Thinking about going vegan? Today on the blog I am sharing my story about switching to a plant-based diet, what to expect, and helpful tips and tricks.

My journey first started when I was experiencing really bad acne in high school, so I started seeing a naturopath who conducted a food test, and prescribed me a bunch of different supplements to fix the issue. My biggest enemies were dairy, eggs, sugar and gluten at the time, and once I cut these out of my diet, my face cleared up immediately. Well, once university came around I started eating these foods again (it’s so hard to say no to late night pizza) and my face wasn’t bad, but I had no energy and was sluggish all the time. By the time my last year of school came around, I knew it was finally time to cut these foods out of my diet again. Not only did I start losing weight, but my skin looked younger, I got all of my energy back, and so I thought I would try to eliminate meat as well. Sadly, my meatless diet lasted for a week, partially because I found that it was too much effort, and my favourite meal was a rare, juicy steak.

In December 2016, I watched the Food Matters documentary on Netflix out of complete curiosity and loved it. I was so motivated to try a vegan diet again after watching, and started to put a plan into action. Believe it or not, the human body is actually intended to function on solely plant-based foods, and switching over to this type of diet can fix and prevent a handful of health problems, and diseases.

So, this time, I actually stuck with it. Worst but best decision of my life. Overall, I felt absolutely incredible, however, my body went through a long detox process where my skin broke out, and I was bloated ALL the time. For me, this process took about 4 months, but I promise you it’s all worth it.

Vegan & gluten-free donut from Tori’s Bakeshop

A common misconception is that being vegan is extremely hard, and it’s impossible to eat out. Wrong. Almost every “normal” restaurant I’ve been too has been able to accommodate my diet, it just takes some playing around with the menu or sometimes the chef can whip something up. I will list a few of my favourite vegan restaurants and bakeries below (even for you non-vegans, these places are insanely good). Also, it is true that vegans still do get tons of protein through plant based foods like quinoa, spirulina, nuts, chia seeds, beans and tofu (although I refuse to ever try tofu).

Being vegan has definitely been a big change for me but I would never turn back. If you’re thinking about making the switch, I would suggest starting slow, doing lots of research and most importantly, listen to your body. I found it helpful to meal plan, and really follow it because you will have tons of cravings. Once you get started and develop a good routine for yourself, you’re golden!

Here’s a look into what I eat on the daily:

Breakfast: Isagenix IsaLean Dairy-Free Chocolate protein shake or oatmeal with fresh fruit

Snack: half an avocado and a handful of almonds with a kombucha drink

Lunch: salad with quinoa or a veggie burrito bowl

Snack: snap peas and carrots with hummus

Dinner: cashew alfredo pasta or a gluten-free & vegan pizza

Favourite Restaurants & Bakeries:

1. Planta http://www.plantatoronto.com

2. Live Organic  http://liveorganicfood.ca

3. Raw Aura http://www.raw-aura.ca

4. Tori’s Bakeshop http://torisbakeshop.ca

5. Kupfert & Kim http://www.kupfertandkim.com

6. Kelly’s Bake Shoppe https://www.kellysxo.com

7. Calii Love (vegan options) http://caliilove.com

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