That is so amazing to hear :) Yes i have influenced my family, especially my sister who is choosing more and more vegan options and is very interested in eating plant based. However as she is gluten intolerant as well as other stomach issues she doesnt feel fully comfortable eating a 100% plant based diet when she isnt sure that she would get all the nutrients and vitamins she needs - which i fully understand. But i have offered to help her and to analyse a food journal she will write and give her some advice and what she should think about! And i have also influenced my parents to some extent, my mum isnt anti-vegan but she does think that dairy and eggs and such are ok, however now recently she has talked to me and said that she has cut down on them and she doesnt believe they are so good which makes me super happy to hear that she is cutting down. I also get images sent of vegan food that my family eats and each time it makes me smile, because even if they dont eat fully plant based they have still been influenced by me and made changes in their diet and not because i have forced them to, but because ive just shown them that they can eat a vegan diet which isnt lacking in anything. But also that there are alternatives :) It just makes me happy when they do choose to eat plant based :)
I have also influenced the 3 house mates i have lived with the past year. All began eating a little more vegetarian when i moved in... not because i said i was vegan or because i cared or was bothered by what they ate, but they made changes regardless. They all mentioned they got inspired by the food i ate and made and how colourful it look and smelled so good. So whether those changes lasted once i moved out, i dont know... but while i lived with them it felt nice to know that they have limited their consumtion of animal products somewhat, and also gotten inspired to eat more plant based!!
And did my family have concerns health wise? Yes my mum did... not so much my sister or step dad, nothing they voiced anyway. But my mum was very anti when i said i was going vegan. Of course it didnt help that i was very depressed and had alot of stomach issues at the time which made it hard to eat enough, and then of course i lost a bunch of weight at the same time i made a transition to a vegan diet. So my mum was rather concerned and anti my choice also the fact that i lived on my own at the time and my mum did think it was me relapsing - which is understandable. If i was in her situation i would most likely have thought the same thing so i never took that personally, instead i stuck to my motto of actions speak louder than words. I might not have been able to convince her i was healthy or making the decision for ethical reasons, but i could atleast show her and now thats what i have done. So now she doesnt have any worries, even if at times she convinces me to eat eggs but she has seen how happy and good i am feeling and that its not just a diet, but a lifestyle and mindset. Infact, over Christmas my mum mentioned how good it was to see me so happy and that it had felt like a while since she had seen me so happy.... and i was very happy during Christmas, but most of all it felt nice to hear her say that. To hear that i looked happy and energetic and alive again!
Did you find it difficult giving up certain foods when you became vegan? Like I know you liked your Ben and Jerrys and do you miss/crave your favourite chocolate?
Do you ever get cravings for your old diet?
No i havent found it difficult which is strange haha. But thats because there are so many delicious vegan options so i dont feel restricted in anyway.
I went plant based over night - even if i have made one or two unknowing mistakes - and for most people that is difficult. But i think i just felt ready for a change... i was consuming so much eggs, chicken and quark beforehand that it was almost like my body was saying "no" and wanted the change to a more plant based diet. Of course i didnt go from red meat and milk lover, i had already begun buying soya milk and already ate vegetarian products so it wasnt so much of a difference for me.
At times i can get get cravings for egg whites and then i eat more protein or drink a soya protein shake and that craving passes, and when i get cravings for egg yolks i add more fats into my intake and that craving passes. But otherwise i dont get any cravings for animal products and dont miss it. Well, i do miss chocolate covered nuts and raisins and chocolate covered ginger which i was a huge lover of... and it was so simple to go to that pick and mix section and just fill a bag. Now if i want chocolate covered hazelnuts or chocolate covered raisins i need to make my own, which takes its time. But i dont mind the inconvenience if it saves animals :)
Also, i still have my hopes that the vegan Ben and Jerrys will sometime be available in Sweden, hahah. Someday hopefully!
Hi Izzy! When you changed to a vegan lifestyle did you do it slowly, like removing one animal product from your diet at a time, or did you go cold turkey? Love your blog!!
Thank you so much! I went vegan overnight pretty much... i ate or threw away the animal products i had in my fridge and pantry and then just restocked with all vegan options and from then on it was all vegan :) For most people i would suggest doing is progressively so that the changes dont feel too overwhelming. But also to do your research, find what products are vegan, find recipes you can make, write a list of recipes and food suggestions. Begin with a few vegan meals per week, switch to vegan options, look up nutrition and where to get vitamins and minerals from (or ask me/check my blog) :) Ive noticed that people usually fail to keep up with a vegan diet if they skip those steps or try to make changes too quickly.
How many calories should the average woman be consuming on a plant based diet? Is it the same as the standard recommendation guideline or is it more? Is it possible to eat the full amount of calories eating this food - vegetables and such aren't very calorific so I`m wondering?
Love the way you`ve gone so successfully vegan and that you are so happy with it!
Thank you :)
Hhow many calories you need is highly individual so i cant tell you, but its pretty much as the standard guideline of 1800-2200kcal for women and even more if you are active. However you do need to take into consideration that 1) eating alot of fiber can fill you up and lead to you not getting enough energy/calories or 2)the fiber limits the amount that is absorbed from other food as well as 3) proteincombining is important(i.e eat varied) and that the protein absorption isnt as good as with animal products. As well as making sure to get enough iron and calcium and EPA and DHA fatty acids from supplements or from walnuts, chia seeds, oils etc There are things to consider, as well needing to take a b12 supplement.
Yes it is possible to eat enough calories on a vegan diet... i mean you can eat oreos and vegan pizza and drink cola and still be a vegan? Or you could eat just fruit and barely get enough calories... but neither are recommended or healthy.
I eat around 2500-2800kcal daily on my vegan diet, and last year when i was gaining weight i was eating around 3000-3500kcal on a vegan diet, so yes it is possible. However i can eat a large amount of food so its not hard for me to eat. If you are someone who gets full very quickly then its harder, but not impossible.
Remember that vegan food isnt just vegetables and fruit and lentils... you can eat avocado, nuts, seeds, oils, vegan substitue meat, potatoes, pasta, oatmeal, rice, chocolate, candy, chips etc So if you get full easily just eat more calorie dense food. For example i was adding 2-3 table spoons of coconut oil into my diet when i needed to gain weight as well as lots of vegan cheese sandwiches and when i made soups i would add oil and oatcream and when roasting vegetables i would add lots of oil as well, and of course lots of nuts and seeds daily and that helped me to reach the required energy intake.