Going vegan has honestly been one of my best life decisions yet (all 23 years of it)…It has helped heal my gut, skin, conscience and energy levels. I am so passionate about a plant-based lifestyle and know how much it helped balance and heal me, and so now I am sharing my experience with you!
A Little Background
In 7th grade, I became a vegetarian. It started out as one of those “let’s see how long we can go without eating meat!” things, but developed into a much deeper rooted decision as the years went on. For over 9 years I kept up this lifestyle, dabbling in the vegan arts throughout as well.
I decided to quit taking birth control after 6 years of being on it in the spring of 2014 in an effort to remove synthetic hormones from my system. This sent my own hormones into a spiral as they tried to rebalance themselves. My skin started to break out with acne like never before. So, rather than giving my hormones time to figure themselves out, I chose the route of impatience and vanity over morals. I heard about the paleo diet helping with a range of bodily issues, so I thought it would help me. Over the next several months, I began to eat meat and increased my egg intake as well. However, this only made my skin worse. I was waking up to at least four new painful white heads every morning. My self-esteem was shattered.
After visiting my doctor and a naturopath, I learned that I was lactose intolerant. The rosacea and painful bloating that I had dealt with since I was a kid now made sense. I cut back on dairy and meat, and that seemed to be helping my skin a lot. By May of this year, I had reconnected with my values towards animals and went vegetarian again. My skin continued to improve. However, I was still consuming eggs and the occasional dairy, (regardless of the inevitable stomach pain that accompanied it.)
This July, my boyfriend and I decided to watch the documentary, Vegucated. As the closing credits hit the screen we both turned to each other and decided right then and there to go vegan. That was the first documentary on the topic that completely killed my desire or craving for animal products, regardless of the labels “organic,” “free-range” or “no added hormones.” It was eye-opening to say the least.
Since going vegan I have had some major positive changes to my physical and mental well-being.
- Say Goodbye to Bloating in the Evening – Before going vegan, I honestly thought that being painfully bloated in the evening was a part of life. I now know how silly that sounds. I never went to bed with my tummy in the shape of anything less than a solid volleyball. I would even plan my late night outing outfits around that inevitable bloating. Since going vegan, I haven’t once gone to bed bloated and in pain, which in and of itself is enough for me to continue in this lifestyle.
- No More Splotchy Cheeks – Another common evening occurrence for me was splotchy red cheeks. When I cut out dairy (including in the past) the redness disappeared completely.
- Chicken Skin is a Thing of the Past – The chicken skin on my arms, or Keratosis Pilaris, has also diminished quite a bit since going vegan.
- Acne is Gone – My acne has completely disappeared.
- No More Stomach Pain – I don’t have stomach pain after I eat anymore. It is also much easier to sense when I am full, rather than eat until I am stuffed.
- Boyfriend Approved – Jordan also says that this is the best he has ever felt, including when he was a competitive swimmer in his teen years.
- Reduced Anxiety
- More Energy – I no longer have a midday energy drop.
- I am a Participant Rather Than an Observer in the Fight Against Global Warming – I like knowing that I am doing what I can to help the environment. See the film Cowspiracy for more information on this subject.
The only thing that I have to keep up on is calories. Typically, I eat around 1300 calories, so i try to stay mindful of that and find places where I can throw in a few extra in the form of olive oil or peanut butter.
Flavors Taste Better
Going vegan has also caused Jordan and I to make even better tasting meals than what we ate before. So many of us rely on the flavors of animal products, that we often get lazy in the kitchen. Veganism has brought forth so many new flavors that I wouldn’t have discovered otherwise and has made me a much more creative cook.
Being a vegan doesn’t mean eating boring, bland or weirdly textured food. You can still eat many of the things you were eating before, by just making a few adjustments. Like these incredibly amazing pumpkin muffins!!!!! I am so in love with Abby’s recipe; she really knows her stuff. These muffins are moist, buttery, and perfectly spicy sweet; definitely what you want to be eating on a crisp October evening! So, if you’re looking for a vegan muffin that tastes like the stuff grandmas make, I would definitely head over to her blog and check it out! I made a few alterations to suit my taste and what I had in my cupboard:
- No allspice (I used pumpkin pie spice instead)
- No molasses (my canned pumpkin was already sweetened)
- No cloves (didn’t have any)
- Carob nibs (wouldn’t recommend; they can get hard and gummy like melted sugar when fresh out of the oven)
Go Green for You, the Animals and the Planet
If your looking to make a difference in the fight against climate change, reduce violence and mistreatment towards the living creatures we share this planet with, or to heal your mind and body, then I would really consider making the shift towards a vegan diet. Your body will thank you. The animals will thank you. The planet will thank you.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Feel free to leave a comment below.