There are so many health trends in today’s world, everything from keto, pescatarian, flexitarian, and vegetarian. Trying to follow these trends and deciding which diet is best for yourself can be seriously daunting. Today we look at becoming a Vegan.
I recently had an email interview with a friend who formerly lived in Lancaster County and has now made his home in Florida. He made a switch in diet about 3 years ago to Veganism. This way of eating excludes all animal products such as meats, cheese, milk, eggs, anything and everything derived from an animal.
After reading over his story I have come to realize that this isn’t just a way of eating, it is a way of living. Being a vegan is a movement to better not just yourself, but the world as we know it.
Here is his story.
“I’ve been vegan for around 3 years now. I found out about veganism when I lived in Lancaster PA. At first, I had no idea what it really was other than a hipster fad around town. Fast forward 10 years later, I am now living in Florida and sitting down to watch Netflix with my girlfriend and I see this movie called “What the Health”. After watching this documentary we had an eye opening experience about what meat and dairy really does to your body. At the time I had been experiencing for a few years, some major bloating issues that had been making me uncomfortable in so many aspects of my daily life. We realized we needed to make a change, so the next day my girlfriend and I got rid of anything in the house that was meat or dairy. We gave it all to friends, started over with a clean slate and went shopping.
After switching to the vegan diet, I haven’t felt bloated since that time. I’ve lost 30 lbs. and kept it off for years with no issues, plus I eat what I want and I don’t gain weight at all. Besides the physical positives of switching, the mental part is another story. After watching “What the Health” I started following other vegans on Instagram and that’s when my eyes really opened. I forced myself to watch and educate myself with as much information as possible. I started to become completely consumed with watching slaughter videos, allowing myself to be exposed to the full truth of these corporations and mass production of animals for food. I cried over and over for about 6 months, realizing the horrific reality and lies that these companies stand for. I even quit my job 3 months into veganism. It was all tech all the time and I saw the world in a new light, I felt I was “no longer brain washed”. After making these life changes and beginning a new journey major depression kicked in but I continued to stick to this new lifestyle and outlook. I lost most of my friends from being arrogant about the reality of what happens to animals and people’s bodies. I didn’t hold back, I wanted to support the cause full force. I never eased into it. I’m the type of person that knows when I want to do something I’m ready to go NOW! So, I went full vegan and it was like switching on the lightbulb of reality.
The top 3 reasons I would give to help someone switch would really depend on their outlook and what they want. So many things from reversing health issues, to enlightenment, to weight loss, or even understanding the environmental damage and so on…. My top reasons are 1. The animals 2. How I feel now. 3. I really learned to cook and fend for myself. I went from eating for taste to eating because I was actually hungry more often. I look up most of my recipes online and I really opened up my palette by learning to like onions, leeks, lentils, beans, and tons of other things I normally wouldn’t get with my food on a night out. I didn’t really know how to cook until I didn’t have the options that I was normally familiar with. There are also more and more places to eat vegan these days and I really enjoy a place called Fresh Kitchen.
When it comes to getting the right amount of nutrients you really do have to try. Protein is in everything so that’s not really an issue but you do have to do some research to see where to get the most protein if you are trying to bulk up. I would say B12, Iron, and Omegas are harder to obtain but you can take supplements or add things to smoothies like chia seeds and flax seeds. I was worried about not getting enough Omegas which mostly come from fish and then I realized I hadn’t eaten any seafood my entire life other than a fish stick as a kid. I’m still here and feeling great so who knows. On the other hand, when it comes to consumption of animals I’m not completely against it, that is if this were a time when animals were free roaming. I would still be vegan anyway because I choose not to take lives. You also take lives with your dollar so I don’t buy it for others unless it’s for the homeless or a gift to my now meat eating girlfriend.
Any words of wisdom I would give to anyone embarking on a new diet would be, don’t diet. Find what works for you and educate yourself on what makes your body feel its best. I’ve been a pretty bad vegan when it comes to eating raw and I have a lot of frozen food. This is something I’m now working on to try to better my body and how I feel. Everything worth anything takes a bit of effort and some drive to get there. If you ever choose to go vegan do tons of research and have a reason for why you would like to consider it. Also, if you have poor mental health I would suggest staying away from the videos.”
About the Author
Jason Terry is 35 years of age and currently living in St. Petersburg, FL. Jason has been a Vegan for the past 3 years. You can find him on Instagram at @thereal_jasonterry.
Final Thoughts From The Wellness Periodical
It is important to remember that choosing to live better through diet can change not just your body, but your mind as well. As they say, “you are what you eat”. I challenge you to assess your current day-to-day lifestyle, and ask yourself “Am I living the life I always wanted? Do I care for my health, the earth and our over-all system? Do my eating habits effect my mental and physical well-being?” Changing your thoughts, and your lifestyle is possible. You just have to work towards it and give yourself the chance to take that leap.