Looking back at my first posts, I’ve come a long way in the last 30 days. There have been plenty of ups and downs, BUT it has been getting easier and easier and the benefits are just piling up.

Over the last month I’ve experience many ‘side effects’ from changing my lifestyle, mainly to do with my body and how it functions. Other aspects have been psychological, and I’ll break everything down here.

Body

Headaches: I think I suffered headaches for the first 3 weeks. Although I believe I’m still going through the detox, my headaches have lessened substantially as I have cut out about 90% of sugar out of my diet.

Bathroom trips: I’m so used to going to the loo more often now. It’s not AS much as in the beginning, as my body has adjusted, but I still go often enough to rid any excess toxins J

Bowel movements (if you don’t want to read this – skip it!): I have noticed very recently that I need a bowel movement about 30 minutes after eating now. And it’s not in a ‘I have diarrhea’ kind of way, but in a ‘this feels natural’ kind of way. I suppose my metabolism is much better and faster than it was before. I’m also taking pre and pro biotics to make sure my gut colony is happy and healthy. So besides the obvious part of making me feel lighter, I feel cleaner and as though my body is totally in tune with what is going into it. It’s a great feeling.

Skin breakouts: Although I still get the odd pimple – especially around that lovely womanly time of the month – I have found that my skin is quite clear, smooth and overall incredibly healthy-looking. My hair is also looking really good, healthy and shiny (and I wash my hair once a week!)

Fatigue: In the first 2 weeks I struggled with fatigue, mainly due to figuring out food portions and how much to consume. I clearly wasn’t eating enough. What I’ve learnt is that I need to eat if I’m feeling hungry. I try and have a protein or grain at every meal so that I feel fuller for longer, but now that I’ve figured out what amount gets me through the day, I feel fueled up and energized.

Restless sleep: This is something that still plagues me, as my body gets used to all this new and improved energy. My working hours also play their part, as I work from 6am to 3pm, and I’m one of those irritating people that needs my 8 hours of sleep to function. So if I don’t get into bed by 9pm, I don’t feel well-rested. If I’ve had a really hectic and busy day, I find I fall asleep no problem. But I’m waiting for this phase to pass.

Stomach cramps, bloatedness & heartburn: This was such a shock to me after I had my very first vegan meal (when I stupidly scoffed a huge bowl of beans and lentils). I had the worst bloat I’ve ever had for 2 days! It was incredibly uncomfortable and painful, and heartburn came with it. I haven’t really suffered heartburn for about the last 2 weeks or so, so my body is definitely getting used to the increase of fiber and new foods.

Alcohol intake: This is an interesting one. I love wine and beer (not together). Because I was eating so healthily, and my metabolism had picked up, I hadn’t thought that I possibly would need to drink less. Needless to say, my first night out after starting the vegan lifestyle was a bit of a blur and I won’t even go into the hangover! But since then I’ve adjusted, and I can safely say that I still love wine and beer J

Boils! Ok this is a bit of an exaggeration. It was ONE boil, on my stomach that appeared in week 3 (if I remember correctly). As I’ve mentioned I’m still going through the detox of changing my lifestyle, and the little red guy appeared as part of that process. I let him be and he disappeared within a few days. I felt quite happy knowing that my body was working so hard to eliminate these old toxins that have been roaming for however long.

Increased energy: This is a given, and something I experience back in the first week. But now it is definitely more prominent and noticeable, especially in the mornings when I wake up.

Water intake: I’m drinking waaaayy more water than I used to before the lifestyle change. Nowadays if I’m thirsty, I drink. I tend to stay away from juices and fizzy drinks (besides beer). I also tend to drink when I’m not thirsty either, just to make sure to get my 2litres in per day. This also increases the trips to the bathroom, but my skin and body is happily thankful for it.

Psychological:

Cravings: In the beginning I craved my usual snacks like chips/crisps, chocolates and sweets, as well as fast foods. But I was seriously determined to stay away, and I did. It was tough for the first 2 or so weeks, and now it is almost a distant memory. My go-to snack is either nuts, vegan crisps, or some cherry tomatoes – and I usually feel I’ve satisfied my craving after that. As for meat – I was a big meat eater (biltong, droewors, boerewors, chops, rare steak) and my flatmates often cook meat and the smell wafts into my room. Then I think about how that meat got to the frying pan and my stomach turns. No thanks. Giving up meat was much easier than the sugary part J (disclaimer: I still eat sugar, just much less of it)

Happiness: I feel much happier, focused, motivated and confident since the start of my lifestyle change. Although I’m eating much more, I feel as though I’ve lost some weight. This wasn’t a goal of mine, but something that is just happening naturally. I am going out to new restaurants and eateries and making a concerted effort to choose products and goods that are cruelty-free and good for the environment -almost a sense of relief that I’m finally doing something.

Other changes:

  • Spending less
  • Strangely more organised (maybe it’s just me)
  • I’m feeding my body with what I need, not like previously with what was easy
  • I’m cooking again and spending more time in the kitchen prepping meals
  • And then also trying new foods J and researching health benefits

A good month in my books! AND I get to celebrate tonight at a restaurant with some old colleagues of mine. So I’ll get to have a celebratory glass of vino, as well as try a new meal out – definitely #winning.

Thanks for stopping by J

Here are some images from the last 7 days:

img_20160830_170214.jpgA dinner of sweet potato with carrots, peas & corn, with nutritional yeast

img_20160831_133712.jpgNutty snack

img_20160831_135932.jpgA moody day in Cape Town last week

img_20160903_165207.jpgSavoury rice with delicious roast veg for a late lunch

img_20160901_175520.jpgCorn on the cob! YUMM

img_20160901_114900.jpgWent to the 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa for a work lunch and conference – this was the view!

img_20160906_165730.jpgBrown lentils, brown rice and mixed veg for dinner last night

img_20160907_074336.jpgBreakfast today of oats with spirulina, hemp seed powder, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds

 

CT Vegan

xx