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Becoming Vegan | 6 Months In

November 8, 2022

I did it for health reasons but the “side effects” have been awesome!

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Back in May I went plant-based, cold tofu.

The first two weeks my body had to adjust. My bowel movements were often, and on the looser side. And I felt hungry a lot. However, after those first few weeks it has gotten easier and easier and better and better.

My reasons for switching to a vegan diet are health related. I’m adopted and I don’t have a full family health history. I have lived with a fair amount of fear that health issues lie in wait. I have struggled with my weight since college and highish cholesterol for a while.

I have been flirting with a vegan diet for most of my adult life. I’ve read the books, watched the documentaries. Eating organic foods has long been a priority but meat and dairy have always been in the picture.

I’ve done weight watchers, noom, whole 30 you name it. Noom was my favorite because it tackled the mental side of eating in such a refreshing way.

I turned 36 in January 2022. I had given up alcohol 4 months before my birthday (September 27, 2021) to help me deal with stress and anxiety in a more healthy way. In May of 2022 I gave up meat and dairy.

My reasons for going plant based are health related. I believe that a diet based on plants is what our bodies were designed for. I’m not saying I’ll give up meat forever, same with alcohol, but I get to choose whether I want to eat it and feel sick afterwards.

I also am compelled by the sustainability story of plant-based vs conventional diets. The resources used for animal farming could feed starving nations. And there is a major animal cruelty issue tied into that.

But I haven’t given up my Italian leather goods. The goal of going plant-based is to be the healthiest version of myself, including mental health and shopping gives me a dopamine hit.

It has been challenging. The BBQ joint in Austin, TX even put bacon on their green beans. I decided to eat the full dairy ice cream during vacation in Saugatuck, MI. Sometimes melted cheese is good for the soul.

Everything in moderation.

But I cannot deny that my plant-based diet makes me feel good! Here are the top things that have surprised me so far.

1. My energy is incredible.

I have cut back on caffeine and will even have days where I skip it. I make myself a half-caff in the morning. And sometimes I’ll even skip my afternoon coffee. That was like NOT going to happen a year ago.

2. My period has gotten a lot better.

I barely have any bloating or cramping.

3. I feel thinner.

It has been a while since I’ve stepped on the scale because I don’t really believe that number tells me much anyways. I can tell you that my clothing fits more easily and in some cases I’ve gone down a size.

That continues to be a mental shift for me. To reach for a M instead of an XL.

I am learning to step into the identity of a person who doesn’t drink alcohol or eat meat or dairy. And this is the sentiment that sunk in most when I listened to Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger Podcast about her health journey.

Jenna has gotten into bio hacking which I find interesting and once I have been on a vegan diet for a year I’ll look into refining it and optimizing it for myself. If I can give up alcohol and meat and dairy in the name of my health maybe gluten or another random food group won’t be the end of the world.

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