Lifestyle. Mental Health. Adventure

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Reflecting On Veganuary


Veganuary.

What a roller coaster that was!

As always with any challenge I take part in, I start with all good intentions, enthusiastic and excited to see the results of taking part in said challenge.  Two weeks in though is a different story all together.

This post right here shows my enthusiasm for the challenge, even claiming that I may be willing to continue beyond January.

Ha! 

Who was I kidding?!

A couple of weeks down the line from writing that post I was hella grumpy.  I missed chocolate so damn much!  I'm aware that there is vegan chocolate, but honestly?  It just doesn't do it for me like milk chocolate does (Although shout out to vegan Magnums that taste just like normal chocolate!  You were my saviour!).  I'd be lying to you if I said I didn't cave on a few days throughout January and have a triangle or two of my jumbo Toblerone, because I did.  I absolutely did; and I regret nothing.

I'm glad I took part in the challenge.  It's helped me to see how much rubbish I was feeding my body with, and I have felt better in terms of not feeling sluggish and lethargic (Feelings I suffered with throughout December when I ate my emotions away), and for that I will definitely continue eating in a similar way as I have been through Veganuary.  Just without the being a vegan part.

The truth is, I hated being restricted from eating some of my favourite treats (Hence why I caved on the chocolate front on more than one occasion!).  Telling me I can't eat milk chocolate is like telling me not to push the big red button.  I want it so. much. more.

You know how I spent the majority of January ill?  I think that may have been as a result of going full on Vegan over night.  I guess going from eating animal produce to vegan in the space of 24 hours as a 32 year old is pretty intense and a pretty big shock to the system, and wow did I know about it!

I also suffered in the Vitamin B12 department.  A blood test showed last year that I am naturally deficient in Vitamin B12, and as a result have been taking supplements to help with this.  I also before January was eating meat and eggs on a regular basis, which are full of this.

Last month my hands became incredibly sore.  I believe it was a mixture of the cold damaging my skin and the lack of Vitamin B12 in my body.  I had so many sores and open wounds around my nails, and I'd put money on it being down to the low levels of Vitamin B12 in my body.  B12 is responsible for helping our skin to repair after it's been damaged, and without getting enough in our system our body can't protect us from open wounds amongst other things.

So yea; a month long cold and sore hands didn't really sell the whole vegan lifestyle to me.

And in all honesty, I really missed meat.  I know I know; it's not cool to admit that.  Veganism does seem to be the new clean eating (But you know, actually a sustainable lifestyle choice unlike the clean eating movement!), and everybody else seems to have jumped fully on board with it, but it's just not for me.

Taking part in Veganuary has helped me to see the environmental impact our consumption of animal products has, and for that, I will definitely be working on reducing our animal produce intake.  I'm also impressed with how much more energised I've felt over the past month (Despite dying from colds), and I want to continue feeling this way throughout 2019.  I'll be implementing these things though without restricting myself from the foods I love.

You see, I'm pretty passionate about food.  I love putting food in my mouth, and I love trying new cuisines from around the world even more.  I just can't bring myself to restrict myself from those simple pleasures.

When I challenge myself, I measure my level of happiness whilst taking part in said challenge.  This past month, I'm not exaggerating when I say there were times I felt pretty miserable at the restrictions I'd placed on myself.  That's how I knew switching to this lifestyle completely wasn't for me.

With that being said I have absolutely nothing against veganism, and as I said earlier I will continue to implement aspects of the lifestyle in to my day to day diet.  I would never dream of dictating to another person what they should or shouldn't feed their bodies with, and I'd like to think others respect what I choose to feed mine with, despite us potentially having different beliefs.

Now please excuse me whilst I go and devour an entire cheesecake.
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