Veganism is hot right now. It feels like every day more and more people are trying it out. It’s political, it’s controversial, and I’ve decided to try going vegan for 30 days here in Mexico City, but with a twist. There are many great reasons why one might do this: For the environmental impact, which is huge. To reduce animal suffering and abuse, which I think is also a very big reason. Many do it to improve their health. But I’m doing it for a different, more selfish reason. I’m doing it for mental clarity. Let me explain. I’m not a huge meat-eater, but since I arrived in Mexico a month ago, I started to let that go a little bit. It is no secret that Mexican food is delicious, and I found myself hitting the food stands on the streets pretty often. Not only is the food amazing and shockingly cheap, but I love the cultural aspect. It’s where a lot of Mexicans of all ages come together to eat. And so, in a really small way, I enjoyed being a part of that experience. Standing there eating tacos and tlacoyos with everyone else. Okay. Well this particular story isn’t all fairytale. I started to notice that after every single one of these delicious, meaty, greasy meals, it would feel kind of like I was getting hit by a train. For the next three hours all physical and cognitive activities would become many times more difficult. I started to think about the impact that this was having on my productivity. There’s a name for this and you may have heard of it. It’s called food coma. Google defines food coma also known as postprandial somnolence, as a state of sleep or extreme lethargy induced by the consumption of a large amount of food. What I think this definition is maybe lacking is a consideration regarding not just quantity, but also the quality of the food. Food coma can obviously be achieved with a variety of foods. Not just animal-based products. Which means veganism isn’t going to magically solve all of my problems. However, I do feel like dairy and meats can land really heavy and are harder to digest, which makes getting bogged down a lot easier. Not to mention that I have no idea where these animal products are coming from. The brain fog that I associate with this diet is something I can no longer ignore if I am to continue my search for a life of greater mental clarity. So last night I had what may end up being my very last ice cream, and said my goodbyes. By the way, I think my logo may need to become almond milk ice cream from now on. Just putting that on the record. Now in my humble opinion, veganism seems to suffer from a serious PR problem. There’s a lot of misconceptions out there, differing opinions, and people that seem to push things to the extreme. Either in terms of activism or in terms of dietary restrictions. I’m not about that. I just want to enjoy what I eat and eat well, so here’s my plan of attack. In my fridge, you will find non-dairy alternatives to milk and butter. I discovered that the cereal I was eating had honey in it so that was off-limits. I bought some without, it as well as toast without milk. I also got myself some vegan protein powder and a variety of nuts. And finally, I loaded up with fruits and veggies and started going hard on the smoothies. Oh, yeah, and we cannot forget about peanut butter. One of the very first things that I did to start off on the right foot was to head to a local “tiangüis”, which is like a Mexican version of a farmer’s market, just that this one is around on Fridays. It was actually really fun. There was an amazing selection of vegetables, fruits, and nuts. It’s incredible walking through one of these places, there’s so much going on Also, I thought I would get some advice from my friend Chloé Kian, another content creator online and vegan for six years. For me, as somebody beginning as a vegan, what would you say is like one of the biggest obstacles… for somebody starting out as a vegan? I think it comes down to being prepared, because the habits, it will just happen over time when you repeatedly eat a certain way. But, I think in terms of when you’re traveling or in social situations, you’re gonna have to think about food in advance. I think that being vegan is just like a whole thing and there can be so many different ways to do it, and it’s just about experimenting with different ways of eating plant-based foods, and finding what works for you in terms of like health, convenience. I obviously care about animal suffering and the environment. I think the environment is a really big one, but the reason I’m actually trying this is for mental clarity. So that I don’t go through such deep food comas and you know stuff like that. Do you feel like veganism has helped you with mental clarity? Yeah, for sure, especially in raw veganism. Do you still go through food coma? Rarely. All right. Good to know. It’s been a little bit over a week now and I wanted to give an update on how things are going so far. Very quickly I realized that I was missing cooked food and I made the classic mistake, despite my preparations, of not eating enough filling foods. So I spent the first few days hungry a lot of the time. Let’s just say my original plan with the smoothies wasn’t exactly bulletproof, but I posted on Instagram that I was going vegan and a lot of you guys reached out with positive feedback, positive messages, and a lot of like food suggestions and recipes. That was when I started to realize that food can be so much more than just something that you consume. It really seems like food can bring people together. I wanted to do this right because it’s just going vegan doesn’t mean you’re going to eat healthy, or in a balanced way. So I started to force myself to try at least one new thing every single day. I’m talking very, very basic here, because there was a serious risk of me burning this apartment to the ground if I wasn’t careful. I learned to cook rice, fried potatoes. It was really cool, the people that I lived with started to get involved, and help me make this a reality. One of my roommates helped me as I struggled through my mom’s very simple recipe for sweet potato soup. So welcome to my kitchen! Today were making a rice with a variety of elements. [Laughs] Loser! I’m so bad at this! I’m still super awkward in the kitchen, but it feels like I’m expanding my repertoire. Regarding the impact of veganism so far, I’m feeling really really good. I feel like I have a lot of energy. I haven’t felt food coma once since I started. I’m cutting all the ingredients to be prepared for this incredible rice that I’m gonna be making. It’s really hard to overeat but even when I do I don’t feel weighed down. That being said there have been a couple of occasions that I wasn’t able to try somebody else’s food, because it had cream in it or something along those lines, which is kind of a bummer. But, also really not the end of the world. So yeah. Up to this point, I would say so far so good. All right, so I am headed to the grocery store again. Feels like I’m going every 2 or 3 days. There’s definitely a big learning curve with such a big dietary change and I think that things are getting a little bit easier. I think is just a question of just sticking with it and and incrementally getting better, learning recipes, getting comfortable with things. Just like with anything in life I think that the more that you put in the more that you’ll get out. I took a quick two-day trip to LA for a little work opportunity that popped up and kept things vegan over there. In fact, I tried the impossible burger while I was there and it was pretty impressive. [Laughs] I am missing the taste of meat, So today I’m gonna go get some vegan tacos, and see what I can find here in Mexico City. The vegan tacos not only surpassed my expectations, they honestly satisfied my desire to eat meat with no animals harmed in the process. That was delicious! I successfully completed my month as a vegan a couple of days ago, And since then I’ve just been spending some time reflecting on things, and thinking about where I want to go from here. Let me start off by saying that this was a wonderful experience, and you don’t stand to lose anything by giving it a shot. I learned a ton about food. I learned a ton about cooking. And yeah, I mean it really was a very cool new experience. Being vegan definitely demands a lot more from you, but I think that it also gives more in return. It does require more energy and effort but at the same time I feel like I did have a lot more energy, a lot more sustained energy throughout the day and I do feel like there is a solid link between mental clarity and eating foods that are easier to digest, and you know healthier for you. I already talked about this earlier in this video, but it was a challenge to kind of adapt to things at first. However, I do feel like things got progressively easier and to be perfectly honest with you, I hardly thought about it this last week. It just kind of becomes like your new normal. That’s kind of just a side note. I didn’t do this at all to lose weight or anything like that, so I didn’t weigh myself and I don’t know if there’s been a big change. However, I do feel like I kind of lost weight in my face. I don’t know if that’s just me. Recently, I was watching this video of myself a few months ago, and there’s multiple factors at play here, the focal length of the lens, the angle of the camera, but still, like wow! I look very different, don’t I? I don’t know, you tell me. Do you feel like there’s been a physical change between now and about a month ago? I’m sure a lot of you guys are curious to know, am I going to continue as a vegan? Let me start off by saying that I think we live in a world, a time in a place where things can just be pushed to an extreme. There are a lot of different diets out there and there’s honestly just not a general consensus on what the right one is. If that even exists. I feel like a lot of people can get very rigid and get to the point where they identify with what they consume, it becomes a part of them. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. I’m not here to push my agenda down anybody’s throat But I feel like sometimes when you push something too far, you can lose some of the positive benefits. I’m just saying that I don’t necessarily want to go down that road with regards to food and diet I like to follow more general guidelines. So avoiding processed food, avoiding excess, and avoiding sugar, whenever possible. With all that being said, I really enjoyed this kind of more plant-based diet. So, while I don’t think I’m gonna stay as like a vegan by the book, I do plan to continue as I have, I just feel like it had a really positive impact on me. I’m okay with reincorporating things like honey, and maybe eggs into my diet, but going back to eating meat, especially unsourced meat that was probably abused, that has a huge environmental impact as well, it’s like I can’t see myself going back to that. It didn’t feel like it was good for me. Honestly, I don’t know what I was thinking eating so much street food. And again, just the environmental impact is something I can’t ignore. That being said, and this is an example that I’ve been given a lot in the last few days, but if I were, you know in Turkey, and a Turkish farmer offers me some of his goat milk, I’m not gonna say no. That sounds like a very weird and probably unlikely scenario, but hey, who knows? It could happen. So while I don’t plan to create really rigid rules with regards to what I consume, this last month showed me that it’s remarkably easy, actually to live without consuming animal products. So I plan to kind of stick with that But again, I don’t plan to push my agenda on anybody. I just wanted to share my experience. This entire project is centered around my search for mental clarity. if you enjoyed this video and want to see more content like this, consider hitting that subscribe button and that little bell icon next to it for notifications. There’s a lot of bonus material available from my month as a vegan on my Patreon page. Including both the behind-the-scenes piece and the full interview with Chloé. You can follow my progress with these projects on my Instagram and through my newsletter. Once again, thank you so much for watching, and I’ll see you soon.