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How will you know someone is Vegan? Don’t worry, they will tell you.

9 weeks ago I decided to venture into a plant-based diet. I was met with a lot of skepticism from family and strangers alike. But, was also met with a lot of support from friends, and most importantly, my fiancé. I had no idea what I was doing but days have turned into weeks and now two months later, it is just my life. I have lost weight with little-to-no tracking or food scales, my energy has increased, my soul feels fulfilled and overall I feel awesome. I set a goal of reducing my intake from 5-6 servings of animal based products per day to 0-1 servings. I am here to report that most days I am at 0 servings. I do not label myself as a vegan and find it easier to say “I eat a plant-based diet”.

What else do I say to the curious minds that have asked how I am bacon-free? Where here are the top 5 questions I have received and my answers to those questions.

First Question: Where do you get your protein? 

There is a magical thing about plants, nuts, legumes, and grains. If you eat enough of them, you will get in the protein you need to feel full and satisfied. Nut butters, quinoa, lentils, beans, chickpeas, and even broccoli has protein in it! Another factor is that my fiber intake has increased tremendously, which keeps the hunger at bay.

Second Question: Are you still doing Weight Watchers?

Yes and no. There are many plant-based items out there with little-to-no nutritional value. Potato chips, dairy-free ice cream, some alcohols, pasta. I have not lost weight every single week since going plant-based and those are some of the reasons. I have had moments of binging on junk food. Sometimes eating chips was easier than carrots. That is where Weight Watchers comes back in for me. I don’t see the program as an all-or-nothing system. Some weeks I need the extra accountability with tracking and some weeks I don’t. Right now, I am tracking.

Third Question: Tofu is gross.

Well, that makes two of us because I do not like tofu that much myself. I’ll eat it but prefer to keep it out of dishes if I can help it. There are plenty of things to eat out there which are not tofu.

Fourth Question: How do you go about dining out?

This is why I failed my plant-based quest years ago when I tried. Animal-free dishes weren’t as commonplace as they are today. Now, I can dine out almost anywhere and easily modify a dish to where I need it do be. Chipotle, Cava, MOD Pizza, just to name a few. I believe that more I can speak with my wallet (e.g., buy animal-free meals), the more restaurants will add them to the menu. I challenge my readers, even if its just for #meatlessmonday, order a meal that’s vegan.

Fifth Question: How long do you plan to keep this up for?

Forever? My reasons for this range from my own health, to animal cruelty, to the environment. Our planet can not keep up with our need for meat. I try my best to not get too preachy, but a simple Google search can explain this more in depth. My main reason for keeping this up is simple: it isn’t that hard. I thought going into this I would maybe get to 1 meal per day that is animal-free. I didn’t set the bar high and I had a lot of doubt I could even reach the low bar that I set. My fiancé and I sometimes complain but that just comes from eating a certain way for 29-31 years of our lives. Old habits are hard to shake. We are not perfect. But every meal that I can eat plant-based is a win.

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