When I first tell people that I’m a vegan, their response is, “Why?” and, “For how long?” So I have decided to finally write about my vegan journey. It first started freshman year of college in August of 2015 where I needed a change in workout style and what I was eating. The cafeteria food seemed to make me sick and I had never truly enjoyed the taste and texture of meat, fish, and poultry. After talking with my new friend, Faeln who has been vegetarian since she was a baby, I was influenced to cut animal’s out of my food pattern.
When you’ve only had meat all your life, it is hard to think of meals without animal in it. It can seem overwhelming and scary, but all it takes is research and connecting with other vegetarians to find new dishes to make. I have noticed a reoccurring pattern of when I speak with people about my lifestyle that they immediately try to defend the reason why they eat meat. Let me note right now that I do not and will never judge anyone by what they eat. Just because I don’t eat meat doesn’t mean I expect everyone else to cut meat out of their meals.
*** If you are planning on going vegetarian or vegan, make sure that you do it right. There are plenty of people who are vegetarian/vegan that are living unhealthy and not making sure they are keeping a balanced lifestyle. Like what? A vegetarian/vegan can be unhealthy? YES! So please, please, please do your research on processed foods and where to get proper protein, carbs, fats, etc. ***
After a year of being vegetarian, I felt my body becoming lactose intolerant. To avoid becoming sick so often, I chose to try cutting out milk products. This lead to me eventually taking out all products produced from animals (this includes eggs). I instantly felt a change in my health and how I viewed the food I was putting into my body.
However, I am not writing this post to convince you to change your lifestyle or start a new diet. I wanted to share my story, inform people on the difference between a vegetarian and vegan, include some benefits, and hopefully spark conversation. If you have ANY questions about my journey, do not hesitate to email or comment below.
Vegetarian vs. Vegan
VEGETARIAN: No animals like fish, meat, chicken, and shellfish
VEGAN: No animals AS WELL AS nothing produced from an animal like eggs, milk, and honey (Honey is debated in the vegan community, but I chose to eat local honey to help my allergies)
3 Main Reasons
- Vegan’s don’t get enough protein – FALSE!!! Vegan’s get plenty of protein from sources like beans, tofu, tempeh, nuts, black bean burgers, quinoa, buck wheat, soy, and more. Studies have actually shown that American’s are probably eating TOO MUCH protein primarily from animal sources. (Articles – https://melmagazine.com/youre-eating-way-too-much-protein-3a3c3eb7e4c7 // https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/06/well/eat/can-you-get-too-much-protein.html // http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/vsk/vegetarian-starter-kit-protein // https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/healthy-eating/know-your-nutrients/do-americans-eat-too-much-protein //) https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/87/5/1554S/4650421
- Vegan’s only eat salad – SOOO FALSE!! Vegan’s can still enjoy food, we actually eat a LOT of it. We can also still eat sweets don’t worry.
- Being vegan is a diet – It depends. Some people do a vegan diet for a month while other’s consider being vegan as a lifestyle. For myself, being a vegan is a lifestyle since I eat this way every single day rather than just cutting out animals and animal products for a select amount of time.
- All vegans are hippies – False. Becoming vegan is actually a rising movement.
- Vegan’s only want to talk about being vegan – False. Not every vegan wants to discuss their lifestyle. And those that want to discuss being vegan do it because it’s part of their journey.
- Vegan’s hate non-vegans – FALSE FALSE FALSE. This is not true at all! Vegan’s are actually judged by non-vegans more. Becoming a vegan is a personal choice and we do not judge, or want to be judged by others for choosing what we eat.
- Vegan food is boring – Uhh heck no. If you’ve seen my vegan Instagram page (katiekimikoeats), you can tell that vegan food is very colorful and flavorful. Don’t knock it till you try it!
- Reduced risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer
- Help decrease animal cruelty such as small pens and cages that animals are forced to live in and the slaughtering of animals
- Reduce the environmental footprint
- Lower blood sugar levels and improve kidney function
- Can help lose excess weight
- Healthier skin
- Longer life
- And SO MUCH MORE !!!
AGAIN, if you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to reach out. I would love to share recipes and more of my journey with you.
Feel free to follow my vegan Instagram page: katiekimikoeats, and my fitness Instagram for more updates: katiekimikofitness
Featured Image from: https://www.veganmotivation.com/what-is-a-vegan/