About two years ago, I embarked on a journey to follow a plant-based vegan diet. My decision to go vegan came after I watched a documentary on Netflix called “Forks Over Knives”. Spearheading the commentary was a man by Dr. John McDougall, who preached that following a low-fat, starch based diet, results in major health benefits. After one month of following a vegan diet, I personally experienced increased health benefits that changed my life.
4 Immediate benefits I experienced when going vegan.
Benefit #1: I lost weight immediately
I was never overweight, but I definitely carried a few extra pounds. Within two weeks of not eating meat, I noticed a change in body, especially with my clothes – this was just one of the many benefits! My pant size dropped and so did my shirt size. I was eating extra fibrous foods such as beans, lentils and vegetables. This improved my digestive system greatly and cleared out (sorry) any extra water weight I had. Plus, the amount of calories I was eating dropped as fibrous foods fill you up faster, meaning, less meat you have to eat!
Benefit #2: My blood pressure dropped
Unfortunately, prior to following a plant-based diet, I had high blood pressure. I was young, only 24 at the time, and I knew I did not want to go on medication at that age to lower my blood pressure. When I eliminated meat and dairy from my diet, my blood pressure recalibrated and went down to a normal measurement. Personally, this was one of the most important health benefits that came from following a vegan diet. I can attribute this to the reduced amount of sodium intake and preservatives found in meat. I also believe the fatty oils and additives found in non-plant-based foods contribute to high blood pressure.
Benefit #3: My mental and emotional health improved
When the weight started falling off and I began exercising, I felt good. With increased consumption of organic vegetables and fruits, beans and soy-based products, I felt satisfied and full all the time, without that heavy-feeling in your stomach that we feel after eating a ginormous steak! I felt toned, tight and began to notice an immediate improvement in my emotional well-being.
Benefit #4: My grocery bill dropped!
Thats right! Most people think that all vegan products are expensive and that eating plant-based is only for the wealthy. That can not be farther from the truth. Have you looked at the price of meat lately? Meat is EXPENSIVE. A can of beans from any retailer is about 99 cents to $1.10. There are affordable ways to eat vegan. Fresh vegetables such as potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms are all relatively inexpensive. I use rice a lot to add substance to my meals for carbohydrates and rice is extremely affordable if you buy it in bulk. I reduced my grocery bill about $200 per month not buying meat or dairy.
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