Plant-based eating, which is all about eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and nuts has really taken off the past few years. I will admit, I was skeptical – we are born and raised in a society that is based around fruits and veggies, but also dairy and meats. I was transformed after I watched the Netflix documentary, “The Game Changers” which is about the benefits of plant-based eating for athletes. While I am obviously not an athlete, this documentary covers multiple success stories of plant-based athletes, scientific studies, and touches on other arguments for plant-based diets that extend to non-athletes.
The Game Changers argues that meat as a source of protein is a misconception and a very “expensive” wrapper to deliver protein, most of which can be ingested from plants/vegetables.
Basically, what I learned is that living and eating a predominantly plant-based lifestyle can improve your heart health, slow down cognitive decline, lower your risk for diabetes, and support optimal gut health. Not to mention, it’s said to be the best diet for the planet.
So, I thought – “Why not?”
This is What Happens When You Go Plant-Based
I will start by saying, I went plant-based cold turkey. I’m an all or nothing kind of person, and I jumped right in. I browsed Pinterest, made a “Plant-Based Meals” board, wrote out a meal plan for the week, and hit the grocery store. And here’s what I noticed after a month of going full-on (for the most part) plant-based.
I feel and am leaner
While I won’t lie, I had HIGH hopes and BIG dreams of losing enough pounds over the month to look like a Victoria’s Secret Model and hitting my “goal” weight on the scale. While that did not happen, I feel less bloated. I can tell that I am leaner because my pants are looser, almost to the point of needing a belt. Apparently, the number on the scale doesn’t mean anything (not that I am a believer in my own mental state in that) but I can start to understand the concept a little more.
Meats, cheeses, and other highly processed foods lead to inflammation/bloating and while a little inflammation isn’t bad, over the course of years, it’s been linked to atherosclerosis, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases.
My skin is less oily
While I didn’t lose 10 lbs as I wanted and I have fairly good skin (which I attribute to my Beautycounter routine) I’ve always had oily skin. Whereat the end of the day, I want to use those oil pads and pat dry the oil, or come home from work and to fully relax I need to wash my face. And after a month of eating a plant-based diet, this isn’t the case. My skin doesn’t feel or look oily at the end of the day.
I get full faster
I used to pride myself on my appetite, where sometimes I could eat as much (if not more) than boys. Let me tell you, this is not the case anymore. I get so full so fast, and the type of uncomfortable full where you just need to lay down. This leads to smaller meals and small snacks throughout the day – and wasn’t this something we’ve heard is better to do for years?
I have more energy
I wake up every morning with a cup of coffee and no I will never give up my coffee, but I never have the urge for a second cup. Or an afternoon cup. I don’t get an afternoon “slump” and I have energy after work to get moving.
I’ve paid more attention to what I’m eating
This doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m only eating healthy foods…think carbs! But that I’m more aware of what I’m eating, vs just having a craving and going for it. I think this overall thought leads to a healthier lifestyle overall.
There’s a “vegan” option for pretty much everything
From beyond meat burgers, to vegan cream cheese, to vegan cheese, to vegan sour cream, you name it, it’s there. Yes, it’s different and no it doesn’t taste exactly like what you’re used to. Going plant-based means you are retraining your brain on how to eat and what you think you need. In turn, you are still “feeling” like you get to eat a bean and cheese burrito, but you have to adjust your way of thinking about how it’s going to taste.
There are strictly vegan restaurants
In San Diego specifically, there are SO many options for both vegan and plant-based restaurants. I am planning on writing a blog post on those – so stay tuned on that because we are slowly but surely checking these off the list!
What happens to your body when going plant-based?
While I didn’t measure my cholesterol before or my blood sugar levels, or really anything of that there is a lot, and a lot of scientific evidence of what happens to your body when you are eating a plant-based diet.
Something that really struck me was that just a week of eating a whole food plant-based diet can improve your health and change your body. In just a week you can – start your journey to healthy weight loss goals, your complexion will improve, lower/eliminate chronic inflammation, lower your cholesterol, cut your heart failure risk by almost half, control your blood sugar and even reverse type 2 diabetes.
Have questions about going plant-based? Ask me! I’m no expert, but I’m living it! Would you consider going plant-based?
~ XOXO, the plant-based, Amanda // Blonde out of Water