From Carnivore to Extreme Veganism (Plus a Vegan Ratatouille recipe)

Before I embarked on this 28 day plant-based diet I considered my diet to be pretty stellar. I had no problem with the amount of meat and dairy I ate and to be honest, I didn’t really notice it. I’ve experienced some odd things in days 1 &2 of my journey.

  1. How I feel – I couldn’t sleep last night, I was tossing and turning, I was getting hot flashes then the chills, and I have had a headache for 2 days. At first I didn’t make the connection but after reading a few forums and asking around I think I am experiencing withdrawals from meat and dairy. My energy is low and I just don’t feel like myself. From what I have heard this will last a few days, then possibly some G.I issues then it gets much better. It amazes me that my body was in essence addicted to those foods and I’m wondering if that is necessarily a bad thing. Would this happen if I cut out all veggies and fruits? Is it what I cut out or is it that I cut it out cold turkey?
  2. Dinner was a success – I was worried about preparing food but I actually whipped a little beans and rice bowl together and sauteed some veggies to throw on top. It was super easy and it tastes delicious. Of course, Corey ate it as a side to his HAMBURGER! He proceeded to sit there and tell me it was the BEST burger he’s made and that I would ABSOLUTELY love it! Really? Thanks honey!
  3. Setting myself up for success – Despite feeling horrible I really want to complete this challenge and make it thorough the hard part to see if the grass is greener on the other side. I went to the store last night and LOVED what I saw in the cart. Everything was fresh produce and beans, nothing processed and nothing with a mother. I have found some vegan recipes that I am eager to try and I made a huge pot of quinoa for easy meals on the fly.

Vegan Ratatouille


  • 1 can of Eden Organic Cajun Rice & Beans
  • Handful of spinach; diced
  • 2 whole carrots; peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion; chopped
  • Handful of mushrooms; chopped
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes; chopped
  • Optional – cayenne pepper, celery salt, garlic, coriander, etc.


1. Saute onions and carrots. (If you want to follow it Engine 2 Diet-style use veggie broth or cooking spray rather than oil to saute)

2. Start heating up your rice and beans in a separate bowl.

3. Once onion and carrots begin to soften, throw the rest of the ingredients (spinach, tomatoes, mushies) into the saute pan. (Add spices to your liking)

4. When everything is heated and cooked to your liking serve veggie dish on top of a scoop of the rice and beans.

Now honestly, I just threw this together with all the veggies I had available in my fridge. You can use whatever veggies or rice mixture you want. I was shocked at how good it was. It was so easy to do, I will make this either as a meal again or as a side dish whenever I’m in a pinch. By the way, I don’t even know if this would be considered ratatouille, I am just lacking in the creative department this morning.


20 responses to “From Carnivore to Extreme Veganism (Plus a Vegan Ratatouille recipe)

  1. Vegan food always looks so delish. I loveeee all things vegetables I just feel if I went vegan I wouldn’t get the right amount of protein :/ go you!

  2. Seems like you are starting out on the right track!! What an awesome and healthy meal!

  3. I had never realized you could go through withdrawal from meat and dairy. When I first stopped eating meat altogether, I totally eventually noticed improvements in my energy levels and in my overall digestive health. Plus, I find that my digestion works better when I don’t eat dairy, but I do have a history of lactose intolerance in my family. Either way, keep up your efforts as I think you’ll definitely see benefits at the end of the 28 days!

  4. shiningfromwithin

    I definitely believe you could be going through a withdrawal. I never felt like that, but since becoming vegetarian (and living a vegan lifestyle) my GI has improved and at first it can be a bit worrysome. Since cutting out dairy though, when I do eat cheese on occassion, I get very bad stomach cramps and I think that’s my body telling me that I am lactose intolerant. If you do start to reintroduce dairy and meat eventually, your body may reject it, so it’s important to just listen to the signals your body gives you! Energy-wise, I’m sure you’ll feel better once your totally cleansed of all animal products.. I feel freakin’ amazin’ but it took me some time, too when I started!

  5. That looks great! My husband would do the same thing to me – in fact, anytime I make a meal without beef or chicken, he says it isn’t a meal. Haha…I still try though!

  6. I did the tour with Becky at the South Loop store last night and she mentioned a few people had e-mailed her regarding withdrawal-type symptoms. I’m doing the slower plan because it works better with my personal dietary needs right now, but I totally understand still – I had the same thing happen when I first started losing weight and started eating fewer processed foods. The detox is tough but luckily, it doesn’t last forever! Keep up the good work, that recipe looks delicious!

    • I’m so bummed I missed it, was it cool? I’ll be at the cooking class next Tuesday. That is comforting to know I am not alone with these symptoms. I feel better already today so hopefully the worst is over and now I’ll start to feel fabulous!

      • It was interesting – we toured the store and Becky explained a lot of things that might be new concepts to some people (buying grains in bulk, almond vs. soy vs. hemp milk, etc.). If I shopped exclusively at Whole Foods, it would be more helpful, I think, but the overall message was just about learning to read labels and to focus not on replacing meat with meat substitutes but with plants. See you at the class on Tuesday!

  7. Good luck! I think this is fabulous and you will learn so much from this experience.

  8. I totally admire you for taking on this challenge. I had no idea how addicted we are to certain foods. I’m excited to see how this turns out for you! I am sure that your body will thank you in a wonderful way.
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  9. What a deliciously healthy meal! Hope you feel better soon. I think it’ll be worth it!

  10. DONT WORRY! the first week of going vegan i couldnt sleep either! it was so hard.. but honeslty it goes away!

  11. Good job! Good luck with trying veganism ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Props to you for taking on this challenge! I was vegan for awhile, and vividly remember experiencing similar feelings. You definitely WILL be able to sleep soon! I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts and reflections when you’re all done.

    I love your spin on ratatouille! It’s one of my favorite veggie dishes. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. So crazy that you basically went into a dairy/meat withdrawal!! I had no idea that something like that could happen! Hope you’re feeling better now! And your dinner looks delish!

  14. Pingback: Vegan Victorian Style – What Vegan Victorians Ate And Recipes For A Vegan Victorian Dinner Party! » The Spice Style

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