In the summer of 2021, I transitioned from a 18 year vegetarian diet into a vegan one.
Why, you ask?
Since 2010 I have been taking a medication called spironolactone for cystic acne. Although it is said that spironolactone is relatively safe, I started to feel uneasy about being on a medication for so long. My grandfather was on spironolactone for a few years, and they believe it is what caused his kidney failure! This really scared me a lot because I had been taking 150 milligrams of spironolactone for 10+ years! But every time I tried to stop taking it, I would break out in a dozen or so cystic pimples around my chin and jawline. Not only are these unsightly, but they’re immensely painful as well!
I started doing some research into holistic ways to treat cystic acne and stumbled upon a lot of information suggesting that cutting out dairy and soy will cure most cystic acne issues! What!?
To be completely honest with you, I wasn’t keen on the idea of eliminating cheese and tofu from my diet. They have been huge staples in everything I ate for my entire life. The main ingredient in 99% of my meals. However, I felt it was worth a try if it could help me stop taking medication!
I am happy to report that for the last 1 1/2 years, I have been off spironolactone and (mostly) cystic acne free, thanks to a soy and dairy free diet. This is incredible for me! My skin looks so much better and I feel healthier overall. Now, if a cystic pimple pops up, it is most likely because I got lazy with checking ingredients for soy.
But! Don’t be fooled! This journey wasn’t easy.
First of all, I didn’t even know where to start. I LOVE FOOD. I didn’t want to eat like a bird! I’m not the type of person who feels full or satisfied from a salad or plate of raw vegetables. I like hot, big, and filling meals. So when I first went vegan, instead of loosing weight like one may expect, I actually gained some! A bunch, to be honest.
This is because I became what is known as a “junk food vegan.” Yes, lots of junk foods are vegan! Oreos, pasta, French fries, bread, rice, many potato chips, etc. And here’s the deal, nothing is wrong with being a junk food vegan. But my goal in being vegan wasn’t only for my skin, but for my overall health in general! So, it was time to re-learn foods, portion control, and creative ways to eat my vegetables; but NOT in a boring way!
Secondly, I started overspending on my grocery budget like crazy. “Why is being vegan so expensive?” I thought. “Why are so many recipes requiring such expensive and hard to find ingredients?” It was frustrating. It felt difficult to find good well rounded and healthy meals for relatively affordable costs.
I even tried Purple Carrot, a meal subscription box, thinking maybe if I have 3 meals sent to me each week, I would learn how to cook and save some money? Well- I learned how to cook, maybe… But it didn’t help with loosing weight, or saving money. I still had to hit the grocery store for other meals (breakfast, lunch, and snacks.)
So ultimately… I realized I just have to really put in the work to find and adjust recipes, try things out, and find what tasted great and costed less!
Lastly, I didn’t want to get off work at 5:00PM and cook all night! Some of these recipes I was finding were hours long. Sometimes that’s okay! But for weekdays it just ate up too much of my time.
In summary: I am here to provide you with relatively easy, affordable, and healthy soy-free vegan recipes. My experiences with them, adjustments, and how they turned out!
These meals are for everyone! Vegetarians, meat eaters, and pescatarians! Those of you who were specifically looking for a soy-free vegan diet, or those of you who just want to work more vegetables into your diet.
I sincerely hope that even the most loyal of meat-eaters will be impressed with the meals I post on here, and will make a little space in their diet for a vegan night. 🙂 At the end of the day, I also do this for moral reasons as well, but I don’t want to bog you down with those sad and boring details.