthy food; unprocessed food. I wake up in the morning and immediately start brainstorming on what new and exciting meals I can make that day. 

One of the most exciting and rewarding aspects of this lifestyle is how it has impacted my body not only internally, but externally as well. Because I’ve had two kids, I would consider my abs to my biggest “problem area”. Ever since I had Riv, I have not been able to get my little pouch to go away! However, since I started eating better, my energy level has been through the roof and it actually makes me want to workout and get moving! 

The pictures on the left were taken January 2, and the ones on the right were taken just this morning after breakfast and my workout. In the past, I’ve always tried to take my pictures right after I woke up and before I had eaten anything so that my tummy would look flatter. But recently even after I eat, I don’t have as much of a belly hanging over my waist band!

I know it’s not that much of a dramatic transformation, but to me this is the best progress I’ve ever made, and that’s good enough for me. 🙂

Mental Changes

I am… emotional. Always have been. I cry a lot, over-exaggerate the smallest of things, and am extremely influenced by how others are feeling. Things have only gotten worse after having kids. But the last few months have honestly been the hardest of my life and I think I may know why. At my six week postpartum check-up, I decided to get the Mirena IUD and let’s just say I didn’t know I was capable of such mood swings.

Financial hardship hasn’t made things any easier, and I honestly think I went through a minor phase of depression. If it hadn’t been for Michael and the support of my family, I honestly don’t know what I would’ve done. 

But despite of all my emotional ups and downs, I believe that my diet switch has been one of the best remedies for me. Even after we went vegan, we would still hit up Taco Bell multiple times a week (Fresco style, anyone?) and just pig out. It was comfort food, and it brought back feelings of nostalgia and cruising around late at night without a care in the world. But it never made me feel any happier. I would finish my meal and just feel so heavy and well, sad. 

So in the end, I finally made the connection that fueling my body and my mind with crap was only going to get me the same output: crappy mood and zero motivation to do much of anything. Luckily, my food choices nowadays seem to directly impact my overall mood and energy level for the day. I mean, today I woke up, had an amazing breakfast with my girls, worked out because I wanted to, and now I’m typing this post. Because I felt inspired!

Family Adaption

As a mother, I worry about my girls getting the proper nutrition. This has always been the case, but ever since we cut out animal products, my worry has only increased. At least a little bit, anyway. There is no doubt that children and adults alike can receive adequate nutrition on a vegan diet. However, when you have an already picky eater on your hands, it can make things that much more difficult.

When we switched over, Had had just turned three and was already accustomed to eating a wide variety of animal products. It seemed almost cruel to completely take away things that she had enjoyed all her life. But luckily, it was easy enough for her to understand that we wouldn’t be purchasing those items anymore and they would no longer be available to her in our home. 

But because Michael and I believe in allowing our children to make their own decisions, we have agreed to let Hadley eat what she wants outside the home. If the family is having a barbecue, go for it! If your friends at school are eating it, go ahead! We don’t think it would be fair to completely forbid her from eating what she likes, but we can set a good example for her in our own home, and who knows? She may choose to be just like us one day. 🙂

With so many vegan products out there today, it hasn’t actually been that much of a change for her anyway. Gardein nuggets have become a staple for her lunches and she goes crazy for her almond and soy milk!

Riv, on the other hand, will eat anything and everything that I put in front of her (with very few exceptions hehe). I have given her various types of fruits and vegetables, from blueberries to zucchini to pinapple and avocado. She rarely sticks her nose up at something and is never shy about demanding more!

And although both girls receive plenty of vitamins and minerals from their primarily plant-based diets, I still worry about their nutrition. I started Had on a vegan daily vitamin, which has given me some peace of mind, but I’ve yet to find one that is suitable for Riv! Their doctor has assured me that they’re both doing fantastic, but I guess it’s just a “mom thing” to worry so…

Overall?

In conclusion, I think it’s safe to say that I’m finally getting the hang of this whole vegan thing. But I also believe that it’s different for everyone. Some people may get this feeling within days of transitioning, while others may not feel for a year or longer. My best advice would just be to hang in there. There is no doubt in my mind that a vegan diet and lifestyle is one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself and for your overall health and well-being. 

Looking forward, I plan to keep up on my daily workouts, continue with my recipe experimentation, and aim to become the very best version of myself!

♥♥♥

Be sure to follow our vegan journey on Instagram!

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