10 Things That Happened After I Went Vegan
When it comes to making health changes, taking the leap of faith can be hard. Will it work? Is it just a fad? Can this really work for me?
I asked myself these questions for a long time while I researched vegan and whole food plant-based ways of eating. I’m not one to rush into things or participate in trends. Look, this 90’s baby didn’t even touch a Harry Potter book until 21 years of age. So when I took the plunge and started feeding myself anti-inflammatory foods, my biggest question turned into: what took me so long?!
Wonderful things started to happen to my body and mind when I ditched dairy and meat and replaced them with energizing whole foods. Here are 10 things that happened after I went vegan!
(#4 was the most surprising!)
#1 My Cystic Acne and Reynaud’s Pain Vanished
This was the original reason why I took the risk of going plant-based. I struggled for many years with pain in my face and hands. To learn more in depth about this story, click here. It took less than a month to see and feel that my body was healing and that my hand pain was becoming manageable. I was shocked at how fast it was happening!
#2 Weight Loss
I’ve never been a dieter or have had a desire to diet in the past. I knew it was not a sustainable lifestyle in the long run. Other than a few periods in my life, I was content with my looks when it came to weight. But during those times when I was not, I would try to calorie count, with very small results.
I didn’t understand the nature of food and caloric density, so I just wound up a few pounds lighter and hangry.
When I was researching plant-based eating, I had been a couple years out of college, my life seemed to be going nowhere, and had many stresses on my mind and heart. And because of life, I weighed the heaviest I had ever been.
Because a healthy vegan diet is low fat in nature, I started to lose weight without even thinking about it. I remember putting on certain clothes as time passed wondering how they were too loose for me already!
For the first time in my life, I was able to lose the weight and maintain with very little effort. 35-40 extra pounds gone! I still have my curves, and sure, there are places that could be more toned, but I’m content with how I look and more importantly with how I feel.
#3 Brighter Eyes
This is just the beginning of unexpected changes, but yes! Brighter eyes! My eyes became more sparkly and the whites were, well… whiter. They generally look less tired and strained.
#4 Sweating Less
Weird, but true! I no longer worry about what colors to wear to avoid those sweaty pit stains. I thought sweating a lot was something normal that many people had to deal with. Every other deodorant at the store is prescription strength, right? Apparently, this isn’t an issue anymore when I eat plants.
#5 Bye Bye B.O.
With sweating less, came a reduction in body odor. Thank you, plant food, what a nice side effect!
#6 Energy That Lasts
In the past, I thought caffeine was my only source of energy until I quit and went plant-based. I couldn’t get enough sleep even if I slept more than 8 hours. The weight of fatigue would fall upon me early in the day during busy times in my life.
Caffeine quickly became a dependency that spoiled my day. It ruined my train of thought because I was always thinking about when the next soda would be. It shattered my expectations that I would feel better and I never did. I knew I needed to end the toxic relationship I had with soda to help save my body and mind.
Since going plant-based and quitting caffeine, I have real energy! Not the kind that lasts an hour or drinking something “energizing” and faking the results until I crashed.
A great result of ridding my body of caffeine and replacing it with nourishing, vegan whole foods was instantly apparent in my state of unconsciousness. My sleep became deeper and more satisfying. I now have a hard time sleeping in on the weekends because my body and brain feel good enough to be awake and start the day at an earlier time!
Poop. We all do it. But let me tell you, it’s pretty fun to poop flawlessly every day in under 90 seconds. Just sayin’.
#8 Hardly Ever Get Sick
I’ve found that a whole food plant-based diet bolsters my immune system and I hardly ever get sick anymore. I can count maybe three times in the three years that I’ve been vegan that I’ve been sick! Each time it was just a simple cold and it lasted half as long and the symptoms were half as strong.
Trust me, I’ve done my fair share of traveling (even by plane), living with an occasional sick husband or child, AND I was a substitute teacher for a year surrounded by thousands of kids who refused to cough in their arm. I have never caught anything icky or serious to date.
Food really is the best preventative medicine!
#9 Mental Clarity
There’s a lot of research going on right now studying the correlation between mental health and diet.
I’ve never struggled with chemical imbalances in my brain or have had lasting feelings of depression or anxiety, but going plant-based opened my eyes to how sick I was inside – that feeling poorly wasn’t normal or a sign of aging.
I found that feeling this way did indeed affect a little about how I viewed myself and made some negative feelings and emotions linger.
When I eat healthy, whole food plant-based meals, my brain fog is gone. I can think more clearly. I don’t walk around with a dream-like haze in my mind. My memory is better. And emotionally and hormonally, I feel a lot more level.
I read the research as it comes, and it’s truly amazing how removing inflammation from the body can aid in a clearer mind, help chemical and hormonal imbalances, and bring a new perspectives to life.
Because of my small scale transformation of gaining mental clarity, I’m now a big believer that food nourishes body and mind!
#10 Spiritual Boost
In addition to nourishing my body and mind, a plant-based diet nourishes my soul.
As a woman of faith who believes in a loving Heavenly Father and in Jesus Christ, my journey toward this lifestyle was largely a spiritual one.
Living with physical pain and being single in my mid-20’s with severe acne brought me to my knees praying that I would be lead to find relief and regain confidence.
I can’t take personal credit for finding this answer because God showed me the way, step by step, how to overcome as I followed and took action on thoughts that weren’t my own. I received heavenly confirmation in small ways and in poignant, sacred ways at each step that adopting a whole food plant-based lifestyle was right for me.
Although eating this way is largely for health, I came to understand a layer of kindness and compassion that I had never before truly explored.
The idea of harming an animal for food outside of a famine is morally troubling to me and I’m grateful that I can respect all of God’s wonderfully designed and emotion-filled creatures in this way. This is one small avenue I strive to practice charity in my life.
Whether or not you are a person of faith, living a lifestyle centered on kindness to the body you’ve been given and respecting all life will reveal to you truths that will impact your thinking, feelings, and health.
Thanks for Reading!
I hope you enjoyed these 10 things that happened to me after I went vegan!
Now that you’ve read a synopsis of my experiences and opinions, am I a “screaming vegan” who will hate you for eating meat and dairy products? No way. That is so far from who I am.
If you’re reading this blog, then you’ve clicked because you’re curious, want to get to know me better, or are searching for your own answers.
I believe everyone has the right to choose for themselves – even what they put into their bodies. I’m here to share my knowledge and experiences. You are safe with me.
What number on this list surprised you? Or what cool thing happened to you after you went vegan that didn’t make my list? Let’s talk in the comments below!