Every year I decide that I am going to participate in a 30 day challenge per no ones request but my own. For example in previous years I went vegetarian for 30 days, I have done 30 days of yoga. The list goes on and I am sure you get the point. I have never went vegan before & quite honestly, I love eating meat and was a little judgmental on people who are. I didn’t tell anyone about this besides my husband and a few close friends. Because honestly, I didn’t want the judgment.
Over the years, I became more intrigued on ways I could reduce my carbon foot print and how the effects of factory farming, and just overall the inhumane ways animals die so that we can eat them. So August 1st, 2016 I went vegan. Now you might think that is a little extreme but like I said, I like a challenge. The first few days were a breeze. My family and I usually go a couple of times a week without eating meat so I was feeling like this was going to be easier than I thought. But by the end of the first week, I was feeling frustrated, not sure what to eat and how I was going to keep this going for the rest of the month. My mood was fluctuating so much that my husband suggested that maybe I should reconsider my decision.
By week two I started to get more creative with the my recipes. Pinterest became my best friend. That being said, I also started to feel that being a vegan was eating a bunch of side dishes made into a meal. Although, I did feel like I was settling into a groove by week two and my mood started to even out.
By week three, I was feeling pretty good. I wasn't experiencing a huge shift in my weight or anything like that but I was feeling less bloated, my mood was great, and I thought that maybe this could become a way of life for me. Until I got my period and was craving a huge cheeseburger and not a black bean veggie burger but a ground beef medium rare burger maybe even with a fried egg on top and some bacon because well you know that time of month. This is when I started to question whether or not I could continue with this way of life or if I would start eating meat again when this whole thing was over.
Week four and close to the finish line I started getting excited that I was going to make it through 30 days without eating meat, dairy or eggs. I wasn’t craving them, and that started to scare me. I felt confused about what I would eat when all of this was over. Luckily for me I was a huge vegetable eater before I took this challenge so I wasn’t worried about what that would like. I was worried on whether I would be able to get my protein from vegetables, beans, and legumes alone. Because in my opinion it became boring at times. Look, I am not trying to sound or be negative around anyone that is vegan. I think that it is very brave and an amazing discipline to have in a world where we are heavily influenced by so many different things.
After completing this thirty day challenge here is what I know- I like to put myself through challenges to know that change is constant. It helps me handle difficult situations when they arise. This, believe it or not helps me with that. Also, I feel good about reducing my carbon footprint. Global warming is a real thing and by decreasing or not eating meat you are reducing carbon emissions more than you would if you gave up driving your car. I found that this is a way of life and not a diet. There are so many different reasons I could list but don’t have enough lines in this blog to do so. But I am sure if you google it you will see many many reasons why. This is a personal choice that should not be judged by anyone because at the end of the day we are responsible for our choices and actions and that is what matters most.
Tiffany (RYT 200®) is a student and teacher of yoga living in Baltimore, Maryland.
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