This past December, I made a very out-of-character decision. I became vegan!
Yes, I went from eating cheese and meat with literally every meal to consuming absolutely no animal products, cutting it out of my diet all at once, cold turkey (pun intended).
My main reason for doing so was I wanted to fully commit to a healthy lifestyle in attempts to lose weight. At the time, in my mind, this was going to be a very temporary thing until I reached my fitness and health goals because, one, I grew up on meat and cheese as the true Wisconsinite I am, and two, I think becoming vegan may be a sin for a Filipino.
Three months later, I am absolutely loving my vegan lifestyle. My overall health has improved, and I feel light and refreshed even after big meals that leave me full for hours. Also, to my surprise, finding vegan options, even while traveling around Europe, is very easy.
More and more people are becoming vegan. So, there are now more vegan restaurants opening around the world as well as restaurants adding vegan options to their menus. One of the best and most exciting things about this lifestyle is discovering foods that you can eat that you would never think are vegan. My favorite discovery thus far: OREOS!
Some vegans are more strict than others. I personally eat anything that is not directly made with eggs, milk, etc. and will eat it even if it says it may contain traces of such products. This helps me have a wider variety of options, especially when traveling.
I have had some of the best meals of my life since becoming vegan. Le Pain Quotidien, a chain restaurant all around Europe with some locations in the United States, has DELICIOUS vegan and vegetarian breakfast and lunch dishes (just to name a few: açaí bowls, hummus bowls, and, my favorite, warm oatmeal with fruit and chocolate).
I’ve found a couple of bakeries in Madrid with vegan options. My favorite is called Celicioso that is completely gluten-free, and their vegan options are also sugar-free. These particular vegan pastries are absolutely. To. Die. For. (Picture below: Vegan, sugar-free chocolate cupcake).
There is also a completely vegan bakery called freedom cakes with several locations in Madrid’s city center. Can you tell I have a huge sweet tooth?
The best part about being vegan is I know I’m always eating healthy! And, I don’t have to eat things that taste bad, that I don’t like, or leave me hungry. I can feel full and eat good food that I want without feeling guilty!
If you’ve ever thought of becoming “veganized”, I would highly recommend it, and there are so many resources that can help you on your journey along the way.