A few years ago, being vegan/vegetarian was seen as an 'abnormal' diet. Not many people believed in it because, they believe that a human body needs meat/animal products to survive. But, that is NOT true. Just to share, I have been a vegetarian back when I was only 10 years old, for 2 years. No meat, but I still consumed eggs and dairy. I was also active in sports because tennis was my CCA in primary school. I had training about once a week, and I would also go for a swim every weekend. I was under the 'healthy weight' range even though I was vegetarian. I remember attending my primary 5 camp, my first school camp, and there was not any vegetarian meal option available. I was already a 'one year' vegetarian then, so obviously my body would not recognize meat when I placed it in my body. I felt so weird and disgusted after having that meal, and I remember rushing to the toilet immediately because I had such a bad diarrhoea. Since I was still young, I did not realise that it's actually a good thing that my body flushed out toxins automatically. Instead, I thought otherwise.
Additionally, as my Dad always had trouble getting vegetarian meals at his workplace, my family somehow decided to go back to eating meat. I remember I put on a few KG after that, and I felt more bloated often. I thought that was perfectly normal, especially since I had hit puberty age.
After going through different diet plans and lifestyle changes these couple of years, I decided to turn vegan last month. Before I made this decision, I watched almost all of Essena and Freelee's videos on Youtube, whom are both vegan. They are both really inspiring, and I really recommend beginner vegans to watch them!
After being on a high carb low fat (HCLF) vegan diet for just ONE month, I have already seen so much changes in my body and my skin. Today, I am going to share with you 5 reasons why I choose veganism.
1. To Feel Healthier & Happier
I was on a Paleo diet before I turned vegan. People on this diet believe that they need lots of animal protein, especially after a heavy workout. I hardly ever consumed carbs, even good carbs like sweet potatoes and brown rice. Somehow, I had this mindset that carbs will make me fat, so I stayed away from all kinds of carbs. I would usually pack chicken, hard boiled eggs and vegetables to school during my breaks. Whenever I was hungry, I would snack on fruits or raw bars. However, I realised that I was gaining fats and most possibly tons of weight even though I workout 5-6 times a day.
I also stopped having tons of fruits with my oats for breakfast because I thought that the sugar in them was making me more lethargic. Because of this, I was constantly worrying about weight gain instead of being genuinely happy. In order to mask it, I constantly told myself 'it's muscle gain', clearly that's downright stupid and ridiculous.
After switching to a HCLF vegan diet, I consumed more carbs. Sweet potatoes became my staples. I also became less afraid of potatoes, brown rice, and even white rice (I stayed away from white rice for 2 years) I ate more fruits and vegetables. I had more variety of fruits in my oat bowls in the morning, much much muuccchhh more that what I had before. Surprisingly, I felt happier and more energized when I got out of bed every morning. I stopped feeling bloated, and started to see more definitions in my body. Why? Simple. No animal fats = no fats stored in the body. Of course, It's still going to take me some time to completely strip off that layer of fats, but nothing a HCLF vegan diet and consuming 2L of water everyday can't solve ;)
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vegans are less likely to develop heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or high blood pressure than meat-eaters are. Vegans get all the nutrients that they need to be healthy, such as plant protein, fiber, and minerals, without all the nasty stuff in meat that slows you down and makes you sick, such as cholesterol and saturated animal fat (source: http://www.peta.org)
2. Say 'NO' to Animal Abuse
Have you ever wondered how you get your meat? What goes on in slaughterhouses? How you get your eggs and dairy products? Did you know that in countries like China, they consume dog meat? In Japan, you can find whale and dolphin meat in their supermarkets. How does that sound? Especially if you have a pet at home.
Watching Earthlings (Video below) will give you a glimpse of what happens in slaughterhouses. How you get your meat, and how the animals are being treated. This is also the documentary that my family and I watched about 10 years back, that convinced us to switch to a vegetarian diet. Watching it again, made me understand why we made that change.
I cried watching this. I even cringed... If you don't feel anything after watching this documentary, then I'm sorry to say that, but you're not human.
3. Cure My Severe Acne Condition
I may or may not have mentioned this before, but I started getting my first active breakout after I came back from my primary 5 camp. My mum and my yoga teacher (oh yes, I practised yoga since young. I forgot to mention that above) noticed that I was getting a few bumps on my face, and my teacher even recommended me to a dermatologist that 'cured' her daughter. I was on antibiotics for about 3 months, and like what all dermatologists would say, they claim that it's my hormones acting up yada yada. (But now piecing everything back together, it was because I started consuming meat again, thus I suffered from acne breakouts....)
I was 'cured', but when I turned 15, I suffered another breakout. I did what I had to do - go back to my derma. Antibiotics again for another 3 months. Had flawless skin again till September 2013, when I started noticing small red bumps on my face again, and then it just got worse.... That declared my WORST breakout ever. Maybe I'll blog about this next time and show you guys how bad my face was. Literally my whole face (cheeks and forehead) was covered in cystic acne and red marks.
Started on a healthier diet which made it slightly better, but It didn't cure completely. I even visited my derma again and was on antibiotics for 5-6 months. Can you believe, it's been 2 years now and my acne has not completely go away? However, being on this vegan diet has made MAJOR improvements in my skin. Even my family and friends commented on it, and this makes me so sooo happpppyyyyyyy!!!!!!!
I stopped getting active breakouts (except during my period, but just one or two small ones) and my acne scars are also starting to fade away. And all I did was cut meat out of my diet (I haven't consumed dairy since 2013 after my bad breakout), especially chicken and seafood. Those 2 I find, are the worst for my skin. Eat more fruits and vegetables and drink 2L of water everyday. Trust me, it makes SOOOO much difference to your skin!
Even Essena stands by it :)
And the twins, Nina and Randa!
4. Feel Confident in My Own Body
I wanted to stop feeling slobbish and I just wanted to feel more confident in my own skin. Even when I was on a Paleo diet, I couldn't help but feel really insecure in my own body. I even wore cardigans on super humid days because I wanted to cover my arms. THAT WAS HOW BAD IT GOT....
I knew this has got to stop because it was unhealthy for my mind. Being vegan has not only helped me feel confident in my own body, but my own skin as well. I no longer have to worry about covering my scars like I used to. Once you feel confident in your own skin, no one is able to tell you what you should or shouldn't do :)
5. Avoid Processed and Toxic Food
Flesh foods are loaded with dangerous poisons and contaminants such as hormones, herbicides and pesticides, and antibiotics. As these toxins are all fat-soluble, they concentrate in the fatty flesh of the animals. Not to mention the viruses, bacteria and parasites such as salmonella, trichinella and other worms, and toxoplasmosis parasites. (Source: http://www.ecomall.com)
Processed foods also cause you to have acne. Try to avoid processed foods at all cost, because they're not real foods. They are loaded with chemicals, things that you do not want to put into your body. Especially not when you want to be the best version of yourself.
When you make the switch, you will realise that getting loads of nasty remarks and comments is normal, even from your close friends. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't stand up for what you believe in. A little tip: don't bother convincing your friends/family to turn vegan if they don't believe in it. They will always stay in their little bubble. Some may support your decision, others will mock you for it. Thankfully for me, I have a supportive family, and I have friends who respect my lifestyle change. It wouldn't be easy at first, but you will get there.
Remember to always be the best version of you, and stand up for what you believe in. Other people's opinion wouldn't matter once you feel confident in yourself! If you have reached the bottom of this lengthy post, thank you for that, you're awesome ;) This year, I plan to be more active on my blog, after all, I created it for a reason! And a huge thank you to all of you who stayed with me even though there was a period I was rather inactive due to my internship and final year in school. I can never thank you guys enough <3
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