Vegan Discoveries

Saturday, February 7, 2015

       A few of you have been asking if I would write an update about my switch to veganism. It's been almost a month now and it's been a consistently positive experience. Here are my monetary, internal, and external observations so far.

Changes in skin:
       Since switching to a vegan, generally whole foods diet, my skin has not only broken out less (basically not at all), but has been brighter, shows almost no dark under-eye circles when I wake up, and now has virtually no red undertones. I will note that in addition to making the vegan change, I have also been drinking a bit more water, and switched the small amount of coffee I used to drink to green tea, so this may help as well.

Change in Appetite:
       Essentially, I have no taste for animal products anymore. I never thought that would be the case, but I don't really feel like I miss anything. It surely doesn't gross me out to see meat or cheese, but I just simply don't have the desire to join in when I see my friends eating such things. I'm completely satisfied with the options available to me.

Changes in energy level:
       I totally have way more energy. Waking up early is not a horrible experience where my eyes shatter open and I slump over to the kitchen for coffee. I feel like waking up is more like turning on a light switch. Once I'm awake I'm AWAKE and it stays that way. The gym, even after a long day at work, feels necessary for me to use up the amount of energy I have left over in the evening.

Favorite recipes & places to find them:
       There is really no way to say that vegan food cannot be tasty. I have been eating the most consistently vibrant food in my whole life since becoming a vegan. There are so many recipes I love, but here is a general overview of where I like to find inspiration for cooking every night...

Deliciously Ella                                          FoodGawker

  • - Ella Woodward's recipes are extraordinarily simple, incorporate entirely whole, plant based foods (almost always vegan and GF), and have all tasted just as absolutely perfect as she's promised. My favorites so far are the Sweet Potato Brownies and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.
  • - Food Gawker, whether I've been a vegan or not, has always been my go-to for recipes. The filter system allows you to find a zillion recipes, leading to external sites, according to your exact flavor penchants and dietary needs. I've been making this Peanut Butter Chocolate Pudding for a while now. It's made without milk or any animal products, and is avocado based! It's full of good fats and antioxidants for beautiful skin.
  • - Vegan Yum Yum is where I always go to learn how to work with my more processed vegan meat substitutes (like tofu & tempeh [soy based] and seitan [wheat based]). I eat these things every couple of days for a big protein boost when I'm not in the mood for chick peas or beans. The site has primarily east asian flavors, which I love. The Teriyaki Seitan is unbelievable. The texture and taste are just like chicken teriyaki. 
Most necessary groceries:
       Groceries cost me an average of about fifty to sixty dollars/week. I go out to eat a few times/week, but I mainly do all my cooking at home. This cost is actually about the same (maybe a bit more) as when I wasn't vegan. If you prioritize and figure out the ingredients you consistently need and use the most, you can save a lot. It's easy to buy too many expensive meat substitutes, raspberries, blueberries, and almond butter, when you could be buying beans, bananas, and peanut butter more often. Figure out where to get the most bang for your buck and expenses can stay low.

Goodies from the Hemsley & Hemsley Sisters

  • For example, most of my protein comes from black beans, chick peas, whole grains, and nuts. If I was eating tempeh and seitan all the time, it would be a bit more expensive. I prefer the less processed option of beans and grains anyway.
  • Fresh produce-wise, I buy mostly (relatively) inexpensive, nutrient dense things like bananas, avocados, kale, sweet potatoes (oh my god love sweet potatoes), Idaho potatoes, broccoli, etc. These things are much less expensive for the volume you get, than berries or like... artichokes.
  • My biggest splurge is VegaOne. This has so many vitamins and essential nutrients, though, that I try not to consider the cost. (It averages around two or three dollars per scoop). It's green, but tastes like vanilla ice cream. I blend one banana, one cup unsweetened almond milk, half cup of water, and a scoop of this almost every morning when I don't want oats.

       I always make a grocery list before walking to the market. If I didn't, I would spend twice as much. The best thing is to look up a set of recipes, write down the ingredients you need (try to find recipes with a lot of mutual ingredients) and then get only a few extra things you know you'll use.


  1. Great post, and also, you look absolutely beautiful :)

  2. This is so great and helpful. Really, thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to write these posts for us, it means a lot. I've had such a huge desire lately to become a vegan (I've tried before and failed miserably) but I never know what steps to take. When I tried the first time I ended up buying those frozen vegan meals that are expensive and just really not that great for you. I'll definitely search recipes and write out a list before I embark on my journey through the grocery store, that's clever! Are you the only one in your household who changed their diet? Do you ever plan on eating meat again?

    1. i hope it works out for you! it really takes a lot of initial willpower and effort, but after that it is smooth sailing. once you have a good plan set up, it will get much easier.

      also, i'm not the only one in my household who's a vegan. my boyfriend is a vegan at home (and is willing to do it because i cook everything hehe). he doesn't do it when we go out, but having someone else who eats the same at home does make shopping a lot easier. at my home in connecticut, my mom and sister are both vegans. my sister is an 80/10/10 vegan which is pretty hardcore actually. look it up.... she eats 3500 calories in FRUIT per DAY. her skin and energy levels are amazing, but personally, i couldn't survive on fruit alone.

      i don't think i plan on eating meat again, but who knows what could happen if i was absolutely desperate! i would eat a burger before like.. dying hehe. as long as it's an option for me to be a vegan, i will probably be one.


  3. It's relieving to hear you don't have a taste for animal products! I'm transitioning into veganism (i.e. finishing off the animal products I have in my kitchen) and I've been worried I'll miss cheese and eggs too much. But you're definitely helping ease those anxieties, so thank you for sharing your journey!

    1. i thought cheese and eggs would be the hardest things to let go of too! i didn't eat that much meat to begin with, but i had eggs almost every day for breakfast before. there are so many other delicious options though. i don't even miss eggs now! you'd be surprised with yourself after a few weeks how your taste buds kind of adjust. hope it works out for you!!

  4. Hello,Dayna ! I'm sure you recive a lot of similar messages but I wanted you to know that I really enjoy reading your blog and I appreciate you a lot. I want so much to become a vegan and I already have a different diet than other girls at my age (I'm only 14), this due to my dear parents.
    I don't even know how I found your blog, but persons like you make me want to learn a lot and become an elegant lady with a successful job( just like you).
    By the way I'd love to see a post about your experience in Europe.
    Greetings from Romania!
    (and sorry if there is any grammatical error, English is not my native language)

    1. i'm so glad you enjoy reading it!! it really helps to hear that because i'm only doing it to have a way to share with others :) also, i'm sure you are an elegant lady already! you can already speak a second language. that's more than i could say for myself at 14. xx

  5. i honestly could NEVER do this i love cheese and meats but this really great for you, good luck with it and keep up the good work! I'm sure non-vegans such as myself can benefit from this post as well. :)

  6. I'd probably do that once i'm 20... i don't really eat vegetables but thanks for this post... it gave me the reason to really eat them :) and proper diet too. Haha why did you became vegan? :)

  7. I wish i could have your taste buds so i could at least appreciate what you're eating. :( They look yummy but i blame my weird taste buds.

  8. The benefits of a plant based diet are amazing. I've been trying to eat less meat nowadays and I can already see the difference in my skin/energy levels etc. It's surprisingly very easy to add more fruits and veggies to your diet without breaking the bank, and I like how you pointed it out.
    Also I don't know if you use chia seeds but they are a wonderful way to add extra fiber/protein/nutrition to your food. I usually put them in my oatmeal, smoothies, or I make a pudding out of them and add fresh fruit. :)



By Dayna Frazer