A couple of disclaimers before I share my experience with you. I don’t like the word diet, it’s a negative word that doesn’t motivate or inspires people but in this blog I use it to explain my way of eating. I share my experience around eating plant based, results might differ from your experience since I prefer not to eat any added sugars or processed food either (for the last +2 years). This is important to mention because you can eat plant based and still not eat healthy.
4 weeks ago I excluded meat and dairy from my diet and started my plant based journey. I’ve always been interested in understanding what is good for our body and how we should eat to live a healthy lifestyle. Like many others, I watched the documentary What the Health on Netflix. While watching this documentary I started to think about testing a plant based diet and I set myself the goal to try it for 2 weeks. 4 weeks later, I still eat plant based, I start to notice some changes. But keep in mind that every body is different and you might experience different things than I do when you start eating plant based.
My energy levels have always been good. Like most of us, sometimes I have lots of energy sometimes I don’t. But overall I believed my energy levels were good. But when I started to eat plant based I felt like I had much more energy! Even when I was tired I didn’t experience these extreme lows in energy. My body feels more awake and more energized than ever before. When I wake up I don’t feel tired or exhausted, I feel ready for the day. This change already happened in the first week.
As most of you know I like to run. I’m not focused on time or time or speed when I run. I run because I like it and I enjoy the feeling of being outside. I like to call myself a lazy runner, I don’t push myself really hard on speed, I only push myself on distance. Interesting enough, the plant based diet starts to impact my running results. My average pace was between 5.30-5.28min per kilometer for long distance runs. After I started to eat plant based it went down to 5.17min per kilometer! The interesting thing is that I didn’t change anything during my runs, I was not pushing harder or more focused on time.
The last 4 weeks I’ve been sleeping much better. I fall a sleep very fast and I wake up energized and fit. I’ve never experienced this for a longer period. Normally I would have some good nights and some less good nights during a normal week but the last weeks have been much better.
The plant based diet also has an impact on my skin. My face looks much better and my legs are not as dry as they have been in the last months. The quality of your skin comes from the insight so it does make sense that your diet has an impact on the quality of it.
The plant based diet also has some “down sides” effect on me. I feel I have less strength in the gym. Weights that I normally lifted without any problems now feel heavy. I do feel less strength during squats and deadlifts. I used to eat turkey, eggs and chicken to get my proteins which might have an impact on my strength now. I started to test adding brown rice protein to some of my meals to see if it makes a difference.
I’ve always trained 5-6 times per week, a mix of running and weight lifting. I continued to train this way when I started to eat plant based. What I do experience is that my muscles feel longer sore after a workout. Normally I would recover in 1-2 days and now it takes me 3-4 days to fully recover. But I’m still new to eating plant based so I have to figure out which plants can help me to recover a bit faster!
Overal I’m surprised how easy it was to change my diet. I’ve never been a big meat and dairy eater but I did enjoy turkey, chicken, eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, and cheese. During the 4 weeks, I did had very small amounts of not plant based food but I think this is normal and this is a way of eating that works for me.
I would love to hear from you! What is your experience with eating plant based?
With love, from Dublin…