My first experience of "vegan" shopping was an emotional rollercoaster. It was mentally exhausting and overwhelming at the same time. It felt strange not going to the section of the supermarket that I've gone to all my life. I was close to tears! I asked myself multiple times, “Why am I doing this", Do I need to do this?", "I probably shouldn't do this".
28 days of no fast food. No meat. No refined sugary snacks like chocolate. And no cheese! That seems like a nightmare challenge for a working person with a hectic schedule. At least that's what I thought.
I decided to join the Wholelife course anyway to make a healthy change to my diet. Thank God I did! That's how I found out my cholesterol levels were shockingly high after doing the pre-course blood tests.
What was the WholeLife course about? It's about adopting a lifestyle that leads to longevity through whole food, whole grain, plant-based eating, daily physical activity and connecting with one another and nature.
We met online for 1 hour each week over 7 weeks to discuss various health topics. It also included a 28-day challenge to put all that we learned into practice with the support of peers and a team of health professionals. One interesting aim of the food challenge was to reprogramme our taste buds.
The first 2 weeks of the challenge was difficult. I guess it wouldn't have been termed a "challenge" if it was easy. Each time I craved sweets, I ate fruits instead. I used plant-based milk in my coffee instead of cow's milk. Also, because of my busy schedule and this being a new experience, for the first 2 weeks, I ordered Gousto boxes to help give me ideas and inspiration for cooking. I knew not all of the ingredients in the box would have been plant-based, but the majority were. And it was definitely more plant-based than my pre-challenge diet.
By the end of the 4 weeks, my cholesterol levels were reduced by 23%. My severe period cramps were more manageable during that month, and I received multiple compliments that skin had a healthy glow! Imagine if I’m totally disciplined and continue with this diet indefinitely! Since the end of the challenge, I haven't been entirely back to my bad eating habits. I definitely eat more plants and whole foods now than before the course.
If you're on the fence about making that healthy change to your diet, I'd say just go for it! You won't regret it. Thank me later.
"Discipline is choosing between what you want now, and what you want most"- Abraham Lincoln.