This is from a lovely young lady who switched to eating a plant based diet. Things you need to know before making the switch veganism!
1. Tell me a little bit about your health before you went plant based…
I was overweight, constantly yo/yo dieting, on the brink of a serious eating disorder, miserable, unstable emotionally and I had acne, migraines and a plethora of digestive issues.
2. What was your motivation for going vegan?
After a serious health scare in my early 20′s I decided to go veg because I thought it would force me to make better food choices. I then went vegan after reading about the horrors of the egg and dairy industries and how milk contributes to acne, weight gain and migraines.
3. How long did it take you to become fully comfortable with a plant based diet?
It was sometimes challenging, especially when trying to eat out, but I knew it was the right thing to do for the animals, the environment and for my body so I kept that focus. I was never ashamed, but proud to be a vegetarian and later vegan. I would remember the phrase “what is popular is not always right and what is right is not always popular.”
4. What were your biggest vegan challenges?
Learning to cook. I had no idea how to cook anything. I could boil water, that was about it. Now I had to feed myself — I couldn’t rely on take out anymore.
5. Was there any thing you learned about eating dairy/eggs/meat that surprised you in regards to their effects on health?
I had always known intuitively that killing animals was wrong and cruel but the more I learned about how bad it really is on those farms — down right cruel and torturous — I was shocked. I still am. I was also grossed out to learn what happens to chicken’s beaks and the though of what an egg really is — menstruation, makes my stomach crawl. Of course I cannot get past the pus in milk or the fact that it’s breast milk of another species. I cannot believe I ever viewed it as any way other than unnatural and gross.
6. What do you consider to be a healthy vegan diet?
Most vegetables, daily servings of fruit, whole grains and legumes — low in fat and processed foods. Focus on eating foods straight out of mother nature with no one food in too much excess.
7. What positive message would you like to leave people with in regards to the vegan lifestyle, in particular to changing the way they eat?
As a vegan you will find a quality of life — a pure euphoria, you could never have imagined.
8. What is your health like now?
The way I’d always wanted it to be. I’m finally at a healthy weight and without much effort, so I am no-longer yo/yo dieting or dealing with my ED. I also no-longer suffer from migraines, acne or digestive issues. I have more energy which in turn has made me very athletic. I play sports and run — I do all sorts of things I was too weak, tired, sick or depressed to do before. I no-longer catch the common cold or get food poisoning — which I was always dealing with as an omnivore. My moods have also stabilized and my attitude remains happy and upbeat. Of course I still have bad days but not like I did before. I also perform better in life. I handle stress and sadness better. I take time to appreciate little things. It’s amazing how deeply and profoundly going vegan has impacted my life.
9. What resources were most helpful for you? (books/movies/magazines/blogs/people)
Eat to Live, The McDougall Program, Skinny Bitch, In Defensive of Food, The China Study, The Thrive Diet — I could list books all day. I also want to thank the many vegan organizations out there — without them I’d still be sick and confused.
10. Has switching to a plant based diet been easier or harder than you expected?
Easier. I thought my family and friends would rally against me but only a few did. Everyone in my life has been incredibly supportive and after watching my success has either adopted a vegetarian diet or eats drastically less meat and dairy. I thought it would be hard to live without certain foods like cheesecake or hot dogs but then I tried vegan recipes and substitutes and realized I liked them just as much and when I ate them I felt better — physically and emotionally.
11. Anything else you would like to add about your health, living vegan, or the changes you have experienced?
It is the best decision I will ever make.