17 November 2022
Things I Learned After Going Vegan
As I mentioned in my previous blog on plant-based living, it wasn’t long into my spiritual journey that I found and committed myself to veganism. I have been eating a plant-based diet and striving to be vegan in many other aspects of my life, for three years now. I have learned so much about myself in that time, so I wanted to share some of the changes I noticed and some of the myths my vegan journey has busted…
Changes In My Mind And Body After Going Vegan
Going vegan has changed me for the better – and not just physically, but mentally, too. Here are the three ways my mind and body have changed since switching to a plant-based diet:
Change 1: Better skin
Having suffered from horrible acne most of my life, but particularly in my later teenage years, my skin significantly improved since I cut animal products from my diet. Now, my skin is noticeably clearer, more even in tone and texture and less painful than it was in previous years. As someone passionate about leading a completely plant-based lifestyle, I also made the switch to using only vegan and cruelty-free beauty products. Thanks to more natural and vegan formulas I’ve experienced fewer breakouts and allergic reactions as I am no longer putting harsh chemicals on my skin.
Change 2: Better eating habits
In terms of my mental health, I have found veganism has given me a much healthier relationship with food. Before I went vegan, I used to be a “gym girl” who would track my calories and macros every time I ate. I would force an excessive amount of protein into my diet and watch my weight daily, constantly striving to reach a “goal” number on the scales. Since going vegan, I haven’t followed a strict diet or counted my calories. Instead, I am more intuitive as I listen to my body and eat what I feel like (within reason!). Now, while my weight fluctuates a little (as it should), I can maintain it without even trying. Exercise is no longer a chore as I enjoy it without feeling the pressure to fuel myself with unnecessary amounts of protein beforehand.
Change 3: Better compassion
Overall, I have had a far more compassionate outlook on life since becoming vegan. Not only do I feel more of an emotional attachment towards animals and the natural world, but also the environment as a whole and myself. I know I am living and eating in a way that is better for the world around me and the creatures I share it with. I feel much better about myself as a result of that knowledge. If I make a mistake, I’m more empathetic with myself, because I know I’m doing my best.
The Myths Around A Vegan Diet
Everyone, whether vegan or not, has an opinion about it. As such, the conversation around veganism is heavily littered with myths about how it impacts the body. From rumours that a vegan diet lowers your energy levels to theories that plant-based eating will make you anaemic and vitamin-deficient, I have heard them all. And – spoiler alert – not all of them are true! Here are the three biggest concerns I had about going vegan before actually making the switch.
Myth 1: Carbs are fattening
Since a vegan diet can often be very rich in carbohydrates, I was terrified that I would gain a lot of weight if I went vegan. In my late teens and early 20s, I had a huge misconception about carbs and would fear eating them because I was convinced they would make me gain unhealthy body fat. Now that I am actually vegan I realised there is nothing to fear from eating carbs, if anything they are a crucial part of a balanced and healthy diet. As mentioned earlier, I don’t track my calories at all now that I am vegan, and I’m pleased to say my weight has never been more consistent!
Myth 2: Vegan desserts taste bad
I am not ashamed to admit that I love my desserts. One of my worries going into a plant-based diet was that I wouldn’t be able to continue eating delicious pastries, chocolate or desserts if I went vegan. Luckily, I was wrong! Vegan desserts are just as tasty as anything I ate before transitioning my eating habits. The best part is most of them are made from natural sugars, making them healthier whilst still being equally as tempting. As a self-confessed sweet tooth, I knew that healthy, plant-based desserts were one of the first things I wanted to put on the Plant Essence menu – my Dubai-based cloud kitchen!
Myth 3: Veganism is hard
One of my biggest concerns was that adopting a vegan diet would be hard. The truth is, I found the transition incredibly smooth and I rarely find myself tempted by non-vegan options when choosing what to eat. Admittedly going vegan was a little easier for me than most as I had been vegetarian for over 12 years prior. Nevertheless, I still expected giving up sweet treats to be a tough challenge. Honestly, with all the amazing vegan options on the market right now, I feel spoilt for choice!
Although many of my vegan friends have had similar experiences to mine, it’s important to remember that my experience of going vegan is exactly that: my experience. If you currently eat meat and/or other animal-based products and you choose to go vegan (which I hope you do!), remember that your journey to veganism will also be entirely unique. That’s the beauty of it, really, every vegan has a story to tell!