I have officially made it through 5 and a half days without any meat, eggs, dairy or processed foods. I am so proud of myself! And I feel good. I get ravenously hungry at really random times (like an hour after I ate a huge breakfast) but it usually passes. I'm also starving by the time I wake up in the morning no matter how much I try to eat the same amount of calories and get the same nutrients as before. But overall, I feel great.
You can eat so much more food this way! I can eat giant salads or huge bowls of sauteed veggies with a little bit of rice for the same amount of calories as one chicken finger pretty much. It's great to feel full without feeling gross like you do after eating junk. I'm definitely going to go back to meat after this, but I will be more aware. I'll try to avoid red meat (except pork because it is the bane of my existence) and cut back on meat overall. The one thing I've definitely taken from this experience is that I don't need processed foods!
My half eaten bag of pretzels has been staring at me all week begging me to eat them, but I've been fine without and really haven't had any major cravings. I also haven't had sliced bread (except a half of one slice) or bagels or anything like that, and I've survived. I've also solely been drinking water and hot tea (and Silk milk once because I had just lifted weights and needed the protein). It's really not that bad. I'm not saying you must completely give up processed foods, but you should seriously think about it. Be conscious of what you put into your body and how it's affecting it.
I also haven't had gum in a week!!!! Crazy!!! I went from like 5 sticks a day to nothing...that was probably the hardest (aside from peanut butter in my oatmeal). And on the topic of oatmeal...eating old fashioned oats was a bit of a change also, instead of just the pre-packaged instant oatmeal. It's hard to get good flavor, no matter how much cinnamon and stuff I added to it. It's just kind of bland and I feel like I'm only eating it because I know I have to. I recently discovered, though, that if I made it with cinnamon and water and then added some of BU's homemade granola at the end, it had a really nice flavor and texture.
My point is: you have to make sacrifices. But it is so so worth it! You are given one body to live in and you have to treat it accordingly. One thing I should try to limit is artificial sweetener because I let that be an exception this time around. But it really isn't good for you. While my sweet tooth has diminished quite a bit, I still don't think I'm able to drink tea or coffee without sweetener. But that's my next task.
Also I think there is a huge misconception about Vegans that they're always hungry or don't have any energy and this is definitely not true. You just need to make sure to get your protein from tofu and beans and soy milk and other sources. It's completely doable and the food still tastes great. I mean, come on...Bon Me is vegan!! As soon as I realized that I went out and got it for dinner and it was so good. I eat it all the time even when I am eating meat because it's just delicious!
And this morning me and my roomie went to a vegan restaurant in Cambridge (look out for the review tomorrow) and I am still full of the food! I had a vegan chocolate malt!!! So good and just as tasty as a regular one. I even got a slice of vegan carrot cake with cream cheese frosting to go which I am very much looking forward to for dessert tonight.
My recommendation: give it a shot! It will only make your body feel better, and hey..you might even realize that feeling better is worth giving up meat and dairy and stick to it. At the very least, it makes you conscious of what you're putting into your body. Remember...you are what you eat. And right now, I am a delicious, thick vegan chocolate malt!