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Long overdue update on the VeganChallenge

For those of you who follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you might have noticed that in April this year, I joined the VeganChallenge. I mostly joined out of curiosity (I’m always in for doing a little experiment here and there and see how lifestyle changes affect my energy and productivity), and because I planned to try going vegan for a month anyway.

In the months before the Challenge, I already moved away from dairy products, because all the food poisoning I had in Ecuador pretty much left me lactose-intolerant. I can eat cheese, and enjoy it, but then most likely I will feel awful or even sick for the next few hours or even throughout the next day. Not good. But the day before the Challenge, I got scared, and hamstered on all what I thought I would be missing: tons of salmon and goat cheese. But no, I didn’t really miss anything, and most of all, I loved the energy and clear state of my brain that I got. I wrote about it on a forum time ago:

And then, in April in joined Holland’s VeganChallenge. I’ve never been vegan/vegetarian in my life, but I was becoming more and more curious and decided to take the experiment. I have read all the warnings around here, and the stories of women for whom a vegan lifestyle was aggravating their symptoms, and I started the VeganChallenge with that in mind, with the idea that I’d never take my food as a religion and become dogmatic, and that, more than anything, I would listen to my body. But in that month, I had great results: my skin is clearer than ever before, and my PCOS symptoms went away. I also feel like I have tons of energy. I joined the gym in March, and started taking BodyPump classes about 6 weeks ago again after not working out for more than a year…. In that time, I got stronger than I was “at my peak” 3 years ago after 1,5 years of consistent training. I don’t have a scale, but I feel that my clothes are loosen and I see myself as much more toned. The VeganChallenge month ended at the end of April, but I’ve remained mostly plant-based. I’ve had chard-patties in my favorite veggie restaurant that obviously are made with some egg, but when I cook for myself, it’s plant-based. I don’t feel attracted to eating animals at all anymore, but I’m OK with eating eggs occasionally if my body would let me know that I somehow need them.

And since May, since the end of the VeganChallenge, I’ve been eating what I call a 95% plant-based diet. Some things that I eat outside of my own kitchen contain egg. No big deal for me. In fact, I’ve been surprised about how easy it is to find plant-based dishes at restaurants. My biggest worry was that the VeganChallenge would interfere with my social life, but it hasn’t. I still love my red wine, and I know I can check Barnivore to see if a particular wine is filtered with animal products, but since finding good wine in Ecuador is a difficult one, I’ve just been glad to find affordable red wine that tastes good, without checking if it’s also animal-friendly. As I mentioned before, I’m doing my best, but I prefer stating that I eat 95% plant-based, rather than attaching the label of “vegan” to myself. Nonetheless, my consciousness is happy with the fact that my meals are a little more friendly for the environment, the animals, and apparently myself, than the meals I was having before.

The next VeganChallenge is in October, and I’ll be joining in again, and I am looking forward to trying out new and exciting plant-based recipes.

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