I’ve always tried to be pretty healthy and health conscious, but over the years, I’ve really stepped up my game! And every year for the past few years, I go on a VEGAN diet for 40-days for Lent and to cleanse my body.

You’re probably thinking I’m a little crazy for completely giving up meat, dairy, and all other animal byproducts, and you know what? It’s not easy, and may be a little nuts, but it’s totally worth it in the end! Seriously, whenever I go vegan, I feel the most energized and also lose the most weight.

Vegan tacos from Gracias Madre, the same owners from Cafe Gratitude.

I’m gonna be honest — it’s actually REALLY difficult doing a vegan diet for me because I love meat and dairy. I miss eating cheese but you would be surprised how many cool places you can find in LA or products at the supermarket that can make you forget that you aren’t actually eating meat or dairy. Another reason it’s difficult? You need to alter your ENTIRE life to adjust to your new lifestyle, which can take some time to get used to. However, when you see the health and beauty benefits, you realize how worth it it is! My skin is always glowing and looks so clean and fresh because, hey, you are what you eat!

Having glowing skin and dropping some pounds aren’t the only benefits of going vegan. According to Vegan Society, those who follow a plant-based diet are leaner, have lower BMIs, and lower percentages of body fat, which means “that we’re less likely to get weight-related diseases, like diabetes, and have a reduced risk of heart disease and have lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and mortality rates.”

Not only do you significantly improve your health by switching to a vegan diet, you also look years younger and have SO much more energy! Also, a vegan diet can help reduce allergy symptoms, get you stronger hair and nails, and even relief from migraines and PMS! Not to mention, the impact you have on the environment and animal’s lives by not eating any animal byproducts is astounding.

I’m actually pretty lucky living in Los Angeles, because there’s vegan food pretty much everywhere you turn! One of my favorite places to go is Twenty40 in Los Feliz, where they have a killer almond milk latte and chocolate vegan muffin. I have a sweet tooth, so this is the perfect way to get my sweets in without overdoing it!

This vegan chocolate muffin is seriously to die for!

Another one of my go-to spots for a great vegan breakfast or lunch is Sawyer’s in Silver Lake. You HAVE to try their avocado toast! Also, they’re totally happy to accommodate for you when you request something be made vegan!

This avo toast was so good!

Vegan breakfast burrito!

The other day, I took Collette on a play date and went to a place called Craig’s, which I discovered has an awesome vegan menu! When I saw that there was a vegan Caesar salad, I think I was so excited that I might’ve actually squealed with joy! It’s been so long since I’ve had a Caesar salad, and even with the vegan meat-patty I got on it, it tasted exactly the same as a non-vegan Caesar!

The best vegan salad I’ve ever had!