For one month, we completely cut out animal products from our diet. That meant no meat, no dairy, and no eggs. We did this for two reasons: 1) to challenge ourselves to cook more and to try new recipes, and 2) we'd heard a lot about the health benefits of a vegan diet.
As for the first prong, we definitely did eat in more. I made a whole host of delicious vegan meals. I even cooked tofu for the first time!
I was worried that our diet would get boring, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. At home, I made vegan fajitas, panini, stir-fry, and pasta. Our meals were tasty, healthy, filling, and colorful.
|Seriously, how pretty is that? We tossed in some rice noodles and sauce, and dinner was served.|
The best part of cooking vegan meals was that it took so much less time! When we make chicken stir-fry, it takes about 30 minutes. By eliminating the meat, we also eliminated about 20 minutes of cooking time!
We still love to go out to eat, though. Eliminating meat wouldn't have made eating out that much more difficult, but eliminating dairy and eggs was quite a challenge. Fortunately, there are lots of restaurants with great vegan options. A neighborhood pizza place can make any pie with vegan cheese.
A local burger joint makes a delicious vegan burger with brown rice and lentils. They also serve vegan fries so you know you're not getting a vegetarian product cooked in beef fat.
Our favorite Mexican place has a pretty extensive vegan menu. And margaritas are always vegan! We also tried out a couple of vegan restaurants, which was a fun and tasty adventure we probably never would've tried.
As for health benefits, we both felt better after eliminating animal products. Not to go into too much detail, but I would always feel bloated after eating a big burger or a cheesy slice of pizza, often for several days. I was amazed when that feeling disappeared after a few days on a vegan diet. Adam lost over 10 pounds! Being a woman, I lost 4 or 5. Men are just the worst sometimes.
Overall, we really enjoyed the experience. We learned a lot about our eating habits and the effects food has on our bodies. For example, I learned that a handful of cashews is a really filling snack and that I actually like the taste of vegan cheese.
Going forward, we will definitely eat meat again, but not as much or as often. We will also strictly limit our dairy intake. Almond milk has already earned a permanent spot in our refrigerator. And I plan to share a few of the vegan recipes that sustained us for the month, so stay tuned!
Would you ever go vegan for a month?