First off, let me start by saying that
1.) I am no longer a vegan
2.) This is not a judgement for or against those who chose to be
I went through a period early in my own health journey where EVERYTHING I read, heard & saw about “health” was the absolute truth and I needed to comply immediately.
Now mind you, that I had no health issues, wasn’t considered to be overweight and really had no reason to be concerned about my personal health except that I wanted to PREVENT illness and disease. So I watched the documentary “Forks Over Knives” ….. and then I watched “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”.
My mind was made up…. if I wanted to be the healthiest I could possibly be, I needed to be vegan…. oh and gluten free too (although I forget exactly where I first heard about the harms of gluten).
My willpower at the beginning is what got me through the adjustment from omnivore to gluten-free vegan and to be honest, it wasn’t THAT hard because the internet was full of resources of recipes. And lucky for me, I really enjoy cooking.
Contrary to popular belief, I actually found this “diet” to be less expensive and relatively easy- even giving up cheese which I thought would be next to impossible. No, I never did find a good substitute for cheese, but the absence of it in my diet made me really figure out what was it about eating cheese that I enjoyed.
I discovered that I liked the salt, the intense umami and the creaminess of cheese. Once I identified those characteristics, I found other ways to satisfy my “need” for cheese. But I digress…..
What did I discover about myself after following a gluten free vegan diet for 9 months?
In general, my health stayed the same. I didn’t really notice anything different. But I LEARNED a lot… like:
- How to cook dinner without a recipe… how to create flavors and balance textures
- How to QUICKLY cook a dinner. Making a meal with just vegetables is really fast; raw vegetables is even faster 😉
- I explored different cuisines, especially Indian dishes (beyond curry)
- I understood and embraced the affect of gluten on our gut
- What “organic” and “GMO-free” meant & why it was important
- The toxic environment that is around us
- Animal farming practices
So even though I had started on the vegan diet for “health” reasons and didn’t notice a difference after 9 months, WHAT I learned has really been life changing for me.