Depending on the vegan, you will hear a different story as to why they made the transition.
As for me, I was drawn to a plant based lifestyle after learning more about the treatment of animals for our consumption and how that not only affects their quality of life, but our personal and planetary health as well.
The deeper I dove in to the evidence, I found it both contradictory to my values and unethical to continue living the way I was.
Initially, I committed to a vegetarian diet, but was left with the same sinking feeling. Although I wasn't consuming meat, I was still consuming animal byproducts, like cheese and eggs and that didn't sit right with me. I soon transitioned to an entirely plant based diet and it wasn't long before I started to reap the benefits!
I think we often look at something like drastically changing our diets or implementing a new routine as a punishment. We tend to focus on all the things we might lose out on instead of focusing on all that we will gain. Admittedly, it's really hard to know what will happen before it does, which is why I was surprised at everything I experienced, but let me tell you...it's worth the risk.
SO, WHAT DID I GAIN FROM GOING VEGAN?
Clearer skin: I have been a cystic acne sufferer my entire life, so I was relieved when in a matter of weeks, my skin completely cleared and was smooth, clear, and radiant! Don't get me wrong...I still get the occasional breakout during my cycle, but it isn't as severe as it used to be.
Zero bloating and stomach cramping: I didn't realize how inflamed my stomach was UNTIL I removed animal products. I suddenly realized how much that heaviness affected my mood and energy levels, because I quickly felt lighter, happier, and more energized!
Lean and maintainable weight: For years, I was in the mindset that I had to track every single thing that went in my mouth in order to maintain the shape I desired, but since going entirely plant based, I have stopped tracking my food and instead, focus on eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, and legumes. Adopting this habit has not only created a healthier relationship with my food, but it has also allowed me to maintain a healthy, lean figure.
Improved sleep: I used to toss and turn throughout the night, which I relate to the amount of energy required by my body to digest the meat I consumed throughout the day. I now get quality sleep! No more tossing and turning!
Improved relationship with food: I was never excited to cook or prepare my meals. I simply ate what was easy, which typically resulted in the lack of adequate nutrition. I am now more aware of what goes in to my body and how it affects my overall health, which makes cooking creative and fun!
Decreased grocery bill: Animal products are some of the most expensive items on your grocery bill. Eliminating these will significantly reduce what you spend each week on food. If you want to save even MORE money, try to shop at markets and only buy what's in season!
Quicker post workout recovery: I notice I now experience less muscle soreness and fatigue after my training sessions. I equate this to less inflammation in the body as well as the plethora of nutrients flowing through my body that promotes the healing process.
Improved mood and reduced anxiety: There could be several reasons for the positive change in my overall mood and mental health. One being the addition of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals and the elimination of animal waste and byproducts. It could also be the psychological realization that I am no longer contributing to the suffering of billions of lives. Either way, I'll take it!
I no longer get sick: It was inevitable...every year I would succumb to the common cold and flu. Sometimes multiple times a year. But, it's really no surprise because the influenza virus actually originates from birds and pigs. As far as the lack of colds go, I think its a combination of both increased nutrients and decreased stress and inflammation.
You might be interested in a whole food, plant based diet for several reasons...whatever those may be, it can be difficult to start. This is why I've put together an entire 5-day meal plan for you! The best part, its all from Trader Joe's, making this an easy one stop shop!
To download your FREE meal plan, just click on the photo below!