Why I Went Vegan for a Year
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It all started when I read the book The China Study....
It had SO MUCH evidence that adopting a whole food plant based diet was beneficial for your health and I'm the type of person that if anybody shows me a way to be healthier I feel like I have no choice but to try it out for myself (#HealthIsWealth).
I wound up trying it for a month and had never felt better, so then I decided to try it for an entire year (2019)!
So for 2019, I went vegan. Not just vegan, though, because that leaves room for foods I would deem "vegan junk food." My whole food plant based diet consisted of non-GMO and organic whole foods and excluded anything on the banned ingredients list from Whole Foods (check that out here).
Some back story: the year prior (2018) I was eating a predominantly pescatarian diet with small amounts of chicken and eggs (a few times a week) and even smaller amounts of red meat (once a month if even). I still felt healthy and well, so I decided to not only pay attention to the way I felt with both nutritional lifestyles, but take it a step further and also have my blood analyzed in order to compare both results.
In 2019, I did not supplement anything different than usual as I believe food is thy medicine. I did continue taking my normal regimen (if you're curious: watch what I use as part of my morning routine on YouTube) and also continued using my favorite plant based protein powder.
Some of the foods I frequently ate as part of this lifestyle change included: plant based burgers, plant based lasagna, various salads, and a plant based breakfast burrito. All made of organic, non-GMO, plant based ingredients!
The hardest thing for me with this new way of eating was going to restaurants because of how unaccommodating most were. It seemed like every time I went to a restaurant and voiced my nutritional needs in order to be able to stick to my new lifestyle while still being able to socialize and support local businesses, they literally had no clue what "vegan" was and could not accommodate me even when they did know. Personally, I feel like as a business owner, it is your job to satisfy the client, so it felt like somebody smacked me in the face each time I tried to order! Nice, high-end restaurants were an even bigger struggle because they only have about one option, so it was very much a take it or leave it situation nearly every time I went out to eat.
I have since found some GREAT restaurants in Houston, TX that support this lifestyle and offer some DELICIOUS options for the plant based/vegan eaters (and even some offerings for the carnivore too)! Read more about my favorites here!
Ultimately, my blood work came back showing that I was healthier from 2019 eating a whole food plant based diet. While my results were still healthy in 2018, my good cholestrol (HDL), which helps unclog arteries, went up in 2019 compared to 2018 and my LDL, which is said to clog arteries, went down by 60 points!
I DID try chicken after my year of no meat was over (check that video out here), but, in 2020, I have been mostly sticking to my whole food plant based diet, but adding in small amounts of fish (mostly top-feeders like salmon, tuna, etc) a few times a week because I love fish and I think it is also still healthy!
I felt so good being plant based that despite my anticipation to eat eggs and dairy (foods I used to enjoy like Perfect Bars) again, I am sticking with this way ot eating because I feel so energetic and good.
I plan to re-test my blood and health around the halfway mark of eating this way (plant based with fish a few times a week), so stay tuned for content with a certified dietitian and my results from that!
Would you ever try a plant based diet? Let me know your thoughts in the comments and feel free to ask anything I may not have answered!