Being a vegan becomes the butt of jokes and memes that say, “It’s been 12 minutes and I haven’t told anyone I’m a vegan yet,” with an image of someone with a beet red face and veins showing. What many people don’t understand apart from not eating animal based products; is that vegans (for the most part) went vegan for health reasons and some for ethical reasons. Personally, I went vegan for health reasons as a way to help to prevent thyroid disease and other issues like diabetes that run in my family. Going vegan was one of the hardest decisions that I’ve ever made but was also one of the best ones. When I first went vegan, I was showing signs of pre-thyroid disease which runs on the women’s side of my family generations back. It was something that I discussed with my doctor as well as other people who had gone vegan for health purposes. After a lot of research, I took the plunge.
Having been vegan for roughly nine months has been both challenging and eye opening. On a daily basis I find myself checking food labels to make sure there are no milk products or animal based proteins. And admittedly I occasionally slip up and have a piece of milk chocolate because sometimes a girl just needs her chocolate and milk traces are unavoidable. The experience has taught me to eat healthier and focus more on fresh produce rather than processed foods. If I slip up even with one piece of chocolate, I can feel it in my body because it’s become so used to functioning without animal based products and to be honest it’s not a great feeling.
Pro Tip: Processed foods that are vegan tend to run higher in calorie and price so opting for fresh produce is the best for your bank account and your belly.
When many people picture vegans, they picture one of two people – those waving flags for animal rights with dreads and those who spend their days camped out on yoga mats on the top of a mountain top. Unfortunately, neither of these are the perfect descriptors of vegans because most of us spend our days in the office with our homemade lunches and **gasp** are just regular people. It’s only when someone asks us if we want to go get a burger or if they can pick us up a milk shake that we politely shake our heads no and explain why. Most of the time people assume you’re being a snob and that you’re vegan because you think you’re better than them. If they take the time to listen to your reasoning for going vegan however, they quickly understand that it was the best decision for you and your health.
A day in the life of a vegan is no different than anyone else apart from the fact that we won’t be heading to the latest burger joint and will instead opt for the local smoothie bar for our restaurant of choice. If you’re considering going vegan or trying a vegan challenge, make sure to talk to your doctor to make sure you are still getting the correct vitamins that your body needs to function.