from #30daysvegan to #veganforlife

as you may know, for the past 4 weeks, I completed a 30 days vegan challenge. the intention was to build healthier habits as my birthday approached, and to start my mid twenties with health on the forefront of my mind.

since then, I have decided to stay vegan! yay!

at the beginning of my challenge, I was exhausted, and the first few days of veganism were really tough! I felt low energy and really depressed that I couldn't have cheese. within a few days, my body started to really adapt to being vegan. I found myself with more energy than ever, with glowing skin and with the weight rapidly falling off of my body. I knew about half way through the challenge that I wanted to stay vegan. I've never felt healthier, stronger or happier.

robineylea - staying vegan for life

here are a few questions (and their answers) that I've been asked over and over again since I've gone vegan.

what are the best parts of being vegan? going vegan is kind of like when you get rid of a ton of old clothing. in the moment, it's hard to part with your favourite old sweater, but when you buy new clothes, you never regret making room. I've lost so much weight and I literally eat all day long! that's definitely the best part. in general, I just feel better. I also have loved connecting with other vegans! it's just a great feeling knowing that I'm taking better care of my body, animals and the environment. plus, vegan food is DELISH.

what are the worst parts of being vegan? eating at restaurants can be a challenge. I find it's best to check the menu online ahead of time to see if you're going to be able to order more than just french fries. I also initially found grocery shopping to be a challenge because I had to read the labels on everything. finally, I've always really hated cooking, and I've had to cook significantly more since going vegan. the good news is that I've gotten really good at it. the bad news is that I still don't enjoy it unless I've got a big cup of coffee or wine. yeah, but don't you miss cheese/meat/doughnuts? actually, not really. there are moments where I still want cheese (daiya is an okay substitute, but it's definitely not the real thing), but there isn't any other food that I really miss. there are good vegan substitutes for nearly everything, and I wanted to stop eating those foods or I wouldn't have gone vegan. plus, oreos are vegan. #winning

what are your favourite things to eat as a vegan? almond milk! I could scream this from the mountain tops. I think even if I weren't planning to stay vegan, I would continue drinking almond milk until the day that I die. it is so yummy! I also really love stir fries on top of quinoa or brown rice. I love a good veggie burger fried with mushrooms over a bed of spinach. also... sweet potato fries! I make them myself so there are no additives. they're amazing. other favourites include cashews, chia seeds, black beans, chick peas and tomatoes.

how do you get your protein? this is everyone's favourite question. honestly, your body is fuelled by good carbs, so if you're eating tons of plants your body will have energy and be happy! that said, I try to make sure at least 15% of my diet is protein. I get it from veggies (like kale or broccoli), from beans and legumes and from seeds, nuts and grains (try cashews, chia seeds and quinoa).

I want to try being vegan. what do you recommend? I'm definitely no expert, but since I've gone vegan the internet has become my best friend. since I started, I've become obsessed with watching "what I eat in a day" youtube videos by other vegans. it gives me a lot of inspiration for recipes (this one for salsa, this one for waffles) and makes me feel connected to other vegans. I also recommend getting rid of all of the non-vegan food in your house. if you want to give it a go, make sure you stick to it for at least 21 days to really give your body a chance to decide how it feels. don't fill up on refined foods, either - I try to have 60-75% of my diet plant-based.

well friends, there you have it. I'm officially a full-on vegan. if you have any other questions, feel free to ask in the comments below! do you have any favourite vegan recipes?