I love the vegan lifestyle: the food, the people, and the community. I decided to go vegan after suffering a very scary, complex migraine that landed me in the hospital.
After seeing an Ayurvedic doctor, she explained that the inflammation in my body was a major contributing factor to my migraines. Rather than go on medication to control my inflammation, I decided to take steps to control it naturally. The biggest change I wanted to make was going vegan.
To kickstart this new lifestyle, I challenged myself to eat vegan for one month. While I loved being vegan for the health benefits, I noticed something else interesting while documenting my journey: I became a better person. Here are some of the ways that I changed for the better:
1. I was a more attentive husband. I used to go out to eat for lunch every day, but once I went vegan, eating out became a huge hassle. My solution? Make lunch for not only myself, but for my lovely wife. This was completely new territory for me. If my wife wasn’t awake yet, I'd leave a note for her on the fridge letting her know what I made her for lunch that day. Husband of the year!
2. I had more gratitude for the people around me. Because I was feeling better, I started feeling grateful for not only every meal I ate, but also for the people around me. My friends noticed a difference in my mood and attitude, and they were so intrigued about what I was doing that I was able to teach them about the benefits of a vegan diet and the dangers of animal protein.
3. I saved money. An unexpected consequence of going vegan was saving a good chunk of change. Not only did I eat at home more often, which was always less expensive than eating at a restaurant, but even when I did go out to eat, the vegan options available were generally some of the cheapest on the menu.
4. I broadened by horizons. My Netflix queue changed from House of Cards and reruns of How I Met Your Mother to documentaries such as Forks over Knives and Food Matters. I'd also read anything I could find about the benefits of going vegan and started spewing facts I'd learned to anyone who would listen.
5. I had more energy to give to others. I became noticeably more energetic once I started eating a vegan diet. With all that extra energy, I started exercising more often. I made a habit to not only exercise myself, but also take my dog, Harvey, with me on walks every morning and every evening.
6. Amazingly, I started cooking. I went from barely stepping foot in the kitchen to making about three meals a day. My specialty became my home-made green juice and sweet-potato vegan tacos. I used to barely know how to use a blender and now I pride myself on my famous green juice smoothies.
7. I gave back to the community. I went to Farmer’s Markets three times a week to pick up organic food and started going to charity events like beach clean-ups. I also focused on the overall happiness of myself and others and even became a Happster!
While I wasn’t able to stay completely vegan, my diet has and life changed forever. That month of having to eat vegan is now the building blocks for my current diet. I felt so much better when I was vegan that I decided to do it again for next month. For anyone who wants to eat vegan for a month or more, you can join me here.