If you were brought up eating meat, it’s safe to say that you also believe you need it to survive, to stay healthy, and to retain muscle. However, many professional athletes, hollywood stars, and even body builders have made the switch to becoming vegan. While a plant based diet might not be for everyone, if you’re considering making the switch there are some key non negotiable to be aware of when going vegan. If you aren’t going full vegan, these tips will still benefit you.
Keep in mind that meat takes much longer to digest. With the increased time to process food comes an increased need for energy. Many vegans report feeling lighter, more centered, less tired, and with skin to die for! So is it true? Could a simple tweak to your eating routine make that much difference? To test this theory I went from protein queen to vegan. During this process I discovered what other sites may not tell you about about this transition….
5 Non-Negotiables For Going Vegan
1.) You have to eat A LOT
I may have underestimated the amount of weight and space meat takes up in the stomach. Meat makes you full, kills hunger, and give the stomach weight that seems to shut off the hunger signal. Remove this and you’ll need twice as much food to get and stay full. I was hungry every 2 – 3 hour and I was ravenous when it was time to eat. This slowed on week two and three and my stomach began to adjust. If you are considering the vegan life, stock up and cook often!
2.) You MUST Take Your Supplements
- B Complex – I voted for the liquid drops because I wanted to make sure my body was breaking down and processing the vitamin. 20 drops a day, spread through out the day seemed to do the trick. Without out it, you’re setting yourself up for a tired, grumpy disaster. This is also accompanied by strong craving for meat! If you are true to your decision this is a MUST.
- Iron – Personally, I don’t absorb iron sources very well and I have always been on the anemic side. I took a 25mg tablet at night before bed to ensure I was getting enough iron. When I forgot, I would be tired and lethargic. Buyer beware: find an easy to digest iron that doesn’t back you up and is gentle on your stomach.
- Calcium – No dairy, less calcium. While there are loads in some vegetables, this isn’t a guarantee that your body is actually absorbing it from the foods you eat. Better safe then sorry!
- Digestive Enzymes – the switch to loads of vegetables is an honorable one, but no one ever tells you how hard it can be on your digestive tract. I took digestive enzymes to cut down on gas, bloating, and the next subject…. digestive issues.
- Probiotics – You guessed it, probiotics are your best friend when you are moving things along. They are also a great way to keep your gut bacteria healthy. If you don’t take them, the increased amount of food could cause more issues then benefits.
3.) Water Water and more Water – Whatever you’re drinking now, double it! The water helps to keep all the toxins moving through your system without them settling. It also aids in your digestion. The elimination of meat also means that your body is dumping acids. Flushing them helps to keep energy levels high and prevents break outs.
Fit Tip: What people don’t tell you is that removing meat can also stir up the removal of toxins in your intestinal tract and your liver. Removing meat (a dense and hard to digest food) frees the body up to eliminated these toxins. So what’s in these toxins? It’s years of waste, hormones, chemicals, and other things that the body was unable to flush out of the system. MY theory is that each person has a varying degree of this in their intestines. When you remove meat, the body takes a sigh of relief and begins to strip the layers of toxins using the fiber in the increased vegetables and fruit to move them along. Personally, going vegan seemed to send me into a deep state of detox that settled after 2 weeks. I needed more sleep, and had some minor break outs during week one and two.
4.) Eat DOUBLE What You Were Eating – Vegetables, beans, and rice are great but never underestimate the weight and density of meat. Filling the stomach with these healthy options is amazing, however the weight of food also plays a role in how full you are and how long that fullness lasts. In the beginning you will need to eat twice as much food until the stomach adjusts to the changes in weight.
5.) Eat Enough Protein– Beans and rice are a well known complete protein. However, there are other options that can aid you in going vegan. Vegan protein shakes can take some of the stress away from the transition. Nuts are also an option (unless you’re allergic). Do your research and find options that allow you to keep your protein intake high and allow you to keep your muscle mass.
These fitness tips are meant to educate you, to save you from cravings, bring new life to your choice, and protect your body while going vegan. If done correctly, it can be a rewarding venture, that energizes you, clears up your skin, detoxes your body, and helps unveil a new way of being.