This time last year I embarked upon a 30-day health challenge for the month of February with my wife Jamie. We decided to try a vegan lifestyle for 30 days to see how it affected our health, sleep, and all other aspects of our lives. To help set us up for success, I did some research and tried to find as many meal-alternative options as possible before starting. I mean, who really knows how to cook seitan or tofu? What do you season it with? Can you grill it? On January 31st of last year we ate all the cheese and bacon we could and on February 1st we went cold turkey (pun intended) vegan.
The first couple days were pretty hysterical. We were lost. Trying to switch everything out that we knew about cooking or snacking for meat-free alternatives were proving to be hard. We lived on juice, salads, and frozen veggie burgers. We had no idea what we were doing, but I knew we were not going to survive living on salads and shitty frozen veggie burgers. Besides that we were hungry, better yet, "hangry" and we were getting on each others nerves. I needed help quick.
Luckily, the internet exists and there are plenty of resources available to anyone looking for help trying vegan. There were tons of questions that Jamie and I both had about potentially losing weight, not getting the right amount of protein or vitamins, or what else we could eat...or better yet would want to eat. You can only live on salads for so long before your body wants some new flavor. Within a few seconds of researching I found a ton of books, apps, and blogs packed with helpful information, stats, and RECIPES!
We made it through the month and completed the challenge, but instead of going back to meat I just decided to stay the course. I guess I'm vegan now? I had some great recipes under my belt, we adventured into new and uncharted territory in the kitchen and it was fun to learn about how food can have a bigger impact than we think. The more I read and researched, the more I found about what we eat and it’s bigger global impact. The days of getting fresh food that helps your body are over. We are living in a state of dead foods, empty calories, and health problems. Just look around. But, that's not even that bad, it's the bigger global impact that a meat-based diet has on the globe through transport and factory farming. Go start researching for yourself. We no longer live in an era where you go to your local, farm raised, butcher for organic, whole foods. We purchase foods that are designed to take us out.
I am not here to preach, or push an agenda, and I will leave my last comments there, but if you have any questions about potentially trying a vegan challenge...or if you want to debate...please feel free to email me. I can tell you that the last year for me has been eye-opening and the impacts on my personal health have been incredible, and I have the data that proves it. I am not saying extreme dieting is the end all be all, but I do believe we need to take a look at not just what we are shoveling in our faces, but the bigger impact on how those foods got to us in the first place. Plant-based for me is tree-fold: the impact on the globe, the impact on animals, and the impact on my health.
If you want to keep the conversation going, want info about the apps and such we use, or want to call me a Hippie please email me at Matt@YourFriendMatt.com.