On December 16th 2017, I had an experience that I’ll never forget.
I ate a veggie burger for the first time in my 28 years of life. And after doing so, I decided to give up all meat products from my diet, forever. (You can witness that moment for yourself in my highlight reel on Instagram at @Bomuchoki)
I had been thinking about going vegan for a long time. But I had always hesitated because I enjoyed the taste of meat. Once I realized that I actually preferred the taste of vegan meat-alternatives to actual meats, it was game over.
I would never be the same. It was the New Year’s Resolution I wasn’t expecting to make.
So for the past 5 weeks, I have not consumed any dairy, eggs, or meats.
There are unfortunately many food establishments that don’t offer vegan options for certain foods. So I admit that there were moments when I ate cream cheese or ice cream that contained dairy because I had no other option. And I was hungry. But aside from that, I’ve eaten no milk, eggs, or meats whatsoever for over a month.
I knew going into it that there would be benefits. But the life-changes have been much better than I ever expected. So these are my Greatest Gains from 1 Month of Veganism, 4 amazing and unexpected benefits of sacrificing meats from my diet.
For those who are new to Veganism, becoming a vegan means that you do not eat meat-products in any shape, form or fashion including eggs, dairy, and actual meats. Becoming a vegetarian means that you avoid meats, but still consume dairy and egg products.
Veganism and vegetarianism can both have some incredible benefits. So if you are considering making the switch, I hope this article gives you that push you need to get started.
1) Better Moods Throughout the Day & Greater Happiness
Meat, dairy, and eggs used to destroy my good moods.
Food is supposed to make us feel happier, more upbeat, and more energized. Unfortunately, animal-products did the exact opposite for me—all the time.
The milkshakes, burgers, steaks, shrimps, bacon, eggs, beef, goat, and lamb always made me feel irritated, aggravated, or at least very sluggish. Then there was also feelings of shame, guilt, and disappointment in myself for having given in to my cravings.
I never felt proud for my meat-eating decisions, not even once.
I remember as a child, I would sometimes spit pieces of meat back out into a napkin when no one was looking because the sensation of chewing on an animal’s flesh made me feel guilty or disgusted. No matter how much I wanted to feel good about the burgers, steaks, and milkshakes, it never felt positive even when I was a child.
As a slimmer guy, my hunger and food cravings had always been powerful. So I would usually get really eager, excited, or optimistic as I prepared to eat. But as soon as I finished eating, the excitement, enthusiasm, and joy of the meal would turn into tiredness and disappointment. After I was done eating, I no longer felt as sharp, optimistic, or energetic as I did before. Then I would always struggle with that late afternoon crash that I couldn’t snap out of with drinking a red-bull, coffee, or energy drink.
I tolerated that for 28 YEARS because I didn’t think there was a better option. I didn’t realize that the vegan meat-alternatives could taste as great (if not better) than traditional meats. I thought that the sluggishness was just the nature of what eating food felt like. And of course, everybody else I knew was a meat-eater.
So it was hard for me to question it because everybody else was doing it. And it’s human nature to follow the crowd.
Then everything changed December 16th of 2017 as I treated myself to a vegetarian burger for the first time in my life. I enjoyed a delicious burger with fries at the drive-through. But after I was done, I felt no sluggishness, irritation, bad mood, or crash associated with traditional meat at all. And I actually thought it tasted better.
The veggie burger blew my mind. I was stunned, instantly a believer.
Then over the past 5 weeks, I’ve been starting off my day happy and then continuing that positive mood throughout the rest of my day or night.
I’m still human. So I have some negative moments. But the bad moments are much farther and few between than they were when I was a meat-eater.
The initial switch to choosing fruits, vegetables, plants, and vegan-meat-alternatives over animal products was a bit of a struggle when I first started. But I always walked away from meals feeling happier than I did before I ate.
It was always worth it.
I never thought I would see the day when I could enjoy a burger and fries at the drive through without any guilt, disappointment, irritation, or sluggishness.
But that day is here. And I couldn’t be happier.
2) More Energy on Less Hours of Sleep
So without that late afternoon crash, I am MUCH more physically and mentally energetic these days than I used to be.
Before I went the vegan route, getting anything less than 8 hours of sleep made me exhausted. It was tough to function on less than the full amount of sleep without drinking a 5-hour-energy shot or squeezing in a nap at some point.
After giving up the meats, I now function on 7, 6, or even 5 hours of sleep without drinking an energy shot or taking a nap. I never would of thought that would ever be possible. I thought the exhaustion was my body’s natural response to the sleep loss.
I now realize that eating meat played a huge role in the exhaustion. So since the meat-products are out of the equation, I’m able to get less sleep, more often without crashing. And because of that I’m getting more done.
So if you do feel exhausted on your day-to-day and want to feel more physically and mentally energetic, going vegan or vegetarian could definitely be the right move for you.
But I do want to throw out this disclaimer before you get started: B12 is an essential vitamin that you can only get through eating meat-products. You can’t get B12 from plants. Becoming a pure vegan puts you at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency. And the main symptom of this is extreme fatigue and weakness. So if you do want to feel that energy-boost that I’m talking about here, you must make take your B12 supplements on the daily or at least weekly to avoid getting fatigued.
3) My Acid Reflux is Gone!
Back in 2014, I started getting extremely nauseous after my meals. And on many occasions, I would even vomit the meal up—especially if it contained any greasy or fatty animal-products.
After having an endoscopy done, my gastroenterologist came to the conclusion that I was suffering from acid reflux. So in order to stop the nausea and the vomiting, I had to either change my diet or start taking an Omeprazole pill (commonly known as Prilosec) every single day for the rest of my life. Given that I was not ready to make any changes to my diet, I went with the Prilosec option.
At the time, I was totally okay with taking that omeprazole every day if it meant that I wouldn’t have to get nauseous after every meal. Then coincidentally, as I began to think about giving up meat in 2017, I discovered that there are potentially very serious long-term side-effects of taking omeprazole on a daily basis.
So veganism suddenly became a very attractive option to me because I knew that it could help get rid of the acid reflux problem without my needing to take omeprazole every day.
And lo and behold, it worked!
All it took to stop the vomiting was sacrificing meat, eggs, and dairy from my diet altogether. Now I no longer suffer from the nausea and I don’t have to deal with the long-term consequences of taking that ant-acid pill on a daily basis.
This is a very positive benefit of veganism I don’t think we discuss often enough. If you suffer from acid reflux, this is definitely something for you to think about!
4) I Eat No-Guilt Vegan “Junk” Food All the Time
One of the biggest misconceptions of veganism is that you have to sacrifice the guilty pleasures—like fast-foods, burgers, and steaks. But the truth is, I haven’t made any sacrifices whatsoever.
I actually eat more “junk” foods like burgers and hotdogs than I used to. The only difference is, the meat-alternatives that don’t contain any animal ingredients whatsoever.
As I started to eat these in December, my most mind-blowing epiphany was realizing that I enjoyed the taste of the meat-alternatives better than traditional meats and milk. Fortunately for those of us who are looking to give up meat-products, we’ve come to a point in 2018 where the vegan food companies have become so skilled at creating these alternatives that you might consume a vegan alternative by mistake and you wouldn’t even be able to taste the difference.
You might never realize that you weren’t eating actual meat. Some of their products are that convincing.
I actually consume my former guilty-pleasures more often than I used to. The only difference is I don’t feel any guilt for eating those burgers and hotdogs, because the alternatives consist of much healthier ingredients like pea-protein, beans, soy, quinoa, seeds, and vegetables.
And even though the vegan-meats are much healthier than actual meat-products, some of them are high in sodium. So if you do go the vegan route, try not to rely on the vegan-meats too heavily. Make sure to balance the diet out with actual lettuce, fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes, and so on.
More Gains Than I Ever Expected!
It’s only been 5 weeks since I gave up the dairy, eggs, and meats.
So far, it has been an INCREDIBLE ride—one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made. I have made amazing gains in my happiness, energy, productivity, health, and peace of mind than I ever thought was possible. I eat my guilty-pleasure-foods more often without any shame or consequences. And I no longer have to swallow a pill every day that could have horrible consequences on my life in the long-term.
Things are looking UP!
I highly recommend the vegan or vegetarian diet. As I said before, the only disclaimer I have for you is to make sure you take a B12 supplement regularly if you are going to be sacrificing all meat-products from your diet.
And even though I use the word sacrifice, one day you’re going to realize that you actually aren’t making any “sacrifices” at all. Because veganism is a much happier, healthier, and more environmentally-friendly way of life.
Even if you don’t want to do it for the animals, DO IT FOR YOURSELF.
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