About one year ago I decided to try a vegan diet for a month, to see whether it would work for me. I expected it to be quite difficult to maintain, but I’d been curious about veganism for years and following a period of research into benefits of such a diet and the reality of the farming industry, I wanted to at least attempt to go vegan.
It’s nearly a year later and I’m still going strong on my vegan journey. Once I’d done my research and some planning, I didn’t find it very difficult at all to make the transition to a vegan diet. A lot of the obstacles I’d expected were non-issues, and I reaped a huge number of benefits. My skin improved, I lost a little weight and I had more energy. But going vegan had a number of benefits that I hadn’t predicted would cross my path before I started on this journey. Today I wanted to share five unexpected benefits of being a vegan:
Vegan food takes less time to prepare.
Eating vegan is a huge time-saver. Initially, I had a couple of shopping trips that took twice as long as usual because I had to check a lot of packages to figure out what was vegan friendly. But once I knew what to buy, shopping was a total breeze. Cooking vegan food takes a fraction of the time it used to take me to prepare meaty meals. Vegetables cook a lot more quickly than meat, and a lot of the meat substitutes require less cooking time as well. My meals are done so much more quickly now.
2. Your palate changes
Over the past year, I’ve tried to keep an open mind about food. I’m not generally a picky eater, but I am normally hesitant to try new things. A lot of vegan foods have a reputation for being boring and tasteless, and I tried to keep an open mind when sampling new ingredients or foods. In fact, I’ve found loads of specialised vegan foods that are super tasty, which I now get cravings for. I pushed myself to try some vegetables that I’ve never been fond of and found that I actually really enjoy them. I think that since I changed my diet, my palate and tastebuds have changed somewhat too. Just the other day I found myself snacking on a handful of cherry tomatoes, a food that I previously hated and found bitter. I feel proud of myself for trying so many new foods and adopting loads of them into my cooking.
3. It’s easier to wash the dishes
Have you ever tried to chisel dried-up cheese off a plate that once held pasta or nachos? It’s damn near impossible. But when you don’t eat cheese, you never run into that problem! Even the vegan cheese substitutes don’t stick as voraciously to the crockery as dairy cheeses, and are easy to wipe off. As a person who hates doing the dishes, I welcome this.
4. You weed out the jerks
I don’t think that I’m a preachy vegan. My personal philosophy is that the food you eat doesn’t make you a dick….but the way you act about it can. When I started ordering vegan meals in restaurants and sharing pictures of my vegan cooking on social media, there were the inevitable number of eye-rolls and comments challenging my decision. And while it wasn’t fun to be made to feel shitty about my food choices (especially as I made an effort not to bite back judging people who do eat meat) those jibes served a very important purpose. I was able to look at those people who were so negative towards my diet and evaluate whether I actually wanted to continue spending time with them. It allowed me to see those people who shout down others who don’t share the same opinion as them and step out of their path.
5. You can lick the bowl
Vegan baking is made extra fun by the fact that you can eat raw cookie dough without fear of food poisoning. There are no raw eggs that might harbour salmonella, so it’s perfectly safe to lick the bowl after your cake goes into the oven. Heavenly.
Do you eat a vegan diet? What are some of the unexpected benefits you found?