First I'd like to begin by saying how wonderful this experience has been for me. I was able to delve into the world of living a vegan lifestyle for the month. I know it's very possible to live this way because I felt great most of the time. Although being that I have always been someone who generally eats a good amount of eggs, poultry and fish, going cold turkey was a bit tough for me.
I started this journey as a 3-day fruit, veggie and some seed "detox.” Then it turned in to 7 days of mostly raw vegan since I was feeling really good. By week 2, I felt that I needed some cooked foods, so I went ahead and listened to my body. Coming to the end of the 3rd week I was starting to feel really lethargic and my workouts were suffering a bit. I was still eating lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, and legumes throughout the day, along with a vegan protein powder, but I felt like something was missing. Eggs kept calling my name. I didn't miss the taste or texture, but I just felt that my body really needed them. So by day 21, I added organic free range eggs back into my diet. Wow, what a difference! Although I had been supplementing my diet with B-12, my body still wanted eggs. Since adding them back into my diet, my workouts have been much more powerful and I feel really energetic. I still haven't had fish or anything similar yet.
I had a chance to really learn a lot about the different classifications of how people eat. Here are some of the classifications which I found quite interesting.
- Lacto vegetarians those who do not eat meat or eggs but do consume dairy. Most vegetarians in India and classical Mediterranean lands fell into this classification.
- Lacto-ovo vegetarian, or ovo-lacto, do not eat meat but do consume dairy and eggs, this is the most common type of Vegetarianism in the Western world.
- Ovo vegetarians do not eat meat or dairy but do consume eggs.
- Vegans consume no animal products or animal by-products. This means no beef, poultry, fish, eggs, or dairy (many vegans also avoid honey). Veganism also extends beyond the diet. Vegans avoid leather, wool, silk, down, etc. Some people use the term strict vegetarian for people who follow a vegan diet but still use animal products in other parts of their lives.
- Dietary vegans avoid eating animal products but will still wear or use animal products.
- Raw/living foodists eat at least 75% uncooked (items may be heated up to 115 degrees), unprocessed, organic fruits and vegetables, with the intention of preserving more vitamins and minerals. There are very few “pure” raw foodists though many people “eat raw” at least occasionally.
- Fruitarianism consists only of plant matter that can be collected without harming the plant. They only consume raw fruits and seeds. I found this one pretty fascinating.
- Macrobiotic diets are mostly whole grains and beans.
- Natural hygiene is principally raw vegan foods.
Diets that are not classified as vegetarian include:
- Semi-vegetarian, where people avoid some meat (usually for health or ethical reasons) for example, ones who avoid red meat but still eat poultry or seafood.
- Flexitarians lead a mostly vegetarian lifestyle but occasionally eat meat.
- Freegans only eat food that has been discarded and would otherwise consume landfill space.
At this point in my life, I'm feeling great as a vegan who eats eggs, which is considered an Ovo Vegetarian. I’m not the kind of person that likes to be limited by labels. If I get the urge to eat fish once a month I will. I think the best thing is to follow what your body tells you. I really enjoyed going through this and I think everyone should at least try a 3-7 day trial of eating mostly vegetables and fruits. I will definitely do a detox like this at least 2 times a year.
I found within the vegan classifications, being raw, high raw and some cooked there are lots of support online. There are loads of forums, recipes, books, to make it an easier transition. I'm a strong believer that we are all different, therefore not one way of eating works for everyone. Some do great with dairy, some do wonderful with eggs. I do feel it's important for everyone to have vegetables. I also don't think it's smart to restrict too much fruit, which many do. Since upping my fruit intake I feel satisfied, energized, and my digestion is amazing.
It's now been 40 days and I don't see why I will stop anytime soon.