For a number of reasons, I decided to try a plant-based diet for 30 days. The main reason, of course, was to cleanse my body and eat healthier. I’d been hearing about the benefits of eating this way for a while—faster weight loss, lower cholesterol, more energy, etc.—but I wanted to see if it would actually work for me. Some articles point out that a plant-based diet can be hard to stick with on a long-term basis because it’s difficult to find the things you love to eat when you eliminate so much from your pantry. I thought I’d have the same problem initially, but when I first began shopping for the ingredients for the meals, I found that there were many more options available than I would have originally thought.
Why Plant-Based Diet?
When you’re used to eating lots of meat and sugar, it’s a good idea to go on a cleanse. The problem is that most people feel bored and deprived when they give up their favorite foods, which makes the cleanse more tortuous than beneficial. When you change your diet to include only plant-based foods, however, you can enjoy eating again since there are so many delicious options to choose from and you get to feel energized by the many nutrients in each dish. You’ll also feel less guilty about all the junk food you used to eat because you know that even if it tastes really good, it’s not something your body needs.
Vegan vs Plant-Based
Vegan and plant-based diets do have a lot in common, but they aren’t quite the same thing. Veganism is an ethical stance that rejects the use of animal products, while plant-based eating is more about health than ethics. When people eat plant-based for lifestyle or health reasons, they sometimes adopt veganism as part of their new way of life—but it isn’t always the case.
The main difference between vegan and plant-based diets is that vegans exclude animal products from their eating habits as well as their clothing, beauty products, and personal care items. They won’t wear leather, wool, or silk—anything that comes from an animal would be out of bounds to them. Some vegans also choose not to eat honey because it involves harming bees. Vegans take a stance against anything that harms animals, whereas someone who eats a plant-based diet may just be doing so for health reasons. A person with a plant-based diet might wear leather shoes and eat honey on toast while they’re trying to drop weight.
What I Ate While On Plant-Based Diet
As you can imagine, I went through a bunch of salad recipes when I was first starting out my plant-based diet. Not only was I trying to deal with the loss of many of my old favorite foods, but I also had to learn to love new things—things like millet and lentils. And let me tell you, there’s something very different about eating a meal made up entirely of plants compared to one where you just eat a little bit of chicken or fish.
It wasn’t easy at first, but now it feels like second nature and I’m making new discoveries all the time. One fruit that I never really appreciated before but do now is lemon. Lemon is great because it’s such an easy way to add zest and freshness to your day without resorting to chemical flavorings. But you don’t even have to put lemon in your food (though you should definitely do that)—just squeeze a little bit into some sparkling water or tea (I like adding fresh ginger) and enjoy!
Because my main goal was to become more healthy and fit, I decided to take exercising more seriously and did workouts 5-6 times a week. I started running in the mornings, which I’d never been able to do before because I’ve never been a morning person. My other workouts included doing Chloe Ting’s Challenges. I found myself wanting to work out even when I wasn’t feeling motivated, because it became something I looked forward to every day.
So what are the results of this diet? Well, I ended up losing a total of 10 pounds in one month (which is a lot). But what changed even more is my relationship with healthy foods and exercising. While I was never a sporty person before, I can’t imagine spending a day laying in bed and watching Netflix anymore. It feels really good to go out and do something good for your body.
My mentality has completely changed and so has my mental health. Even though this was supposed to be a 30-day cleanse for me, I decided to keep on going for a few more months, and who knows – this might just become my new way of living.
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