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“Fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”
How 2 Years of a Vegan Lifestyle Has Affected Me
Today’s blog post will take a look back over the past two years of my life. Why? Because around this time, 2 years ago, I made a decision that completely changed my lifestyle – I adopted a vegan lifestyle. It feels like it was just yesterday, whilst simultaneously feeling like it’s been the way I’ve eaten forever. I can’t imagine not being vegan now, but 2 years sounds like quite a long time ago! If you’re just here for the free download, scroll down to the bottom of the page, or CLICK HERE!
This isn’t going to be a post about why I went vegan, because that’s a long story (but, if you’re interested in reading about that, I explain it in a lot of detail in my ebook) but rather, it’s going to focus on how going vegan affected and changed me, because it definitely did that!
If you’re stuck for time, I made a video about this last year, after one year of being vegan, and I also made one this week, after two years on a vegan diet! You can watch these videos if you don’t have time to read the whole blog post (although I’ll probably go into a bit more detail in writing than I did in these videos)
So, if you’re still reading, then I’m assuming that you’d like to know more about how veganism changed and affected my body over the years! I’ll be covering both physical and mental changes, so relax, grab a cuppa (with soy milk, of course) and let’s get started.
As I mentioned in the videos, physically going vegan helped me to have more energy, because I was eating a lot more healthy, plant foods. I honestly can say that a WFPB (Whole Foods Plant Based) diet is the key to sustaining high energy levels throughout the day. As long as you’re eating enough food for your body, as long as you’re satisfied and not restricting yourself, and as long as the food that you eat is majority WFPB, you are going to have buckets of energy, and you’re going to physically be feeling your best. At least, that’s my experience and the experience of the many other people who have tried it!!
With the past of an eating disorder, my weight is always a touchy subject, mostly because people don’t know what they can say, what will upset me, what I will consider a compliment or an insult, etc. So, I want to make it clear here that I am totally healthy in my approach to my body. In fact, I’m pretty sure my mindset is healthier than most who haven’t suffered with an eating disorder, because I’ve addressed and worked through these issues so deeply, and come to such strong realisations about my self worth completely separate from how much I weigh, that my actual weight, or the way people perceive my weight, does not bother me.
Having said that, I am concerned with staying healthy and in today’s society, being at a healthy weight for our individual bodies (I’m not necessarily talking about the bmi scale, because we all know how flawed that is) is a very important part of staying healthy. It’s far too easy to access food that is really, really bad for our bodies. Every time we eat food high in animal fats and highly processed, we’re giving our body something that will not nourish it, will not help it to fight infections or diseases, will not keep it strong and energised to function optimally, and will not make it easy to keep your weight stable and in a healthy range!
Being vegan really has enabled my weight to get to a healthy point and stay there. Because my diet is so full of plants, my body is able to recognise the food that I’m giving it as vital nutrition, and process it as such! Additionally, when you’re eating mostly plants, and you’re eating enough of them to keep you satiated, you don’t have the sugar highs or the cravings that eating a lot of processed junk food gives you, which in turn helps to keep your weight healthy.
Hair, nails and skin
I get that recovering from an eating disorder will play a huge role in making my hair, nails and skin healthy, shiny, strong and clear. However, going vegan definitely played a part in this, too. I’m not claiming to be a scientist or a nutritionist, but I can say from experience that my skin, hair and nails are much better than they were – my hair and nails grow faster and stronger, and my skin is clearer. My dad has said to me a number of times “this vegan thing is working, your skin is glowing” (and this is coming from a man who refuses to go a day without eating meat). He can recognise and acknowledge the positive impact veganism is having upon my body!
My digestion used to be pretty bad. Food babies, bloating, it even got to a point where I was experiencing acid reflux, diarrhoea, painful bloating, gas, and painful stomach cramps daily. I had blood tests done and checks for stomach bacteria and I was diagnosed with chronic gastritis. I was told to eat healthy food and to never go more than three hours without eating, and to take some pills to aid digestion.
I did that and it helped a little bit (especially the regular meals), but when I went vegan, it changed dramatically. My doctor said that it’s probably due to a lactose intolerance that triggered the gastritis, which is why going vegan helped it a lot. However, I’ve found that when I’m not eating lots of healthy plant foods, the gastritis creeps back in and annoying symptoms start appearing again, so I think that the key for me is making sure my diet is majority WFPB and eating regularly. I’m grateful to veganism for teaching me this!
I reckon we have all experienced this. You walk into a room and forget why you went in there. You feel like it’s a real effort to pay attention to something, you seem to have to force ideas into your mental space and it can feel a lot like your head is just full of white noise, or cotton wool.
I used to experience this a lot and I don’t know why, but since going vegan (and eating healthier: more plants), that mind fog has gone away. It was one of the first things that I noticed, because I really did used to have an issue with it. It felt like it had rained in my mind and cleared the air so much, like I could think clearly again.. And I think that this is down to getting the right nutrition for cognitive function – if we’re eating lots and lots of plants, we’re getting a whole range of nutrients, many of which are necessary for optimal cognitive function.
A huge problem for our society today is in cognitive dissonance. We know that there are people starving and without fresh water, but we don’t actively do anything to help. We know there are homeless people around, but we don’t make the connection that we can put effort into helping them. We can see the negative effects of consumerism and overindulgence in our Western society, yet we do nothing to combat it. We can see the awful effects and warnings of climate change (RIP Great Barrier Reef) and yet we don’t make any active effort to mitigate it.
The same is true for our diets. We know that factory farming is cruel and unnecessary, and we can all acknowledge that it’s wrong. Yet, we continue to support it by eating its products. The problem comes in the fact that we do not connect the piece of meat on our plates with the mother cow screaming for her calf, or with the agony felt by the pig as he is strung up by a leg and has his limbs hacked off. We don’t think about that when we’re eating and if we do, we’re either consumed by guilt or we go straight into denial, telling ourselves we have to eat meat to be healthy. Well, I’m sorry but that’s a load of rubbish.
Being vegan has freed me from that. I can make the connection, I can see the problem and relate that to my actions. It’s freeing to know that what you’re doing isn’t contributing to needless suffering or to the profit of a corrupt and cruel industry. It feels good.
Boy, I thought I was a compassionate person before I went vegan! Now that I’m not subconsciously ignoring the fact that I’m paying for animals to be tortured and slaughtered, I can see these animals as individuals, as God’s creatures, as beings that we don’t need to kill to be healthy anymore, as beings that are enslaved wrongly, as beings that are overbred and overfed simply so that our taste buds can be satisfied and the wallets of slaughterhouse owners can be filled.
I really do love our planet so much more now that I am making an active effort to take care of it through the industries which I choose to support. I can honestly say that my values are aligning with my actions and I am allowing love and compassion to be the driving force behind my actions and my lifestyle choices.
I also genuinely believe that God has called me to be a voice for the voiceless, someone to stand up to injustice, and veganism is a huge part of this calling. I do not understand how anyone can honestly look at a diet that supports the meat, egg and dairy industries and say ‘God likes this. This is good’, or even claim to be living in alignment with God’s love and values, when they’re supporting such a cruel and unjust industry. I’ve made a video about this too, so if you’re interested in hearing more about why I hold this view then give it a watch! (p.s I’m not saying being vegan is a requirement of being a christian!! Just that if you want to align your life with God’s love, then you should probably at least think about your diet, and what it supports, too)
So that’s going to be it for this post! I hope you found it useful in some way. In case you’re at all interested in adopting a vegan diet, I’ve included a FREE downloadable vegan meal plan for one day, definitely check it out and try it for the day! If you do, let me know how you found it!!
“I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all will go well with you”
3 John 1:2