Monique from Brown Vegan wrote a post “Why I Stay a Vegan“and while reading her post, I asked myself why I continue eating a vegan diet. Everyone who eats a vegan diet does so for different reasons. But as you will see, overtime my reasons for sticking with a vegan diet evolved.
When I began my journey to eating a vegan diet / plant-based diet, it was mostly for health reasons. Over time, I have experienced a renewing of my health. I don’t feel like I am a 40-year-old. Then again, how does a 40-year-old feel? I hope not bad, but I do know some who have challenges.
All I can say is that I feel lighter (mentally, physically, and spiritually), have great regularity, my skin looks the best it has looked in a long time, I look feel and look younger than I really am, and I am not overweight. I don’t see myself returning to an animal-based diet any time soon.
I never started eating vegan for ethical reasons, but the longer I stay on this path, the more compassionate I am toward animals. I know as a vegan, I am not supposed to wear anything that comes from an animal, or even use products that have animal ingredients.
I am moving toward this way of life. I don’t intentionally go out and buy clothing that comes from an animal. I still have some personal care products that do have animal ingredients in them. But I make sure I buy products that specifically say on the label, “no animal cruelty.”
I never thought I would get to this point in my journey, but I feel good about the growth and change.
Whatever your reasons are for choosing a vegan diet, do know that you will evolve, just like I have. Evolution is quick for some and gradual for others.
The longer you stick with eating a vegan diet, you will find it creeping into every aspect of your life. Soon it will be a way of life for you. It happened for me and I continue growing.
Discussion: Why did you decide to eat a vegan diet and how has things changed since starting the vegan diet?
Blogging since 2008, Evelyn shares healthy living tips and inspiration. Evelyn holds a M.S. degree in biology from Tennessee Technological University and she obtained an Eating Psychology Coaching Certification from the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Learn more about Evelyn by visiting the About Page. Join Evelyn's Mailing List to receive Blog Post Updates and News by submitting the Sign-up Form. You can find Evelyn on Twitter, Google Plus, and You Tube. Stay connected!
You are so right, Evelyn. Not vegan (yet), but my vegetarianism has definitely evolved over time - and it's only been 16 months.
At first, it was all about me... no more hormones, thank you. Then I decided that animals really didn't have to die in order for me to get everything I need, nutritionally (if I'm stuck on a deserted island, all bets are off).
I'm now what I call "dairy-lite".
It is definitely a journey full of twisty, windy roads - and I'm still a newbie :)
Evolution brings about a change. Time tells it all.
Yeah, I feel you about being on deserted island. Survival of the fittest for sure.
It is truly a journey. The twists and windy roads are what shape and make us who we are.
Great post! It's amazing how this food journey has evolved for so many of us. Besides the amazing health benefits, the impact on other people throughout the world, our environment and realizing that animals don't have to be scarified for our health is liberating. It makes you questions a lot of needs and wants in other aspects of your life and usually for the better. :-)
I also still have some non-vegan clothing/shoes, etc (pre-vegan items) but I am a lot more conscious now when I shop.
Thanks for the mention. :-)
While I'm not vegan or vegetarian, I know what you mean with that you'll evolve. We all beginners and over time our diets/lifestyles will be more fine tuned. Our family has come along way compared to when we first started eating healthy.
This reminds me of a recent conversation with my 7-year-old:
Him: Mom, are pigs made out of bacon?
Me: Ummm, yes. I suppose.
Him: Then why are we eating bacon? That's so sad.
Perhaps I have a vegan-son in the making? I, myself actually don't eat bacon and virtually zero red meat, but I gotta buy it anyway, because my husband insists. Namely, removing 99% of red meat from my diet has made me feel sooo much better. That "heavy" feeling is gone.
Wow, it sounds like you do have a little vegan-son in the making.
That's great that you've removed red meat from your diet. That's one of the first things that I hear some doctors recommend eliminating.
Thanks for stopping by and chiming in!
I love the idea of being a vegan and I tried it a couple of times, but always went back to eating meat cause when I didn't I had absolutely no energy, I always felt so tired. Sometimes in the back of my mind I still think maybe I should give it a try one more time, and when I do try it it feels the same, I loose all of my energy :(.
I still have to do the Tag post, I've been so busy this week, but I will do it as soon as I can :).
Eating a vegan diet isn't for everyone. Some do well, while others don't. You must always listen to your body and do what is best for you.
That's fine! I look forward to learning more about you.
Have a great weekend!
I have a friend who was recently talking to me about moving towards a plant based diet. He recommended a few documentaries that I plan to check out. What I was wondering for you is do you find that restaurants offer items that fit your diet? I don't necessarily eat out a ton, but I thought this might be an obstacle for me in sticking with this way of eating. Any thoughts you have are appreciated.
Like you I don't eat out that much. But when I do, I try to eat at restaurants that I know have something for me. It's very hard at times, especially when I don't know the area that I am in.
I usually eat at restaurants that have good veggies, salad bars, and sometimes a veggie entree option. Asian, Italian, Indian and other ethnic restaurants usually have good veggie dishes to choose from too. There have been times when I wanted a certain entree, but I would ask the waitress/waiter to leave out certain ingredients. They usually honor your request. Sometimes, I eat before leaving home so that I don't have to eat out or I'll bring my food with me.
I hope this helps and best wishes!
I started a plant-based diet after hearing one of Dr. Esselstyne's lectures on the cardio benefits of such a diet. I'm sure I misspelled his name, by the way. Anyway, I was fascinated by the idea that heart disease could possibly be reversed. So far, it has resulted in some lost pounds. We'll see where it goes from here.
That's great! I know who you're talking about, his name is hard to spell off the top of my head, so I know what you mean.
I'm glad that you have seen results since switching to a plant-based diet.
I wish you the best!
I started out a vegetarian 23 years ago when I was in my 20's, and the have gravitated back and forth between vegetarian/vegan/raw-vegan. Last 4 or 5 years I've settled for "vegan" (as has my hubby). Our reasons for staying vegan have evolved over the years just as you write. For us, we started out because of health issues but now our arguments are mainly moral/ethical. I'm also so thrilled vegan news are making it main stream more and more, like Mr Clinton going vegan, the movies (did you see "Forks Over Knifes"?). Anyway, thanks for a nice site.
Due to so many allergies, I have gradually become a healthier eater. First I had to cut out processed food due to egg, tomato, wheat, chocolate and corn allergies along with lactose intolerance. I recently figured out that Vegetarian diet for animals (ate chicken almost every day and couldn't figure out why sick...) means corn. I have started eating Vegan not for ethical reasons, but more for my health. Now I only have to avoid wheat, chocolate and tomatoes and corn which are easy when you don't eat processed foods. My diet is very limited, but I feel like this gives me more focus and control.
Just new to this. I am not a vegetarian or vegan yet but i think I am getting there.
I've cut red meat out of my diet and slowly cutting dairy out - it is quite difficult there is dairy in almost everything I find yummy! But my determination is standing strong despite constantly being made fun of by my siblings who thinks that I am going through a 'phase' - I really hope not. I started making dietary changes because my skin was breaking out like mad and the herbalist at the health food shop recommended me to cut wheat diary and red meat. I've decided not to cut wheat out because it is too expensive to get gluten free bread! And gluten free products.
3 months later I feel much much lighter. I've lost 4 kgs! And my skin is more controlled now. It still breaks out whenever I'm naughty and have dairy. I really hope I keep going and my skin improves and health improves.
Thanks for sharing your story. It would be cool if you can share some of your experiences of changing to a plant based diet in your early days!
It is always good to gradually make changes.
Don't let your siblings get to you. You just continue doing what you know is best for you .
That's great that your skin improved because of the changes you made.
Sure, that's a good idea!
I am a vegan myself and surely there are thousands of benefits to it. I never preferred a non-veg diet which involve killing of innocent animals. The health benefits of a vegan diet can just not be ignored. I completely agree to your point that it makes you feel lighter mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Hi Evelyn. I enjoyed reading your post . So many people are under the impression that its difficult to consume all the necessary nutrients in diet without meat or chicken .But studies prove that poor meal planning is the cause of nutritional deficiencies in vegetarian diets, not the absence of animal foods. I am also a vegetarian and would love to stick to this way of eating .I am gradually trying to implement this in the clothes and products I use . Hence trying to make a transition from being a vegetarian to a vegan soon. Thanks for such an inspiring post.