What I Wasn’t Prepared For Going Full-Time Plant-Based

Part-time plants was my vision. As a cheese-lover and egg-eater, I always told myself that I didn’t have to go full plant-based. I told myself that I was doing enough. I will preach that even just cutting back on meat, and reducing your dairy intake will make an impact on sustainability, but I got to a point where I wanted to take the plunge for full-out veganism.

So here I am four weeks later, and I have kept my promise. But there are so many things that I didn’t prepare for.  I just wanted to take the full jump instead of researching and debating every single thing. I’m about to be super real so here’s a list of things that I didn’t expect.

Physical

Weight Loss:

Okay this is definitely something that was kinda expected, but I didn’t realize that it would be that much. I have lost about 15 pounds in the past 9 months, and about 5 of them have been in the past month. There are also other outliers, as I have quit working out every single day, but I have definitely noticed a decrease in my weight significantly. I have had to focus on protein levels alot more than I ever have.

Acne:

This was the most unexpected.

I had forehead acne this winter thanks to astonishing amount of days that I was wearing beanies (and I was really bad at keeping up with hat laundry). And it got worse before it got better after I moved out of the ski town and to SLC.

While I wasn’t consuming a lot of milk products anyways, I thought that completely cutting it out would make my acne going away. And it absolutely did not. And I freaked out. I have never really had bad acne, and this made me stressed out (which cause an endless cycle).

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I researched it and it could have been a few different things:

  1. Diet Change: any time your body goes through diet changes, it’s going to take a little time to reach equilibrium.
  2. Low Zinc Levels: Zinc can assist the immune system and the skin.   “Phytates, which are commonly found in plant foods, reduce zinc absorption, and some researchers have suggested that this increases the zinc needs of vegetarians by up to 50%” Read more here.  I have started taking a zinc supplement, and a week on it has really helped pimple breakouts go down, along with the Blume Meltdown oil blend.
  3. Reaction to Soy: As you ween off of other animal proteins, alot of people to turn to soy products like tofu. But your body can have allergic and hormonal reactions to soy. Curious? See here.
  4. Energy and woo-woo stuff: It was my body cleansing out the last bit of animal product and negative thoughts with it. Thinking about this turned it positive. It wasn’t about what my body isn’t getting, it’s how my body is getting better.

I am in no way a medical professional diagnosing these, but researching these items has led me to tweaking my diet to make sure my body reaches equilibrium.

Mental:

Mind Shift To Sustainability:

Yeah, I haven’t really liked meat a lot anyways, but going vegan, I thought it was going to be more about the food. No eating this or that. However, while most of my choices are buying some vegan cheese vs real cheese, it’s also about choosing a cob of corn vs a can of corn. It’s about eating whole foods over packaged goods and processed foods.IMG_3235.jpg

Caring About What Others Think

I know this sounds really silly. It’s not like vegans are oppressed or anything, but I think a little anxiety has kicked in. I have always cared way too much about what people think of me and my choices, and this has been a little bit of a learning point about my own confidence.

I know not everyone has chosen to live this lifestyle, so I think of myself as a burden (which led to not really telling my parents until one day after I visited them). I don’t want others to mold their plans around my itinerary, so I have limited my social outings.

I have really tried embracing this lifestyle, and to be fearless in order to encourage others to make a shift in their own. It’s still a journey, but I am slowly learning to have confidence in this decision and others.

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Going full-time plant-based has been an incredible learning experience. It has led me to being more in touch with my body, as well as with what I put into it.

One thing I have especially paid attention to is the power of my mind. For the previous 12 months, I was telling myself that “I can’t give up cheese… I can’t give up eggs. I just love both of them too much and rely on their protein (and good tastes)”, but when I shifted my train of thoughts towards finding plant-based alternatives, I realized that I really could have done it all along.

Your part -time turned full-time  plant eater:

AJ

 

 

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