Do you have to be a vegan to enjoy vegan food? Obvious answer here...NO!
I eat about 90% vegan food, and the question I always get asked is "are you vegan?"
Anyone who's been heavily involved in the weight lifting world, or who follows much of the advice for the standard American diet...you might know the motto is "protein, protein, protein!"
I used to choke down more eggs, meat, and protein shakes than I'm proud to admit. And to be honest...it was torture. I never really enjoyed the taste, and I definitely didn't enjoy the way it made me feel. But I was told "hey, this is how you need to eat if you wanna make gainz, brah". So I believed it.
I never understood that my body was designed to eat foods that were individually, specifically designed to make me feel mentally and physically nourished.
So when I began to eat intuitively, I realized that I happen to prefer "vegan" food...which basically just means whole, nutritious ingredients.
I don't mean vegan substitutes...like vegan meats and cheeses. If I was gonna eat those, I may as well enjoy the real thing. I mean I love quinoa, veggies, fruits, nuts, oils, herbs, and exploring different superfoods.
Once I began exploring these foods, I realized they make me feel my best, and they're full of so much flavor! Plus we tend to think that vegan or vegetarian diets are super limited...when it's actually the opposite.
You're inspired to be creative and find different combinations and ways of preparing.
Those are some reasons why I personally prefer vegan food. But my point here is...you don't have to fit yourself into a box when it comes to your eating habits. And you shouldn't. Because that just makes you feel crazy and obsessive around food. And it can also create shame and guilt.
Now, I understand if you stick to a certain diet for medical or ethical reasons. I totally understand and respect that. But for the majority of us...unless you have a solid reason behind why you want to "go vegan (or vegetarian, or keto, or paleo, etc.) for however long...it's probably best to avoid wasting unnecessary mental energy trying to follow a very specific way of eating that may have worked for someone else.
Eating in a way that doesn't serve your body because someone said it worked for them can also create sensitivities and allergies in your body, and you don't want them problems.
I recommend experimenting with what foods work best for you, and remembering that your preferences will change over time. That's why it's great to get flexible with what you choose to eat, and not dogmatic.
Your next step? Pick yourself up a copy of the book Intuitive Eating to learn more about eating for your own body's needs.
And if you like what you've read here and are interested in hearing more from me...sign up for my Mindfulness & Food Email course!