Wednesday, 18 May 2016
3 MONTHS VEGAN: UPDATE & WHY I MADE THE SWITCH
Hi lovelies! Today, I wanted to do a little update for you all because as of this month, I have now been vegan for three months. While this post is not to preach in any way or tell you you have to go vegan, it is to inform in the most effective way I can and hopefully help some of you to better understand the vegan lifestyle or if you're already vegan or interested in veganism, this may just be something interesting for you to read! So, today I'm going to be talking about when, how and why I went vegan and how I'm feeling since I made this lifestyle change.
So, I started transitioning to veganism in February of this year, I remember Darren & I had gone out for breakfast on Valentines Day and we then had a little at home 'pic n mix picnic' while we watched a movie. It was only when I was reading the back of a particular packet of sweets, unable to pronounce most of the ingredients that I thought wow, I don't have a clue what most of these things even are and yet I'm putting them into my body. Don't get me wrong, I've always been fairly healthy and concious of what I eat and I definitely don't believe in totally giving up sweets and treats, but there was just something about reading that long list of chemicals that day that made me want to look into these sorts of things a little more. So, a couple of days later on my day off, I took to the internet to look into these things, I came across documentaries like Food Matters and Food Inc, which talk about the food industries and whether or not what is marketed to us as 'healthy' really is beneficial to our bodies. From here, I started looking more into a plant based diet and what that can do for your health.
At first and for the first week or two after reading up on this, watching youtube videos on plant based diets and veganism, I made a partial switch. I ate 100% vegan at home with my boyfriend, but still ate as usual when I went to other peoples houses as I didn't want to 'be a pain'. However, while still eating animal foods, I felt guilty knowing the small amount I already knew and genuinely noticed a difference in how I felt at the end of each day when I had or hadn't eaten animal products. Not long after this, towards the end of the month, I watched a documentary called Forks over Knives, which is all about how certain foods, Meat, Dairy and Eggs in particular can be so damaging to our health and I was shocked. I was glued to the screen throughout the whole show, which is rare for me, but when it finished I knew I wanted to go plant based with my diet.
So, that was the first step, I still wasn't 100% connected to veganism through the ethical or environmental factors so I still hadn't really thought about my clothes or beauty products. However, one day I had a particularly large pile of washing up to do and to get me through it, I decided to find a Youtube Video to watch. I came across '101 - Reasons to go Vegan', which explains not only more about the health aspects of the vegan lifestyle, but the ethical reasons too. If you're at all considering veganism, this video is a great one to start with, as there's not too much of the graphic cruelty shown (though I do believe everyone should see this at some point), it makes it a fairly easy place to start. It's very informative, but also very entertaining and engaging, so you'll actually want to keep watching. After watching this, I wanted to know more, so I later watched 'Farm to Fridge', which is only just over 10 minutes long and so important, as I think we should all know where our 'food' is coming from. I also watched 'Earthlings' as well as covering the meat, dairy and egg industry, also fully opened my eyes to the cruelty in the cosmetic and fashion industry, which is why I will no longer be buying leather products or using brands that test on animals or use animal products. I do still have some products like this and leather products, which I am not going to throw away as I don't want to be wasteful, but I will not be contributing any more.
As for the environmental aspect, this wasn't really something I'd though too much about, but after watching 'Cowspiracy' on Netflix, I was appalled at how much of an impact animal agriculture has on our planet. People think of the whole 'save the planet' thing as a hippy thing, but this is our planet that our children and grandchildren have to live on for years to come. We're making small steps with our plastic bag charges and every house having a recycling bin, but if everyone halved their meat, dairy and egg intake or even went fully vegan, the planet could improve dramatically in such a short amount of time.
So, those were my reasons for going vegan. At first, for my health, as plant based nutrition has been proven to prevent disease and be the best for the human body (say what you will about this, I have done my research and 100% believe this to be true!) and then for the animals and environment. While I know one person may not change the whole world, I like knowing I'm doing my bit and not contributing to these industries. That's probably the best thing for me since going vegan is feeling like I'm doing something good and making small changes in my own way. A few of my friends and family members have also been very interested and have been taking my fully vegan recipes to try at home, or vowing to go animal product free at least one day a week, or cut down their intake and it's great knowing you're inspiring people to do something so good for their health.
As for how I actually feel in a literal aspect, I've been so much more energised and alert as I'm finally getting the proper nutrients that my body needs. While I did make an effort to be healthy before, I see now that a lot of the foods I was eating that I didn't realise were bad for me were definitely having an effect. I wake up with much more energy every morning, my skin is better, I feel more toned than ever without very much vigorous exercise at all (I walk for at least 1 hour total most days, have a moderately active job as a beautician and do a little light exercise at home, but no gyms or intense running!) and my skin and hair have never been better!
I'm going to leave this post here as I could honestly go on for days about this topic, but if there's anything else you'd like to know or any other posts like this you'd like to see, please leave me a comment below as I'd love to know your thoughts!