“Before you ask me why I’m vegan, ask yourself why you’re not.”
It’s hard for me to put into words how much veganism has changed my life. It’s really not just a diet, it’s a lifestyle change that completely shifts your mindset to being less selfish and so much more open-minded. Throughout the years, I went through phases of being vegetarian or vegan without ever committing. It’s not until I watched the documentary “Cowspiracy” and read The China Study that I decided to fully commit (Ok, not gonna lie, the love of my life was also was a huge influence).
When it comes to the transition, for me it wasn’t that difficult. I had already cut out dairy and I was never in love with eating things like chicken and red meat. The hard part was finding plant-based alternatives that would ensure I got enough of the macro and micronutrients I need to stay healthy. Turns out, all it takes is a little research. Now if you’re reading this blog post it’s because you’re curious about the positive impact I’ve experienced since becoming fully vegan. But before I get into it, I want to preface by saying that I didn’t write this post to be preachy or try to convince you. I’m simply sharing my experience to help you make more informed choices when it comes to what you choose to eat. That being said, here are a few ways that veganism has had a positive impact in my life.
Everyone has experienced digestion issues at one point or another (if you say you haven’t, you’re lying). Even when eating super clean (still eating meat and fish), I still had issues with bloating that landed me in my doctor’s office trying to figure out the cause. Fast-forward a few months and a diet change later, and my digestion has never been better. The main change was my focus on plant-based foods versus vegan processed foods. Five months later I can say that I haven’t experienced the type of painful bloating that I had when I was a meat eater.
ELIMINATED MY OBSESSION WITH WEIGHT LOSS
My passion for fitness unfortunately led to an obsession with the scale. After all, you want all those gym gains to shine through, right? But after going vegan, my focus shifted from eating for fat loss to eating for health. I started eating intuitively and learned to listen to my body. I ate more food, yet somehow slimmed down. How much weight did I lose? No idea, because I also broke my obsession with the scale. All I know is that the dress that I never wanted to get rid of hanging in my closet zips up perfectly again.
MADE ME FEEL BEAUTIFUL FROM THE INSIDE OUT
We are what we eat. I know, it’s cliche but it’s also very true. When I became fully vegan, I made the mistake of relying on processed vegan food a little too much. Replacing these foods with plant-based options made me feel so amazing. I have more energy and just feel like a healthy human. So what does a typical day look like? Breakfast is often a protein smoothie with spinach, blueberries, plant-based protein powder and almond butter, lunch is almost always a salad with chickpeas, lentils or tempeh, and dinner is always focused on vegetables and protein. And of course, salted caramel cashew milk ice cream as a treat because your girl’s gotta live a little.
IT INSPIRED ME TO LIVE MORE MINIMALLY
I am by no means a minimalist (I tried and I failed). But I am more aware of what I consume. I’ve become hyper-aware of things like ingredients in beauty products and foods, unnecessary excess packaging and avoiding buying things just to feel like I’m keeping up with society. I took a look at all the stuff I had lying around and donated what I didn’t use. I reflected on the people and situations in my life that were making me feel bad and chose to cut that shit out of my life. Instead of focusing on material things to make me happy, I looked for it in experiences. Am I happy 100% of the time? No, but I’m definitely in a better place than I was 5 months ago.
I DISCOVERED A GREATER LOVE FOR THE PLANET
I’m not an outdoorsy person by any means, but I do love spending time outside. I love the colour of the trees, the sounds of the birds, the warmth of the sun on my skin. When you take a moment to understand how the meat and dairy industry impact all these beautiful things, how can you ignore it? Climate change is very real people and if you think that it only comes from smoke stacks and driving cars, it’s time for a serious reality check.
IT MADE ME MORE CONFIDENT ABOUT MY CHOICES
When it comes to diets, I’ve tried them all (almost). Not because of wanting to reach a specific weight-loss goal, but just out of curiosity of how it would affect by body. Veganism changed that. I chose this lifestyle for health and ethical reasons. Reasons I truly believe in. I can stand by my choices because I have educated myself and I know it’s right for me. How this will affect other choices I make in the long run is yet to be seen.
IT MADE ME DO THINGS OUT OF LOVE
There’s a butterfly effect when you make lifestyle choices. At first people make fun of it, then they are critical of it, but eventually they start asking about it. What made you become vegan? Was it hard? What do you eat for protein? (One girl even poked her fork in my salad to try my tofu). I’m always happy to share my experience and answer any questions, but never without someone initiating the conversation. I share the reasons why, then leave it up to others to decide what’s right for them. If it results in a positive change, great! What’s important is that when you talk about veganism, it comes from a place of love.
Are you vegan? What’s inspired you to make the lifestyle choice? Share your story below.