10 Things I Learned From Completing a Vegan Version of Whole30
Saturday, February 4, 2017
Whew! We did it!!! Matt and I successfully completed a vegan version of Whole30. We decided that, like many other people with New Year's resolutions, we wanted to kickstart our health in 2017. As strict vegetarians, we didn't eat terribly, but we (especially me) definitely loved sugar and processed food for quick fixes. Personally I also strongly believe in the benefits of a vegan diet (for animal welfare, a positive environmental impact, and for one's health) and I wanted to commit myself to it; thus, we decided a vegan Whole30 was the perfect fit for us! As for getting through the actual 30 days, it was... the hardest thing I've ever done tough. But joking aside, Matt and I actually agree that it wasn't nearly as bad as we expected it to be. We started off with the typical apprehensions ("How can we function without CARBS?!" and "Why must we inflict such self-hatred on ourselves?" and "Why does 30 days feel sooooo damn long?"). However, we quickly realized it wasn't too difficult to complete, and would totally recommend trying it out!
Below are the 10 things we learned during this month-long Whole30 journey:
1.) I am actually a much better cook than I previously thought. (We always knew Matt was the more naturally talented chef in our family, but it turns out I am not bad at all in the kitchen. That is when I actually put my mind into it.)
2.) Recipes that you find online are SUPER helpful -- especially when you are going the unprocessed and vegan route. (Thank you, Pinterest & Google Gods!)
3.) Said recipes can act as perfect guidelines, because sometimes what you create by loosely using a recipe is even better than the original itself. (My personal example would be the BOMB.COM guacamole I created based off of a recipe I saw on the interwebs. Seriously. It is better than any other guac I have ever had. Modest? Nope. The cold, hard truth? YES.)
4.) Being vegan is so much easier than I could've imagined. (I will admit though that for the first few days of the cleanse while my body got used to the new norm, it took secondly daily self control for me not to dream of my favorite indulgences: chocolate and cheeeeeeeze.)
5.) If you are anything like Matt or myself, you may have random cravings, on and off, throughout the month; however, a quick search online helped us to find healthier alternatives to make it through.
6.) Even though we were buying all organic groceries which, yes, are expensive, we still ended up saving money since we couldn't really eat out as easily. (We knew of very few places that served unprocessed food, so we ended up cooking at home so much more than usual; therefore, we saved a little ca$h money!)
7.) People were much more supportive than we initially expected them to be. We thought some would be all "You dirty hippies and your crazy fads!" It turns out a lot of your loved ones may have already done their own Whole30 and can offer advice to make it to Day 30 and beyond!
8.) Healthy snacks are just as easy as "convenience food." It takes just as long to use that apple core cutter thing (this guy) as it does to pull out chips and salsa. We just have to make it a priority in our home.
9.) Matt and I both agree that Whole30 totally helped to "reset" our tastes, and get us on a path to a healthier lifestyle beyond just the 30 days. For example, we now love the flavor of fruit so much more than we ever have, and we realized we definitely were overeating before. It was such an eyeopening experience, and made us really examine our relationship with food.
10.) Completing a goal like Whole30 is truly an amazing feeling. Not only because you crushed a goal (which is always a fist-pump worthy feeling), but you know this particular goal made you a healthier version of yourself!
Hopefully these insights can help motivate you, in case you are ever interested in doing your own Whole30!
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Are you currently doing or have you previously done a version of Whole30? What was your experience? Any advice you wish someone would've told you before you began?
If it's somehow not already apparent, I am not a medical professional. Before starting any new fitness or health regime, check with your doctor - and not just the World Wide Web. (Duh, but it needs to be said, juuust in case. 😉)