This summer, I went to lunch with a friend, and in the first half of this lunch, she spent a good 20 minutes asking a million questions to the waiter about what contained the vegetarian and vegan options on the menu.
I was really surprised by this, because normally this girl is all for meat and cheese. She explained to me that recently she had decided to move to a plant based diet, cutting most dairy and all meat out of her diet.
So today, I thought that I would share her experience, and her reason for making such a drastic change to her diet.
On the surface it seems like her choice is very similar to strict veganism. On her plan, she doesn’t eat any red meat or poultry, but she does eat some seafood and some eggs. Many of her replacements in recipes that call for meat, she uses shrimp, which many vegans choose not to eat. In a very similar fashion to veganism, she does not eat dairy, so any milk, cream, cheese and occasionally some eggs.
When she first introduced her diet to me, she told me that within the first month she lost almost 20 pounds, which she said was very rewarding, because she noted that it was a very hard adjustment period, when she was previously someone who loved meat and dairy products. There are a lot of cravings for her old type of diet, which she admits wasn’t always the healthiest.
Now however almost 4 months into the transition, she is really liking her new diet! She is constantly sharing new meat and dairy free recipes with me, and she says that she has gotten the hang of cooking with new ingredients and things that she is not used to.
She makes a lot of stir fry with tons of veggies, sometimes some shrimp and some rice or ramen noodles. This, she claims is her go-to recipe, because it is something that is really easy to meal prep for, as she lives on campus and has limited access to a kitchen. It’s also a meal that can be very versatile, you can always add different veggies, and different seasonings, so it doesn’t seem like you’re always eating a dairy free, meat free meal.
She even is getting less cravings, although it has taken a while, and they still aren’t always gone. (I think I hear her crave pizza once a week, but she is working on finding a dairy free pizza recipe, so I’ll keep you updated).
Although she is loving her new diet, and it has worked for her, not only for weight loss, but also to find a much healthier lifestyle (in all aspects), she cautions that this diet is not for everyone. She began this diet after doing extensive research, and learning about how the things she wanted to cutout, effect your body when you eat them and when you don’t. She also did a lot of research into how she could transition from eating a mainstream meat and dairy diet to taking those out, while still getting all of the proper nutrition.
The best advice that she would have for anyone deciding if this diet is right for them is to figure out why you’re doing it, it’s easier to stick to it if you have a solid reason that ties you to the importance, and won’t allow you to give up.
As always, this is just one person’s experience, and it is always best to do your research and understand how your body might react. It is also always best to consult a nutritionist, dietitian, and doctor before making any diet changes.
Some sources she used when learning and researching:
“What the Health”-Netflix
How to Become Vegan- Steve Pavlina (book)