Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Weight loss and going vegan, why it works.


I got to weigh myself last week. I hadn’t done so in about 6 weeks. I used to be completely controlled by the scale. It would either completely depress me or make my day depending on what it said. And I would obsess over it. I would weigh myself several times a day, which really, did me no good. I would pay no attention to the fact that my blood sugar numbers were getting better and better, or that my clothes were fitting better or that I could run a half mile. Nope, if that scale wouldn’t budge, I’d let it ruin my entire day and questions every thing.

Officially since going vegan I have lost 50 pounds. In the past 6 weeks (since I last weighed myself) I’ve lost 15 pounds. In the beginning of going vegan weight loss was slow – mainly because I was still getting the hang of it. Now the weight seems to be melting off with ease. It should be noted that overall, from about9 years ago I’ve lost 120 pounds. It took me YEARS to lose the first bit of weight, it took working out HOURS a day, and the idiotic  diets you can imagine, seriously, STUPID diets. I went on a variety of pills, I came very close to having surgery, I worked out 4 or more hours a day. After going vegan, I still work out – in fact I LOVE it, but the weight loss is SO much easier, I can hardly believe it.

If you are vegan curious and you are wondering about weight loss and being vegan, let me tell you that NOTHING else will work for you as well as going vegan will. You are probably reading this, you’ve tried all these different diets, you try working out, you try anything that is a best seller. You might lose a few pounds, but it never sticks, and even if it does, you feel like crap. You hate counting calories, you hate worrying so much about what you are eating. And worse yet? You feel like it’s all your fault, because you have NO will power, and you can’t just have one of ANYTHING and you are tired and depressed and you might as well just go get your intestines cut up and try that because nothing is going to work. You hate the way your body looks, you hate the way you feel, you never have energy. You wish you could work out, but getting out of bed is hard enough. Right? Because that is how I felt every single day up till I figured out this vegan stuff.

So why does eating animal products keep you fat? There are a lot of great resources on the subject, but I will try to explain it as simply as I can. Animal products take A LOT for your body to digest, I don’t care if you are 120 pounds or 400 pounds, eating a slab of steak is going to be hard for your body to digest. When you consume animal products it slows down your body, it doesn’t do anything good for it in the way of energy. And the more protein you eat, the less energy you will have -especially if you are depriving yourself of good carbs. And let’s not forget, all of those animal products? Have a TON of chemicals in them. Chemicals that are causing you to be addicted to them. Cheese is one of the best examples of this… (I’ll let PCRM explain it better)

“Cow’s milk-or the milk of any other species, for that matter-contains a protein, called casein, that breaks apart during digestion to release a whole host of opiates, called casomorphin. A cup of cow’s milk contains about six grams of casein. Skim milk contains a bit more, and casein is concentrated in the production of cheese.

If you examined a casein molecule under a powerful microscope, it would look like a long chain of beads (the “beads” are amino acids-simple building blocks that combine to make up all the proteins in your body). When you drink a glass of milk or eat a slice of cheese, stomach acid and intestinal bacteria snip the casein molecular chains into casomorphin of various lengths. One of them, a short string made up of just five amino acids, has about one-tenth the pain-killing potency of morphine.

What are these opiates doing there, hidden in milk proteins? It appears that the opiates from mother’s milk produce a calming effect on the infant and, in fact, may be responsible for a good measure of the mother-infant bond. No, it’s not all lullabies and cooing. Psychological bonds always have a physical underpinning. Like it or not, mother’s milk has a drug-like effect on the baby’s brain that ensures that the baby will bond with Mom and continue to nurse and get the nutrients all babies need. Like heroin or codeinecasomorphin slow intestinal movements and have a decided anti\diarrhea effect. The opiate effect may be why adults often find that cheese can be constipating, just as opiate painkillers are.”

When I first went vegan, the first few weeks were hell. I felt like a drug addict in detox. I had mood BAD swings, I sweat like crazy, I felt sick to my stomach. My body was detoxing from all of the junk I had been putting into it for so long. All of those animal products that you are eating? They don’t just nicely slaughter or use the animal and then give it to you completely fresh and free of anything in it. Nope. They pump that animal full of hormones, antibiotics, steroids and sugar and then they slaughter it, which I won’t get into right now, but the ways they do this aside from being disgusting are bad for YOUR health. The way they get eggs or milk is absolutely horrifying as well. Then when they get it, they have to put all sorts of preservatives and chemicals into it so that you can go and buy your ground beef, and hope the rotting flesh stays fresh for at least a few more days so that it won’t kill you when you eat it. Same thing goes for milk and cheese, you get it after a lot has been done to it. You get it after it’s been pumped full of things that your body has no clue what to do with.

Why do they pump the animals full of stuff? The food industry is greedy. They know by pumping a chicken full of hormones it will grow, they know that by injecting large amounts of sugar into pigs that they will plump up really fast, most of those animals you are eating are diabetic when they are slaughtered. They then tell you to cook your meat to 160 degrees, because they know if you don’t you won’t cook out all of the diseases, chemicals, and other junk they put into the animal. They can get away with contaminated meat going out to your grocery store as long as they put that sticker on it that says to cook to a certain high heat. Same goes with all the places you are eating out. And I can assure you that the places you are eating out are a billion times worse, because they are going to be getting the cheapest food possible in order to make more money.

We’ve somehow accepted all of this in our society. We have made eating animal products a right and we have allowed a multi trillion dollar industry to convince us that it is the only way to eat and thrive. And go figure, that we keep getting fatter, diabetes keeps getting worse, more people get cancer, and the common factor? Animal products. Plenty of studies have been done in societies or groups of people who have no animal products in their diet. The results are always the same, they are healthier, by a mile.

We as a society are so advanced in so many ways, but somehow we have allowed a lot of misinformation to win over sound judgment and science. But that doesn’t have to be you anymore, now does it?

Yes, it is hard to get yourself off of all of the stuff you are currently eating. Yes, you will feel like crap for 3 weeks or so. But isn’t that worth it?

Once it all starts kicking in, your body will start digesting like a champ. You will have more energy because your body won’t be fighting so hard to process all the junk you are putting into it.You will lose your addictions, and you will all of sudden no longer feel the need to binge, or to overeat. Because really? Who is going to binge on kale? The single most noticeable thing regarding my weight loss and going vegan, is that I lost the desire to over eat. This used to be a really big problem for me. And I always blamed myself for not being strong enough. It turns out I was an addict. Plain and simple, I could only go for so long with depriving myself by eating small amounts of certain foods before I went crazy and ate an entire pizza.

You have to do what is best for your body, if you want to see results, and if you want to avoid a lot of bad stuff down the road. If you are overweight right now, you can choose to make that change now, you can choose to make it before things get a lot worse, or you can wait, and take your chances. I wish I had made the changes I did YEARS ago. I spent so many nights crying myself to sleep because I felt like  failure. I spent so many days hating myself for not being strong enough. And in the end, it took me eating the way that my body was intended to consume foods. And it was really nothing in the end. All the fighting against it, and it turned out to be really easy after a few weeks. And now it’s so easy I don’t think about it. I do not have cravings for animal products, I do not smell pizza and lose my mind. I am thriving. My body is working like it’s supposed to. Accept that you might be addicted to some of the foods you are eating, and make a decision to break the addictions. What is the worst that will happen from you not eating animal products?

This week, I am going to be focusing on what you watch, read and listen to in the way of advertising and how it effects your waistline and your health. Start paying attention to the things that are advertised to you. And start asking yourself if those companies have your best interest at heart. Ask yourself for every commercial you see with animal products being advertised, when was the last time you saw a commercial for spinach or black beans, or really anything that was whole and good for you.Start asking yourself: Who benefits from me being addicted to certain foods?


  1. Nat

    oh I know Danny! Not to mention my skin, my hair, my nails ALL changed! All for the better of course.
    Thanks 🙂 I ‘ll post photos of the new hair cut soon. I had to get something different since the last time I got the hair cut I was like 50 pounds heavier.

  2. danny

    Don’t you love how your face changes so quickly once you go vegan?! It’s like you spray your face with Puffiness-B-Gone.

    You’re looking fabulous, Mama!

  3. Niki

    Yes, I’m doing pretty well and eating mostly vegan. It’s just when I’m eating out with others and there are no vegan options that I have to be flexible and have something with dairy in it. You know how it is, you don’t want to make it appear that your lifestyle is a hassle and cause a scene!
    Learning recipes definitely helps!

  4. Nat

    Thanks Niki! Aiming to go vegan is awesome! Try making at least one of your meals completely vegan (if you aren’t doing that already) I’ve found that by learning new recipes and creative ways to cook it really helps in the transition!

  5. Niki

    I’m loving your blog! Congrats to you making the change.

    I have been veggie for 2 years, during which time I have learnt more about nutrition and the reality of agriculture than I had for the whole previous 27 years of my life. And I am aiming for vegan now.

    Having to put up with other people’s negativity and ignorance when confronted with seeing no meat on my plate is probably the hardest part of a vegan diet. But that could never convince me to go back to my omnivore ways!

  6. Nat

    Wow Ame! That is SOOOO amazing! Way to go! You can do it , and I’ll be right there with you.

  7. Ame

    That is just amazing! I am sure you feel SO much better (not to mention how fabulous you look)! I have lost over 35 lbs in 3 months by eliminating alcohol, and have another 100 to go. You are an inspiration! Can’t wait to read more.

  8. Alex

    Woop woop to you!
    I found your blog today and cannot stop reading it. Your writing is very simple and yet beautiful, you are very inspiring so please keep it up! 🙂

    How long have you been vegan for? Has it been since August 08?
    I went vegan last October and relate a lot to the things that you say. Thankfully, I didn’t become vegan because I was ill. I decided it was time for me to open my eyes to the harsh reality of the animals’ condition, the damage caused to the environment and to my body.

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Your blog is now listed in my favourites!


  9. Nat

    I should mention that I’ve now lost over 100 pounds, I do not know the exact number because I stopped weighing myself a few months ago. But I do know that since going vegan I have dropped 6 sizes. SIX. As in my jeans that I could not pull up over my ass in August I had to get rid of because they were falling off of me. I will be writing a lot about weight loss because I still have a long way to go – but before going vegan I had tried EVERY THING known to man, I went on cabbage soup. Cabbage soup! I had tried every thing “healthy” as dictated by my doctors as well, went to and followed every single thing every nutritionist told me, and was working out 5 hours a day, and nothing. I went vegan and the weight finally started to come off.I have a few theories about this, which I will expand on later on. So that will also be part of this site, the weight loss. I will be posting photos, even when they are absolutely HORRIFYING to look back at, and I will be writing some tips on the weight loss part. I was fortunate to have some awesome trainers when I lived in Washington DC, who taught me many great things that I will be sure to pass on.I’ve learned so much science behind why my body can actually lose weight now, and I will be writing about all of that as well!

  10. Cass

    I am so glad that I found your blog today. About 8 weeks ago I went vegetarian (mostly Vegan with the exception of mozzarella cheese which I have no good reason for still wanting and eating) – I had been breastfeeding my daughter for the past 8 months and when my milk supply changed and her sleeping habits changed I got worried, called my doctor and asked if it was about the vegetarian shift and I was basically chastised by every one. I became so worried that I was harming my baby I started eating meat and cheese again. The milk supply and the bad sleeping continued and I felt so angry that I had given up something that was making ME feel better. Thank you for re-inspiring me.

  11. ryan

    One of the nut milks that’s really surprised me is hazelnut milk. It’s really tasty! Pacific Natural Foods makes some and it runs about $2.50 for one of the asceptic containters… not too bad.

  12. jemma

    So you are thinking about going vegan, awesome! Today go out and pick up some milk… um… not the cow stuff. Try some Soy Milk, Rice Milk or Almond milk. I haven’t run into many grocery stores that at least do not carry soy – but generally you can find almond, soy, rice in grocery food stores.

    Try some on your favorite cereal or make a smoothie!

    *note* sometimes these products are not where you think they should be. They might be found with the cereals, in the baking aisles, and sometimes they are in the produce section. When in doubt, ask!

  13. Jessica

    I keep looking at photos of myself going back and forth to figure out if I really look any different. It’s weird, losing weight is like watching grass grow, well I guess it’s like in reverse. But non the less it feel slow and then all of a sudden you catch a glimpse of your ass in a reflection and you are like “well damn! my ass is shrinking!”. And then you are all happy and go out and shop.

    Which is what I did last week. Thanks for all the sweet comments! As I’ve said, I still have a LONG way to go. But for the first time since the age of 11 my body is working. Like I actually am losing weight, and it’s actually not taking 5 hours of working out per day to do it. Not that I’m not working out anymore, but the 4-5 hour a day thing? HARD. And I am not starving myself. I am eating lots of really good tasting food that doesn’t happen to be rotting flesh trying to process in my body, which you know, looking back on it, how on earth did I ever think I was doing anything healthy by eating the way I was? Rotting flesh? Come on now.

    All of that to say, I bought a shirt, and I had my husband take a picture of me in the shirt. This shirt, I promise you would not have even gone past my neck not to long ago. It would have been like one of those stubborn blinds on your window, and popped right back up as soon as you muscled it to stay down. Because, trust me, I know these things.

  14. Ame

    I am having zero problems with the meat – I never ate much of it anyway. But the dairy? Mac & cheese is my comfort food! As an ex addict of a lot of bad things, I understand cravings, but this is crazy!!!! 🙁

  15. Nat

    Hi Ame!
    I really think the dairy thing is one of the worst kinds of addictions! That was the one I seriously would end up in tears over! It takes a lot, but is possible. For milk, switch to rice, soy, almond, hemp or oat (there are some others). For cheese – that’s a harder one, there are some good fake cheese recipes out there. I hate the store brand fake cheese – and a lot of them still have casein! (ugh!) I just decided for me it was best to just go with out any form of it – and that worked the best.

    Although I do like tofuiti cream cheese and sour cream 🙂

    Let me know if I can help. I’m sure there are some folks here who might have a few good tips 🙂

  16. Niki

    I agree that the easiest way to get over cheese, which was also my sticking point for not even trying to go vegan, was to just never have it in the house and also not bother with the vegan substitutes as I would only compare it with dairy versions which will obviously never taste identical.

    And when it was on a cheese plate when I was out, I would think of the gross reality of what it is – old rotting milk squeezed out of some animals weeping-scab-covered boobs and riddled with bacteria and mould! Horribly graphic (to the point I’m worried you might censor that) but it works if its at front of mind when presented with your favourite weakness!

    I have a little vegan cheese now and then but no longer care for real cheese so don’t care if it doesn’t taste the same.

  17. Kara

    I’m glad you pointed out food commercials and other ads. Since I’ve cut dairy and meat out of my diet, I have noticed several ads and billboards making ridiculous claims. The other day there was one on TV about canned ravioli claiming it has “a full serving of vegetables!” Really?

    There’s also a really dumb billboard I’ve seen around town with a picture of a tiger and a glass of milk and says “MILK – the reason cats are king of the jungle.” Oh yeah? Cats drink milk? I’m pretty sure tigers do not drink milk! And cat owner will tell you that you shouldn’t give milk to cats because it makes them very ill.

    I could go on and on about this because it gets me so fired up. I just feel bad for the people who fall for these ads and think they are doing something good for themselves.

  18. Vegan Dad

    Meat making you fat – This is why true carnivore’s digestive tracks are so much shorter. It doesn’t take long for the to strip the nutrients out (carnivores stomach acid is 10x stronger than ours) so for the meat to hang around any longer than necessary would result in excess absorption of fat. We are built to be more plant based, which takes longer to process.
    As far as dairy, cheese can be hard. Most fake cheese sucks, but there is so much more variety that you can quickly move beyond it. Also, dairy cows are where veal calves come from. Babies are stripped away and the mom is quickly impregnated again as they must be pregnant to make milk. When a dairy has no longer become useful to the dairy they are slaughtered, typically while pregnant. The baby is subsequently cut out and killed. This is where slink-skin leather comes from.
    We can go on and on regarding this. I have lost 50lbs and feel great being on a vegan diet. Haven’t been diagnosed with protein deficiency…yet! 😉

  19. Nat

    The problem with this is that anyone who is eating meat also quite often doesn’t want to know and doesn’t believe the things you might tell them. You get told you are exaggerating, or spreading vegan propaganda. Trying to tell anyone that what they have always believed and done is actually incorrect gets such a hostile response I hate to talk about it.

    For one moment the other day I said something about vegans don’t get sick as often, and the shock and anger that I saw was enough for me to shut up right there. But if they were open minded to hear the truth about what really goes on, what it does to the environment, what it does to their bodies then it would make it a lot easier to discuss.

  20. vegan dad

    We all know what goes on in the animal industry. Some of us have chosen not to support it. Others do not. Most of the latter want to pretend it isn’t happening and if they avoid talking about it or seeing anything having to do with it. If they did participate in an meaningful dialog they would have to confront the discrepancy in their mind about what they want to be true versus what is true. This requires introspection and effort, two things people hate the most. There is absolutely no way possible to honestly and truthfully make a case that supports the mass consumption of meat. You simply can’t. They know this. By jumping down your throat and stifling you they buy themselves more time.
    We can only do so much. Don’t get discouraged. It is nothing to do with you, it is what they don’t want to deal with that they are lashing out. You could also ask them, “if salmonella on lives INSIDE the lower intestines, how did it get in the meat?” As you turn to walk away, clearly and confidently leave with a “enjoy your sh*t burger!” And have a large smile when you say it. They may sputter a bit, but the point will be made.
    Oh how I could go on and on about this. Bottom line is they will mostly likely have cancer and heart disease, you won’t.
    All the best!

  21. Anonymous

    I think what has been hardest for me – is that I know how the story ends, and it absolutely devastates me . It took me almost losing my life to wake up and to learn, and I wish that I could make it so no one has to go through what I did to wake up and see it all.
    I feel a good amount of guilt every day for waiting so long, and ignoring so many people.
    I also know that it took a lot of very encouraging and honest people to tell me over and over again what I needed to hear.

    I hope every day someone asks me about it… I figure if they are asking, they are wanting to start making the journey.

  22. vegan dad

    A really good resource for this type of discussion are the compassionate cooks podcasts. She talks about this a lot, as well as the realities behind some of the products on the shelves. I apologize for the last part of my previous post. I have experienced the lashing out Niki referred to and it is extremely frustrating. I love to discuss it, but that is not what these people are there to do.
    If they would just stop and let think things through I would hope they’d change there habits. To think that cows smell the blood from the slaughter house a few miles out and actually make the cognitive realization of what is to happen to them it is nothing less then heartbreaking. I cannot possibly imagine ever eating meat or milk again.
    So with that, I would redact my earlier “suggestion” as to how to leave the conversation as that will not further veganism and only provide them fodder to continue going on about how we have a “better than you” attitude. These people tick me off and I let my mouth (or in this case keyboard) get the better of me sometimes. Stay true, for every dozen jerks, there will be one truly interested person who deserves our attention and energy.

I went on a plant based diet after diabetes almost took my life. Now, almost 2 years later not only have I reduced my type 2 diabetes symptoms, I have lost close to 200 pounds (and still losing). This is a place where I write about my journey as I continue the quest for health, and living a good life for today, and long into the future. Get hold of me on nat@cleanseplan.com

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