I was vegetarian for more than 18 years. I was happy. I never thought about changing a thing. Until I noticed I cannot enjoy my coffee latte anymore as it makes me sick. The slightest smell of milk made me want to puke. Hmm, I couldn’t be pregnant, so what’s wrong with me? I thought. I started my research about diary and the deeper I dug into the subject the more convinced I became I should ditch it. Was my body wiser then myself? Who knows..
I went vegan gradually, naturally starting with ‘smelly’ milk and slowly cutting out the rest.
Going vegan changed my life in many ways and all those changes were for good. It can change yours if you give it a try. Read on to learn what cool things can happen to you if you switch to the green side.
HOW GOING VEGAN CHANGED MY LIFE
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I HAVE MORE ENERGY THAN EVER BEFORE
Yea, yea, yea.. everybody say the same. ‘If you don’t eat meat you have more energy’. I vaguely remember how meat made me feel heavy after a meal, as it was so long ago. Going vegetarian is definitely step in the right direction, but it is after I became vegan that I really felt the difference in my energy level.
Diary products, and especially cheese, can make you feel really tired after the meal. It is because of casein – the protein of milk which is very difficult to digest for humans. It basically creates insoluble balls in your stomach, that are hard to brake by your enzymes. That’s why after eating pizza with generous amount of cheese on top you feel so heavy and sleepy. Believe me, eating the same pizza without cheese or with plant-based version has completely different effect. BTW, casein is also addictive.
It took me quite some time to realize how addicted to cheese I was. In fact if you go through ‘New Vegans’ support groups on social media you will mostly read ‘How can I live without cheese?‘ posts. After gradually decreasing amount of cheese in my diet I noticed I felt more energetic even after substantial meal. My body didn’t have to struggle with digesting casein anymore – simple as that.
If you want to read more about milk and casein affecting our body check out this interesting article by nutriciously.com.
I LEARNED TO COOK AND I BECAME GOOD AT IT
I used to hate cooking, baking and all things connected. Now when I think about it, it seems obvious to me that my hatred was in fact the aversion to handle the meat or raw eggs. Being vegetarian I didn’t cook a lot. I cooked some, I liked preparing salads, but going to restaurant and ordering pizza or pasta was usually my first choice.
After becoming vegan I started my adventure with cooking for real. I not only learned new tastes, spices and techniques. I started enjoying my time in the kitchen and I became pretty good cook.. and baker.
Since converting to plant-based diet meant braking old eating habits, it helped me discover totally new dishes and new cuisines as well. I started experimenting with Indian, Mexican, Mediterranean and many other cuisines. It surprised me how many possibilities there are and how many foods can be prepared not only without meet, but without eggs and diary.
It’s funny how something that restricts you at the first glance, in fact gives you more options and opportunity to learn.
I BECAME MORE ADVENTUROUS IN TRYING NEW FOODS
‘What? You follow such restrictive diet and you consider yourself adventurous?’ As weird as it may sound I tried so many new and exciting foods since going vegan as never before. When we follow traditional diet we often close ourselves in circle of eating the same things over and over again.
After going vegan I started to look for alternatives not only to meet but also yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese.. I tried for the first time jackfruit, ackee, bulgur, not to mention various types of legumes and beans I never thought existed.. What are your options when eating traditional burger? You have a choice of 4-6 variants. I already tried way more than fifteen versions of veggie burgers and believe me options are limited only by your imagination.
I HANDLE CHANGES MORE EASILY
It can’t be denied that going vegan is a huge life change. For some people it will be quite smooth for others it may be close to impossible. I couldn’t imagine my life without yogurt and cheese – the products that I was basically addicted to. Now I laugh at myself from that time. Inevitable changes are usually good and after doing research about diary industry and diary impact on our health I found going vegan inevitable.
What I also changed? My job that was driving me into depression. My location (quite many times already). My expectations from life. My approach to the change itself. It’s only normal we fear the change as we fear unknown. Going vegan proved to me that good changes should not be feared. They should be welcome and embraced with optimism.
I STARTED BELIEVING I CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Voting, going vegetarian or vegan, volunteering – what all those things have in common? A lot of people believe they will not make a difference. ‘Who am I to make an impact? I’m only one unimportant voice in the crowd.’ No, this approach can’t be more wrong!
After going vegan I realized I do have an impact on things around me. Going vegan changes not only you, it decreases demand for animal sourced products and increases demand for vegan foods. Yes, choices of even one single person do matter. You may not realize it, but it also affects people around you. What I thought completely impossible and unrealistic happened few months ago.
After 15 years under the same roof, my meat-eating husband went vegan. Overnight. Just like that!
Not because I was moaning about it and trying to convince him over each and every meal. No. He did that because I set an example. I showed him it’s possible, it’s easy and and it’s great. And of course because of my amazing cooking 🙂 I will share this story with you soon, as I find it fascinating how many paths can lead to the same destination. Let me just tell you that veganism convinced me that my choices and actions do matter. And so do yours!
If you can change yourself – you can change the world.
MY FOOD ALLERGIES DISAPPEARED
This is one of the most surprising ways how going vegan changed my life. I discovered it accidentally when I ate hazelnut ice cream that also contained peanuts. Was it my craving for sweets that prevented me from reading the label before I shoved the whole bowl in? I don’t know. After reading what I’ve just had I was waiting patiently for this annoying painful rash to appear on my tights, arms and belly. Nothing happened and I soon forgot about it. Couple of weeks later I was terribly hungry at work and a friend offered me a sesame-peanut bar. I remembered my ice cream adventure, so I said ‘what the hell, I’m so hungry I’m willing to risk a rash’ consciously this time. Nothing again…
Could it be connected with me ditching diary? I started my research and yes! Apparently casein present in milk and all it’s derivatives being a strong allergen itself can trigger allergies for other foods. My peanut allergy wasn’t a deadly one, but strong and unpleasant enough to prevent me from eating anything that could possibly have peanuts in it. Now I ate the whole bar and was totally fine – not a single outbreak on my skin. I’ll surely examine this further.
Please remember I am not a doctor and by no means am I advising you to experiment with eating something you’re allergic to. I simply state what happened to me after I stopped eating diary.
I LOOK YOUNGER
Ok, now you may think I’m just bragging, but seriously I look and feel younger than when I was vegetarian. I write this post two weeks before my 37th birthday. When I meet new people and we discuss about age they usually put me in late twenties. When they learn about my actual age they’re quite surprised and inquire about my secret. ‘Eating Vegan and good genes’ I usually answer.
I noticed that my skin is in better condition than before and it is easier for me to manage my weight, although I’m not a saint and allow myself some vegan junk-food and sweets every now and then.
There you go. Those are some awesome ways how going vegan changed my life. Aren’t those good changes? I believe so.. If you want to give this ‘vegan thing’ a try, but you don’t know where to start you can check those awesome books below.
If you’re already vegan please share in comments how going vegan changed your life! I’d love to hear your story!
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