February 15, 2012

So You’re a Vegan, but How Does It Make You Feel? ~ Kate Bartolotta & Waylon Lewis

{In which the intimidated,imperfect newbie vegans do some navel gazing.}



Kate says:

In the comments on our last update, several commenters reminded us that we are still in the baby newbie stages of all this vegan stuff. Tatum Bacchi commented:

“I appreciate the updates on overcoming challenges, but would also love to hear how you’re both feeling.”

So how does it make me feel?

Hmm…sounds like a question for during therapy.

How does it make my body feel? Well, my stomach feels better without dairy, as I mentioned in an earlier post. I had heard that many people with Celiac also have trouble digesting dairy. Turns out I’m one of them.

I do sometimes fall into the trap of things that are super filling but not that calorie dense. While that’s good up to a point, I am a non-stop energizer bunny most of the time and need to make sure I’m getting enough. After two weeks of running myself raggged, a friend graciously told me, “Geez, you look like hell and your pants are falling off of you!” So, my big focus right now is making sure I get enough grains and healthy fats. Tomorrow marks 40 days of yoga (minus one day when I just needed a nap more than yoga) plus my general running around like a crazy person means I need some serious sustenance!

Winter has been cold and dry, so my skin is also thankful for the avocado and flax seed oil I’ve been putting in my smoothies this week. If you want to look and feel older and run down, eat a low fat diet. Makes your brain feel older and rundown when you skip fats too. I may not eat animal fats, but I love avocado, coconut oil, nuts, tahini, and this amazing blackberry flavored flax seed oil that I found at Whole Foods a few weeks ago. I also may or may not just stand in from of the cabinet sometimes and eat a spoonful of almond butter when I can’t decide what I want to eat.

I also notice that I feel physically and mentally calmer. I had a certain amount of agitation (maybe due to irritation or inflammation?) that seems to have settled since going vegan. It’s funny, since I wasn’t eating much dairy–and very rarely eggs–I didn’t think I would notice much of a difference. But, most gluten free breads I ate before contained eggs, dairy or both. That’s been frustrating. Anyone have a favorite gluten free, vegan bread?

How does it make my mind feel? Initially, I was noticing more alertness, wakefulness even until late at night. Then, I switched the time I was taking my B12 and that seemed to even things out. Except for when I decide it’s a good idea to hit the adorable little cafe near school and have an Americano as tall as I am at 5 p.m. That’s not really a vegan issue though, that’s just a Kate-being-silly issue.

I feel like I need to make an effort to include more grounding foods like root vegetables and soups to avoid feeling too scattered or cold. It’s amazing how you look at the physical and notice how it affects your mind and emotions, or you look at your emotions and see the physical ramifications. Whether you are vegan or not–there’s really no separating the two. I feel like I have more physical and mental energy without animal products. Ah, let me edit that a bit–I am still eating raw local honey from time to time.

So how does it make me feel? All in all, it makes me feel great!


Waylon says:

Sorry, I’m adding my bit a bit late…I feel like I’ve arrived at a successful party and everyone’s sharing in jokes and making out or sloshed and asleep on the couch.

I feel fine. It’s been easy. I was vegetarian for 9 years prior, as some here may recall, so it hasn’t been a big transition. I have a ton of energy and work all the time and am active, though I haven’t taken enough time for exercise due to work. I’m buying pretty simple, healthy stuff, and lately have signed up for a share of a vegan home delivery service called Organilicious.

Unless it’s Sunday. Then I feel pissed. What’s brunch without a croissant? Why does dairy have to involve the effing murder of the baby chicks and cows!?

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