Ever since I was young, I have always cared about the protection of the environment and animals. At 16 years old, I decided to turn vegetarian and said goodbye to meat, fish and seafood. Of course, I had to make sure to ingest enough dairy products and eggs to get enough protein, iron, calcium and all those vitamins that you get from meat-products. To me, a vegan diet consisted only of eating fruits and veggies; therefore it wasn't a healthy and balanced option at all. Plus, going vegan would have meant no cake, macarons, or cheese, which are hard to renounce for a French native.
Having experienced many digestion issues such as bloating, stomach paint, in addition to chronic fatigue and skins issues these past few years, I tried a gluten-free diet thinking that I may have developed a sensitivity to this protein: at the beginning, I felt better but my digestion issues reappeared so I went back to a "normal diet".
Moving in Vancouver, I was surprised to discover the popularity of the plant-based (vegan) diet, particularly how many vegan options are offered by restaurants. Any grocery markets sell non-dairy milk, vegan cheese and even vegan ice-cream! Intrigued, at the beginning of the year, I set myself a challenge of going vegan for ten days.
Honestly, the first days were hard, I was hungry two hours after my meals and on my nerves. Thinking back, it's probably because I wasn't eating enough: you don't get the same amount of calories from eating a pizza and a quinoa salad. However my digestion was so much better that I kept going and diversified my diet by eating fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and starches.
After a week, I had way more energy and my skin looked so much better. My face was pimple-free and my skin looked healthier. My concealer and powder were useless. Another result was my body: I lost 5 pounds while eating at least 2500 calories per day. I realize now the misconceptions of a "healthy diet" which consists of eating a lot of low-fat meat, fruits & veggies and low (or no) carbs. Considering the fact your brain and body function on glucose, eating no carbs causes disruption of our metabolism.
At the 10th day, I could not see myself renouncing to my new diet. I had way more energy, my digestion issues were gone, I had thrown away my foundation and I've never felt better in my body. The days when I was going back home school starving and binging on chocolate or pizzas are definitely gone. I started cooking more ( and saving money) and found myself craving for fruits dinners.
It's been three months now since I am eating a plant-based diet. I honestly would have never thought it would have lasted so long. I did it as a personal challenge and as an attempt to "eat healthier". Today, I don't see myself going back to a vegetarian or omnivore diet. Everyday I enjoy every single meal without cravings for junk food. I have discovered the pleasure of cooking delicious dishes, and I especially love baking sweet vegan treats for my friends.
A growing number of doctors and researchers such as Phillip Tuso have demonstrated the misconception over vitamins deficiency when eating a plant-based (vegan) diet and have recognized "the value of plant-based diets for preventing and curing the epidemic of diseases caused by over nutrition". For those who are struggling with digestion issues, unsuccessful weight-lost diet or just want to have a greener lifestyle, this diet may fit the healthiest version of you.
Photo cred- @bonnyrebecca
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