Observations on Three Weeks of Veganism

There’s a woman at my gym who shows up for every class, kills whatever workout she attempts and has freakish stamina. She also happens to be 60 years old and a vegan.

I tell you this because, regardless of my own experience of veganism (which I struggled with*), I know that some people make it work and more power to them. I was forced into veganism by an attack of acute gastritis that left my stomach severely inflamed. This meant I had to follow a very alkaline diet for a few weeks which translates to no meat, no dairy and no fish. I ate fruit, vegetables and some seeds.

The good:

  • I lost my spud belly. That 5-10 lbs of holiday weight I gained on my Irish holiday just vanished. Having said that, this could also be a contender for the ‘bad’ category because it came off too fast and therefore wasn’t a good thing for my body. Despite society fetishing it, I’m not a lover of the jutting hip bones and thigh gap look.
  • I slept really well. Not sure what this was about but don’t look a gift horse and all that….

The bad:

  • My performance at the gym fell by about 40%. And that’s when I had the energy to go.
  • My core body temp plummeted and I was cold all the freakin’ time.

The ugly:

  • My skin got very dry. I had to slather myself with coconut oil on a regular basis just to keep it feeling normal.
  • I had the most horrendous mood swings (let’s take a moment here to recognise poor Hubs’ valiant efforts to keep the crazy under wraps).

You can see why I was very, very happy to get back to my normal carnivorous ways this week.

*it’s not entirely the fault of the vegan diet however because I was following a more restrictive eating plan than most vegans – I had very little protein and I certainly wasn’t eating enough fats (such as coconut oil or olive oil).

Weigh in: Are you a vegan? Have you ever tried it? Do you think it’s good to switch up your diet every once in a while?

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11 thoughts on “Observations on Three Weeks of Veganism

  1. I took a 30-day challenge two years ago and never looked back. I am vegetarian but I will eat occasional fish and eggs: 4 to 6 eggs in a month and one serving of salmon or shrimp, crab and so on. I have a limited diet otherwise that I have no control over.

    I will say that I am cold most of the time but I will take that over the hot flashes I often experienced any time. I do need lotion for my skin. My weight went from 150 to 155 pounds down to 105 to 115. I find that I need to eat literally all the time in order to keep my weight up. I don’t have energy issues; I have about the same amount of activities as before. Shopping for clothes is easier, breathing is great and since I am disabled, my walking ability is great.

    Folks need to choose how they want to eat and live for themselves; my choice to go meatless has to do with the environment and pollution. Of course, thinking about killing livestock is an issue, too. 🙂

    • Totally agree with “folks need to choose how they want to eat and live for themselves”. I think it’s all about being conscious of what you’re eating and how it makes you feel!

  2. Thanks for your post. It’s always interesting to hear how different people get on with different diets. I switched to a vegan lifestyle nearly 2 yrs ago and never looked back. Interestingly, it was around the 4th week that I got an incredible surge of energy and started to feel really great. I have much better concentration now, don’t have miss swings and energy dips like i used to, I also sleep much better. My metabolism is flying and I am much more regular than I ever was. I lost about half a stone right away and have stayed constant ever since. I feel much happier about my choices also and so am much more content within myself.
    I wonder if you’d carried on for just a while longer you’d have glide of the benefits more. Obviously if you’re not eating a balanced vegan diet then it’s hard to conclude that it is the veganism aspect that was causing your ailments – perhaps you should try a proper balanced vegan diet for a month and see how you feel. I can’t imagine there is a healthier way to eat I honestly can’t.

    • You’re probably right. The diet I was following was too restrictive and restrictive diets are doomed to fail. I have been vegetarian in the past but that was before I was fully health literate so I did eat a lot of stuff from boxes (ugh). If you’re sticking to whole foods and healthy fats, I really don’t see how you can go wrong – carnivore or vegan 🙂

  3. I think veganism works great for some people — probably has to do with your genes and physical makeup. I tried it once and felt tired and moody all the time, and I was constantly starving. Since then, I’ve modified my diet to include lots more fresh veg/fruit and less meat overall, but I do need meat/fish/eggs/ and some small amounts of dairy to have good energy, stamina, healthy sleep, nice moods, etc.

  4. I think everybody’s bodies are different. I try to eat a balanced diet but I can tell though when I need some red meat. I will be hungry and can eat myself sick but my body isn’t satisfied until I get meat. I don’t need a lot but it is something my body does need on a regular (not everyday) basis.

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  6. I’m a vegetarian, though for a year or so I’d gone mostly vegan. I’d love to be able to tell you something really inspirational, but just can’t because it wouldn’t be the truth. Truth is, I have to pay veryyyyy close attention to make sure I eat enough protein etc. and balance things bc when I don’t, I pretty much feel like you said. Most people would not want to be bothered.

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