2 years ago I decided to make a major change to my lifestyle by switching to plant based eating and ditching all meat and dairy from my diet. Now before you start thinking, ‘here we go, another tree hugging vegan and her crazy talk,’ hear me out. I can honestly say that I never thought I would even be one of those proud plant lovers. I was an avid meat eater who was serious about her free range steak and organic cage-free eggs in the morning. And being Nigerian, a majority of our traditional meals are meat based. I never imagined that a vegan lifestyle would even work for me.
So why would I even give up meat forever? Why make such a drastic change? For months I was suffering from chronic indigestion and digestive issues. During a hospital visit, my doctor told me that I would have to take an over the counter tablet everyday for the rest of my life. I said ‘no ma’am, not me.’ The light bulb went off when I realized that it had to be what I was eating. I started my personal research on how food is used to heal and used as preventive medicine. The questions about what exactly I have been eating for years encouraged my research. What I kept finding was that our bodies thrive the more we fuel them with plants and veggies, healthy grains, and legumes.
The transition to the vegan lifestyle wasn’t so easy. Only because it went against everything I had been taught about food. I found myself questioning my eating habits. Why exactly do we eat certain foods? Who told us that we should eat this and not that? How do I benefit from eating certain foods and how is my body suffering from doing so? During my transition, I moved from eating meat daily, to cutting out chicken and beef. I held on to seafood, some dairy (because I lived for cheese and ice cream, despite being lactose intolerant), and eggs for a while.
But let me tell you…I felt so much better. My digestive issues and indigestion drastically reduced. After several months of doing that, I eventually gave up everything and focused on being 100% vegan. The whole process to a full vegan lifestyle took about 10 months to fully transition.
Practicing a vegan lifestyle has taught me so much about my body and food.
- Not all vegans look malnourished. Yes, I did loose a lot of weight in the beginning but that was also because I was doing rigorous hour long workouts daily. But these days my thickness has returned but I can manage my weight more than ever.
- It really opened me eyes to another lifestyle that I was so quick to judge in the past. No not all vegans are walking around picketing, throwing paint at fur wearers, or acting out towards meat eaters. But I can say that I am more compassionate about the treatment of animals and our environment. It just comes with the territory.
- It solidified my love of food from other cultures. I have always loved international cuisine and during my research, I found myself searching for foods from other cultures that have a lot of vegetarians and vegans. My meals are influenced by Indian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Mediterranean, and East African culture. My spice cabinet is seriously all over the place.
- You can veganize any meal. Just a few ingredient replacements and the meal can easily be considered vegan.
I appreciate and value what I put in my body much more than I have ever done in the past. I create 95% of my meals in my kitchen and I manage to find tasty meals when I’m out and on the road. So to help show how life as a vegan can be beneficial to your body and the types of meals I create as a busy individual, I decided to do a 14-day vegan challenge.
I recently made an Instagram poll to find out if anyone would be interested in trying vegan for just 14 days. I was overwhelmed by the responses from my followers about how interested they were. The challenge will include recipes that take less than 30 minutes to prepare, a simple shopping list filled with ingredients you can easily find, and types of restaurants to try for your cheat meals. Wouldn’t you like to join in on the fun? The challenge starts November 5th. The sign up form is below.
SIGN UP FOR THE 14 DAY CHALLENGE