Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Top 5 Reasons Why I'm A Plant-Based Vegan

As with any journey, mine has slowly evolved into something much more. I began my lifestyle change in February 2012 after I gained nearly 30 lbs. in less than 7 years and a month after my mom finally told me she had Type 2 diabetes (just like my grandma). When people initially asked me why I was doing this, I said for "health reasons", but now it's not so clear cut. Although I have many more reasons why I'm plant-based, here are my top five!

1. I don't want to be diagnosed with diabetes (or any other lifestyle disease). What did I just say?! Yes, lifestyle disease. For years, I almost felt slightly doomed after finding out my grandma had Type 2 diabetes. I really dislike needles and testing my blood sugar multiple times a day was the last thing I wanted to do. When my mom told me she was also diagnosed, that was it! I also had an insanely high cholesterol for a 23 year old. I'm proud to say that because of the changes I have made, I'm no longer in danger with my cholesterol, triglicerides or my liver.

2. I began to make a connection between the food on my plate and the animals I was eating. You know that person who says, "I don't care where my food came from. Please don't talk about it!" Yeah, that was totally me. I really didn't care about considering the animals in all of this. They are here for us to eat, right? I have had to retrain my thought process on much more than just this, but it was all starting to make more sense to me now. I had even picked eggs from the chicken coop we had while growing up. I can now say I have a much deeper respect for animals and understand that they too can feel pain just as our domestic animals can. (Ever accidentally stepped on a dog's tail? Try imagining what the meat on your plate endured.)

3. I spend less time and money at the grocery store. I'm still getting used to stuffing my grocery cart with produce and healthy items, and I usually slightly am scared to wheel my cart to the checkout line. I have no idea why I have this terror (maybe it's from all those people who think eating healthy is expensive!), but I'm always pleasantly surprised when it rings up as much less than I always expect. By avoiding most of the inner aisles in the grocery store and sticking to just the produce, non-dairy milk, whole wheat bread and spice section, I find trips to the store much more enjoyable.

4. My weight was steadily increasing and I needed to take action. When I stepped on the scale in February, I knew something wasn't right. Although I do not believe that skinny equals healthy, I do know that excess weight is usually the first visible sign of a problem. I had gained mine simply by going through too many fast food drive thrus, irresponsible and unhealthy snacking and lack of cooking skills. I was pretty much one of those people who just thought I could eat whatever and it wouldn't stick. Until it did. I'm proud to say after six months of dedication to my plant-based diet the results were astounding.

5. The research supporting a plant-based diet as the healthiest is massive. Critics of plant-based diets can say whatever they want! I did my own little experiment with my heatlh, and found that by following a plant-based diet, my total cholesterol dropped by 80 points. Forks Over Knives inspired me and the continuous research that I conduct on a daily basis has further impacted my view on the subject. I've amassed a large collection of vegan cookbooks, research, documentaries and a little bit of everything else out there on the subject. Check out my plant-based resources here!

If you've recently felt like it's all caught up with you like I did, then maybe it's time to start looking for a better solution. I took this approach and jumped in with both feet. I've never done anything like this in my life ever before, but I've really noticed that I'm feeling like myself now. Before, I was just kind of going along with what I knew and struggled with the idea that nutrition could cause or cure health problems. No matter what your reasons are for choosing or even contemplating this lifestyle choice, be sure to really stand for what you believe in.

Looking to go vegan? Check out these related posts below!

Where to Begin
Kitchen Overhaul
5 Tips for a Healthy Vegan Diet
Pinterest Plant-Strong Board
Top 5 Reactions to "I'm Vegan"
Protein in a Vegan Diet
5 Tips for Eating a Plant-Based Diet (Anywhere)
Veganism in a Nutshell (video)
5 Things I've Learned Through Veganism
Foods That Kill

Kelsey is a passionate vegan living in Houston, Texas, spreading the word about the benefits of eating a healthy, plant-based diet. She's also a minimalist enthusiast, a self-proclaimed financial guru of her household, and founder of The Little Red Journal.

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