The Galleon - Portsmouth's Student Newspaper

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Food & Health

The Vegan Experience

This January I decided to try something different as a bit of an experiment, for a while now I was toying with the idea of trying veganism and I had been reading some articles about the benefits of a vegan/plant–based lifestyle. In February I returned to my normal diet, and I was amazed at how much of an effect it had on my body: I was tired, bloated, and had very low energy. Whilst on the vegan diet I felt so full of life and full of vitality, I didn’t realise how poorly my body was performing before. However, if you are consuming fatty vegan foods, your body will probably not respond the same way, as at the end of the day, it’s still fat!

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The thing I loved the most about being vegan is that I could eat as much as I wanted all day long, as fruits and vegetables (the staple foods of the diet) are extremely low in calories and fat, and as a foodie this was great. The downside however, is that milk and eggs are in absolutely everything and I mean everything! For the most part, if you planned your meals ahead of time and prepare any lunches the day before it was easy to eat vegan, as the shops do not have ‘food to go’ for vegans.

I did go out for dinner a few times, I found that Jamie’s Italian was very accommodating, as all of their pasta dishes can be made vegan, and they were very yummy. Also, Smile Café on Marmion Road does a vegan breakfast, which was massive, tasty and cheap. I was surprised because I thought I would miss meat the most but I didn’t at all as there are so many other alternatives to bulk up meals, such as falafel, mushrooms, avocado, beans and potatoes.

For anyone considering trying out this lifestyle, I would highly recommend it as a permanent change or even as a detox. It cleared my skin up, the condition of my hair improved and my mood was lifted. In order to thrive of a vegan lifestyle to maximise the benefits you need to consume around 2000 – 2500 calories per day of low fat plant based food. Two great vegan books to read are ‘Skinny Bitch’ and ’80/10/10′ which explain the science behind the benefits of a vegan lifestyle and how to combine foods properly along with meal suggestions and recipes.

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