Before I Start This Blog Post…
I wanna give you a little disclaimer:
I am not trying to convert or change anybody.
You can’t force your will on anybody, so I don’t intend to now.
That being said, going vegan has really done some great things for me. I feel better, lighter, happier, and more aware.
Let me be clear: simply cutting out animal products doesn’t make a diet healthy. It takes research and effort.
You’re gonna have to retrain yourself to like new things.
But it’s not hard to do.
Everything you like at this point in your life is the result of training your tastebuds. You get used to certain foods, so those are the foods you like.
And if they can b e trained, they can be untrained…and re-trained. It’s just gonna take a little bit of discipline on your part.
So here are the main reasons why I went vegan.
I Wanted To Eat Cleaner
In general, I was sick of processed food.
Don’t get me wrong, cookies and chips are still delicious…and I still eat them sometimes. But I was eating them waaaaayyy too often, and I would feel terrible afterwards.
I wanted to (like I mentioned earlier) retrain myself to like healthier, simpler snacks:
- Fresh fruits and veggies
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole grains
- Healthy starches
Basically, switching out processed, artificially-flavored foods for simple whole foods.
I Wanted To Lose Unnecessary Weight
Admittedly, I did start doing this for my appearance.
I’m a singer-songwriter and actress, too, so I was trying to perfect my “image”.
That’s how I got started, but that’s not why I stuck with it.
Soon, I started to believe that it’s not about how you look, but how you feel.
And I felt heavy…not in the way I looked, but physically. I felt weighed down and lethargic because of the food that I was putting into my body. It made it harder to exercise, harder to stay motivated, harder to focus…
It was really slowing me down, physically and mentally.
I was tired of feeling weighed down, so I figured it was time to make a change I could stick with, not just a lose-weight-quick diet.
Vegan Food Is Actually Cheaper
Yeah, I know the jury is still kind of out on this, but take it from someone who’s tried different diet trends: veganism is cheaper.
Sure, you can say “screw it” to healthy living and save yourself a shit ton of time, energy, and money. But as the phrase goes, your health is your wealth.
So what do you really have if your life is wracked with health issues?
Why put off now what’ll only come back to bite you in the ass later?
With that being said, I still don’t think you should have to spend a ridiculous amount of money on good food. There’s investing and then there’s being excessive.
I started eating healthy first as an omnivore, then a vegetarian.
Buying organic meat and dairy products would eat up most of my budget right away. Unless I was willing to budge on my weekly/monthly budget, I was gonna have to settle with little to no meat (OR eat less fruit & veg..which kind of defeats the purpose).
In short, buying organic is expensive as hell. So I started learning how to cut out things I didn’t need… i.e., meat and dairy.
And I’m glad I did. Turned out to be a great decision for me, budget-wise and health-wise.
Here’s what I learned about shopping healthy/vegan on a budget:
- Buy frozen produce instead of fresh, unless there’s a deal on fresh, then buy in bulk and freeze yourself.
- Settle for what’s seasonal in your area to save on shipping costs (you pay for this on the back end as the consumer)
- Cut out the middleman and visit your local farmer’s market when you can
- Get your dry goods in the bulk section as often as possible; you could save yourself money in cost per unit
I have a blog post that goes more in-depth about shopping vegan on a budget. Feel free to check that out; I’ll also be researching and updating it over time.
The Benefits of Going Vegan And Why You Should Try It, Too…
One more disclaimer for you: I am not a nutritionist. If you have health issues that are unique to you, I STRONGLY suggest you consult your doctor or an actual nutritionist about the best way to do this.
I’m offering my opinion as someone who has been there, done that, and has experienced good things from going vegan.
(I have also done some research for myself as well as for this blog, so I’m sharing the info that I’ve found thus far.)
I have another blog post that goes more in-depth with this, too, so you should check that out here if you haven’t already read it. But here are some of the benefits of practicing a healthy vegan diet.
On average, people who practice a vegan diet tend to be slimmer than people that don’t. It’s also easier for them to lose weight with moderate exercise.
I’m guessing this is because meat- & dairy-based foods tend to have a lot more fats in them than plant-based foods.
So yes; that means even the infamous “junk-food vegans” have an easier time keeping weight off than most omnivores. They’re just not taking in as much fat.
Sugars are another story entirely, and processed sugars mixed with inactivity can still contribute to weight gain. But the excess animal fats aren’t an issue.
Reduced Cancer Risk
Probably for some of the same reasons as the weight loss, people who practice a vegan diet have a smaller chance of developing cancer than non-vegans.
The foods that the average vegan eats tend to have anti-cancer properties. A great example of this is soy.
Yeah, yeah, I know…soy doesn’t have the best reputation at the moment. BUT, in its pure form and in measured amounts, it helps bring down the risk of breast cancer in women.
A carefully planned plant-based diet can even reverse cancers that have already developed.
Now that is f*ckin’ cool.
Bring Down Inflammation In The Body
A lot of plant-based foods are anti-inflammatory…in drastic contrast with most animal products, which can be very inflammatory (milk and red meat in particular).
(Oh yeah, I also have a blog post on the best anti-inflammatory plant-based foods. So if you’ve got problems with inflammation, you gotta go check that out after reading this one).
If you suffer from an inflammatory disease, like arthritis, or a disease with which come symptoms of inflammation, like type 2 diabetes, then this is for you.
Improve/Boost Your Immune System
If you didn’t know this, a good part of your immune system is in your digestive tract. This is also where your body extracts the majority of the nutrients that you need to live.
Naturally, this means that it is crucial for your digestive system to function in a healthy way. And the foods that you eat need to encourage healthy digestion.
Fortunately, carefully planned plant-based and vegan diets have been known to do this.
It’s probably because of a combination of some of the things I’ve already mentioned. Plant-based foods are just easier for your body to process. Meat & dairy is a little bit harder.
This is probably because our digestive systems have more in common with predominantly plant-eating animals than carnivorous animals…
But that’s a blog post for another day, and that’s gonna require a lot more research before I’m willing to go into detail…
(Comment below if you’d like a post on the truths & myths of that).
So Will You Try It?
I mean, seriously…what have you got to lose?
Besides a few burgers…which even then, there’s an awesome substitute called the Beyond Burger that you can get for 6 bucks at Wholefoods. So even that isn’t a great excuse anymore.
If you’re looking to make a change and try something new, you should definitely go for it.
Read the blog posts I’ve linked in this post…I linked a bunch of my sources in those, so you can go read those, too. Arm yourself with a bunch of research, reach out in communities and forums, ask questions, and then just do it.
Drop a comment and let me know if you’re gonna try!
Let me know how far along you are in your vegan journey & how you’re feeling about it :).