After going plant based vegan, I assumed I would become more hippyish than I wanted to be. Yes, I too thought vegans were weird, stuck up, that they were all hippies, and didn’t understand their true nutritional needs.
You might think I felt ashamed to have thought this way, but in contrary-I am glad I felt this way because it makes me understand how to approach and communicate with non-vegans today.
Of course, I wished I would have always been vegan, but coming to this lifestyle in my mid-twenties has taught me so much about the world, about life, about me, and about my place in all of it.
In all of this, I also didn’t expect these 10 things to happen or how they would change my life for the better, or how much more I would enjoy life because of these positive changes. Read on for how a plant based vegan lifestyle can positively change your world!
Skin, hair, and nails – my nails became stronger and grew longer. I struggled for years prior to eating a produce-rich diet because I wasn’t consuming the essential vitamins and minerals needed for such strong nails. I actually have to cut them at times! My skin became more luminous and almost more durable, and my hair was super shiny, extra soft, and it grew so fast!! I cried the last time I cut my hair (back in 2013) because it literally took a year and a half to grow back out 6 inches. When I went vegan, it grew that much in less than a year, and is still growing without breaking off.
Flavors and tasting real food – I thought I knew good food. Anything covered in cheese, bacon, blue cheese dressing, or melted chocolate was delicious and no one could tell me otherwise. What I realized when I cut these from my diet and incorporated things like mangos, fresh pineapple, lemon squeezed over roasted herb potatoes, guacamole over vegetable and mushroom fajitas, cashew milk, or a rich naturally dairy free dark chocolate cake (as a treat, of course). Oh. My. God. I had no idea how good foods are designed to taste, even plain foods like a baked potato-oil free with a little sea salt or a fresh summer watermelon. Where have my taste buds been hiding this whole time?? It was like a whole world was opened up to me, and its been exciting ever since!
No cross contamination, strict temperature controls, or risks of food borne illness – No longer do I need to worry about this at all! I can toss my fruit, veggies, potatoes, rice, etc in the fridge or storage bins without ever having to worry for spoilage, or catching a bug from decomposing flesh <-P I am the cook for my hubby and myself, and I also do all the grocery shopping – I’m OCD like that, and like to make sure everything’s done my way 😉 I struggled with making sure any meat was covered in plastic and stayed far away from fresh produce and ready to eat snacks. I kept a fridge log to keep track of expiration dates of dairy products, meats, and eggs and would rotate my items when necessary. This created a lot more stress and work that I simply resented.
Cheaper grocery bill – My grocery bill was simply slashed at a portion of the usual cost containing meat, eggs, and dairy. How often have you heard that it’s more expensive to eat healthy? What a load of crap! How much is a bag of organic potatoes? Can you buy in bulk oats, rice, quinoa, or another grain for more than $7-8 a pound, roughly the same price of meat? Or is it cheaper? Sure, fresh fruit and some veggies can be a little more pricey, but that’s why you’re supposed to eat in season. Bonus! I find bags of frozen veggies for $1 each that I store in the freezer. 1 bag per 2 meals each day costs $14 per person for the week. Talk about cheap!!
Quicker and easier meal prep – I used to loathe cooking sometimes, even though cooking is one of my favorite things to do. Cooking potatoes takes a max of 60 minutes in the oven, depending on the size of the potato, rice takes anywhere from 10-50 minutes, and salads can come together in less than 5. I no longer have to marinate meat, cook sauces then layer on pasta that cooks in additional minutes, and then baking for an hour or two so things can meld. Nope-none of that. And, if you’re cooking with less oil and fat (as you should), your clean up is a bigger breeze, too.
Feelings of peace – No longer I would see a slaughtered or tortured animal or fish when I sat down to eat. No longer do I feel that I’m slowly killing myself and the planet with my food choices. These things, knowing that I’m saving an animal’s life, their potential well being, my body and my health, and the health of our planet that we are lucky to call home makes me feel a happiness I doubt I’ll ever be able to express in words. I simply feel at peace.
Less waste – Less animal waste means less gas. Less processed foods mean less plastic and toxic packaging. Less slaughter means less soiled water sources. Less decomposing animal flesh in our bodies means less time spent in the doctor’s offices and hospitals and therefore resources. Less sick people means less pharmaceuticals. Less grains and foods fed to livestock means (potentially) less hunger in the world, if we used these resources correctly. Less animal consumption means less waste of life.
Improved digestion – This one is one that was assumed, but I have to tell you, I never thought I’d actually enjoy the go! Sorry for the TMI, but before going plant based vegan, I would go once per 5 days if I was lucky. Nothing I ate moved through me (mostly meat, dairy, and processed foods-i.e. no fiber) which meant the toxicity of my meals lingered in my system, causing issues that I can go into more in depth in another post someday. I no longer feel weighted down, sluggish, crappy (ha!), smelly (yes, my…. gas was pretty bad…), or unmotivated. I am confident in knowing what I ate the day before won’t sit for long, just long enough so my body will gain the energy it needs and moves on with life.
Eating more! – I’ve had an eating disorder for about 7 years, undiagnosed. I spent half these years restricting my calories to 1000 a day an the other half to binging on over 4000+ a day. You can read more about my story here. I used to envy others who would and could eat mountains of food, as this was what I often daydreamed about. Since going plant based vegan, I can actually fill my stomach when I’m hungry to the point of fullness and even treat myself to desserts daily, without gaining weight. It has been a true gift in being able to eat as much as I comfortably want without fearing fat gain or stomach issues for days to come. Yes, it’s possible for you too, and I can help you get there.
Anything, I mean anything has a vegan alternative. Yes. I went there. Cheese, cream, meat, eggs, pizza, burgers, hot dogs, cookies, cakes, and more all have vegan twins out there. I was surprised because I truly thought I’d have to give up my favorite chicago dog, loaded pizzas, buffalo wings, or chocolate anything. I was pleasantly surprised have been making alternatives for my favorite classic foods ever since! Although I don’t always eat meat substitutes because they’re not exactly a health food, I do enjoy them from time to time in case I have a random craving.
So, now what?
Are you convinced to trying it out? Even going plant based vegan for 2/7 days for starters will do wonders for your health, the environment, the animals, and your overall wellbeing. It’ll cost you less, you might lose a little extra chub, your mind will become clearer, and you can save a few extra dollars on your grocery bill. What’s there to lose?
Would you like some help? Do you need ideas? Feel free to email me to chat! I love being able to provide more information on the topic, and to talk recipes, budgets, and the overall lifestyle that you can use to your advantage. Leighannmscott@gmail.com
I look forward to chatting! Is anyone here vegan? Vegetarian? Plant based? What are your thoughts?