Friday, July 05, 2013

Healthy Living: Rejuvenate Your Body, Become a Sometimes Vegan!

Photo Credit: Real California Milk

Dairy: My Frenemy

Do you have a dairy allergy or lactose intolerance? I have the latter, and it can be challenging to eat around it sometimes. Most of the time, I take Digestive Advantage Daily Lactose Defense Formula Capsules before meals so that I can eat "normally", but other times I prefer to cut out dairy altogether. When I do, I honestly feel so much healthier. However, eating out can be a challenge and so I mostly practice dairy free eating at home.

I first noticed I was lactose intolerant in my freshman year of college. Though, when I think back, I'm pretty sure I have been most of my life, but the symptoms became much worse in college. To combat it, I went through a temporary vegan phase, and a much longer vegetarian phase, before deciding that siloing myself into a restrictive diet just didn't make me happy. Now I try to eat more balanced. Sometimes this includes meat and dairy, and a lot of the times it does not. I play it by ear and try to listen to my body.

For the other dairy intolerant readers out there, I've found "Go Dairy Free" to be an extremely informative and helpful website. It's full of recipes, tips and resources.

A Sometimes Vegan

Even though I found a vegan diet too restrictive, I do attempt it every few months for a set period of time (3 to 7 days) to rejuvenate. This is typically when I do the Kaeng Raeng cleanse as well. I always feel so good both during and after these periods of vegan living. As I've mentioned in my Kaeng Raeng review, choosing raw foods especially makes me think about every single thing I eat. If you're like me, then you don't want to keep a food journal. Taking a week every few months to eat a vegan diet can provide the necessary reality check you would get from keeping a food journal.
Photo Credit: Vegan Coach
I think it's best to take small steps, and then move towards bigger milestones. For example, for extreme meat eaters who meat with every meal, you're first step could be to have one meatless meal a week, and then one vegan meal a week. Eventually, work up to one vegan day a week, and on to multiple vegan days in a row every couple of months. It's important on your vegan days to eat wholesome food. So don't reach for that bag of chips just because there are no animal products in it. Eat REAL, unprocessed food :) Variety is key to get the most of the nutrients (see the pyramid above).

If you truly feel that a few days of vegan eating is too restrictive, I would encourage you to try a vegan-pescatarian hybrid of a diet, at least at first. Still cut out dairy, processed food, and other foods with animal by-products, but include a fish fillet with your meals. I guarantee you'll still feel amazing!

Cleansing

I would recommend that once you are able to go multiple days on a vegan diet to incorporate a cleanse. It restores balance to my body, and always motivates me to exercise.

What do you do to rejuvenate your body? Share your experiences with me on Twitter @danielle0090.