Updated: May 18
I noticed a lot of things that started to change since switching back to a vegan plant-based diet. Some of these changes were almost instantaneous, while some took a few months before I noticed them. Check out the video and deets below!
Within the first week, I noticed that I had much more energy throughout the day, but the most impactful energy I was glad to keep was my energy after I ate. Before being plant-based, I would eat things like a burger and fries and feel sluggish. My day would be harder to get through after that type of lunch, but eating plant-based, I was literally be eating live foods that provide energy instead of stealing it...and I need every bit of it!
2) No More Sinus Problems
This was a game-changer for me yall! I suffered from wheezing, sinus infections, asthma and it really took a toll on my quality of life. My husband and I tried everything from being obsessive about dusting, to buying air purifiers, to all sorts of doctors (really racked up the bills, too), until I read an article about a guy who cured himself of asthma from cutting out all dairy products. I finally decided to try it after watching "What The Health" documentary on Netflix.
3) Weight Loss
Within the first week, I noticed the number on the scale got smaller and I definitely was not mad! The best thing was I was losing weight all while not feeling deprived. I was trying out new vegan restaurants, eating vegan burgers and fries and living my best life! I was even able to enjoy some adult beverages and still lose weight! I will say and please note..when I switched to a plant-based diet, my tolerance for alcohol did go down, but that is good thing too. Overall, I have dropped just over 30 lbs, several inches and have not done anything outside of omitting animal products from my diet. Part of the weight loss comes with the food being so much easier for your body to digest. With easier and faster digestion, defecating aka "going #2" should be happening at least 2-3 times a day. Also, do not freak out if you are noticing some bloating and flatulence when you are transitioning. It is completely normal (irritating AF, but normal lol) and will subside as your body is adjusting. I noticed all of my tummy troubles left after about a month or two. If you are still experiencing tummy troubles after that, perhaps you are intolerant to certain foods/combinations of foods. For example, whenever I eat soy-based product, my stomach hurts. I avoid tofu like the plague but still have some "vegan junk food" with soy in it here and there. As long as it is not primarily made of soy, I can usually get away with it.
I incorporated working out again once I dropped 20 lbs, as I noticed the weight coming off more slowly. Once I started working out lightly with some walking (on an incline mostly) and weight training 3-4 days a week, I dropped another 12 lbs within about six weeks. Before eating plant-based, I would feel deprived food-wise and social life-wise trying to lose weight, thinking I had to avoid eating out and eat very small portions.
4) My Menstrual Cycle Was So Much Easier
I have confirmed this with all my fellow vegan girlfriends and it is really yall! I was so happy to not have PMS or severe periods anymore. My cycle was always late and I would usually always suffer through it from heavy bleeding, terrible cramping, severe fatigue and junk food cravings. I swear this feels like an infomercial for plant-based eating but this is not a lie. I no longer suffer though my cycle and cancel my plans because it is much more of a passive thing. Each period since going plant-based almost a year ago is so much lighter/shorter and no more severe cramping/fatigue.
5) More In-Tune With My Emotions/Mentality
The thing that led me back to a plant-based diet was me feeling like I was slipping into depression. I was sad for weeks, but could not articulate exactly why! I literally was driving and balling on my way to work for a solid hour and to this day, couldn't tell you exactly why. I knew I had no reason to be sad, so I asked myself, "Self? When was the last time you were joyful?" It was when I was plant-based back in 2017, so it was something I had to do not only for my physical health, but for my mental health, too. I still have my moments here and there, but eating a vegan diet has helped tremendously.
6) More Empathy Towards Animals / Environmental Issues
I was one of those people that used to always say "I love animals!" and eat a burger in the same breath. I realized I was really saying "I love cats/dogs/insert other domesticated animals that I refuse to eat". I am the only vegan in my household, so when its the weekend, my husband usually has the house smelling like bacon and I am not gonna lie. It smells tantalizing! But the thing that makes me not want to eat it is thinking of the pig/cow/chicken that was slaughtered. Now I know, that to truly say "I love animals" and mean it, means to not eat them. I am not trying to guilt trip anyone, but that is real talk aka true for most of us first world people that have the means to eat a plant-based diet. I try to do my due diligence to avoid using plastic bags/produce bags at the store as well as avoiding plastic water bottles. I plan on working to continue to do my part to cut down on waste.
7) I Love Cooking Now
If you would have told me 10 years ago, "Tamika, you are not going to eat meat or dairy and you are actually going to end up loving vegetables and cooking!" I would have told them they were crazy and to please GTFOOMF (lol if you caught what I mean). Now, I am always on Pinterest, trying new foods and recipes. I truly enjoy making a colorful dish and finding out that vegetables are freaking delicious AF, all you gotta do is know how to season them.
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