As of February 12th, I had completed being a vegan for 43 days. Staying on this wagon was harder than staying on a bull at a Texas rodeo. But it taught me a lot. The benefits I experienced were amazing and unforseen. Within a day of being a vegan, I realized that vegan meals recharge your spirit, but never make you feel lazy. You know how after a big meal you have a "food baby" and want to laze around? That feeling was gone!
The second effect was the boost of self-respect. Since this was such a tough thing for a carnivore like me, I felt like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. And why wouldn't I? I was being a vegan in a very carnivorous country. Last but best, I looked slimmer. Though I only lost about 5 lbs, I lost my love handles and even fit into a pair of Seven jeans I had given up on.
As I neared the end of being a vegan, I did think about continuing. Ultimately though, I decided against it. For one, most prepared foods in America, like even a can of beans, contain at least a trace amount of dairy or animal products. To get around this, I shopped at my local Indian store and cooked vegan dishes on Sundays, and made these meals last all week. It was time consuming, but I could keep my promise and not go broke at Whole Foods.
Another downside of veganism was that I my restaurant options were severely limited to pretty much South Indian or Thai. If I was in an American restaurant, it was pretty much a chopped salad with some bread. I realized that I was neither full nor getting enough nutrition. It made more sense to me to pick a healthy, albeit non-veg option like a grilled fish, than an unhealthy option like a light salad and too much bread.
The thing that really put the nail in the coffin was my social life. Since none of my friends are vegan, if I went to their house for dinner parties, it was a struggle for them to accomodate my diet. Even then, they'd innocently spread a bit of butter on my bread or put a bit of sour cream in my soup. On those occasions, I was not about to be a d-bag and tell them to re-prepare me my meal.
Overall, veganism helped me lose weight, gain self-control, and more. But I don't think its a realistic practice for life. So for now, I'm living a life of moderation. On weeknights, I am still mostly vegetarian. But on weekends, I enjoy whatever strikes my fancy, and tend to mostly choose healther proteins like fish.