As one of my new years resolutions I transitioned from a standard Western diet to the vegan lifestyle exactly one year ago! And it really feels like a birthday to me! The last year flew by so fast, yet I feel that I’ve learned a lot. And I’m not just talking about recipes here. I educated myself on the subject of nutrition and for the first time in my life made conscience decisions about what goes into my body. I gathered the 5 most important things I’ve learned last year.
- Veggies taste awesome!
Believe me, they actually do! It’s all about how you prepare them. Don’t cook them dead so they end up looking sad and taste like paper mache. Steam them a couple of minutes instead which will leave them fresh looking and crispy! Additionally, as part of my ‘healthier-eating’-routine I barely use any salt to spice my food. Even if your food tastes not like much in the beginning, you’re taste buds will adjust within 3-4 weeks. I use garlic, onion and herbs to spice instead. And I was surprised how many flavours came through when biting into a fresh piece of fruit or munching raw veggies. Bonus effect: you lose water weight since salt has the ability to retain water in your body.
- Healthy food gives me more energy!
I’m sooo not a morning person! Anyone who knows me knows they better get out of my way until I’m hydrated and have a piece of fruit in my hand! Sadly veganism did not fix my morning grumpiness, but since eating more fruit and veg and ditching certain foods like dairy I find I sleep better at night and can focus better on my tasks during the day. To fight off my usual ‘4 p.m. dip’ I would diminish a Snickers bar or something of that sort whereas now, I prepare myself a mango smoothie or eat some berries and love the way it makes me feel: hydrated and energetic.
- Dare to be different!
Before actually taking the step of going vegan, I played around with the thought in my head for some months. Veganism went against everything I knew and did until then. There are so many misconceptions around veganism, such as: Do you even get all the needed nutrients on a plant-based diet? Plus, there was this fear of being different, I didn’t want to put people off or be socially excluded by living this way. But it’s been a year and I have never felt better! And while I got into interesting discussions on this topic with friends and family members, most of them are very supportive on the matter. And even if they wouldn’t be, always remember: you have not been put on this earth to please others.
- It’s about more than just what to eat!
There are a lot of health benefits going vegan. But I was never good in dieting so eating plant-based just to get in shape wasn’t gonna cut it for me. Being a secret hippie at heart and spirit, what really got me on board with the vegan lifestyle were the benefits for the animals and our planet. I signed any petition under sun against oil companies drilling in the Arctic, but it never occurred to me eating meat was one of the number one environmental polluters, contributors for deforestation and much more. If you’re interested in learning more, watch Cowspiracy (it’s on Netflix). Please educate yourself on what you eat, our world is better of if we are conscious human beings. 🙂
- Love yourself and learn to speak up for what you believe in!
I’m assuming I speak for 99.9% of the female population when I say that we can be critical about the way we look at times. I sure am guilty of looking into the mirror, criticizing my flaws and imperfections far more than I should. Sometimes we get so caught up in our first world problems that we forget to be thankful for the most important things in life: being healthy, having a safe place to stay, food to eat and people who love us. It may sound like a boring cliché to you but remember that if you are reading this, chances are you sit in a warm spot with your smart phone or laptop and a belly full of food. Billions of people on this planet aren’t so lucky, so we should appreciate these things with all our heart. Seeing videos from factory farms, how animals get abused and killed for our consumption or fashion cravings gave me a whole new perspective on my life. Was I really going to continue to contribute to this? I made the conscious choice not to and it made me focus less on myself and the way I look. Don’t get me wrong, I’m hosting a beauty blog because I love makeup and I believe that it has the empowering ability to make us look and feel our best. Yet, we shouldn’t forget that there is other, way more important things to worry and care about.