A few weeks have passed since I wrote this one. Two more months have passed since then, and here I am. Still strong. Still Vegan.
1. The best skin I have ever had in my life, but…
The first good thing I noticed after going vegan for over 3 months is that I now have the best skin I’ve ever had in my life. No more blackheads, no more tired, saggy, sad, dried up skin. I have a natural glow on my face and overall a very healthy-looking, resilient, clear skin. I can feel my skin is nicely moisturized from within.
This, actually, happens because of soy. Soybeans contain isoflavone. And a lot of it. Like a LOT. Isoflavone is a chemical that has a similar effect as estrogen, which is, we all know, a female sex hormone. Estrogen is the reason women look good before ovulation, is the reason women sometimes impulsively fall in love before ovulation and is the reason people get a more female-like body.
My average intake of isoflavone per day is as follows:
Soy milk tea 3 cups/day = c.70mg
Natto (fermented soybeans) = c.30mg
Soybeans as snacks 10-15 beans/day, Soy yogurt… = c. 50mg
Total: 150-200mg of isoflavone/day
This is actually too much. I don’t recommend to consume as much soy as I do, and in fact, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in Japan sets the acceptable daily intake of isoflavone as 70 – 75mg. So, yeah, this is basically an overdose.
Also, some people may experience an irregular menstrual cycle from taking too much isoflavone, so if you already have a fairly stable menstrual cycle, or if you are taking contraceptive pills, this is not for you and I suggest monitoring the amount of soy you consume in a day.
2. Old habits die hard
Yes, your body will get used to the new diet. I mean after going vegan, I started to eat more fruits instead of tortilla chips.
But, don’t forget the fact that old habits die hard. Your body remembers really well about all the junk food you consumed in the past decades before going vegan/vegetarian. As for me, I still get the urges to eat meat, cheese, and chocolate. I know my body still likes cow milk. I still feel the emptiness in the vegan dish because subconsciously my brain is disappointed to have a meat-less vegetable burger.
3. No, you’re not going to get high from going vegan
Maybe because I’m skeptical about the whole idea of all-of-a-sudden-I’m-having-creative ideas-after-going-vegan, but nothing in my mental health has changed since I became vegan. I’m the same kind of person personality-wise, I have ups and downs, I have creative days and blah days and changing my diet didn’t help me be mindful.
4. The difficulty of eating in restaurants continues
Unless you live in LA or something, eating vegan outside of your home in restaurants is practically impossible. First, you have to drag your friends into a mildly expensive vegan restaurant, in which they will be really annoyed because everything is too healthy for their liking, isn’t reasonable at all and is located in a deserted, hippie area. Second, you can’t do that all the time unless you change your circle of friends, which is also practically impossible if your friends are from work and not from some NGO that advocates the importance of going vegan.
Even if you go to a restaurant and asks the staff if the dish is vegan, they will look at you like a bag full of shit, lazily will ask if you have an allergy, in which case you have to explain that you’re vegan to the staff who doesn’t have the slightest idea of what a “vegan” is (This happens in Japan). Then the staff will say that they don’t have anything vegan, so then you will just sit there all embarrassed in front of your friend and decide to order a salad. With shrimps. Because that’s the closest vegan thing that they have.
So, my 3-months vegan challenge left me with an uncertainty. However, now that it’s become a lifestyle, I can’t imagine going non-vegan again because I already have that pride of achievement in me and I can’t just stop here. (Vegan got me!) I’ll continue going vegan for the next months, and will update again in the next 3 months, at which point I will have gone 6-months vegan.
Tell me how you live as a vegan in your city. I’d love to know how you manage to be vegan outside.
Be healthy today, Millennials