Today marked the last official day of the Vegan Challenge! For those who participated, how’d you do? Let me know so I can make sure my participant list is accurate for when I randomly pick a winner after my graduation and big move this weekend.

I’m going to get right to it…I know you all are wondering if I am going to keep this up after today and the partial answer is yes. I’m going to try to follow a vegan diet from here on out. Quite honestly, this isn’t daunting at all because I’ve been doing it so naturally over the last month. It seems like the easiest and most convenient thing to do at this point! I never thought eating vegan would be easy, but I’ve found it to be easy, simple, and less complicated than the Standard American Diet and what I was eating prior to the Vegan Challenge. Just think, I can avoid nearly half of the grocery store when I go shopping!! Additionally, Whole Foods and natural food stores are like my candy store now with so many new things to try and new foods to experience. I love it! I’ve never felt better with the foods I’ve been eating than I have over the last month and I don’t think there’s any better reason that that for me to keep this up.

I said “partial” answer above because I’m not ready to proclaim myself as a vegan and I don’t know if I ever will. As I’ve discovered in the last 30 days, it’s a very loaded term and label and I don’t think I’m ready to be continuously judged by saying I’m a vegan. Most people don’t even know what that means and the ones who do think you’re an animal loving, tree-hugging, pot smoking hippie as soon as you say, “I’m a vegan”. I don’t identify myself with any of those things, and I’m certainly not choosing to eat this way for animal rights. I love animals and I hate the truths about factory farming, but I’m in this for my health. Call me selfish 🙂 From now on, you might hear me say I’m “following a primarily vegan diet” and that’s the truth.

If you see honey or a product that “may contain trace amounts of milk” don’t be alarmed! I’ve had countless dreams over the last month where I’ve temporarily forgotten that I’m vegan and eaten something like cheese or chicken, only to realize afterward that I wasn’t supposed to eat it. And I feel awful in the dream about it and wake up completely relieved that it didn’t actually happen. Kind of like a nightmare! Those dreams were alarming to me and I realized I needed to let go of strict rules and boundaries and just do what was right for me. I don’t see myself choosing to eat meat and dairy products because, honestly, the thought of them going into my mouth at this point kind of grosses me out. But I draw the line at the ingredients list. If they don’t contain animal products, I’m in!

As I’ve progressed through this challenge, I’ve learned a lot. To me, the most interesting aspect of eating vegan is the concept of the raw, vegan diet. The benefits of this are amazing to me and I’d really like to start incorporating more raw foods into my diet. I’m currently looking into juicers and when I have the cash flow, I’ll be ordering one. I love my green smoothies, and juicing is the best next step up! I’ve been following Kris Carr’s blog over the last month and I’ve found her to be extremely informative and inspiring. Gena from Choosing Raw also joined the food blogging world during my Vegan Challenge and I am absolutely in love with her blog and all of the information she provides to everyone on a daily basis. These are just a couple of the inspirations I’ve had over the last month and I can’t wait to keep growing with all of the new information that is out there to discover.

So with all of this, I’ve kind of hit a little wall in my blogging (you may have noticed). So much has changed since I started this blog back in November. If you don’t believe me, head on back in the ol’ archives and see for yourself! It’s crazy to think about the health transitions I’ve made because of blogging. I feel like I’m heading in a completely different direction now and I think I need to change my blog to reflect that. I’m not quite sure what this means yet, but I’m open for suggestions! Leave a comment here, or shoot me an email. I’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas, suggestions, anything! I’m hoping that graduating, having the summer off, moving back home and then to graduate school will be enough change to get my wheels seriously turning!

I hope you all have enjoyed following me on this journey and will stick around for more foodie adventures to come! I feel like there’s been a whole new world opened up to me from this and I’m really eager to keep exploring!

Have a fabulous Thursday evening and Friday!! I’ll see you guys after GRADUATION for a complete recap of my weekend with wonderful friends and family!

Love you all 😀

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