In December of last year, I decided to go vegan for winter break. I had recently eaten too much steak and it made me feel sicker than I had ever felt before. I figured that maybe going vegan was a necessary change, because it was a new experience and it would help me to be more aware. I was also hoping to get rid of some of the cloudy headedness I was experiencing. I had been vegetarian before, but I had never cut all animal products out of my diet. Ultimately, it was a lot easier than I expected.
Immediately I could tell the difference. I was much more aware of what I was eating and when, because I had never restricted myself from so many things. I didn’t regret my decision however. I was committed to my cause. I think this stemmed from the fact that I was just trying it out so I didn’t feel any long term commitment. Another effect that I noticed was that when I ate something, I could immediately tell how it made me feel. There was no energy in me from other animals so my body was able to react quicker. This pushed me to be sure that I had a balanced diet, because when I didn’t, I was aware of how I felt and why. For a while, I fell into a routine of eating almost the same thing every day. No more eggs and milk meant minimal baked goods, no omelettes, and I could only eat cereal if I used almost milk. No meat meant I had to make my sandwiches out of something else, and eat a lot more beans. I soon recognised that I had to work to diversify my diet. So, I began cooking regularly, trying out different combinations of ingredients and spices. I got to practice a skill that will be useful for my whole life, and I made it so that my family didn’t have to worry about changing their diets as well. I also did feel less cloudy. It could be the placebo effect, but either way it worked.
I didn’t miss animal products at all, and still don’t. I even began to develop an aversion to anything that wasn’t plant-based. One day at school, a girl was eating eggs next to me and the smell made me feel sick. Another day, I ate a caramel before I knew it had cream in it, and once it was fully dissolved there was a lingering taste like bitter milk. It also made my mouth feel a bit slippery. I used to love those candies and I had never tasted that flavour before. Apparently the reason for that is animal products are extremely rich. They cause your taste buds to become used to strong flavours, so when you stop eating them, other things begin to have more flavour. I appreciate the newfound depth of taste I have, and the cooking skills I’ve gained from this experiment, and I like the way a plant based diet makes me feel. So, I think I will stay largely vegan for a while yet.