So, I've been wanted to talk about this for some time now. Whilst I was away on my amazing trip to the U.S.A, I finished reading a book called the 22 day revolution. Now I'm not sure if you have heard of it or not but it's been made quite famous recently due to Beyonce promoting it.
I have been for some time wanting to try a vegan diet but always seemed a bit intimidated by it and also was concerned that I would be limited on what I could eat - especially me being as much as a foodie that I am!
Without going into too much detail, the whole idea is that after 21 days of doing anything, it automatically creates a habit in the body and so after doing it for 22 days it should be quite easy to carry on. The book is great, it talks a lot in detail about why changing to a 'plant based diet' is good for you (please be aware, this is a plant based diet and not a vegan one) and how to go about doing it. They call it a plant based diet and not vegan because it focuses more on changing your diet for health more than 'saving the environment' however, this is obviously a positive side-effect that comes with it. They also focus on all food being fresh and not processed, it should be gluten free, dairy free and also ideally sugar free too. The recipes in the book are super simple and easy to do and the walnut tacos are seriously yummy!
I decided that after I came home I would go straight onto the diet and cut out all animal based products and gluten. It started off quite well, I found that there was plenty of foods for me to eat and it was not just salad, salad and more salad! After around 3 or 4 days I felt that I missed meat a little and did have a mini craving, but once I had made it to 10 days I started to really get into it and enjoy it. By the time I go to 18 days I could see the end in sight and thought - wow! So on Sunday night that's my last day... then what??
After my 22 days my body was different! Completely different! I have never really been overweight, but have always suffered with bloating and it has annoyed me for years and years! I have also always struggled with feeling sick quite regularly, generally after every meal I would feel bloated and a bit sickly but since changing my diet, I have not experienced this at all. At first, I did have to get used to the feeling of not having a 'main' part of my meal - usually where the meat or fish goes, I also found although I was full after eating, I got hungry again quite quickly. The great thing is though, is that what you're eating is good for you! It's all healthy and so you can pretty much eat as much as you want until you are full and still not have to feel really guilty. They recommend not snacking in between meals but for me I had to. I can't be performing facials with a rumbling tummy can I!
Since the 22nd day I have continued on the diet, usually during the week I eat mostly all plant based foods for lunch, but I have started to introduce eggs and fish to my diet now to make life a little easier. It was a little challenging what I went out to eat. All the veggie options usually contain dairy and so it became a little limiting - especially when you are out in big groups - you become the 'difficult' one!
I think I eventually will introduce a little meat back into my diet - perhaps on weekends? I don't like the thought of not being able to eat a nice steak or burger again, but I will stay off dairy as much as I can. I have tried very very small amounts of yoghurt or milk in tea and have found I have felt sick almost straight away - I know you could say it is psychological but it really is not.
If you are in the Manchester area and fancy trying a plant based diet, why not pay a visit to Unicorn in Chorlton. This place was a saviour to me and I still love to shop there on the regular now. It's completely vegan and there are so many delicious options for foods to eat and you don't even have to think about anything. It's pretty much all organic and really well priced too!
I guess I would say I didn't abide by all the 'rules' and instead focused more on just eating a 'plant based diet'. I made quite a few of the recipes but not all of them, Instead I decided to create my own meals but everything was made from fresh, raw ingredients and I found it worked great. If you are unsure however, then just follow the book and you will be fine.
Why not give it a try and let me know what you think, I can't believe how different I feel and maybe it can be the same for you too!